ASSEMBLY, No. 1121

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ANGEL FUENTES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman  GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires persons to report incidents of domestic violence to law enforcement and makes it a disorderly persons offense to fail to report.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning domestic violence, amending P.L.1991, c.261 and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 6 of P.L.1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-22) is amended to read as follows: 

     6.    a.  A law enforcement officer, member of a domestic crisis team, physician or other medical professional, victim counselor, guidance counselor, mental health professional,  or any other person having reasonable cause to believe that a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence shall report the same immediately to the local law enforcement agency.  Such reports, where possible, shall contain the name and address of the victim, the nature and possible extent of the injuries, if known, and any other information that the person believes may be relevant with respect to the domestic violence and the identity of the perpetrator.

     b.    A law enforcement officer [or a], member of a domestic crisis team, physician or other medical professional, victim counselor, guidance counselor, mental health professional,  or any other person who, in good faith, reports a possible incident of domestic violence to the [police] local law enforcement agency shall not be held liable in any civil or criminal action brought by any party for an arrest based on probable cause, enforcement in good faith of a court order, any action or proceeding in any court of this State, including municipal court, or any other act or omission in good faith under this act.

     c.     Whenever such person is required to report under this section in his capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, facility or agency, he shall immediately notify the person in charge of such institution, facility or agency, or his designated agent, who then also shall become responsible to report or cause the report to be made.  However, nothing in this section is intended to require more than one report from any such institution or agency.

     d.    The law enforcement agency which takes a domestic violence incident report pursuant to this section shall forward the information to the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts to be entered in the domestic violence registry established pursuant to P.L.1999, c. 421 (C.2C:25-34). 

(cf: P.L.1994, c.94, s.2)


     2.    (New section) Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of section 6 of P.L.1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-22) by failing to report an act of domestic violence while having reasonable cause to believe that a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence  shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 30th day following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

 

     This bill would require a physician or other medical professional, victim counselor, guidance counselor, mental health professional, or any other person with reasonable cause to believe that a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence to report the same to a local law enforcement agency. The same individuals required to report under the bill would also receive immunity for reporting. Currently, N.J.S.A.2C:25-22 provides civil immunity to any law enforcement officer, member of a domestic crisis team or any person who, good faith, reports a possible incident of domestic violence to the police.

     This bill provides that those persons who are required to report in their capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, facility or agency, would immediately notify the person in charge of such institution, facility or agency, or the designated agent, who then also shall become responsible to report or cause to reports to be made.

     The law enforcement agency which takes a domestic violence incident report would be required to forward the information to the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts to be entered in the domestic violence registry.

     Failure to report.  Any person who knowingly fails to report an act of domestic violence while having reasonable cause to believe that a person is or has been a victim of domestic violence, would be guilty of a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.