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  • NJ A660
  • Concerns stalking and related restraining order protections for adoptive children and their adoptive parents victimized by persons whose parental rights to the adoptive children have been terminated.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(1/27/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill concerns stalking and related restraining order protections with regard to situations involving adoptive children, their adoptive parents, and the persons whose parental rights for those adoptive children have been terminated. First, the bill would amend provisions under the current law with respect to stalking in order to make the crime of stalking and related restraining order protections expressly applicable to situations involving contact or attempted contact between an adoptive child and former parent whose parental rights have been terminated, which has occurred or is occurring contrary to the instructions of the child's adoptive parent. By doing so, the bill would expressly make such unwanted contact a crime of the third or fourth degree, depending upon various circumstances associated with the stalking. A crime of the third degree is ordinarily punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both; a crime of the fourth degree is ordinarily punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. By amending the current law's stalking provisions, the bill would also permit an adoptive parent to obtain a temporary restraining order against the person whose parental rights to the child have been terminated. See P.L.1999, c.47, s.2 (C:2C:12-10.2). Such an order could also be converted into a permanent restraining order upon a judgment of conviction against the person based on a conviction for the crime of stalking. See P.L.1996, c.39, s.3 (C.2C:12-10.1). The bill would also establish restraining order protections for the parent of an adoptive child who is victimized by harassing or violent acts by the person whose parental rights for that adoptive child have been terminated. The bill presents a range of criminal acts that could trigger the imposing of restraints, including assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, false imprisonment, harassment, and stalking. Restraints that a court may impose pursuant to the bill include: (1) restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the adoptive parent and requiring the defendant to stay away from any place specifically named and frequented regularly by the adoptive parent; (2) restraining the defendant from making contact with the adoptive parent, including 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, or contact via electronic device, with the adoptive parent, the adoptive parent's employers, employees, or fellow workers, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the adoptive parent; and (3) any other relief necessary to protect the adoptive parent at the discretion of the court, including but not limited to requiring the defendant to pay to the victim monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of the act or requiring the defendant to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Restraints imposed by a court pursuant to the bill shall remain in effect for the period of time fixed by the court, which shall not be longer than the maximum term of imprisonment, incarceration, or probation allowed by law for the offense for which the person subject to the order was convicted. When the court imposes restraints pursuant to the bill and the defendant is sentenced to any form of probationary supervision or participation in the Intensive Supervision Program, the court shall make compliance with the restraints an express condition of probation or the Intensive Supervision Program, and this condition shall not dissolve sooner than the conclusion of the probationary supervision or participation in the Intensive Supervision Program. When the court imposes restraints pursuant to the bill and the person is also sentenced to a term of incarceration, compliance with the terms and conditions of the restraints shall be made an express condition of the person's release from confinement or incarceration on parole, and this condition shall not dissolve sooner than the conclusion of that period of parole. Notice of any restraints imposed pursuant to the bill shall be sent by the clerk of the court or other person designated by the court to appropriate law enforcement agencies. The restraints ordered by the court shall be in effect throughout the State, and shall be enforced by all law enforcement officers. A violation of any restraints imposed pursuant to the bill would constitute a criminal act of contempt, and each order including restraints would so state. Criminal contempt is graded as a crime of the fourth degree (term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, fine of up to $10,000, or both).
Human Services
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified