It's officially winter, and New Jersey will, in all likelihood, endure at least one snowfall. But could you find yourself in trouble with the law if you fail to shovel snow off your sidewalk?

The Reality


Whether it's you, your spouse, the kids, or the whole family tackling the shoveling of snow after it arrives, we can all agree it's not a fun chore.

But if NO ONE bothers to do it, can you be fined? Here in New Jersey, it's possible, but not a foregone conclusion.

What the Law Says


According to Lynch Law Firm, different municipalities in the Garden State have their own requirements for residential home and property owners when it comes to removing snow from sidewalks, so it's best to check with yours.

Furthermore, the municipalities that DO have requirements may even dictate the size and distance of the path you make, and they may even give you a certain amount of time to clear your sidewalk.

Can You Be Fined?

Cash and Coins

More often than not, a warning is issued before you're ever likely to get a ticket for failing to remove snow.

However, if you shovel snow off your sidewalk and your property is NOT privately owned by YOU, and you damage the sidewalk while removing the snow, you could face consequences. Lynch Law Firm states, 'If the property owner tries to remove the ice or snow and is negligent in doing so, causing the sidewalk to be more dangerous than before, he or she could be held liable for accidents that occur.'

Lynch Law Firm also points out that IF you fail to shovel your snow and someone gets hurt on your sidewalk as a result, you could be liable for any injuries that occur.



Is it illegal to not shovel snow off your sidewalk? Depends on where you live, but it's more of a courtesy to, say, your mail carrier, neighbors who walk or walk dogs, and children who walk to the bus stop or school.

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