TRENTON, N.J. – As farmers prepare for a busy growing season, the Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committee on Monday passed legislation to protect them from meritless nuisance lawsuits.
The bill (A2315), sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, allows farmers to recover reasonable costs and attorney fees following a bad faith nuisance lawsuit.
Dancer says the complaints over farming operations like noise are increasing as residential development encroaches into traditionally rural farming areas.
“The financial costs of defending against these claims can be very hard on farmers who are already facing tough times,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Even if the farmer ultimately wins in court, the litigation process can be very time consuming and very expensive.”
Under New Jersey’s 1983 Right to Farm Act, accepted commercial farming practices do not constitute a public or private nuisance. Dancer’s bill strengthens this law by providing a recourse for farmers unfairly forced into litigation.