Senator ROBERT W. SINGER
District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)
Senator SEAN T. KEAN
District 11 (Monmouth)
Expands the domestic violence statutes to encompass minors aged 16 and older.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning domestic violence and amending P.L.1991, c.261.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19) is amended to read as follows:
3. As used in this act:
a. "Domestic violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts inflicted upon a person protected under this act by an adult [or] , an emancipated minor, or an unemancipated minor who is 16 years of age or older:
(1) Homicide N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq.
(2) Assault N.J.S.2C:12-1
(3) Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3
(4) Kidnapping N.J.S.2C:13-1
(5) Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2
(6) False imprisonment N.J.S.2C:13-3
(7) Sexual assault N.J.S.2C:14-2
(8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S.2C:14-3
(9) Lewdness N.J.S.2C:14-4
(10) Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3
(11) Burglary N.J.S.2C:18-2
(12) Criminal trespass N.J.S.2C:18-3
(13) Harassment N.J.S.2C:33-4
(14) Stalking P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10)
When one or more of these acts is inflicted by an unemancipated minor under the age of 16 upon a person protected under this act, the occurrence shall not constitute "domestic violence," but may be the basis for the filing of a petition or complaint pursuant to the provisions of section 11 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-30).
b. "Law enforcement agency" means a department, division, bureau, commission, board or other authority of the State or of any political subdivision thereof which employs law enforcement officers.
c. "Law enforcement officer" means a person whose public duties include the power to act as an officer for the detection, apprehension, arrest and conviction of offenders against the laws of this State.
d. "Victim of domestic violence" means a person protected under this act and shall include any person who is  16 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member. "Victim of domestic violence" also includes any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child in common, or with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant. "Victim of domestic violence" also includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.
e. "Emancipated minor" means a person who is under 18 years of age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a child or is pregnant or has been previously declared by a court or an administrative agency to be emancipated.
(cf: P.L.1994, c.94, s.1)
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all acts of domestic violence committed on or after the effective date.
This bill would expand the protections of the domestic violence statutes to include minors aged 16 and older.
Under current law, a domestic violence restraining order may be issued only under certain circumstances: if the victim is at least 18 years old; is an emancipated minor; has had a dating relationship with the defendant; has a child in common with the defendant; or anticipates having a child in common if one of the parties is pregnant. A restraining order may be issued against a defendant only if the defendant is at least 18 years old or is an emancipated minor.
Under the bill, any victim who is at least 16 years old could apply for a domestic violence restraining order, and any defendant who is at least 16 could be subject to such an order.