NJSA 2C:12-10 Stalking
Definitions; stalking designated a crime; degrees
(1)"Course of conduct" means repeatedly maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person or repeatedly conveying, or causing to be conveyed, verbal or written threats or threats conveyed by any other means of communication or threats implied by conduct or a combination thereof directed at or toward a person.
(2)"Repeatedly" means on two or more occasions.
(3)"Immediate family" means a spouse, parent, child, sibling or any other person who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household.
b.A person is guilty of stalking, a crime of the fourth degree, if he purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to himself or a member of his immediate family or to fear the death of himself or a member of his immediate family.
c.A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking in violation of an existing court order prohibiting the behavior.
d.A person who commits a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim is guilty of a crime of the third degree.
e.A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he commits the crime of stalking while serving a term of imprisonment or while on parole or probation as the result of a conviction for any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.
f.This act shall not apply to conduct which occurs during organized group picketing.
L.1992,c.209,s.1; amended 1996, c.39, s.1; 1998, c. 17, s.3; 1999, c.47, s.1; 2001, c.220, s.2.
2C:12-10.1. Conviction for stalking, permanent restraining order
3. a. A judgment of conviction for stalking shall operate as an application for a permanent restraining order limiting the contact of the defendant and the victim who was stalked.
b. A hearing shall be held on the application for a permanent restraining order at the time of the verdict or plea of guilty unless the victim requests otherwise. This hearing shall be in Superior Court. A permanent restraining order may grant the following specific relief:
(1) An order restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim and requiring the defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim.
(2) An order restraining the defendant from making contact with the victim, including an order forbidding the defendant from personally or through an agent initiating any communication likely to cause annoyance or alarm including, but not limited to, personal, written, or telephone contact with the victim, the victim's employers, employees, or fellow workers, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim.
c. The permanent restraining order entered by the court subsequent to a conviction for stalking as provided in this act may be dissolved upon the application of the stalking victim to the court which granted the order.
d. Notice of permanent restraining orders issued pursuant to this act shall be sent by the clerk of the court or other person designated by the court to the appropriate chiefs of police, members of the State Police and any other appropriate law enforcement agency or court.
e. Any permanent restraining order issued pursuant to this act shall be in effect throughout the State, and shall be enforced by all law enforcement officers.
f. A violation by the defendant of an order issued pursuant to this act shall constitute an offense under subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 and each order shall so state. Violations of these orders may be enforced in a civil or criminal action initiated by the stalking victim or by the court, on its own motion, pursuant to applicable court rules. Nothing in this act shall preclude the filing of a criminal complaint for stalking based on the same act which is the basis for the violation of the permanent restraining order.
2C:12-10.2. Temporary restraining order for alleged stalking; conditions
b.The provisions of subsection a. of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the provisions of section 3 of P.L.1996, c.39 (C.2C:12-10.1) which provide that a judgment of conviction for stalking shall operate as an application for a permanent restraining order limiting the contact of the defendant and the victim.
c.The parent or guardian of the child or the person described in subsection a. of this section may file a complaint with the Superior Court in conformity with the rules of court seeking a temporary restraining order against a person alleged to have committed stalking against the child or the person described in subsection a. of this section. The parent or guardian may seek emergency, ex parte relief. A decision shall be made by the judge regarding the emergency relief forthwith. If it appears that the child or the person described in subsection a. of this section is in danger of being stalked by the defendant, the judge shall issue a temporary restraining order pursuant to subsection e. of this section.
d.A conviction of stalking shall not be a prerequisite for the grant of a temporary restraining order under this act.
e.A temporary restraining order issued under this act shall limit the contact of the defendant and the child or the person described in subsection a. of this section who was stalked and in addition may grant all other relief specified in section 3 of P.L.1996, c.39 (C.2C:12-10.1).
f.A hearing shall be held in the Superior Court within 10 days of the issuance of any temporary restraining order which was issued on an emergency, ex parte basis. A copy of the complaint shall be served on the defendant in conformity with the rules of court. At the hearing the standard for continuing the temporary restraining order shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
g.If the court rules that the temporary restraining order shall be continued, the order shall remain in effect until either:
(1)the defendant is convicted of stalking, in which case the court shall hold a hearing on the issue of whether a permanent restraining order shall be entered pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1996, c.39 (C.2C:12-10.1); or
(2)the victim's parent or guardian or, in the case of a victim who has reached the age of 18, the victim, requests that the restraining order be dismissed and the court finds just cause to do so.
Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm
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