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  • NJ A1957
  • Expands the Address Confidentiality Program to include victims of sexual assault and stalking.
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(2/29/2016)
Crossed Over
(2/18/2016)
PassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
The Address Confidentiality Program, enacted by P.L.1997, c.369 (R.S.47:4-1 et seq.), allows victims of domestic violence to establish an alternate mailing address and keep their actual address confidential. This bill would expand the Address Confidentiality Program to encompass victims of stalking and victims of sexual assault. Currently, a person applying to the Address Confidentiality Program must provide a sworn statement that the applicant has good reason to believe that the applicant is a victim of domestic violence and fears further violent acts from the assailant. The statute defines "domestic violence" as an act defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19), if the act has been reported to a law enforcement agency or court. The statute does not require the assailant to have been charged with or convicted of any criminal offense or subject to a domestic violence restraining order. If the application is accepted, the applicant is certified as a program participant for a period of four years. At the end of that period, the participant may apply to be recertified for subsequent four-year periods. The Address Confidentiality Program provides the participant with a designated address to be used as the participant's mailing address. The program forwards the participant's mail to the participant's actual address, while the actual address remains confidential and available only to employees of the program and to law enforcement. The participant may use the designated address as the participant's work address and may request that any State or local agency use it as the participant's address. Under the statute, the State or local agency must accept the designated address unless it demonstrates a bona fide statutory basis for requiring the participant to disclose his or her actual location, and that the disclosed confidential address will be used only for that statutory purpose and will not be disclosed or made available in any way to any other person or agency. A program participant's certification may be cancelled if: (1) the participant obtains a name change through an order of the court; (2) the participant changes the participant's residential address and does not provide seven days' advance notice to the program; (3) mail forwarded by the program to the participant's actual address is returned as undeliverable; or (4) any information on the application is false. In expanding the program to encompass victims of stalking and victims of sexual assault, the bill keeps the same program criteria as that in current law for domestic violence victims. Under the bill, an applicant would be required to provide a sworn statement that the applicant has good reason to believe that the applicant is a victim of stalking or sexual assault and fears further violent acts from the assailant. There would be no requirement for the assailant to have been charged with, or convicted of, either stalking or sexual assault. The bill defines "sexual assault" as an act of sexual assault as defined in subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:14-2, or an act of aggravated sexual assault as defined in subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:14-2, if the act has been reported to a law enforcement agency or court. "Stalking" is defined in the bill as an act defined in section 1 of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10), if the act has been reported to a law enforcement agency or court. The bill also makes several technical changes to update the statute. As enacted by P.L.1997, c.369, the Address Confidentiality Program was located in the Department of State under the direction of the Secretary of State. The program is currently located in the Division on Women in the Department of Children and Families under the direction of the director of the Division on Women.
Education, Judiciary, 2nd Reading in the Assembly, Passed Assembly
Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee  (on 2/29/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
2/29/2016 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
2/18/2016 A Passed by the Assembly (75-0-0)
2/8/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
2/8/2016 Assembly Judiciary Hearing (10:00 2/8/2016 Committee Room 12, 4th Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 2/18/2016 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 75 0 5
Detail 2/8/2016 Assembly Judiciary Committee: Reported with Amendments 7 0 0