Who is a “Public Servant?” N.J.S.A. 2c:30-2

Who is a Public Servant?

This week I blogged about Official Misconduct. Applying to any public servant, this includes

official misconduct, public servant, N.J.S.A. 2c:30-2, N.J.S.A. 2c:27-1any officer or employee of government, including legislators and judges, and any person participating as juror, advisor, consultant or otherwise, in performing a governmental function, but the term does not include witnesses.”

N.J.S.A. 2c:27-1(g) (adopted from MPC § 240.0(7)).

Despite its broad sweep, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently applied it narrowly. The defendant in State v. Morrison, a volunteer EMT, worked for a private rescue squad. The squad got municipal funding for back-up emergency medical services. The Court ruled an EMT falls outside the meaning of public servant.

The court’s holding did not turn on the fact that the squad provided only back-up medical services. Instead, the court excluded any EMT squad from the term “public servant” because the service is public and private. This post will summarize the Court’s analysis. Read more