Third Circuit Bars Enforcement of New Jersey’s Amended Gift Card Law

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit granted New Jersey retailers’ emergency motion for an injunction barring enforcement of New Jersey’s recently amended law governing stored value cards including gift cards. The court also instructed the parties to submit a proposed expedited briefing schedule so that the court could issue an opinion on the constitutionality of New Jersey’s law quickly.

In an effort to collect unused money on stored value cards sold in New Jersey, New Jersey amended its unclaimed property law to require card issuers to collect the purchaser’s name and address and to maintain, at a minimum, the purchaser’s zip code. The amendment also provided that if a card is sold in New Jersey, and the card issuer does not have the name and address of the purchaser, then the location of the purchaser is presumed to be New Jersey, which would allow the state to collect the unused amount on such cards as unclaimed property. The law also purported to apply to all outstanding cards as of July 1, 2010, even those issued before July 1, 2010.

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