STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION
Assemblywoman GABRIELA M. MOSQUERA
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblyman PAUL D. MORIARTY
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblyman JOSEPH A. LAGANA
District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblymen Benson, Mazzeo, Assemblywoman Lampitt, Assemblymen McKeon, Diegnan and Eustace
Permits a witness who is under the age of 16 or a victim of any age to testify by closed circuit television in prosecutions for crimes or offenses involving domestic violence.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
An Act concerning closed circuit testimony in certain domestic violence cases and supplementing chapter 84A of Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Prosecutions or actions for domestic violence; closed circuit testimony by certain vulnerable witnesses and victims.
a. In prosecutions for a crime or offense involving domestic violence, the court may, on motion and after conducting a hearing in camera, order the taking of the testimony of a witness who is under the age of 16 or the testimony of a victim of any age on closed circuit television at the trial, out of the view of the jury, defendant, or spectators upon making findings as provided in subsection b. of this section.
b. An order under this section may be made only if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that the witness under the age of 16 or the victim would suffer severe emotional or mental distress if required to testify in open court. The order shall be specific as to whether the witness under the age of 16 or the victim will testify outside the presence of spectators, the defendant, the jury, or all of them and shall be based on specific findings relating to the impact of the presence of each.
c. A motion seeking closed circuit testimony under subsection a. of this section may be filed by:
(1) The victim or witness under the age of 16 or the victim's or witness's attorney, parent or legal guardian;
(2) The prosecutor;
(3) The defendant or the defendant's counsel; or
(4) The trial judge on the judge's own motion.
d. The defendant's counsel shall be present at the taking of testimony in camera. If the defendant is not present, he and his attorney shall be able to confer privately with each other during the testimony by a separate audio system.
e. If testimony is taken on closed circuit television pursuant to the provisions of this act, a stenographic recording of that testimony shall also be required. A transcript of that testimony shall be included in the record on appeal. The closed circuit testimony itself shall not constitute part of the record on appeal except on motion for good cause shown.
2. This act shall take
This bill permits certain domestic violence victims and witness to testify against an alleged abuser via closed circuit television in prosecutions for a crime or offense involving domestic violence.
The bill provides that the court may, on motion and following a hearing, order the taking of the testimony of a witness who is under the age of 16 or the testimony of a victim of any age out of the presence of the jury, defendant, or spectators. The bill provides that closed circuit testimony will be allowed only if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that the victim or witness would suffer severe emotional or mental distress if required to testify in open court.