2C:21-31.1 – Civil Actions Resulting from Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law.
4. a. Any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of moneys or property, real or personal, as a result of any action or inaction by a person who knowingly engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in violation of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.1 (C.2C:21-31) may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction.
b. In any civil action under this section the court shall, in addition to any other appropriate legal or equitable relief, award damages in an amount that constitutes the greater of:
(1) $1,000, or
(2) Three times the value of all costs incurred by the victim as a result of the defendant’s criminal activity, including any fees paid to the defendant for services, costs incurred for attorneys’ fees, court costs and any out-of-pocket losses.
c. The standard of proof in civil actions brought under this section is a preponderance of the evidence, and the fact that a prosecution for a violation of section 1 of P.L.1997, c.1 (C.2C:21-31) is not instituted or, where instituted, terminates without a conviction shall not preclude a civil action pursuant to this section. A final judgment rendered in favor of the State in any criminal proceeding shall estop the defendant from denying the same conduct in any civil action brought pursuant to this section.
d. A civil action under this section shall not preclude the application of any other civil, administrative, or criminal remedy under any other provision of law.
L.2011, c.209, s.4.255