Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Joseph Lagana to ensure that the location of stalking and domestic violence victims remains confidential was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.
“We’ve heard of instances where a victim’s address changed over the course of a criminal case and an address that was confidential at the start may appear in subsequent discovery documents. This bill addresses the continued need for location confidentiality for stalking victims while also strengthening location confidentiality for domestic violence victims,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Both of these populations share a heightened need for strictly maintained location confidentiality and we need to do everything we can to help provide them with that assurance and comfort.”
Current law provides that in instances where a judgment of conviction for stalking has been entered, a hearing may ensue on the application for a permanent restraining order unless the victim requests otherwise.
Lagana’s bill (A-4990) stipulates that the victim’s location shall remain confidential and shall not appear on any court documents or records to which the defendant has access, both prior to conviction and post-conviction.
The bill also amends existing law when it comes to criminal complaints in domestic violence cases, to stipulate that the victim’s location shall remain confidential and shall not appear on any court documents or records to which the defendant has access.
The measure was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee of which Lagana is a member.