N.J. suit: No automatic license suspensions over child support

TRENTON, N.J. — A new class action lawsuit seeks to end the automatic suspensions of driver’s licenses held by parents in New Jersey who are behind on child support payments.

The suit filed late last week claims such suspensions are unconstitutional, contrary to the “clearly expressed legislative intent” and “obviously counter-productive.” It was filed in state Superior Court by David Perry Davis, a Pennington-based attorney, and names four plaintiffs who have had their licenses suspended.

Davis called the license suspensions “absurdly self-defeating,” noting that it can block parents from going to work, applying for jobs, or seeing their children.”

The suit names several state agencies and officials, including the Motor Vehicle Commission and the Attorney General’s office. Representatives for those agencies declined comment on Monday, noting that they do not publicly discuss ongoing litigation.

The lawsuit seeks to limit when suspensions would be allowed. Davis said they should only happen when “all other enforcement options” have been exhausted.

“If a taxi driver who earns cash is refusing to pay his support, threatening to suspend a license may be the only effective method of forcing him to pay.” Davis said. “Judges should have this as an option, but only if the facts of a case justify it.”

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