High Profile Domestic Violence Cases Spur Legislative Efforts
In light of a number of high profile incidents of domestic violence, New Jersey legislators have initiated a push to find new ways to address the problem. Here are a couple of the proposals currently under consideration.
The Creation of a Statewide Domestic Violence Registry
Similar to Megan’s Law, which requires convicted sex offenders to be registered with the state, this proposal would require that anyone convicted of domestic abuse notify the state of their residence at all times, and promptly disclose any relocation or change of address. Opponents contend that domestic restraining orders already impose substantial legal, economic and social/societal restrictions on offenders. In New Jersey, unlike most states, there is no “sunset” provision on a final restraining order, which means that the order stays in effect until the victim chooses to terminate it.
The proposal, tentatively dubbed “Lisa’s Law” after Lisa Zindell, a Toms River woman murdered in 2009 by her former fiancé, was passed by the legislature, but vetoed by Governor Chris Christie in January, 2014. Troy Singleton, an Assemblyman from Burlington, expressed disappointment, but vowed to continue to fight until the law is enacted.
The Creation of an Electronic Monitoring Program
A second proposal calls for the designation of $1 million to fund a four-year electronic monitoring program for domestic violence offenders in New Jersey. The proposal recommends that offenders assume or share the costs of the program, unless financially unable to do so.
The principal objective of this proposal, according to sponsors, is to try to deal with the challenges posed by repeat offenders. In a statement accompanying the bill, sponsors noted that the likelihood that electronic monitor would act as a deterrent should be a factor in determining eligibility for the program. Under the proposal, the court could also look at:
- the seriousness of the harm initially inflicted
- previous criminal history, including charges or convictions for domestic violence
- history of mental illness or substance abuse
- potential access by the perpetrator to weapons of any kind
Contact the New Jersey Domestic Violence Lawyers at Lyons & Associates
At the law office of Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters, including domestic violence issues. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.