- Attorney General Joseph R. Biden, III joined
legislative leaders and state and local law
enforcement officials today to announce the
introduction of legislation to amend the current
Drug Nuisance and Social Vices Abatement Act.
80, sponsored by Senator Patricia Blevins,
Representative Charles Oberle, and Representative
Helene Keeley, strengthens the current statute by
clarifying judicial guidelines and evidentiary
standards. It also creates a permanent fund to
support nuisance abatement efforts.
the legislation will:
it clear that property owners who facilitate,
permit, or promote a nuisance on their property
will be held liable.
notice to owners who fail to abate nuisances on
their property of the factors that the
Department of Justice will use to permanently
shut them down, including such things as the
history and severity of the nuisance activity as
well as the impact of the nuisance upon any
neighborhood or community organization.
the Attorney General's Nuisance Abatement
Fund, which will be used by this Department
specifically to investigate and prosecute these
criminal activities. The account is funded
through actions taken against nuisance
properties and monies awarded by the courts for
costs or attorneys fees.
owners who permit nuisance crimes on their premises
have one of two choices," Attorney General Biden
said. "They can litigate the matter as a defendant
and ultimately be forced to clean up their
properties by court order, or they can cooperate
with the Department of Justice, avoid a costly legal
battle and possible closure, and voluntarily take
active measures to rid their properties of nuisance
are sending a clear message that the State of
will not tolerate these safe havens for drug dealers
and criminals," Biden said. "Property owners
will not be able to turn a blind eye - we will
hold you accountable."
why I introduced the Drug Nuisance and Social Vices
Abatement Act five years ago, and why I stand here
with the Attorney General and our partners in law
enforcement today Senator Blevins said."
legislators, we are charged with representing the
communities we serve," Representative William
Oberle said. "Today, we have taken yet another
step to answering this important call to action by
strengthening the current statute. With the
partnership between legislators, local law
enforcement and the Department of Justice,
will be a safer and better place to live."
General Biden also announced that the Department of
Justice filed a complaint in Superior Court against
a nearby property, located along the Route 9
corridor, to abate illegal activity on the property.
In addition, four property owners, each of whom had
earlier received written notices from the Department
of Justice, had agreed to comply with the
Department's demands through formal agreements.
agreements demand that property owners take
immediate and significant action to abate the
nuisances on their properties, including:
security guards to patrol their properties
Attorney General Biden noted that the
Community Center where he stands today borders two
of these properties.
The actions being taken by the Department of
Justice to enforce the Drug Nuisance and Social
Vices Abatement Act will have a clear and positive
impact upon this community.
legislation we have proposed today is vital to the
safety of our communities and goes a long way to
remedying nuisances throughout our state,
Representative Helene Keeley said. "We passed this
legislation with the intent to make a difference for
our families, our friends and our neighbors, and I
am pleased that the Department of Justice is taking
the initiative to do just that."
Nuisance abatement agreements are intended to
revive our communities and improve the quality of
's citizens. They
provide relief to the residents in the surrounding
area by mandating that business owners make their
premises less hospitable to the criminal element.
Ultimately, the settlements send the message
to other business owners that the level of crime
that persists in many areas will not be tolerated.