Trenton – In an effort to prevent retaliatory acts of violence, the Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senator Joseph Lagana that would establish an order of protection for current and former judges. The bill would also bar the same individuals who have protective orders against them from possessing firearms.
The bill, S-3916, would establish a process for law enforcement to obtain an order of protection on behalf of current or former judges upon the report of a threat, attempted crime or crime. Under this bill, the court would issue the temporary order of protection upon evidence shown in sworn testimony or petition by the law enforcement officer. The order would remain in effect until a judge issues a further order.
“Our judges carry a heavy responsibility within our New Jersey courts. Their personal safety and that of their loved ones should not be put at risk simply because they are doing their job,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “The objective of this legislation is to prevent any further violence against our judges and ensure that they can continue to serve in our courts without additional risks.”
In November 2020, Governor Murphy signed “Daniel’s Law” following the July 19, 2020 murder of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas’ 20-year-old son. The law protects the home addresses and telephone numbers of judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers from public disclosure.
“It is imperative that we do all that we can to ensure the safety of our judges. Each and every one of our judges work tirelessly to uphold the law in a fair manner, and we must protect them in situations where there may fear over the lives of themselves or their family,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Our judges and their families should not be put in harm’s way, and this legislation will be an essential step in guaranteeing their protection.”
The Senate passed this bill by a vote of 38-0.