SENATE, No. 3378

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 29, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  CHRISTOPHER "KIP" BATEMAN

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  NICHOLAS P. SCUTARI

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits posting or publishing on Internet home address or telephone number of certain judges and prosecutors.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act prohibiting disclosure of certain information regarding certain judges and prosecutors and amending P.L.2015, c.226. 

 

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

 

     1.  Section 1 of P.L.2015, c.226 (C.2C:20-31.1) is amended to read as follows: 

     1.  A person shall not knowingly, with purpose to expose another to harassment or risk of harm to life or property, or in reckless disregard of the probability of such exposure, post or publish on the Internet the home address or unpublished home telephone number of any active or retired law enforcement officer, [law enforcement officer] judge of any court of law of this State, or State, county, or municipal prosecutor, or the spouse or child [of a law enforcement officer] thereof.  A reckless violation of this section is a crime of the fourth degree.  A purposeful violation of this section is a crime of the third degree.

(cf:  P.L.2015, c.226, s.1)

 

     2.  Section 2 of P.L.2015, c.226 (C.47:1-17) is amended to read as follows: 

     2.  A State or local governmental agency shall not knowingly post or publish on the Internet the home address or unpublished home telephone number of any active or retired law enforcement officer [or law enforcement officer] , judge of any court of law of this State, or State, county, or municipal prosecutor without first obtaining the written permission of that [law enforcement officer or retired law enforcement officer] individual.

(cf:  P.L.2015, c.226, s.2)

 

     3.  Section 3 of P.L.2015, c.226 (C.56:8-166.1) is amended to read as follows: 

     3. a.  A person, business, or association shall not disclose on the Internet the home address or unpublished home telephone number of [a law enforcement officer or] an active or retired law enforcement officer, judge of any court of law of this State, or State, county, or municipal prosecutor under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that providing that information would expose another to harassment or risk of harm to life or property.

     b.    A person, business, or association that violates subsection a. of this section shall be liable to the [law enforcement officer,] active or retired law enforcement officer, judge of any court of law
of this State, or State, county, or municipal prosecutor,
or any other person residing at the home address of the [law enforcement officer] active or retired law enforcement officer, judge of any court of law of this State, or State, county, or municipal prosecutor, who may bring a civil action in the Superior Court.

     c.     The court may award:

     (1)   actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of $1,000 for each violation of this act;

     (2)   punitive damages upon proof of willful or reckless disregard of the law;

     (3)   reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and

     (4)   any other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.

     d.    For the purposes of this section, "disclose" shall mean to solicit, sell, manufacture, give, provide, lend, trade, mail, deliver, transfer, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, advertise or offer.

(cf: P.L.2015, c.226, s.3)

 

     4.  This act shall take effect immediately. 

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits persons, State and local agencies, and businesses from posting or publishing on the Internet the home addresses or unpublished home telephone numbers of judges, or State, county, or municipal prosecutors regardless of whether they are retired or in the workforce.  This bill amends current law that already prohibits such disclosure for law enforcement officers. 

     Specifically, the bill makes it a crime for a person to knowingly, with purpose to expose another to harassment or risk of harm to life or property, or in reckless disregard of the probability of this exposure, to post or publish on the Internet the home address or unpublished telephone number of a judge or State, county, or municipal prosecutor, regardless of whether they are retired or in the workforce, or their spouse or child. If the person recklessly violates this prohibition, it is a crime of the fourth degree. A fourth degree crime is punishable by a prison term of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. If the person purposefully violates this prohibition, it is a crime of the third degree. A third degree crime is punishable by a prison term of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both. 

     The bill also prohibits State or local agencies from posting or publishing on the Internet a home address or telephone number of a judge or State, county, or municipal prosecutor regardless of whether they are retired or in the workforce, without first obtaining written consent.

     Persons, businesses, and associations also are prohibited by the bill from disclosing on the Internet a judge’s, or State, county, or municipal prosecutor’s home address or unpublished home telephone number, regardless of whether they are retired or in the workforce, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that providing that information would expose another to harassment or risk of harm to life or property.

     The bill specifies that persons, businesses, or associations may be liable for violating this prohibition of the bill. The bill authorizes a civil action in Superior Court. The court may award: (1) actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of $1,000 for each violation; (2) punitive damages upon proof of willful or reckless disregard of the law; (3) reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and (4) any other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.

     The bill defines “disclose” as soliciting, selling, manufacturing, giving, providing, lending, trading, mailing, delivering, transferring, publishing, distributing, circulating, disseminating, presenting, exhibiting, advertising or offering.