This is a followup to
I forget the exact terminology, but the judge essentially said that the citizen complainant's "proximity" to the crime was too far removed to be substantially injured by it. He therefore had no standing to bring forth the complaint, forcing a determination of no probable cause.
Here is the beginning of the NJ Official Misconduct statute:
A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with purpose to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit:
a. He commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized or he is committing such act in an unauthorized manner; or
b. He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office.
and here is the the Citizen's Complaint rule (7.2.a.1, on page 4 of this document):
7:2-2. Issuance of Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or Summons
(a) Authorization for Process
(1) Citizen Complaint. A Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or a summons charging any offense made by a private citizen may be issued only by a judge or, if authorized by the judge, by a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator of a court with jurisdiction in the municipality where the offense is alleged to have been committed within the statutory time limitation. The complaint-warrant (CDR-2) or summons may be issued only if it appears to the judicial officer from the complaint, affidavit, certification or testimony that there is probable cause to believe that an offense was committed, the defendant committed it, and a Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or summons can be issued. The judicial officer's finding of probable cause shall be noted on the face of the summons or warrant and shall be confirmed by the judicial officer's signature issuing the Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or summons. If, however, the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator finds that no probable cause exists to issue a Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or summons, or that the applicable statutory time limitation to issue the Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or summons has expired, that finding shall be reviewed by the judge. A judge finding no probable cause to believe that an offense occurred or that the statutory time limitation to issue a Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) or summons has expired shall dismiss the complaint.
As best I understand it, proximity does not seem to be addressed in the Citizen's Complaint rule at all.
Regarding the Official Misconduct statute, it seems to say that the misconduct itself is the crime, not the criminal actions underneath it. This would imply that all citizens are equally injured by the misconduct, so long as they were under the official’s jurisdiction. In the case of the state Port Authority, this means every New Jersey citizen.
If, alternatively, the specific crimes underlying the misconduct is what's most important, then only a select few citizens would be substantially injured by it. The crime was mainly the extortion of United Airlines for a custom weekly flight in exchange for a new hangar at Newark International Airport; implying a very small percentage of NJ citizens were personally injured.
- Does the official misconduct statute refer to the underlying criminal activities or simply "the act of misconduct"? (This is somewhat answered in the original question)
- Given the context of a probable cause determination as brought forth by a citizen complaint.... Where in these two rules (or elsewhere) is "proximity" defined as a characteristic that should be a deciding factor for standing?