L.1939, c. 369, p. 887, s. 1.
45:19-9. Definition of terms
(a) The term "private detective business" shall
mean the business of conducting a private detective agency
or for the purpose of making for hire or reward any investigation
or investigations for the purpose of obtaining information
with reference to any of the following matters, notwithstanding
the fact that other functions and services may also be performed
by the same person, firm, association or corporation for fee,
hire or reward, to wit:
(1) crime or wrong done or threatened or assumed to have
been done or threatened against the Government of the United
States of America, or any State, Territory or Possession of
the United States of America;
(2) the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts,
affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation or character
of any person, association, organization, society or groups
of persons, firms or corporations;
(3) the credibility of witnesses or other persons;
(4) the whereabouts of missing persons;
(5) the location or recovery of lost or stolen property;
(6) the causes and origin of, or responsibility for, fires,
libels, accidents, damage, injuries or losses to persons,
firms, associations or corporations, or to real or personal
(7) the affiliation, connection or relation of any person,
firm or corporation with any organization, society, association,
or with any official member or representative thereof;
(8) with reference to the conduct, honesty, efficiency, loyalty
or activities of employees, agents, contractors and subcontractors;
(9) the securing of evidence to be used before any investigating
committee, board of award, board of arbitration, or in the
trial of any civil or criminal cause; provided, however, that
the term shall not include a person, firm, association or
corporation engaged exclusively in the business of making
investigations and reports as to the financial standing, credit
and financial responsibility of persons, firms, associations
or corporations nor to electrically controlled burglar or
fire alarm system with a central unit, nor to any person,
firm, association or corporation engaged in the business of
making reports for insurance or credit purposes. Also it shall
mean the furnishing for hire or reward of watchmen or guards
or private patrolmen or other persons to protect persons or
property, either real or personal, or for any other purpose
whatsoever. The term shall not include and nothing in this
act shall apply to any lawful activity of any board, body,
commission or agency of the United States of America or of
any State, Territory or Possession of the United States of
America, or any county, municipality, school district, or
any officer or employee solely, exclusively and regularly
employed by any of the foregoing; nor to any attorney or counsellor-at-law
in connection with the regular practice of his profession,
nor to any person employed by any such attorney or counsellor-at-law
when engaged upon his employer's business; nor to any employee,
investigator or investigators solely, exclusively and regularly
employed by any person, firm, association or corporation which
is not engaged in any of the businesses hereinbefore described
in items numbered one to nine, both inclusive, of this subSection
in so far as their acts may relate solely to the business
of the respective employers; nor to any person, firm, association
or corporation licensed to do a business of insurance of any
nature under the insurance laws of this State, nor to any
employee or licensed agent thereof; nor to any person, firm,
association or corporation conducting any investigation solely
for its own account.
(b) The terms "the business of detective agency,"
"the business of investigator" and "the business
of watch, guard or patrol agency" shall mean any person,
firm, association or corporation engaged in the private detective
business as defined in subSection (a) of this Section, who
employs one or more persons in conducting such business.
(c) The terms "private detective" or "investigator"
shall mean and include any person who singly and for his own
account and profit conducts a private detective business without
the aid or assistance of any employees or associates.
(d) The masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter
(e) The term "superintendent" means the Superintendent
of State Police.
(f) The terms "firm" and "association"
shall include partnerships, but shall not include corporations.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 887, s. 2. Amended by L.1971, c. 342,
s. 1, eff. Dec. 13, 1971.
45:19-10. License to conduct business, violation of Section
No person, firm, association or corporation shall engage
in the private detective business or as a private detective
or investigator or advertise his or its business to be a private
detective business or that of a detective agency or investigator
without having first obtained from the superintendent a license
to conduct such business, as hereinafter provided. Any person,
firm, association or corporation who shall violate any of
the provisions of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 889, s. 3.
45:19-11. Application for license; contents; approvals of
reputable citizens; signing and verification; false statements
Any person, firm, association or corporation desiring to
conduct a private detective business or the business of a
private detective or investigator, shall for each Bureau or
agency, subagency, office and branch office to be owned, conducted,
managed or maintained by such person, firm, association or
corporation for the conduct of such business, file in the
office of the superintendent a written application duly signed
and verified, accompanied, in the case of an application by
a person, with the written approval of not less than five
reputable citizens who shall be freeholders of the county
where such applicant resides or in the county in which it
is proposed to conduct such business, and in the case of a
firm, the written approval of five reputable citizens for
each of the members of the firm who shall be freeholders of
the county where each member of the firm resides or the county
in which it is proposed to conduct such business, or in the
case of an association or corporation, the written approval
by five reputable citizens for each officer and director of
the corporation who shall be freeholders of the county where
such officers and directors reside, or of the county in which
it is proposed to conduct such business. Such approvals shall
be signed and acknowledged by the respective citizens before
an officer authorized to take acknowledgments of conveyances
of real property. The application shall state the following:
Name, age, residence, present and previous occupations of
the applicant, or in case of a firm, of each member of the
firm, or in the case of an association or corporation, of
each officer and director thereof; that each of the foregoing
persons are citizens of the United States; the name of the
municipality and the location therein by street number or
other apt description where is to be located the principal
place of business and the location of each Bureau, agency,
subagency, office or branch office for which a license is
desired, and such other facts as may be required by the superintendent
as will tend to show the character, competency and integrity
of each person or individual signing such application. Any
person who shall knowingly state any fact falsely shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 890, s. 4.
45:19-12. Issuance of license; inquiries and investigations;
fees; bond; duration of license; renewal; revocation; notification
of changes; qualifications
The superintendent, when satisfied from the examination of
any application and such further inquiry and investigations
as he shall deem proper as to the good character, competency
and integrity of the applicant and the persons named in the
application, shall issue and deliver to the applicant a license
to conduct such business. Such licensee shall be permitted
to own, conduct and maintain one or more Bureaus, agencies,
subagencies, offices or branch offices for the conduct of
such business at the locations stated in said application,
upon the payment by the applicant to the superintendent of
a license fee for each location so licensed which in the case
of an individual shall be $250.00, and in the case of a firm,
association or corporation shall be $300.00. Any license or
renewal thereof shall be further conditioned upon the applicant
executing and delivering to the superintendent a bond with
a surety company authorized to be surety in the State of New
Jersey, as surety, and approved as to form, manner of execution
and sufficiency by the superintendent of the State Police,
running to the State of New Jersey and which shall be for
the benefit of any person injured by willful, malicious or
wrongful act of the applicant (with a sufficient surety bond),
which in the case of an individual shall be $3,000.00, and
in the case of a firm, association or corporation $5,000.00,
which said bond shall be conditioned for the faithful and
honest conduct of such business by the applicant. The license
so granted by the superintendent shall be valid for a period
of 2 years, and upon renewal thereof said applicant shall
pay to the superintendent in the case of an individual a license
fee of $200.00 and in the case of a firm, association or corporation
$250.00 for each location for which such a license is renewed.
The license shall be revocable by the superintendent after
hearing for cause. In case of revocation or surrender of any
license, no refund shall be made of any license fee paid under
the provisions hereof. The license shall be in a form to be
prescribed by the superintendent and shall set forth the full
name of the applicant, the location of the principal office
or place of business, and the location of each Bureau, agency,
subagency, office or branch office for which the license is
issued, date on which it is issued, the date on which it will
expire, and the name or names of the persons named in the
application, and their respective addresses. In the event
of any change in the membership of the firm or in the officers
or directors of any association or corporation or any change
in the address of any office or location of such business
the superintendent shall be notified in writing of such change
within 5 days thereafter, and failure to give such notification
shall be sufficient cause for revocation of such license.
No license shall be issued to a person under the age of 25
years, nor to any person, firm, association or corporation
unless such person or at least one member of the firm and
one officer or director of the association or corporation
has had at least 5 years' experience as an investigator or
as a police officer with an organized police department of
the State or a county or municipality thereof, or with an
investigative agency of the United States of America or any
State, county or municipality thereof.
The superintendent and all members of the State Police shall
hold as confidential all information obtained as a result
of any investigation of any applicant or officer, assistant,
or employee of any holder of any license issued under the
provisions of this act, and the same shall not be divulged
except by an order so to do by a court of record of this State.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 891, s. 5. Amended by L.1948, c. 152,
p. 881, s. 1; L.1971, c. 342, s. 2, eff. Dec. 13, 1971.
45:19-12.1. Employees of licensee; fees payable by licensee;
a. Subsequent to the effective date of this act, every licensee
shall pay to the superintendent an additional fee of $15.00
for each person in its employ engaged in said employment in
this State as a private detective or investigator which terms
shall include watchmen, guards and private patrolmen. Any
licensee who shall employ any person in the aforementioned
categories subsequent to its securing a license or renewal
thereof and for whom the fee of $15.00 has not been paid shall
pay the fee of $15.00 for each of said persons prior to the
commencement of said employment with the licensee. Thereafter
any licensee at the time of any renewal if its license hereunder
shall pay a renewal fee of $5.00 for each of said employees
in the aforementioned categories for whom an initial fee of
$15.00 has been paid by said licensee.
b. Any licensee who shall employ any person in the aforementioned
categories in subSection a. above without having paid the
fees in accordance with said subSection a. shall be a disorderly
L.1971, c. 342, s. 3, eff. Dec. 13, 1971.
45:19-13. Surrender of license after expiration, revocation,
Any person, firm, association or corporation to whom a license
may be issued in accordance with this act shall surrender
such license and all duplicate copies thereof to the superintendent
within five days after such license shall have expired or
shall have been revoked, suspended or surrendered. Failure
to comply with the provisions of this Section shall constitute
L.1939, c. 369, p. 892, s. 6. 45:19-14. Posting and display
of license; loss or destruction of license; change in location
of office or place of business
Before any applicant shall exercise any rights under the
license issued to him such license, or a certified copy thereof,
shall be posted and at all times thereafter while the same
is in force be displayed in a conspicuous place in the principal
office and in each Bureau, agency, subagency, office or branch
office for which it is issued. Any person, firm, association
or corporation holding any license issued by the superintendent
under this act who posts or permits such license to be posted
upon premises other than those described therein, or to which
it may be transferred pursuant to the provisions of this act,
or who fails to maintain such license in a conspicuous place
in such offices or places of business, or knowingly alters,
defaces or destroys any such license or permits the alteration,
defacement or destruction thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
In the event that any license or certified copy thereof issued
by the superintendent is lost or destroyed, notice of such
loss or destruction shall be given to the superintendent forthwith,
and the superintendent may, in his discretion, issue a duplicate
or certified copy thereof. Upon written application to the
superintendent setting forth a proposed change in the location
of any office or place of business of the licensee as set
forth in his license, the superintendent may authorize a new
location for any such office or place of business, in which
case the licensee shall produce to the superintendent his
license and all copies thereof, to the end that the superintendent
may either endorse thereon such change of location or issue
a new license as of the same date as the original license
in lieu of the license so surrendered.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 893, s. 7.
45:19-15. Employment of assistants; false statements or
misrepresentations; disclosure of information; false reports
or statements to employer; reports on convictions
The holder of any license issued under the provisions of
this act may employ to assist him in his work and in the conduct
of his business as many persons as he may deem necessary,
and he shall at all times during such employment be accountable
for the good conduct in the business of each and every person
so employed. No such employee need be the holder of a license
issued under this act, but his employer shall be responsible
for his actions and conduct in connection with such employer's
business. Should the holder of a license falsely state or
represent that any person is or has been in his employ, such
false statement or misrepresentation shall be sufficient cause
for the revocation of such license. Any person falsely stating
or representing that he is or has been a detective employed
by a private detective business licensed under this act shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person who may be or has been
employed by the holder of a license under this act shall not
divulge to anyone other than his employer, or in such manner
and to such person as his employer shall direct, any information
acquired by him during such employment in respect to any work
to which he shall have been assigned by such employer, except
as such disclosure may be required by the provisions of this
act or in connection with any investigation of a licensee
by the superintendent. Any person violating any of the provisions
of this Section, and any employee of a licensed private detective
business who shall willfully make a false report or statement
to his employer in respect to any matter or thing connected
with his employment shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The
prosecutor of the pleas of the county in which any conviction
for a violation of any provision of this act shall, within
ten days thereafter, make and file with the superintendent
a report showing the date of such conviction, the name of
the person convicted and the nature of the charge.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 893, s. 8. Amended by L.1948, c. 152,
p. 883, s. 2.
45:19-16. Employees of licensees; fingerprints
No holder of any unexpired license issued pursuant to this
act shall knowingly employ in connection with his or its business
in any capacity whatsoever, any person who has been convicted
of a high misdemeanor or any of the following misdemeanors,
or offenses, and who has not subsequent to such conviction
received executive pardon therefor removing any civil disabilities
incurred thereby, to wit:
(a) illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other
(b) making or possessing burglar's instruments;
(c) buying or receiving stolen property;
(d) unlawful entry of a building;
(e) aiding escape from prison;
(f) unlawfully possessing or distributing habit-forming narcotic
(g) any person whose private detective or investigator's
license was revoked or application for such license was denied
by the superintendent or by the authorities of any other State
or territory because of conviction of any of the crimes or
offenses specified in this Section. Should the holder of an
unexpired license falsely state or represent that a person
is or has been in his employ, such false statement or misrepresentation
shall be sufficient cause for the revocation of such license.
No person shall be employed by any holder of a license until
he shall have executed and furnished to such license holder
a verified statement, to be known as "employee's statement,"
(a) His full name, age, residence address, and place of and
date of birth.
(b) The country of which he is a citizen.
(c) The business or occupation engaged in for the five years
immediately preceding the date of the filing of the statement,
setting forth the place or places where such business or occupation
was engaged in, and the name or names of employers, if any.
(d) That he has not been convicted of a high misdemeanor
or of any offense involving moral turpitude or of any of the
misdemeanors or offenses described in this Section.
(e) Such further information as the superintendent may by
rule require to show the good character, competency, and integrity
of the person executing the statement.
Immediately upon the verification of an employee's statement,
the holder of a license by whom such person has been or is
to be employed shall cause three sets of fingerprints of the
two hands of such person to be recorded in such manner as
the superintendent may by rule prescribe. The holder of a
license shall immediately stamp in indelible ink the employee's
statement and each set of fingerprints with the name, year
and license number of such holder and a number, which number
shall be determined by the number of such statements furnished
to such holder and shall be in numerical sequence.
The holder of a license shall affix one set of such fingerprints
to the employee's statement in such manner that the prints
can be examined without disclosing the contents of the employee's
statement and shall retain such statement and prints so long
as he shall be licensed under this act.
The holder of a license shall file the other two sets of
fingerprints with the superintendent by forwarding the same
by registered mail to the office of the superintendent, Trenton,
New Jersey, within forty-eight hours of such employment.
Within five days after the filing of such fingerprints the
superintendent shall cause such fingerprints to be compared
with fingerprints filed with the State Bureau of identification
and, if he finds any record affecting such prints, he shall
immediately notify the holder of such license and shall also
refer the matter to the prosecutor of the pleas of the county
in which the employee resides. The superintendent may also
from time to time cause such fingerprints to be checked against
the fingerprints filed with the State Bureau of identification
or of other official fingerprint files within or without this
State, and if he finds that such person has been convicted
of a high misdemeanor or any other offense specified in this
Section he shall immediately notify the holder of such license
and shall also refer the matter to the prosecutor of the pleas
of the county in which the employee resides. The superintendent
shall at all times be given access to and may from time to
time examine the fingerprints retained by the holder of a
license as provided in this Section.
If any holder of a license shall file with the superintendent
the fingerprints of a person other than the person so employed,
he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 894, s. 9. Amended by L.1948, c. 152,
p. 884, s. 3.
45:19-17. Identification card
For the purpose of identification of persons engaged in the
conduct of a private detective business, or as a private detective
or investigator, each such person shall carry and show when
requested an identification card, which shall be a white card
4 1/4" x 2 1/2", in the form hereinafter set forth,
to be signed, in the case of a private detective or investigator
by himself, and in the case of employees of a private detective
business by the employer as follows:
(1) If the bearer be a private detective or investigator,
Photograph (one square inch)
Date of Expiration
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT [NAME]
is licensed and bonded by the State of New Jersey as a private
detective in pursuance to "An act to license and regulate
the business of private detectives and private detective
agencies, and providing penalties for violation of its provisions,"
and is vested with all authorities allowed him by law.
Signature of Private Detective.
(2) If the bearer be an employee of a private detective business,
Photograph (one square inch)
Date of Expiration
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT [NAME]
is employed as an investigator, by the undersigned, a duly
licensed and bonded private detective agency, in pursuance
to "An act to license and regulate the business of
private detectives and private detective agencies, and providing
penalties for violation of its provisions," and is
vested with all authorities allowed him by law.
Signature of Employee.
Signature of employer.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 894, s. 10.
45:19-18. Use or display of identification card of another
No private detective or investigator or employee of a private
detective business who is in possession of any identification
card, as provided for in the preceding Section, shall loan,
allow or permit any other person to use or display such identification
card, and in case of the loss of any such identification card,
shall forthwith notify the superintendent of such loss and
the circumstances surrounding the same. Any person violating
the provisions of this Section or any person who shall display
or use the identification card of another without authority,
for the purpose of deceiving any person as to his identity
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 896, s. 11.
45:19-19. Badge or shield prohibited; exceptions
No person licensed under the provisions of this act, or the
officers, directors, employees, operators or agents thereof,
shall wear, carry or accept any badge or shield purporting
to indicate that such person is a private detective or investigator
or connected with the private detective business, but any
such person, officer, director, employee, operator or agent,
who is acting as a guard or performs any special service,
may, while in uniform, and while on the premises of the employer
of the licensee where he is so acting, wear a badge or shield
inscribed with the name of the license holder, number, and
the word "Guard" or "Special Service."
Any person violating the provisions of this Section shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 896, s. 12. Amended by L.1953, c. 404,
p. 2041, s. 1.
45:19-20. Misleading advertising, use of advertisement,
seal or card
Any licensee under the provisions of this act shall, on notice
from the superintendent, discontinue any advertising or the
use of any advertisement, seal or card, which in the opinion
of the superintendent may tend to mislead the public. Failure
to comply with any such order of the superintendent shall
be cause for revocation of the license of such licensee.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 896, s. 13.
45:19-21. Offenses in connection with issuance or use of
Any person, firm, association or corporation licensed under
the provisions of this act who shall issue identification
cards to any person other than a bona fide employee, or who
shall sell, issue, rent, loan or distribute badges or membership
cards indicating that the holder thereof is a private detective
or investigator or is engaged in the private detective business,
to any person or persons other than those lawfully entitled
to such identification cards shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 896, s. 14.
45:19-22. Investigations; subpoenas; witnesses; fees; oath;
willful false swearing
For the purpose of investigating the character, competency,
integrity and methods of operation of applicants or licensees
hereunder, or of the officers, directors, operatives, agents
or employees of any applicant or licensee, the superintendent
shall have the power to issue subpoenas and compel the attendance
of witnesses. All such subpoenas shall be under the hand of
the superintendent and the seal of the Department of State
Police, and upon service thereof the witnesses shall be paid
or tendered the fees to which they would be entitled if they
were subpoenaed by a court of record. If the person duly subpoenaed
shall fail to obey such subpoena without reasonable cause,
or shall without cause refuse to be examined or answer any
relevant or proper questions as to the character, actions
or qualifications of such applicant or licensee or any of
his employees he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The testimony
of witnesses in any proceeding before the superintendent shall
be under oath and the superintendent or a subordinate of the
Department of State Police designated in writing by the superintendent
may administer such oath, and willful false swearing in any
such proceeding or inquiry shall constitute a high misdemeanor.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 896, s. 15.
45:19-23. Licensees of other states
Any person, firm, association or corporation incorporated
or licensed under the laws of any other State of the United
States, and intending to conduct a private detective business
or act as a private detective or investigator within this
State shall file in the office of the superintendent a written
application duly signed and verified and obtain from the superintendent
a license as herein provided and shall be subject to all the
provisions of this act.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 897, s. 16.
45:19-24. Licenses under prior laws
Licenses issued under any other law of this State prior to
the passage of this act, authorizing the conduct of a private
detective business or the business of a private detective
or investigator, shall continue in force until the expiration
thereof, but such licensees in all other respects shall be
subject to all the provisions of this act.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 897, s. 17.
45:19-25. Enforcement through Department of State Police
The superintendent is hereby authorized to use such members
of the Department of State Police as he may deem necessary
to enable him to carry out the provisions of this act and
to enforce compliance therewith.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 898, s. 18.
45:19-26. Violation of Act as ground for revocation of license
A violation of any of the provisions of this act shall be
cause for revocation of any license issued hereunder, notwithstanding
that the same violation may constitute a misdemeanor or high
L.1939, c. 369, p. 898, s. 19.
45:19-27. Effect of partial invalidity
Should any Section or provision of this act be held to be
invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the same shall
not affect the validity of the act as a whole or any part
thereof other than the portion so held to be invalid.
L.1939, c. 369, p. 898, s. 20.