In an effort to enhance the state’s ability to protect members of the justice system and their immediate family members, a bill sponsored by Assemblywomen Annette Quijano, Yvonne Lopez, Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji was signed into law on Wednesday.
The new law (formerly bill A-6171) will help safeguard those who serve in our justice system by creating a new process to allow former or current judicial officers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and their immediate family members living in the same residence to make their home addresses and personal identifying information private.
The law seeks to address challenges with the implementation of “Daniel’s Law,” which was signed into law in 2020 to protect the home addresses and telephone numbers of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers from public disclosure. Daniel’s Law was created in response to the death of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas’ son Daniel Anderl, who was shot and killed by a gunman believed to be targeting Judge Salas.
Under the law, the Office of Information Privacy in the Department of Community Affairs will be created to allow authorized persons to submit or revoke a request for the redaction or nondisclosure of a covered person’s home address from certain public records or internet postings. Such requests must be submitted through a secure portal and approved by the Director of the Office of Information Privacy.
Upon the bill becoming law, Assembly sponsors Quijano (D-Union), Lopez (D-Middlesex), Coughlin (D-Middlesex) and Mukherji (D-Hudson) issued the following joint statement:
“For the men and women who take on the responsibility of serving as judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, making difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions is part of the job. It is critical that we offer these public servants protection and safeguard them from possible retaliation should they be targeted for doing their jobs.
“With this new law, we can better protect the privacy of our judges and prosecutors by ensuring that their personal addresses do not fall into the wrong hands.”