Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kudos to Assemblyman Peter Barnes for crafting legislation to create a civil stalkng law for NJ

Here is a link to A 4086;

NJ stalking victims will soon have a new remedy to resolve their stalking and effectively remove their stalker from their lives.  The civil stalking law will turn the tables on the vengeful bull dog stalker who relentlessly pursues their victim for years causing irreparable harm.

NJ's criminal stalking law is not vague.  The current NJ criminal stalking law was crafted based on my case of third party stalking by the police who were helping me.  The legislation was in place in the summer of 2009 when my stalking escalated.  The Monmouth County Prosecutors office declined my case because I had not been physically harmed.  If I was homicide victim after being stalked and tortured for over a decade, prosecuting the case would have been a slam dunk. While I was still alive, too much effort would have been required and too many valuable resources expended to uphold the law and prosecute the case.  I wasn't murdered because I was fortunate to receive help from the FBI.   In six weeks the FBI identifed the third party stalker.  In 13 years, the Monmouth County Prosecutors office did nothing to stop the stalking.

The problem with the criminal stalking law is the people in place in NJ that are tasked to uphold the criminal stalking law either don't care or are too lazy to mount a case.  No one in Trenton is bothering to hold them responsible. 

A civil stalking law will give victims the necessary tool to fight back. 

NJ bill would allow stalking victims to sue in civil court June 2011

Thursday, 16 June 2011 14:09 Jerry DeMarco

Lawmakers in Trenton are considering a measure that would give stalking victims the chance to sue in civil court for monetary damages, even if the accused stalker hasn’t been criminally convicted -- or even charged.

Ten other states have already put such civil measures in place, giving stalking victims greater recourse, notes Assemblyman Peter Barnes of Middlesex County, who is sponsoring the New Jersey bill.

In a criminal prosecution, convictions require a judge or jury find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil court, however, all that’s needed is a preponderance of evidence.

“In a prosecution for stalking, elements of the offense can be difficult to establish; for example, evidentiary issues involving physical or corroborating evidence of a stalking may not be readily available,” the measure introduced this week says. “It is the sponsor’s view that this lower standard of proof for civil actions will enable victims of stalking to receive compensation for the damage caused by the unlawful behavior.”

A-4086 would make a civil wrong of conduct prohibited under the state’s criminal stalking statute, "whether or not the individual has been charged or convicted for the alleged violation, for damages incurred by the victim as a result of that conduct, in addition to the costs for bringing the action."

If compensatory damages are awarded, victims could seek punitive damages, as well, the proposed bill says, defining a “victim” as anyone “placed in reasonable fear for his own personal safety or for the safety of a minor child of whom the person is a parent or legal guardian.”

The other states that have created similar laws: California, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.
The proposed civil measure mimics New Jersey’s criminal statutes, which some critics call vague.

Stalking in New Jersey doesn’t require “Fatal Attraction”-like behavior. The stalker doesn’t even have to make direct contact with a victim to be charged. It could involve “repeatedly maintaining visual or physical proximity to a person (directly or indirectly) or through third parties by any action, including electronic,” as well as “repeated acts of harassment.”