Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Presidential Proclamation--Stalking Awareness Month January 2011

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 21, 2010 Presidential Proclamation--Stalking Awareness Month

Stalking is a serious and pervasive crime that affects millions of Americans each year in communities throughout our country. Though we have gained a better understanding of stalking and its prevalence since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, this dangerous and criminal behavior is still often mischaracterized as harmless. During Stalking Awareness Month, we acknowledge the seriousness of stalking, we recognize its impact on victims, and we recommit to reducing its incidence.

Persistent stalking and harassment can lead to serious consequences for victims, whose lives may be upended by fear. Some victims may be forced to take extreme measures to protect themselves, such as changing jobs, relocating to a new home, or even assuming a new identity. Stalking can happen to anyone, and most victims are stalked by someone they know. Young adults are particularly vulnerable, and women are at greater risk for stalking victimization than men.

Stalking can be a difficult crime to recognize. The majority of survivors do not report stalking victimization to the police, in part because perpetrators use a variety of tactics to intimidate and harass their victims. Increasingly, stalkers use modern technology to monitor and torment their victims, and one in four victims report some form of cyberstalking -- such as threatening emails or instant messaging -- as part of their harassment.

My Administration is working across the Federal Government to protect victims of violence and enable survivors to break the cycle of abuse or harassment. Stalking affects too many Americans to remain a hidden crime, and a strong stand is required in order to both support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

As a Nation, we have made progress, but much work remains to respond to this criminal behavior. We must work together to educate the public about the potentially deadly nature of stalking, to encourage victims to seek help, to inform criminal justice professionals about the intersection of stalking and other dangerous crimes, and to support law enforcement in their efforts.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 2011 as National Stalking Awareness Month. I call on all Americans to learn to recognize the signs of stalking, acknowledge stalking as a serious crime, and urge those impacted not to be afraid to speak out or ask for help. Let us also resolve to support victims and survivors, and to create communities that are secure and supportive for all Americans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


Saturday, October 23, 2010




March 2, 2010

New Bureau Will Combat Sophisticated Computer Crime Schemes Worldwide

DA Vance Announces Appointment of former State of New Jersey Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman as Chief of New Bureau

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the formation of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau. This bureau will re-focus, enhance and expand the resources and abilities of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to combat identity theft and complex high-technology crimes, including terrorist activity and child exploitation. District Attorney Vance also announced the appointment of David Szuchman, who was until recently the Director of the State of New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, as Chief of the new Bureau.

“Today’s announcement reflects the Office’s commitment to protecting the public by staying a step ahead of criminals,” District Attorney Vance said. “By recognizing the growing role of technology in complex criminal schemes, and by enhancing our abilities to use cutting-edge technology against such schemes, we will improve our efforts to investigate, prosecute, and prevent such crimes. The internet is truly the crime scene of the 21st century – its borderless nature makes it easier for criminals and predators from all over the globe to target victims anywhere and everywhere. The challenge for law enforcement is to make sure we have the tools to combat these sophisticated criminals.”

Data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children highlight the threat posed by cyber predators. The Center reported in 2006 that for children ages 10 – 17:

More than one-third (34 percent) saw sexual material online they did not want to see

9 percent experienced online harassment

Approximately 1 in 7 received unwanted sexual solicitations – 4 percent were aggressive solicitations in which solicitors made or attempted to make offline connections with the children.

Federal statistics from the United States Department of Justice show a 33 percent increase in cybercrime complaints in 2008. This is consistent with increases seen in cases handled by the Office. In the past two years, Assistant District Attorneys have noted a marked increase in the use of the internet in all manner of criminal conduct, including money laundering, check fraud, cyber impersonation, and cyber-credit card fraud. The Bureau will also support the Office’s investigations into cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying, two prevalent criminal behaviors victimizing children and adults; as well as investigations into the exploitation of children, child pornography, and human trafficking. Finally, there have been increases in cases involving the hacking and attempted hacking of financial institutions in Manhattan, which threaten the security and stability of our financial markets, and the District Attorney’s Office must be prepared to meet that threat.

In addition, the new Bureau will continue the Office’s highly-successful focus on identity theft, using Assistant District Attorneys who have specialized training and expertise to prosecute such crimes. Identity theft crimes range from using a stolen credit card for a single purchase to opening multiple accounts in a victim's name, falsifying documents, and using false identities to effect large frauds. The current Identity Theft Unit handles more than 200 such cases each month, and has in recent years investigated and brought to justice criminals involved in every kind of crime, including schemes resulting in the theft and criminal use of the identities of thousands of innocent people and the theft of tens of millions of dollars from individuals, businesses, and government agencies. In addition to attorneys, the Bureau will have a dedicated team of highly-trained of investigators and forensic analysts, led by nationally recognized computer crimes and computer forensic experts.

Mr. Szuchman was nominated to his previous position by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in 2008 and confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate. As Director of Consumer Affairs, he oversaw a 600-person agency responsible for all statewide consumer affairs initiatives. This included New Jersey’s efforts on internet safety and e-commerce. Mr. Szuchman worked with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to reach the groundbreaking agreement with Facebook and other social networking sites that incorporated the “Report Abuse” icon into the sites. This makes it easier for internet users to identify and quickly report inappropriate, abusive or potentially illegal activities on-line.

Mr. Szuchman had also previously worked as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. As a Trial Attorney in the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the DOJ, Mr. Szuchman prosecuted criminal cases involving child pornography, internet crimes, money laundering, sex trafficking of minors, and child abuse. He led international cyber investigations and initiatives involving offenses committed against children working closely with a then newly-created computer forensic and investigative unit located within the Department of Justice. Mr. Szuchman was also responsible for the training of federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors on cybercrimes. Mr. Szuchman previously worked in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan from 1997 until 2001, handling cases of street crime, sex offenses, and domestic violence.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

H.R. 5662 STALKERS Act of 2010 ; Simplifying the Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act of 2010

This legislation currently in the Senate will task the Attorney General to establish a best practice for stalking.......


Title: Simplifying the Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-47] (introduced 7/1/2010) Cosponsors (8)
Related Bills: S.3651, S.3727

Latest Major Action: 7/28/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.


2d Session

H. R. 5662

To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to the offense of stalking.

July 1, 2010

Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to the offense of stalking.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Simplifying The Ambiguous Law, Keeping Everyone Reliably Safe Act of 2010' or the `STALKERS Act of 2010'.


(a) In General- Section 2261A of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`Sec. 2261A. Stalking

`(a) Whoever, with intent to kill, physically injure, harass, or intimidate a person, engages in any conduct in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States that--

`(1) causes or attempts to cause bodily injury or serious emotional distress to a person other than the person engaging in the conduct; or

`(2) occurs in circumstances where the conduct would be reasonably expected to cause the other person serious emotional distress;

shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).

`(b) The punishment for an offense under this section is the same as that for an offense under section 2261, except that--

`(1) if the offense involves conduct in violation of a protection order, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed is increased by 5 years, over the term of imprisonment otherwise provided for that offense in section 2261; and

`(2) if the victim of the offense is under the age of 18 years, the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed is increased by 10 years, over the term of imprisonment otherwise provided for that offense in section 2261.'.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The item relating to section 2261A in the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 110A of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`2261A. Stalking.'.


In the annual report under section 529 of title 28, United States Code, the Attorney General shall--

(1) include an evaluation of Federal, tribal, State, and local efforts to enforce laws relating to stalking; and

(2) identify and describe those elements of such efforts that constitute the best practices for the enforcement of such laws.


Title: Stalkers Act of 2010

Sponsor: Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] (introduced 8/5/2010) Cosponsors (3)

Related Bills: H.R.5662, S.3651

Latest Major Action: 8/5/2010 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime

Kudos to Susan Herman and the NCVC for addressing crime victims in this new book and initiative

Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime a new book by Susan Herman, former executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, envisions a parallel, dual-path to justice--requiring society to help repair the harm done to victims while holding offenders accountable for their crimes. This approach would revolutionize our justice system by establishing and funding an official set of responses to victims of crime.

"We are so proud to publish Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime," said Jeff Dion, acting executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. "Susan convincingly sets forth a vision of justice that reflects our best hopes for victims and our nation's highest ideals."

"We spend billions of dollars every year on a system that deals with criminals. It's time to invest in helping victims of crime rebuild their lives."The Parallel Justice Project was established originally by the National Center for Victims of Crime to advance a new vision of justice for victims of crime. The concept of parallel justice informs all of the National Center's work in helping victims rebuild their lives.

Parallel Justice elevates the goal of helping victims rebuild their lives to a fundamental component of justice. Parallel Justice requires us to decouple the pursuit of justice for victims from the administration of justice for offenders. Under a system of Parallel Justice the societal message to victims would be, "What happened to you is wrong and we will help you rebuild your life."

Parallel Justice Framework

Parallel Justice requires society not only to hold offenders accountable for the harms they have caused, but also to honor a separate social obligation to repair the harm caused by crime. Learn more about this vision of justice for crime victims.
Parallel Justice in Practice

The National Center worked with three communities to test the feasibility of the Parallel Justice concept as a new paradigm for society's response to crime. Learn more about the work of these communities and guidelines for implementing Parallel Justice in your community.

Parallel Justice - Bars and Bandaids aren't enough.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week April 18 - 24, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Do attorneys have the authority to issue subpoenas in post-judgment motion practice ?

In the absence of definitive legal authority to the contrary and based on tradition and practice, they issue subpoenas to gather information from parties and non-parties sometimes even before any motion has been filed with the court. Examples of non-court ordered post-judgment subpoena requests include seeking tax returns, personal and business bank statements, salary information from employers, disclosure from e-bay on sales, and testimony from police officers.

An editorial in the January 2009 issue of the “New Jersey Family Lawyer” discusses this issue and advises attorneys to proceed with caution with post-judgment discovery, stating, “[i]t does not appear that there is a sufficiently clear policy in the rules precluding a post-judgment subpoena, but an alternative argument could be made, because there is silence of the rules on this issue.”

The editorial discusses in detail the Monmouth County trial court opinion in Welch v. Welch, where an attorney issued a subpoena prior to filing a post-judgment motion with the court and the evidence was excluded when the motion was heard. The editorial does not take a position, concluding that “the entire issue should be considered and addressed by the Supreme Court Family Part Practice Committee.”

Neither the opinion in Welch nor the editorial in the "New Jersey Family Lawyer" discuss the NJ Supreme Court decision in Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139, 157 (1980) which clearly states that post-divorce discovery should only be ordered by the court once a prima facie case of changed circumstances has been made.

The right to conduct depositions, subpoena witnesses and participate in unfettered discovery as part of post-judgment motion practice would obviate the need for any prima facie case of changed circumstances to be made before financial disclosure is ordered. Attorneys who subpoena opposing parties employment records or tax returns, therefore violate the principals set forth in Lepis by not first meeting their burden of making a prima facie case of changed circumstances before seeking court ordered discovery.

After a divorce, parties have a right to privacy that must be respected in the absence of a showing of need to the court for the information. Id. (“We recognize that individuals have a legitimate interest in the confidentiality of their income tax returns.”)

My take on this is that absent a court order there is no authority for an attorney to issue a subpoena in post-judgment motion practice and those attorneys that do run the risk of sanctions for abuse of the discovery process. However, there is the need for clearer guidance on this issue in the New Jersey Court

Family law attorneys need to be more responsible when accepting cases and pursuing a client's ex.  Law firms need to put controls in place to monitor their attorneys instead of focusing on their bottom line. 

The liability of the divorce litigator.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Judge Susan Carbon Appointed to Head Violence Against Women Office

Posted : Tue, 16 Feb 2010 17:16:51 GMT

Author : U.S. Department of Justice

Category : Press Release


WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney General Eric Holder today welcomed the confirmation of Judge Susan B. Carbon of Concord, N.H., as the new Director for the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women. Judge Carbon was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week

"I am pleased to welcome Judge Carbon to the Justice Department and to the Office on Violence Against Women," said Attorney General Holder. "Bringing greater public awareness and strengthening programs to fight sexual and domestic violence, dating violence and stalking is a top priority for the Department. Judge Carbon will bring strong leadership to this important office and to the Department's mission to end violence against women."

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides national leadership in developing the nation's capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Created in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Currently, OVW administers two formula grant programs and 17 discretionary grant programs, which were established under VAWA and subsequent legislation. Since its inception, OVW has awarded nearly $4 billion in grants and cooperative agreements to communities throughout the nation.

In September 2009, the Department of Justice launched a year long commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the signing of the VAWA to raise public awareness of violence against women, and to build and strengthen relationships between and among federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement, advocacy, courts and victim services communities.

Judge Susan Carbon was first appointed to the bench in 1991, and has served as Supervisory Judge of the New Hampshire Judicial Branch Family Division from 1996 until 2010. She is a member of the Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and chaired New Hampshire's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. Judge Carbon also served as President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) from 2007 to 2008.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice


Saturday, January 16, 2010

NJ stalker commits suicide January 2010

How stunned am I to write this entry..... I was brought into the Prosecutors Office yesterday and told that the man who admitted to stalking me and placing threatening calls to me and who was facing federal prosecution committed suicide instead of facing the consequences for his actions.  I am shocked and saddened for the family's loss but as you all know i have struggled seeking justice for over a decade.  My humblest and heartfelt thanks go out to FBI Agent RJ Gallagher - this was a ten year case; it stopped and started and you didn't fail me.  Sergeant Ross Yenisey - words will never describe my sincere appreciation for all your help over the past 4 years.  You initiated crafting the NJ law to help me.  You wrote it inserting all of the critical parts relating to my case.  You never doubted me.  You encouraged me to keep fighting and you aided me in my fight for justice.  You deserved your promotion.  The fight for justice is not over...... somehow this man gained access to my American Express card and in one of his messages left on my voicemail  clearly told me "You lying ______................ I've got your cell phone number and that's not all I have you are going to get yours".  The next day someone in NYC is using my Amex card repeatedly.  Justice is coming........