ASSEMBLY, No. 272

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DAVID C. RUSSO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Vandervalk and Voss

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Imposes mandatory terms of imprisonment for contempt for violation of domestic violence orders.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning domestic violence and amending P.L.1991,c.261 and N.J.S.2C:29-9.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1. Section 14 of P.L.1991,c.261 (C.2C:25-30) is amended to read as follows:

     14.  Except as provided below, a violation by the defendant of an order issued pursuant to this act shall constitute an offense under subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 and each order shall so state. All contempt proceedings conducted pursuant to N.J.S.2C:29-9 involving domestic violence orders, other than those constituting indictable offenses, shall be heard by the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court. All contempt proceedings brought pursuant to P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.) shall be subject to any rules or guidelines established by the Supreme Court to guarantee the prompt disposition of criminal matters. [Additionally, and notwithstanding the term of imprisonment provided in N.J.S.2C:43-8, any person convicted of a second or subsequent nonindictable domestic violence contempt offense shall serve a minimum term of not less than 30 days.]  Orders entered pursuant to paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (8) and (9) of subsection b. of section 13 of this act shall be excluded from enforcement under subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9; however, violations of these orders may be enforced in a civil or criminal action initiated by the plaintiff or by the court, on its own motion, pursuant to applicable court rules.

(cf: P.L.1994,c.94,s.6).

 

     2.  N.J.S.2C:29-9 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:29-9. Contempt. a. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if he purposely or knowingly disobeys a judicial order or hinders, obstructs or impedes the effectuation of a judicial order or the exercise of jurisdiction over any person, thing or controversy by a court, administrative body or investigative entity.

     b. Except as provided below, a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if that person purposely or knowingly violates any provision in an order entered under the provisions of the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991," P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.) or an order entered under the provisions of a substantially similar statute under the laws of another state or the United States when the conduct which constitutes the violation could also constitute a crime or a disorderly persons offense.


Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-6, any person convicted of a fourth degree crime under the provisions of subsection b. of this section shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of 180 days. Notwithstanding the term of imprisonment provided in N.J.S.2C:43-8, any person convicted of a nonindictable domestic violence contempt offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 30 days for the first offense and a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 60 days for a second or subsequent offense.

     In all other cases a person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if that person knowingly violates an order entered under the provisions of this act or an order entered under the provisions of a substantially similar statute under the laws of another state or the United States. Orders entered pursuant to paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (8) and (9) of subsection b. of section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29) or substantially similar orders entered under the laws of another state or the United States shall be excluded from the provisions of this subsection.

     As used in this subsection, "state" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  The term includes an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan native village, which is recognized by a federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.333, s. 1)

 

     3.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would impose certain mandatory terms of imprisonment for violation of domestic violence orders.

     Under the current provisions of N.J.S.A.2C:29-9, a person who  purposely or knowingly violates any provision in a domestic violence order is guilty of a fourth degree contempt violation. This bill would provide for a mandatory term of imprisonment of 180 days for this fourth degree crime. This bill would also provide for a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for nonindictable domestic violence contempt offenses: not less than 30 days for the first offense and not less than 60 days for a second or subsequent offense.

     In order to provide consistency with regard to domestic violence contempt orders in the criminal law, this bill would eliminate the sentencing provisions in N.J.S.A.2C:25-30, concerning domestic violence contempt orders, and incorporate those provisions within subsection b. of N.J.S.A.2C:29-9, concerning  contempt orders. Specifically, this bill would eliminate the minimum term currently set forth for a second or subsequent nonindictable domestic violence contempt offense in N.J.S.A.2C:25-30 and incorporate it within with the new minimum terms of imprisonment in N.J.S.A.2C:29-9.