Supreme Court Denies Cert for New Jersey Gift Card Case

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of the State of New Jersey in the ongoing saga of gift cards sold in that state. Cert was denied on October 29, 2012. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had refused to hear American Express's appeal regarding traveler's checks.

This means that the Third Circuit Court of Appeal's January opinion on the constitutionality of the 2010 gift card law stands. The Third Circuit mostly affirmed the District Court's issuance of a preliminary injunction against the retroactivity of the 2010 law, such that the state could not claim unused gift cards sold before the law was passed and struck down the law's place of purchase presumption. However, the Courts both allowed the state to impose additional data gathering burdens on the gift card issuers, allowing the state to claim first priority for gift cards sold in the state.

In June 2012, New Jersey further amended its unclaimed property statutes to delay the address collection requirement as well as to allow retailers to retain a percentage of the unused balances. The law does prohibit most expiration dates and inactivity fees. It also allows consumers to request cash back when the outstanding balance falls below a certain threshold.

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