52:4B-20. Subrogation of agency to cause of action of victim against person responsible for personal injury or death; liens
| 20. a. Whenever
an order for the payment of compensation is or has been made for personal
injury or death resulting from an act or omission constituting an offense
under this act, the agency shall, upon payment of the amount of the order,
be subrogated to the cause of action of the applicant against the person
or persons responsible for such personal injury or death to recover such
payments. With the consent of the board, the agency also shall be entitled
to bring an action against such person or persons for the amount of the
damage sustained by the applicant. In the event that the amount paid in
satisfaction of a judgment entered pursuant to this section is more than
the amount paid by reason of the order for payment of compensation, the
agency shall pay the balance to the applicant.
b. If a judgment is entered in favor of the agency pursuant to subsection a. of this section to recover payments made to the applicant pursuant to order for payment of compensation, the judgment shall constitute a lien on any and all real and personal property or income in which the person or persons responsible for the personal injury or death has or may acquire an interest, including the net proceeds, after the payment of fees and costs, of any settlement negotiated prior or subsequent to the filing of a lawsuit, any civil judgment, any civil arbitration award and any inheritance payable to the person or persons responsible for the personal injury or death. The lien shall have priority over all other levies and garnishments against the net proceeds of actions identified in this section unless otherwise provided by the Superior Court. The lien shall not have priority over levies to recover unpaid income taxes owed to the State or a judgment for child support entered pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1988, c.111 (C.2A:17-56.23a).
c. All judgments and other related papers required for the purposes of this section shall be received and recorded by the clerk of the Superior Court without payment of fees.
d. To discharge or otherwise compromise any lien or liens arising pursuant to this section, the agency shall file with the clerk of the Superior Court a duly acknowledged certificate setting forth the fact that the agency desires to discharge or amend the lien of record.
e. Any person desiring to secure immediate discharge of any lien arising pursuant to this section may deposit with the court cash in an amount sufficient to cover the amount of the lien or post a bond in an amount and with sureties approved by the court. Upon proper notice to the agency of such deposit or bond, a satisfaction of the lien shall be filed at once with the clerk of the Superior Court.
f. Any person affected in any manner, whether directly or indirectly by any lien arising under this section, and desiring to examine the validity of the lien or the facts and circumstances surrounding the entry of the lien, may do so in an action brought in the county where the lien was filed. The action shall be brought against the agency claiming the lien, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner and enter such judgment as it may deem appropriate.