ASSEMBLY, No. 1409

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman† VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Allows identity theft victims to petition for judicial determination of factual innocence.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

††


An Act concerning identity theft 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.† a.† A person who reasonably believes that he is the victim of identity theft in violation of† N.J.S.2C:21-1, section 1 of P.L.1983, c.565 (C.2C:21-2.1) or N.J.S.2C:21-17 may petition a court, or the court, on its own motion or upon application of the prosecuting attorney, may move for an expedited judicial determination of his factual innocence, where a defendant was charged with, arrested for or convicted of a crime under the victim's identity, or where a criminal complaint has been filed against a defendant in the victim's name, or where the victim's identity has been mistakenly associated with a record of criminal conviction.† Any judicial determination of factual innocence made pursuant to this section may be heard and determined upon declarations, affidavits, police reports, or other material, relevant and reliable information submitted by the parties or ordered to be part of the record by the court.† Where the court determines that the petition or motion is meritorious and that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the victim committed the offense for which a defendant was arrested, charged, convicted, or subject to a criminal complaint in the victim's name, or that the victim's identity has been mistakenly associated with a record of criminal conviction, the court shall find the victim factually innocent of that offense.† If the victim is found factually innocent, the court shall issue an order certifying this determination.

†††† b.† After a court has issued a determination of factual innocence pursuant to this section, the court may order the name and associated personal identifying information contained in court records, files, and indexes accessible by the public be deleted, sealed, or labeled to show that the data is impersonated and does not reflect the defendant's identity.

†††† c.† Upon making a determination of factual innocence, the court shall provide the victim written documentation of such order.

†††† d.† A court that has issued a determination of factual innocence pursuant to this section may at any time vacate that determination if the petition, or any information submitted in support of the petition, is found to contain any material misrepresentation or fraud.

†††† e.† The Administrative Office of the Courts shall develop a form for use in issuing an order pursuant to this section.

†††† f.† The Administrative Office of the Courts shall establish and maintain a database of persons who have been victims of identity theft and that have received determinations of factual innocence. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall provide a victim of identity theft or his authorized representative access to the database in order to establish that the person has been a victim of identity theft.† Access to the database shall be limited to criminal justice agencies, victims of identity theft, and any other persons and agencies authorized by the victims.

†††† g.† The Administrative Office of the Courts shall establish and maintain a toll free number to provide access to information under subsection f. of this section.

†††† h.† In order for a victim of identity theft to be included in the database established pursuant to subsection f. of this section, he shall submit to the Administrative Office of the Courts a court order, a full set of fingerprints and any other information prescribed by the† Administrative Office of the Courts.

†††† i.† Upon receiving information pursuant to subsection h. of this section, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall verify the identity of the victim against any driver's license or other identification record maintained by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

 

†††† 2.† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes a procedure whereby a victim of identity theft can obtain a factual determination of innocence.†

†††† Under the provisions of the bill, if a person reasonably believes that he is a victim of identity theft that person, or the court on its motion or upon application by the prosecuting attorney, may move for an expedited judicial determination of factual innocence:

        if a defendant has been arrested for, charged with or convicted of a crime under the victimís identity;

        where a criminal complaint has been filed against a defendant in the victim's name; or

        if† the victim's identity has been mistakenly associated with a record of criminal conviction.† If the court determines that the petition or motion is meritorious and that the victim has not committed the offense, the court is to issue a judicial† determination of factual innocence.† After an order has been issued, the court may order that the name and personal identifying information of the victim contained in court records, files and indexes be deleted, sealed or labeled to show that the personal identifying information indicating the victimís identity as the perpetrator was false.

†††† The bill also requires the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to establish and maintain a database of persons who have been victims of identity theft and who have received determinations of factual innocence.† Access to the database is to be limited to criminal justice agencies, victims of identity theft and any other persons and agencies authorized by a victim.† The AOC also is directed to establish a toll free number to provide access to information to victims of identity theft.