UNION COUNTY, NJ — Three public movers in Union County have been cited for operating without a license, according to a report from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, following an undercover investigation in which police officers posed as potential customers.
In total, 21 public movers were handed Notices of Violation by the Division of Consumer Affairs, including Garden City Movers — also known as “NJ State Moving Inc.” — and Emmanuel Moving & Cleaning Service in Elizabeth, as well as Mike Davis Pro Service in Cranford.
Each Notice of Violation carries a civil penalty of $2,500, individually, but the public movers can become licensed within 30 days to slash the civil penalties in half, the report says.
“Consumers entrust movers with their possessions, and as this investigation shows, there are moving companies out there that are undeserving of this trust,” acting Attorney General John Hoffman said. “We’re giving these companies an opportunity to come into compliance with our laws or else cease operations.”
Operating as an intrastate mover, without a license, violates state laws aimed at protecting consumers from fraud or damages. The Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the undercover sting last November and, in addition to issuing Notices of Violation to 21 public movers, found five individuals on outstanding warrants, who were arrested as a result of the investigation.
Intrastate movers are companies which perform residential moves beginning and ending in the state and, in New Jersey, they must be licensed by the Division of Consumer Affairs.
State regulations require these movers to maintain cargo liability and other types of insurance, and that they keep their vehicles in compliance with New Jersey’s standards.
There are approximately 300 licensed intrastate movers in the state, according to the report.
“Consumers need to do their homework before hiring a moving company in order to avoid fraud,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “Consumers should beware of low-ball pricing and always make sure the moving company is licensed by the State.”
Other public movers named in the report include 4 Brothers Moving in Garfield, Stevenson’s Moving in East Orange and Moverland — which was also referred to as “Manhattan Movers” and “Hoboken Movers” — in Newark.