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NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

A copy of each of the listed NJ Statutes follow:

2A: 34-23-2 Civil Remedies to interference with visitation, includes: 2A:34-23.3 .Remedies

2C:13-4 Interference with custody.

2C:25-19 Domestic Violence

9:2-4 Custody of child includes: 9:2-4.2 Parental access to children's records; 9:2-7.1 Grandparent Visitation; 9:2-4.2 Parental access to children's records.


2C:24-5 Willful nonsupport

2A:34-12.2 "Parents' Education Fund"

2A:34-23 Alimony, maintenance

2C:25-17 Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991

CIVIL REMEDIES to Visitation Interference

NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)

TITLE 2A: ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE


Civil Remedies to interference with visitation.

2A:34-23.2 Findings, declarations relative to violation of visitation orders.

1. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. There has been an increase in the filings of dissolutions of
marriages in the recent years; and

b. The best interests of the children of these marriages in
maintaining close relationships with both parents regardless of which
parent has the physical custody of the child is paramount; and

c. Proceeding criminally in cases where the terms of an order
of visitation with a child has failed to be honored may be both
difficult and inappropriate; and

d. Bolstering the statutory civil remedies available to a judge
hearing these types of matters may provide an indication of
legislative intent to promote the enforcement of these matters.

L.1997,c.300,s.1.

2A:34-23.3 Available remedies.


2. A judge who sanctions a party for failure to comply with an
order of visitation shall have these remedies available:

a. The awarding of counsel fees of the aggrieved party against
the party who violated the terms of the order;

b. Community service;

c. The awarding of compensatory time for the time with the
child for which the party was deprived;

d. The awarding of monetary compensation for additional costs
incurred when a parent fails to appear for scheduled visitation; and

e. Other economic sanctions which may be decided on a
case-by-case basis.

L.1997,c.300,s.2


NJS 2005 09 22 .


Interference with custody

NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)


TITLE 2C THE NJ CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2C:13-4 Interference with custody.

a. Custody of children. A person, including a parent, guardian or other lawful custodian, is guilty of interference with custody if he:

(1) Takes or detains a minor child with the purpose of
concealing the minor child and thereby depriving the child's other
parent of custody or parenting time with the minor child; or

(2) After being served with process or having actual knowledge
of an action affecting marriage or custody but prior to the issuance
of a temporary or final order determining custody and parenting time
rights to a minor child, takes, detains, entices or conceals the child
within or outside the State for the purpose of depriving the child's
other parent of custody or parenting time, or to evade the
jurisdiction of the courts of this State;

(3) After being served with process or having actual knowledge
of an action affecting the protective services needs of a child
pursuant to Title 9 of the Revised Statutes in an action affecting
custody, but prior to the issuance of a temporary or final order
determining custody rights of a minor child, takes, detains, entices
or conceals the child within or outside the State for the purpose of
evading the jurisdiction of the courts of this State; or

(4) After the issuance of a temporary or final order specifying
custody, joint custody rights or parenting time, takes, detains,
entices or conceals a minor child from the other parent in violation
of the custody or parenting time order.

Interference with custody is a crime of the second degree if the
child is taken, detained, enticed or concealed: (i) outside the
United States or (ii) for more than 24 hours Otherwise, interference
with custody is a crime of the third degree but the presumption of
non-imprisonment set forth in subsection e. of N.J.S.2C:44-1 for a
first offense of a crime of the third degree shall not apply.

b. Custody of committed persons. A person is guilty of a crime
of the fourth degree if he knowingly takes or entices any committed
person away from lawful custody when he is not privileged to do so.
"Committed person" means, in addition to anyone committed under
judicial warrant, any orphan, neglected or delinquent child, mentally
defective or insane person, or other dependent or incompetent person
entrusted to another's custody by or through a recognized social
agency or otherwise by authority of law.

c. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under
subsection a. of this section, which must be proved by clear and
convincing evidence, that:

(1) The actor reasonably believed that the action was necessary
to preserve the child from imminent danger to his welfare. However,
no defense shall be available pursuant to this subsection if the actor
does not, as soon as reasonably practicable but in no event more than
24 hours after taking a child under his protection, give notice of the
child's location to the police department of the municipality where
the child resided, the office of the county prosecutor in the county
where the child resided, or the Division of Youth and Family Services
in the Department of Human Services;

(2) The actor reasonably believed that the taking or detaining
of the minor child was consented to by the other parent, or by an
authorized State agency; or

(3) The child, being at the time of the taking or concealment
not less than 14 years old, was taken away at his own volition and
without purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the
child.

d. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under
subsection a. of this section that a parent having the right of
custody reasonably believed he was fleeing from imminent physical
danger from the other parent, provided that the parent having custody,
as soon as reasonably practicable:

(1) Gives notice of the child's location to the police
department of the municipality where the child resided, the office of
the county prosecutor in the county where the child resided, or the
Division of Youth and Family Services in the Department of Human
Services; or

(2) Commences an action affecting custody in an appropriate
court.

e. The offenses enumerated in this section are continuous in
nature and continue for so long as the child is concealed or detained.


f. (1) In addition to any other disposition provided by law, a
person convicted under subsection a. of this section shall make
restitution of all reasonable expenses and costs, including reasonable
counsel fees, incurred by the other parent in securing the child's
return.

(2) In imposing sentence under subsection a. of this section
the court shall consider, in addition to the factors enumerated in
chapter 44 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes:

(a) Whether the person returned the child voluntarily; and

(b) The length of time the child was concealed or detained.

g. As used in this section, "parent" means a parent, guardian
or other lawful custodian of a minor child.

Amended 1979, c.178, s.25; 1982, c.199; 1990, c.104, s.1; 1997,
c.299, s.7; 1999, c.190, s.2.

NJS 2005 09 22

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)


TITLE 2C: THE CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

2C:25-19. Definitions

3. As used in this act:

a. "Domestic violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the
following acts inflicted upon a person protected under this act by an
adult or an emancipated minor:

(1) Homicide N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq.

(2) Assault N.J.S.2C:12-1

(3) Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3

(4) Kidnapping N.J.S.2C:13-1

(5) Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2

(6) False imprisonment N.J.S.2C:13-3

(7) Sexual assault N.J.S.2C:14-2

(8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S.2C:14-3

(9) Lewdness N.J.S.2C:14-4

(10) Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3

(11) Burglary N.J.S.2C:18-2

(12) Criminal trespass N.J.S.2C:18-3

(13) Harassment N.J.S.2C:33-4

(14) Stalking P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10)

When one or more of these acts is inflicted by an unemancipated
minor upon a person protected under this act, the occurrence shall not
constitute "domestic violence," but may be the basis for the filing of
a petition or complaint pursuant to the provisions of section 11 of
P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-30).

b. "Law enforcement agency" means a department, division, bureau,
commission, board or other authority of the State or of any political
subdivision thereof which employs law enforcement officers.

c. "Law enforcement officer" means a person whose public duties
include the power to act as an officer for the detection,
apprehension, arrest and conviction of offenders against the laws of
this State.

d. "Victim of domestic violence" means a person protected under
this act and shall include any person who is 18 years of age or older
or who is an emancipated minor and who has been subjected to domestic
violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a
present or former household member. "Victim of domestic violence" also
includes any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to
domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child in
common, or with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common,
if one of the parties is pregnant. "Victim of domestic violence" also
includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a
person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.

e. "Emancipated minor" means a person who is under 18 years of
age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a
child or is pregnant or has been previously declared by a court or an
administrative agency to be emancipated.

L.1991,c.261,s.3; amended 1994,c.93,s.1; 1994,c.94,s.1.

NJS 2005 09 22

 

 

CUSTODY



NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)


TITLE 9: CHILDREN, JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURT

9:2-4 Custody of child; rights of both parents considered.


9:2-4. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the
public policy of this State to assure minor children of frequent and
continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated
or dissolved their marriage and that it is in the public interest to
encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child
rearing in order to effect this policy.
In any proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the
rights of both parents shall be equal and the court shall enter an
order which may include:
a. Joint custody of a minor child to both parents, which is
comprised of legal custody or physical custody which shall include:
(1) provisions for residential arrangements so that a child shall
reside either solely with one parent or alternatively with each parent
in accordance with the needs of the parents and the child; and (2)
provisions for consultation between the parents in making major
decisions regarding the child's health, education and general welfare;
b. Sole custody to one parent with appropriate parenting time
for the noncustodial parent; or
c. Any other custody arrangement as the court may determine to
be in the best interests of the child.
In making an award of custody, the court shall consider but not be
limited to the following factors: the parents' ability to agree,
communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child; the
parents' willingness to accept custody and any history of
unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated
abuse; the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents
and siblings; the history of domestic violence, if any; the safety of
the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the
other parent; the preference of the child when of sufficient age and
capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision; the needs of
the child; the stability of the home environment offered; the quality
and continuity of the child's education; the fitness of the parents;
the geographical proximity of the parents' homes; the extent and
quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the
separation; the parents' employment responsibilities; and the age and
number of the children. A parent shall not be deemed unfit unless the
parents' conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the child.
The court, for good cause and upon its own motion, may appoint a
guardian ad litem or an attorney or both to represent the minor
child's interests. The court shall have the authority to award a
counsel fee to the guardian ad litem and the attorney and to assess
that cost between the parties to the litigation.
d. The court shall order any custody arrangement which is
agreed to by both parents unless it is contrary to the best interests
of the child.
e. In any case in which the parents cannot agree to a custody
arrangement, the court may require each parent to submit a custody
plan which the court shall consider in awarding custody.
f. The court shall specifically place on the record the factors
which justify any custody arrangement not agreed to by both parents.

Amended 1948, c.321, ss.4,11; 1974, c.143; 1990, c.26, s.2; 1997,
c.299, s.9.

9:2-4.1 Person convicted of sexual assault, custody of, visitation to
minor child; denied, exceptions.


1. a. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a
person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall not be
awarded the custody of or visitation rights to any minor child,
including a minor child who was born as a result of or was the victim
of the sexual assault, except upon a showing by clear and convincing
evidence that it is in the best interest of the child for custody or
visitation rights to be awarded. However, a court that awards such
custody or visitation rights to a person convicted of sexual assault
under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall stay enforcement of the order or judgment
for at least 10 days in order to permit the appeal of the order or
judgment and application for a stay in accordance with the Rules of
Court.

b. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a
person convicted of sexual contact under N.J.S.2C:14-3 or endangering
the welfare of a child under N.J.S.2C:24-4 shall not be awarded the
custody of or visitation rights to any minor child, except upon a
showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best
interest of the child for such custody or visitation rights to be
awarded. However, a court that awards such custody or visitation
rights to a person convicted of sexual contact under N.J.S.2C:14-3 or
endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.2C:24-4 shall stay
enforcement of the order or judgment for at least 10 days in order to
permit the appeal of the order or judgment and application for a stay
in accordance with the Rules of Court.

c. A denial of custody or visitation under this section shall
not by itself terminate the parental rights of the person denied
visitation or custody, nor shall it affect the obligation of the
person to support the minor child.

d. In any proceeding for establishment or enforcement of such
an obligation of support the victim shall not be required to appear in
the presence of the obligor and the victim's and child's whereabouts
shall be kept confidential.

L.1995,c.55,s.1; amended 1999, c.424.

9:2-4.2 Parental access to children's records.


1. a. Every parent, except as prohibited by federal and State
law, shall have access to records and information pertaining to his or
her unemancipated child, including, but not limited to, medical,
dental, insurance, child care and educational records, whether or not
the child resides with the parent, unless that access is found by the
court to be not in the best interest of the child or the access is
found by the court to be sought for the purpose of causing detriment
to the other parent.

b. The place of residence of either parent shall not appear on
any records or information released pursuant to the provisions of this
section.

c. A child's parent, guardian or legal custodian may petition
the court to have a parent's access to the records limited. If the
court, after a hearing, finds that the parent's access to the record
is not in the best interest of the child or that the access sought is
for the purpose of causing detriment to the other parent, the court
may order that access to the records be limited.

L.1997,c.406,s.1.

9:2-5. Death of parent having custody; reversion of custody to
surviving parent; appointment of guardian by superior court; removal

In case of the death of the parent to whom the care and custody of
the minor children shall have been awarded by the Superior Court, or
in the case of the death of the parent in whose custody the children
actually are, when the parents have been living separate and no award
as to the custody of such children has been made, the care and custody
of such minor children shall not revert to the surviving parent
without an order or judgment of the Superior Court to that effect.
The Superior Court shall have the right, in an action brought by a
guardian ad litem on behalf of the children, to appoint such friend or
other suitable person, guardian of such minor children, and shall have
the right to remove such guardian, and to appoint a new guardian or
guardians, and to make such judgments and orders, from time to time,
as the circumstances of the case and the benefit of the children shall
require.

Amended by L.1948, c. 321, p. 1297, s. 5; L.1953, c. 9, p. 71,
s. 4.


9:2-7. Habeas corpus to determine custody of child; access to child

When any husband and wife shall live in a state of separation
without being divorced, and shall have any minor child of the
marriage, the Superior Court, upon such child being brought before it
upon habeas corpus, shall award the custody of such child and make
such order or judgment relating thereto for the access of either
parent to such child, at such times and under such circumstances, as
it may deem proper.

Amended by L.1948, c. 321, p. 1297, s. 6; L.1953, c. 9, p. 71,
s. 5.


9:2-7.1. Visitation rights for grandparents, siblings

1.a. A grandparent or any sibling of a child residing in this
State may make application before the Superior Court, in accordance
with the Rules of Court, for an order for visitation. It shall be the
burden of the applicant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence
that the granting of visitation is in the best interests of the child.

b. In making a determination on an application filed pursuant to
this section, the court shall consider the following factors:

(1) The relationship between the child and the applicant;

(2) The relationship between each of the child's parents or the
person with whom the child is residing and the applicant;

(3) The time which has elapsed since the child last had contact
with the applicant;

(4) The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship
between the child and the child's parents or the person with whom the
child is residing;

(5) If the parents are divorced or separated, the time sharing
arrangement which exists between the parents with regard to the child;

(6) The good faith of the applicant in filing the application;

(7) Any history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect
by the applicant; and

(8) Any other factor relevant to the best interests of the child.


c. With regard to any application made pursuant to this section,
it shall be prima facie evidence that visitation is in the child's
best interest if the applicant had, in the past, been a full-time
caretaker for the child.

L.1971,c.420,s.1; amended 1973,c.100; 1987,c.363,s.2;
1993,c.161,s.1.


9:2-7.2. Concealment of child; preliminary hearing as to custody

1. When any husband and wife shall live in a state of
separation without being divorced and shall have any minor child or
children of the marriage, and when either spouse shall willfully
conceal the whereabouts of said child or children, the Superior Court,
Chancery Division, Family Part, upon application of the aggrieved
parent, shall conduct a preliminary hearing as to the custody of said
child or children and shall make such order relating thereto for the
access of either parent to such child at such times and under such
circumstances as it may deem proper.

L.1974,c.152,s.1; amended 1991,c.91,s.189.


9:2-9. Unfit parents and custodians, court action to grant relief

9:2-9. When the parents of any minor child or the parent or other
person having the actual care and custody of any minor child are
grossly immoral or unfit to be intrusted with the care and education
of such child, or shall neglect to provide the child with proper
protection, maintenance and education, or are of such vicious,
careless or dissolute habits as to endanger the welfare of the child
or make the child a public charge, or likely to become a public
charge; or when the parents of any minor child are dead or cannot be
found, and there is no other person, legal guardian or agency
exercising custody over such child; it shall be lawful for any person
interested in the welfare of such child to institute an action in the
Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part, in the county where
such minor child is residing, for the purpose of having the child
brought before the court, and for the further relief provided by this
chapter. The court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or
otherwise.

Amended 1948,c.321,s.7; 1949,c.245,s.1; 1953,c.9,s.6;
1991,c.91,s.190.


9:2-10. Order for proper care of child

9:2-10. In an action brought pursuant to R.S.9:2-9, the Superior
Court, after an investigation shall have been made by the chief
probation officer of the county in which the child may reside,
concerning the reputation, character and ability of the plaintiff, or
such other person as the court may direct, to properly care for such
child, shall make an order or judgment committing the child to the
care and custody of such person, who will accept the same, as the
court shall for that purpose designate and appoint, until such child
shall attain the age of eighteen years, or the further direction of
the court; provided, however, that in proper cases such care and
custody may be exercised by supervision of the child in his own home,
unless the court shall otherwise order. Such order or judgment may
require the giving of a bond by the person to whose care or custody
the said child may be committed, with such security and on such
conditions as the court shall deem proper.

Amended 1948,c.321,s.8; 1949,c.245,s.2; 1953,c.9,s.7;
1991,c.91,s.191.


9:2-11. Commitment of child to child caring society; cost of
proceedings; consent to adoption of child; support by relative

The court before which such proceedings shall be conducted, may,
in the same manner but in lieu of committing such child, as in
section 9:2-10 of this Title specified, commit such child to the care
and custody of any society duly incorporated under the laws of this
State for the care of children. In such case the court may, in its
discretion, cause the person in whose custody such child was, or the
county in which such child may reside, to pay all costs and expenses
of such proceedings, and such person or society or institution to whom
or to which such child is committed may, upon special authority
granted in the order or judgment of commitment, give his or its
consent, and such consent will be sufficient, to the legal adoption
of such child; provided, however , that the granting of the right
to consent to adoption shall in no wise be construed as authority to
place a child for adoption except in accordance with the provisions
of chapter three of this Title (s. 9:3-1 et seq.).

Whenever the court shall have made an order or judgment with
respect to the care and custody of a child as contemplated by this
Title, and it shall appear that the person in whose custody such
child was is a relative financially able and legally liable to
provide support for such child, the court may make a supplementary
order requiring such relative to make such payment or payments for
the support of such child as the court may deem reasonable under the
circumstances.

Amended by L.1948, c. 321, p. 1298, s. 9; L.1949, c. 245, p.
786, s. 3; L.1953, c. 9, p. 73, s. 8.


9:2-13. Definitions

For the purposes of this act, the following words and phrases,
unless otherwise indicated, shall be deemed to have the following
meanings:

(a) The phrase "approved agency" means a legally constituted
agency having its principal office within or without this State, which
has been approved, pursuant to law, to place children in New Jersey
for purposes of adoption.

(b) The word "child" means any person under 18 years of age.

(c) The word "custody" means continuing control and authority
over the person of a child, established by natural parenthood, by
order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, or by written
surrender to and approved agency pursuant to law.

(d) The phrase "forsaken parental obligations" means willful and
continuous neglect or failure to perform the natural and regular
obligations of care and support of a child.

(e) The phrase "mentally incompetent" means inability to
understand and discharge the natural and regular obligations of care
and support of a child by reason of mental disease, feebleness of
mind, or habitual intemperance.

(f) The word "parent," when not otherwise described by the
context, means a natural parent or parent by previous adoption.

(g) The word "may" shall be construed to be permissive and the
word "shall" shall be construed to be mandatory.

L.1955,c.232,s.1; amended 1990,c.26,s.3.


9:2-14. Surrender of child custody; validity

Except as otherwise provided by law or by order or judgment of a
court of competent jurisdiction or by testamentary disposition, no
surrender of the custody of a child shall be valid in this State
unless made to an approved agency pursuant to the provisions of this
act or pursuant to the provisions of a substantially similar law of
another State or territory of the United States or of the Dominion of
Canada or of one of its provinces.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 2.


9:2-15. Surrender or termination of rights of one parent; rights of
other parent

No surrender of custody by, nor termination of the parental rights
of, one parent shall affect the rights of the other parent; nor may
one parent act as the agent or representative of the other parent in
the surrender of custody or termination of parental rights.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 3.


9:2-16. Voluntary surrender to approved agency

An approved agency may take a voluntary surrender of custody of a
child from the parent of such child, or from such other person or
persons who, by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, have been
substituted for the parent as to custody of such child. Each such
surrender, when properly acknowledged in the manner and form provided
by sections 46:14-6 and 46:14-7 of the Revised Statutes, shall be
valid whether or not the person giving the same is a minor, and shall
be irrevocable except at the discretion of the approved agency taking
such surrender or upon order or judgment of a court of competent
jurisdiction, setting aside such surrender upon proof of fraud,
duress or misrepresentation.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 4.


9:2-17. Form of surrender

The form of any such surrender shall be such as to declare that
the person executing the same desires to relinquish the custody of the
child, acknowledge the termination of parental rights as to such
custody in favor of the approved agency, and acknowledge full
understanding of the effect of such surrender as provided by this act.
Any such surrender may include a statement that its purpose is to
permit the approved agency to place the child for adoption by such
person or persons as the approved agency may select.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 5.


9:2-18. Procedure to terminate parental rights

6. An approved agency which is providing supervision of a child
may institute an action in the Superior Court, seeking the termination
of the rights of the parents of such child and the transfer of custody
of such child to the agency. A prior surrender of custody as provided
by Article II of this act shall not be deemed a waiver of notice or
service of process in proceedings under Article III hereof. At least
five days prior to the hearing, the plaintiff shall file with the
court a written report as to all circumstances of the case.

L.1955,c.232,s.6; amended 1991,c.91,s.192.


9:2-19. Grounds for terminating custody

If the court shall determine that custody of the child has been
surrendered as provided in Article II of this act, the court may
declare that the person making such surrender shall have no further
right to custody of the child. If the court shall determine that a
parent of the child is dead, or mentally incompetent, or has forsaken
parental obligation, the court may declare that such parent shall have
no further right to custody of the child. If the court shall determine
that a custodian or guardian has been appointed for the child, but
that such custodian or guardian has willfully and continuously
neglected or failed to discharge the responsibilities of such
appointment, the court may declare that such custodian or guardian
shall have no further control and authority over the person of the
child.

L.1955,c.232,s.7; amended 1990,c.26,s.4.


9:2-20. Judgment terminating rights; effect of judgment

If the court shall find that the parents of the child should have
no further right to custody of the child, or that the custodian or
guardian, if any, should have no further control and authority over
the person of the child, a judgment shall be entered terminating such
right or control and authority and transferring the custody of the
child to the plaintiff. The judgment so entered, unless otherwise
specified therein, shall not affect the duties of the parents,
custodian or guardian with respect to support and maintenance of the
child.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 898, s. 8.


9:2-21. Effective date

This act shall take effect July 1, 1955.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 898, s. 9.


NJS 2005 09 22

CUSTODY 1


NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)


TITLE 9: CHILDREN, JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURT


9:2-4 Custody of child; rights of both parents considered.

9:2-4. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the
public policy of this State to assure minor children of frequent and
continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated
or dissolved their marriage and that it is in the public interest to
encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child
rearing in order to effect this policy.
In any proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the
rights of both parents shall be equal and the court shall enter an
order which may include:
a. Joint custody of a minor child to both parents, which is
comprised of legal custody or physical custody which shall include:
(1) provisions for residential arrangements so that a child shall
reside either solely with one parent or alternatively with each parent
in accordance with the needs of the parents and the child; and (2)
provisions for consultation between the parents in making major
decisions regarding the child's health, education and general welfare;
b. Sole custody to one parent with appropriate parenting time
for the noncustodial parent; or
c. Any other custody arrangement as the court may determine to
be in the best interests of the child.
In making an award of custody, the court shall consider but not be
limited to the following factors: the parents' ability to agree,
communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child; the
parents' willingness to accept custody and any history of
unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated
abuse; the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents
and siblings; the history of domestic violence, if any; the safety of
the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the
other parent; the preference of the child when of sufficient age and
capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision; the needs of
the child; the stability of the home environment offered; the quality
and continuity of the child's education; the fitness of the parents;
the geographical proximity of the parents' homes; the extent and
quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the
separation; the parents' employment responsibilities; and the age and
number of the children. A parent shall not be deemed unfit unless the
parents' conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the child.
The court, for good cause and upon its own motion, may appoint a
guardian ad litem or an attorney or both to represent the minor
child's interests. The court shall have the authority to award a
counsel fee to the guardian ad litem and the attorney and to assess
that cost between the parties to the litigation.
d. The court shall order any custody arrangement which is
agreed to by both parents unless it is contrary to the best interests
of the child.
e. In any case in which the parents cannot agree to a custody
arrangement, the court may require each parent to submit a custody
plan which the court shall consider in awarding custody.
f. The court shall specifically place on the record the factors
which justify any custody arrangement not agreed to by both parents.

Amended 1948, c.321, ss.4,11; 1974, c.143; 1990, c.26, s.2; 1997,
c.299, s.9.

9:2-4.1 Person convicted of sexual assault, custody of, visitation to
minor child; denied, exceptions.


1. a. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a
person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall not be
awarded the custody of or visitation rights to any minor child,
including a minor child who was born as a result of or was the victim
of the sexual assault, except upon a showing by clear and convincing
evidence that it is in the best interest of the child for custody or
visitation rights to be awarded. However, a court that awards such
custody or visitation rights to a person convicted of sexual assault
under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall stay enforcement of the order or judgment
for at least 10 days in order to permit the appeal of the order or
judgment and application for a stay in accordance with the Rules of
Court.

b. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a
person convicted of sexual contact under N.J.S.2C:14-3 or endangering
the welfare of a child under N.J.S.2C:24-4 shall not be awarded the
custody of or visitation rights to any minor child, except upon a
showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best
interest of the child for such custody or visitation rights to be
awarded. However, a court that awards such custody or visitation
rights to a person convicted of sexual contact under N.J.S.2C:14-3 or
endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.2C:24-4 shall stay
enforcement of the order or judgment for at least 10 days in order to
permit the appeal of the order or judgment and application for a stay
in accordance with the Rules of Court.

c. A denial of custody or visitation under this section shall
not by itself terminate the parental rights of the person denied
visitation or custody, nor shall it affect the obligation of the
person to support the minor child.

d. In any proceeding for establishment or enforcement of such
an obligation of support the victim shall not be required to appear in
the presence of the obligor and the victim's and child's whereabouts
shall be kept confidential.

L.1995,c.55,s.1; amended 1999, c.424.

9:2-4.2 Parental access to children's records.


1. a. Every parent, except as prohibited by federal and State
law, shall have access to records and information pertaining to his or
her unemancipated child, including, but not limited to, medical,
dental, insurance, child care and educational records, whether or not
the child resides with the parent, unless that access is found by the
court to be not in the best interest of the child or the access is
found by the court to be sought for the purpose of causing detriment
to the other parent.

b. The place of residence of either parent shall not appear on
any records or information released pursuant to the provisions of this
section.

c. A child's parent, guardian or legal custodian may petition
the court to have a parent's access to the records limited. If the
court, after a hearing, finds that the parent's access to the record
is not in the best interest of the child or that the access sought is
for the purpose of causing detriment to the other parent, the court
may order that access to the records be limited.

L.1997,c.406,s.1.

9:2-5. Death of parent having custody; reversion of custody to
surviving parent; appointment of guardian by superior court; removal

In case of the death of the parent to whom the care and custody of
the minor children shall have been awarded by the Superior Court, or
in the case of the death of the parent in whose custody the children
actually are, when the parents have been living separate and no award
as to the custody of such children has been made, the care and custody
of such minor children shall not revert to the surviving parent
without an order or judgment of the Superior Court to that effect.
The Superior Court shall have the right, in an action brought by a
guardian ad litem on behalf of the children, to appoint such friend or
other suitable person, guardian of such minor children, and shall have
the right to remove such guardian, and to appoint a new guardian or
guardians, and to make such judgments and orders, from time to time,
as the circumstances of the case and the benefit of the children shall
require.

Amended by L.1948, c. 321, p. 1297, s. 5; L.1953, c. 9, p. 71,
s. 4.


9:2-7. Habeas corpus to determine custody of child; access to child

When any husband and wife shall live in a state of separation
without being divorced, and shall have any minor child of the
marriage, the Superior Court, upon such child being brought before it
upon habeas corpus, shall award the custody of such child and make
such order or judgment relating thereto for the access of either
parent to such child, at such times and under such circumstances, as
it may deem proper.

Amended by L.1948, c. 321, p. 1297, s. 6; L.1953, c. 9, p. 71,
s. 5.


9:2-7.1. Visitation rights for grandparents, siblings

1.a. A grandparent or any sibling of a child residing in this
State may make application before the Superior Court, in accordance
with the Rules of Court, for an order for visitation. It shall be the
burden of the applicant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence
that the granting of visitation is in the best interests of the child.

b. In making a determination on an application filed pursuant to
this section, the court shall consider the following factors:

(1) The relationship between the child and the applicant;

(2) The relationship between each of the child's parents or the
person with whom the child is residing and the applicant;

(3) The time which has elapsed since the child last had contact
with the applicant;

(4) The effect that such visitation will have on the relationship
between the child and the child's parents or the person with whom the
child is residing;

(5) If the parents are divorced or separated, the time sharing
arrangement which exists between the parents with regard to the child;

(6) The good faith of the applicant in filing the application;

(7) Any history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect
by the applicant; and

(8) Any other factor relevant to the best interests of the child.


c. With regard to any application made pursuant to this section,
it shall be prima facie evidence that visitation is in the child's
best interest if the applicant had, in the past, been a full-time
caretaker for the child.

L.1971,c.420,s.1; amended 1973,c.100; 1987,c.363,s.2;
1993,c.161,s.1.


9:2-7.2. Concealment of child; preliminary hearing as to custody

1. When any husband and wife shall live in a state of
separation without being divorced and shall have any minor child or
children of the marriage, and when either spouse shall willfully
conceal the whereabouts of said child or children, the Superior Court,
Chancery Division, Family Part, upon application of the aggrieved
parent, shall conduct a preliminary hearing as to the custody of said
child or children and shall make such order relating thereto for the
access of either parent to such child at such times and under such
circumstances as it may deem proper.

L.1974,c.152,s.1; amended 1991,c.91,s.189.


9:2-9. Unfit parents and custodians, court action to grant relief

9:2-9. When the parents of any minor child or the parent or other
person having the actual care and custody of any minor child are
grossly immoral or unfit to be intrusted with the care and education
of such child, or shall neglect to provide the child with proper
protection, maintenance and education, or are of such vicious,
careless or dissolute habits as to endanger the welfare of the child
or make the child a public charge, or likely to become a public
charge; or when the parents of any minor child are dead or cannot be
found, and there is no other person, legal guardian or agency
exercising custody over such child; it shall be lawful for any person
interested in the welfare of such child to institute an action in the
Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part, in the county where
such minor child is residing, for the purpose of having the child
brought before the court, and for the further relief provided by this
chapter. The court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or
otherwise.

Amended 1948,c.321,s.7; 1949,c.245,s.1; 1953,c.9,s.6;
1991,c.91,s.190.


9:2-10. Order for proper care of child

9:2-10. In an action brought pursuant to R.S.9:2-9, the Superior
Court, after an investigation shall have been made by the chief
probation officer of the county in which the child may reside,
concerning the reputation, character and ability of the plaintiff, or
such other person as the court may direct, to properly care for such
child, shall make an order or judgment committing the child to the
care and custody of such person, who will accept the same, as the
court shall for that purpose designate and appoint, until such child
shall attain the age of eighteen years, or the further direction of
the court; provided, however, that in proper cases such care and
custody may be exercised by supervision of the child in his own home,
unless the court shall otherwise order. Such order or judgment may
require the giving of a bond by the person to whose care or custody
the said child may be committed, with such security and on such
conditions as the court shall deem proper.

Amended 1948,c.321,s.8; 1949,c.245,s.2; 1953,c.9,s.7;
1991,c.91,s.191.


9:2-11. Commitment of child to child caring society; cost of
proceedings; consent to adoption of child; support by relative

The court before which such proceedings shall be conducted, may,
in the same manner but in lieu of committing such child, as in
section 9:2-10 of this Title specified, commit such child to the care
and custody of any society duly incorporated under the laws of this
State for the care of children. In such case the court may, in its
discretion, cause the person in whose custody such child was, or the
county in which such child may reside, to pay all costs and expenses
of such proceedings, and such person or society or institution to whom
or to which such child is committed may, upon special authority
granted in the order or judgment of commitment, give his or its
consent, and such consent will be sufficient, to the legal adoption
of such child; provided, however , that the granting of the right
to consent to adoption shall in no wise be construed as authority to
place a child for adoption except in accordance with the provisions
of chapter three of this Title (s. 9:3-1 et seq.).

Whenever the court shall have made an order or judgment with
respect to the care and custody of a child as contemplated by this
Title, and it shall appear that the person in whose custody such
child was is a relative financially able and legally liable to
provide support for such child, the court may make a supplementary
order requiring such relative to make such payment or payments for
the support of such child as the court may deem reasonable under the
circumstances.

Amended by L.1948, c. 321, p. 1298, s. 9; L.1949, c. 245, p.
786, s. 3; L.1953, c. 9, p. 73, s. 8.


9:2-13. Definitions

For the purposes of this act, the following words and phrases,
unless otherwise indicated, shall be deemed to have the following
meanings:

(a) The phrase "approved agency" means a legally constituted
agency having its principal office within or without this State, which
has been approved, pursuant to law, to place children in New Jersey
for purposes of adoption.

(b) The word "child" means any person under 18 years of age.

(c) The word "custody" means continuing control and authority
over the person of a child, established by natural parenthood, by
order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, or by written
surrender to and approved agency pursuant to law.

(d) The phrase "forsaken parental obligations" means willful and
continuous neglect or failure to perform the natural and regular
obligations of care and support of a child.

(e) The phrase "mentally incompetent" means inability to
understand and discharge the natural and regular obligations of care
and support of a child by reason of mental disease, feebleness of
mind, or habitual intemperance.

(f) The word "parent," when not otherwise described by the
context, means a natural parent or parent by previous adoption.

(g) The word "may" shall be construed to be permissive and the
word "shall" shall be construed to be mandatory.

L.1955,c.232,s.1; amended 1990,c.26,s.3.


9:2-14. Surrender of child custody; validity

Except as otherwise provided by law or by order or judgment of a
court of competent jurisdiction or by testamentary disposition, no
surrender of the custody of a child shall be valid in this State
unless made to an approved agency pursuant to the provisions of this
act or pursuant to the provisions of a substantially similar law of
another State or territory of the United States or of the Dominion of
Canada or of one of its provinces.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 2.


9:2-15. Surrender or termination of rights of one parent; rights of
other parent

No surrender of custody by, nor termination of the parental rights
of, one parent shall affect the rights of the other parent; nor may
one parent act as the agent or representative of the other parent in
the surrender of custody or termination of parental rights.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 3.


9:2-16. Voluntary surrender to approved agency

An approved agency may take a voluntary surrender of custody of a
child from the parent of such child, or from such other person or
persons who, by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, have been
substituted for the parent as to custody of such child. Each such
surrender, when properly acknowledged in the manner and form provided
by sections 46:14-6 and 46:14-7 of the Revised Statutes, shall be
valid whether or not the person giving the same is a minor, and shall
be irrevocable except at the discretion of the approved agency taking
such surrender or upon order or judgment of a court of competent
jurisdiction, setting aside such surrender upon proof of fraud,
duress or misrepresentation.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 4.


9:2-17. Form of surrender

The form of any such surrender shall be such as to declare that
the person executing the same desires to relinquish the custody of the
child, acknowledge the termination of parental rights as to such
custody in favor of the approved agency, and acknowledge full
understanding of the effect of such surrender as provided by this act.
Any such surrender may include a statement that its purpose is to
permit the approved agency to place the child for adoption by such
person or persons as the approved agency may select.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 896, s. 5.


9:2-18. Procedure to terminate parental rights

6. An approved agency which is providing supervision of a child
may institute an action in the Superior Court, seeking the termination
of the rights of the parents of such child and the transfer of custody
of such child to the agency. A prior surrender of custody as provided
by Article II of this act shall not be deemed a waiver of notice or
service of process in proceedings under Article III hereof. At least
five days prior to the hearing, the plaintiff shall file with the
court a written report as to all circumstances of the case.

L.1955,c.232,s.6; amended 1991,c.91,s.192.


9:2-19. Grounds for terminating custody

If the court shall determine that custody of the child has been
surrendered as provided in Article II of this act, the court may
declare that the person making such surrender shall have no further
right to custody of the child. If the court shall determine that a
parent of the child is dead, or mentally incompetent, or has forsaken
parental obligation, the court may declare that such parent shall have
no further right to custody of the child. If the court shall determine
that a custodian or guardian has been appointed for the child, but
that such custodian or guardian has willfully and continuously
neglected or failed to discharge the responsibilities of such
appointment, the court may declare that such custodian or guardian
shall have no further control and authority over the person of the
child.

L.1955,c.232,s.7; amended 1990,c.26,s.4.


9:2-20. Judgment terminating rights; effect of judgment

If the court shall find that the parents of the child should have
no further right to custody of the child, or that the custodian or
guardian, if any, should have no further control and authority over
the person of the child, a judgment shall be entered terminating such
right or control and authority and transferring the custody of the
child to the plaintiff. The judgment so entered, unless otherwise
specified therein, shall not affect the duties of the parents,
custodian or guardian with respect to support and maintenance of the
child.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 898, s. 8.


9:2-21. Effective date

This act shall take effect July 1, 1955.

L.1955, c. 232, p. 898, s. 9.

NJS 2005 09 22

 

 

WILLFUL NONSUPPORT


NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)

TITLE 2C THE NJ CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

2C:24-5. Willful nonsupport

A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he willfully
fails to provide support which he can provide and which he knows he is
legally obliged to provide to a spouse, child or other dependent. In
addition to the sentence authorized by the code, the court may proceed
under section 2C:62-1.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:24-5, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

 

 

Update: 2005 09 21

"Parents' Education Fund"

NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)

TITLE 2A ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2A:34-12.2. "Parents' Education Fund"

2. There is hereby established a separate, nonlapsing,
revolving fund in the General Fund to be known as the "Parents'
Education Fund." The Clerk of the Superior Court shall forward the
$25 registration fee collected pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1999,
c.111(C.2A:34-12.5) for deposit in the fund. The fund shall be
administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts and dedicated
to the development, establishment, operation and maintenance of the
"Parents' Education Program" created pursuant to section 3 of
P.L.1999, c.111(C.2A:34-12.3).

L.1999,c.111,s.2.


2A:34-12.3. "Parent's Education program"

3. a. There is hereby established a mandatory education program
to be known as the "Parents' Education Program."

b. The program shall be designed to assist and advise divorced
parents on issues concerning divorce, separation and custody. The
program shall be made available twice a month. The program shall be
administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts. The
Assignment Judge shall appoint appropriate staff to act as a program
representative or representatives, as necessary, for each county.

c. The purpose of the program shall be to promote cooperation
between the parties and to assist parents in resolving issues which
may arise during the divorce or separation process, including, but not
limited to:

(1) Understanding the legal process and cost of divorce or
separation, including arbitration and mediation;

(2) Understanding the financial responsibilities for the
children;

(3) Understanding the interaction between parent and child, the
family relationship and any other areas of adjustment and concern
during the process of divorce or separation;

(4) Understanding how children react to divorce or separation,
how to spot problems, what to tell them about divorce or separation,
how to keep communication open and how to answer questions and
concerns the children may have about the process;

(5) Understanding how parents can help their children during
the divorce or separation, specific strategies, ideas, tools, and
resources for assistance;

(6) Understanding how parents can help children after the
divorce or separation and how to deal with new family structures and
different sets of rules; and

(7) Understanding that cooperation may sometimes be
inappropriate in cases of domestic violence.


L.1999,c.111,s.3.

2A:34-12.4. Advisory committee, duties; report

4. a. There is hereby established an advisory committee
consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor with the advice
and consent of the Senate. The members shall include a former judge
who specialized in family law matters, an attorney who specializes in
family law matters, a mediator, the Administrative Director of the
Courts, or his designee, two mental health professionals with
experience in the field of child care, an educator, one custodial
parent and one non-custodial parent.

b. The committee members shall select a chairman from among the
members. The committee shall develop a curriculum, guidelines,
program representative qualifications and requirements to be used in
the "Parents' Education Program" established pursuant to section 3 of
P.L.1999, c.111(C.2A:34-12.3). The committee shall report its
recommendations to the Administrative Office of the Courts three
months following the organization of the committee. The
Administrative Office of the Courts shall use the recommendations of
the committee to develop a comprehensive education program.

L.1999,c.111,s.4.


2A:34-12.5. Attendance at program required; fee; exceptions

5. a. The court shall order every person who has filed an action
for divorce, nullity or separate maintenance where the custody,
visitation or support of the minor child is an issue to attend the
"Parents' Education Program" established pursuant to section 3 of
P.L.1999, c.111(C.2A:34-12.3). Each party shall attend separate
sessions of the program.

b. Each party shall be required to pay a fee of $25 for
registration in the "Parents' Education Program" which shall be
forwarded by the Clerk of the Superior Court for deposit in the
"Parents' Education Program Fund" established pursuant to section 2 of
P.L.1999, c.111(C.2A:34-12.2).

c. Except as provided in subsections d. and e. of this section,
the court shall require all parties who have filed an action for
divorce, nullity or separate maintenance where the custody, visitation
or support of the minor child is an issue to complete the program
prior to entry of judgment. Failure of a party to participate in the
program shall be considered as a factor by the court in making any
custody and visitation determinations.

d. The court may exempt a party from attending the program, if
the court finds good cause for an exemption.

e. The court shall not refer a party to the program if a
temporary or final order restraining either party from contact with
the other has been issued pursuant to the "Prevention of Domestic
Violence Act of 1991," P.L. 1991, c. 261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.), or if
either party is restrained from contact with the other party, or a
child of the other party, under the criminal or civil laws of this or
any other state.

L.1999,c.111,s.5.


2A:34-12.6. Program representatives, immunity, employment
restrictions

6. a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the
contrary, no person serving as a program representative in the
"Parents' Education Program" established pursuant to section 3 of
P.L.1999, c.111(C.2A:34-12.3) shall be liable for damages resulting
from any exercise of judgment or discretion in connection with the
person's duties unless the actions are fraudulent or evidence a
reckless disregard for the duties imposed by the position. Nothing in
this section shall be deemed to grant immunity to any program
representative causing damage by that person's wilful, wanton or
grossly negligent act of commission or omission.

b. No person serving as a program representative in the program
shall solicit, accept employment from or counsel a program participant
for a period of one year after the program participant has completed
the program.

L.1999,c.111,s.6.


2A:34-12.7. Confidentiality of communications

7. All communications made by any program participant during
the course of attending the "Parents' Education Program," established
pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1999, c.111(C.2A:34-12.3) are
confidential and shall not be admissible as evidence in any court
proceeding.

L.1999,c.111,s.7.


2A:34-12.8. Adoption of Rules by Court

8. The Supreme Court of New Jersey may adopt Rules of Court
appropriate or necessary to effectuate the purpose of this act.

L.1999,c.111,s.8.

Update: 2005 09 21

ALIMONY


NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)

TITLE 2A: ADMINISTRATION OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

2A:34-23. Alimony, maintenance

2A:34-23. Pending any matrimonial action brought in this State or
elsewhere, or after judgment of divorce or maintenance, whether
obtained in this State or elsewhere, the court may make such order as
to the alimony or maintenance of the parties, and also as to the care,
custody, education and maintenance of the children, or any of them, as
the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case shall
render fit, reasonable and just, and require reasonable security for
the due observance of such orders, including, but not limited to, the
creation of trusts or other security devices, to assure payment of
reasonably foreseeable medical and educational expenses. Upon neglect
or refusal to give such reasonable security, as shall be required, or
upon default in complying with any such order, the court may award and
issue process for the immediate sequestration of the personal estate,
and the rents and profits of the real estate of the party so charged,
and appoint a receiver thereof, and cause such personal estate and the
rents and profits of such real estate, or so much thereof as shall be
necessary, to be applied toward such alimony and maintenance as to the
said court shall from time to time seem reasonable and just; or the
performance of the said orders may be enforced by other ways according
to the practice of the court. Orders so made may be revised and
altered by the court from time to time as circumstances may require.

The court may order one party to pay a retainer on behalf of the
other for expert and legal services when the respective financial
circumstances of the parties make the award reasonable and just. In
considering an application, the court shall review the financial
capacity of each party to conduct the litigation and the criteria for
award of counsel fees that are then pertinent as set forth by court
rule. Whenever any other application is made to a court which
includes an application for pendente lite or final award of counsel
fees, the court shall determine the appropriate award for counsel
fees, if any, at the same time that a decision is rendered on the
other issue then before the court and shall consider the factors set
forth in the court rule on counsel fees, the financial circumstances
of the parties, and the good or bad faith of either party.

a. In determining the amount to be paid by a parent for support
of the child and the period during which the duty of support is owed,
the court in those cases not governed by court rule shall consider,
but not be limited to, the following factors:

(1) Needs of the child;

(2) Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent;

(3) All sources of income and assets of each parent;

(4) Earning ability of each parent, including educational
background, training, employment skills, work experience, custodial
responsibility for children including the cost of providing child care
and the length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or
experience for appropriate employment;

(5) Need and capacity of the child for education, including
higher education;

(6) Age and health of the child and each parent;

(7) Income, assets and earning ability of the child;

(8) Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support
of others;

(9) Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent;
and

(10) Any other factors the court may deem relevant.

b. In all actions brought for divorce, divorce from bed and
board, or nullity the court may award one or more of the following
types of alimony:permanent alimony; rehabilitative alimony; limited
duration alimony or reimbursement alimony to either party. In so
doing the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following
factors:

(1) The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;

(2) The duration of the marriage;

(3) The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;

(4) The standard of living established in the marriage and the
likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable
standard of living;

(5) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational
skills, and employability of the parties;

(6) The length of absence from the job market of the party
seeking maintenance;

(7) The parental responsibilities for the children;

(8) The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education
or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find
appropriate employment, the availability of the training and
employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital
assets and income;

(9) The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to
the marriage by each party including contributions to the care and
education of the children and interruption of personal careers or
educational opportunities;

(10) The equitable distribution of property ordered and any
payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of
current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just
and fair;

(11) The income available to either party through investment of
any assets held by that party;

(12)The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any
alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the
payment as a non-taxable payment; and

(13)Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

When a share of a retirement benefit is treated as an asset for
purposes of equitable distribution, the court shall not consider
income generated thereafter by that share for purposes of determining
alimony.

c. In any case in which there is a request for an award of
permanent alimony, the court shall consider and make specific findings
on the evidence about the above factors. If the court determines
that an award of permanent alimony is not warranted, the court shall
make specific findings on the evidence setting out the reasons
therefor. The court shall then consider whether alimony is
appropriate for any or all of the following: (1) limited duration; (2)
rehabilitative; (3) reimbursement. In so doing, the court shall
consider and make specific findings on the evidence about factors set
forth above. The court shall not award limited duration alimony as a
substitute for permanent alimony in those cases where permanent
alimony would otherwise be awarded.

An award of alimony for a limited duration may be modified based
either upon changed circumstances, or upon the nonoccurrence of
circumstances that the court found would occur at the time of the
award. The court may modify the amount of such an award, but shall
not modify the length of the term except in unusual circumstances.

In determining the length of the term, the court shall consider
the length of time it would reasonably take for the recipient to
improve his or her earning capacity to a level where limited duration
alimony is no longer appropriate.

d. Rehabilitative alimony shall be awarded based upon a plan in
which the payee shows the scope of rehabilitation, the steps to be
taken, and the time frame, including a period of employment during
which rehabilitation will occur. An award of rehabilitative alimony
may be modified based either upon changed circumstances, or upon the
nonoccurrence of circumstances that the court found would occur at the
time of the rehabilitative award.

This section is not intended to preclude a court from modifying
permanent alimony awards based upon the law.

e. Reimbursement alimony may be awarded under circumstances in
which one party supported the other through an advanced education,
anticipating participation in the fruits of the earning capacity
generated by that education.

f. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
court's authority to award permanent alimony, limited duration
alimony, rehabilitative alimony or reimbursement alimony, separately
or in any combination, as warranted by the circumstances of the
parties and the nature of the case.

g. In all actions for divorce other than those where judgment
is granted solely on the ground of separation the court may consider
also the proofs made in establishing such ground in determining an
amount of alimony or maintenance that is fit, reasonable and just. In
all actions for divorce or divorce from bed and board where judgment
is granted on the ground of institutionalization for mental illness
the court may consider the possible burden upon the taxpayers of the
State as well as the ability of the party to pay in determining an
amount of maintenance to be awarded.

h. In all actions where a judgment of divorce or divorce from
bed and board is entered the court may make such award or awards to
the parties, in addition to alimony and maintenance, to effectuate an
equitable distribution of the property, both real and personal, which
was legally and beneficially acquired by them or either of them during
the marriage. However, all such property, real, personal or otherwise,
legally or beneficially acquired during the marriage by either party
by way of gift, devise, or intestate succession shall not be subject
to equitable distribution, except that interspousal gifts shall be
subject to equitable distribution.

Amended 1971, c.212, s.8; 1980, c.181; 1983, c.519; 1988, c.153,
s.3; 1997, c.302; 1999, c.199, s.1.


2A:34-23a. Payment of counsel fees incurred in collection of child
support

If a party in any action to enforce and collect child support
ordered by a court pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S. 2A:34-23 has
incurred counsel fees, the court shall require the defaulting party to
pay those counsel fees unless the court finds that the default was
substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of
counsel fees unjust. The court shall determine the appropriate award
for counsel fees and shall consider the financial circumstances of the
parties and whether each acted in good faith.

L.1989, c.212, s.1.


2A:34-23b. Direct payments to health care provider

1. a. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if a
child support order or separation agreement requires the non-custodial
parent to provide health care insurance, the payment of benefits for
any covered services under that insurance shall, upon submission of
the relevant section of the order or agreement by the custodial parent
to the insurer, be made directly to the health care provider.

b. Every child support order issued or separation agreement
executed on or after the effective date of this act shall provide
notice of the right of the custodial parent to have health insurance
benefits paid directly to the health care provider pursuant to
subsection a. of this section.

L.1993,c.14,s.1.


2A:34-23c. Child support order; health care coverage provisions

1. Any order or judgment that includes child support shall
include provisions indicating the party responsible for maintaining
health care coverage for the child and the terms and conditions by
which that coverage is to be maintained.

The provisions of the order or judgment relating to health care
coverage shall be enforced through the National Medical Support
Notice, upon its adoption by federal regulation pursuant to the "Child
Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998," Pub.L. 105-200.

L.1995,c.58,s.1; amended 2001, c.188, s.2.


2A:34-23d Maintenance of certain insurance coverage in action for
divorce.


1. a. Upon filing of a complaint for an action for divorce,
nullity or separate maintenance, where the custody, visitation or
support of a minor child is an issue, the party who has maintained all
existing insurance coverage or coverage traditionally maintained
during the marriage, including but not limited to, all health,
disability, home or life insurance, shall continue to maintain or
continue to share in the cost of maintaining the coverage.

b. If a party who has maintained the existing insurance
coverage or has shared in the cost of maintaining the coverage has had
a voluntary or involuntary change in employment status, which may
cause the existing insurance coverage to terminate, then that party
shall notify the other party that it may be necessary to reallocate
the financial responsibilities of maintaining the coverage.

c. Upon receipt of this notice, the party may petition the
court to reallocate financial responsibilities.

d. The court may take any action it deems appropriate to
reallocate financial responsibilities including but not limited to
ordering a party to obtain comparable coverage or releasing a party
from the obligation or any other order.

L.1997,c.405,s.1.

2A:34-23e Delinquent child support obligors, community service in
addition to incarceration for contempt.


1. In addition to incarceration of a person found by the court
to be in contempt of a support order issued by the Superior Court,
Chancery Division, Family Part, the court may order such person to
perform community service for part, or all, of the person's period of
incarceration.

L.2000,c.19,s.1.


2A:34-23.1 Equitable distribution criteria.


4. In making an equitable distribution of property, the court
shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

a. The duration of the marriage;

b. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;

c. The income or property brought to the marriage by each
party;

d. The standard of living established during the marriage;

e. Any written agreement made by the parties before or during
the marriage concerning an arrangement of property distribution;

f. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the
division of property becomes effective;

g. The income and earning capacity of each party, including
educational background, training, employment skills, work experience,
length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for
children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient
education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at
a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the
marriage;

h. The contribution by each party to the education, training or
earning power of the other;

i. The contribution of each party to the acquisition,
dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount
or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a
party as a homemaker;

j. The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each
party;

k. The present value of the property;

l. The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to
own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household
effects;

m. The debts and liabilities of the parties;

n. The need for creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund
to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a
spouse or children;

o. The extent to which a party deferred achieving their career
goals; and

p. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

In every case, the court shall make specific findings of fact on
the evidence relevant to all issues pertaining to asset eligibility or
ineligibility, asset valuation, and equitable distribution, including
specifically, but not limited to, the factors set forth in this
section.

It shall be a rebuttable presumption that each party made a
substantial financial or nonfinancial contribution to the acquisition
of income and property while the party was married.

L.1988,c.153,s.4; amended 1997, c.407.


2A:34-23.2 Findings, declarations relative to violation of visitation
orders.

1. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. There has been an increase in the filings of dissolutions of
marriages in the recent years; and

b. The best interests of the children of these marriages in
maintaining close relationships with both parents regardless of which
parent has the physical custody of the child is paramount; and

c. Proceeding criminally in cases where the terms of an order
of visitation with a child has failed to be honored may be both
difficult and inappropriate; and

d. Bolstering the statutory civil remedies available to a judge
hearing these types of matters may provide an indication of
legislative intent to promote the enforcement of these matters.

L.1997,c.300,s.1.


2A:34-23.3 Available remedies.


2. A judge who sanctions a party for failure to comply with an
order of visitation shall have these remedies available:

a. The awarding of counsel fees of the aggrieved party against
the party who violated the terms of the order;

b. Community service;

c. The awarding of compensatory time for the time with the
child for which the party was deprived;

d. The awarding of monetary compensation for additional costs
incurred when a parent fails to appear for scheduled visitation; and

e. Other economic sanctions which may be decided on a
case-by-case basis.

L.1997,c.300,s.2.


2A:34-24. Lien; security

If an obligor shall abandon an obligee or separate from the
obligee and refuse or neglect to maintain and provide for the obligee,
the court may order suitable support and maintenance to be paid and
provided by the obligor for the obligee and their children. If the
obligor fails to comply with the order of the court, entered in New
Jersey or another jurisdiction, the court may impose a lien against
the real and personal property of the obligor who lives in or owns
property in New Jersey to secure payment of the overdue support and
for such time as the nature of the case and circumstances of the
parties render suitable and proper; such lien shall have priority from
the time of the proper filing or recording.

If the circumstances warrant, for such overdue support or
maintenance, upon reasonable notice, the court may compel the obligor
to give reasonable security, post a bond, or other guarantee for such
overdue support and for present and future support and maintenance and
may, from time to time, make further orders touching the same as shall
be just and equitable and enforce such judgment and orders in the
manner provided in N.J.S. 2A:34-23.

Amended by L. 1985, c. 278, s. 9; 1987, c. 109, s.1.


2A:34-24.1. Court-ordered support, maintenance

When a spouse has secured a judgment or decree of divorce,
whether absolute or from bed and board, or of nullity or annulment of
marriage, in an action whether brought in this State or elsewhere,
wherein jurisdiction over the person of the other spouse was not
obtained, the court may make the same orders and judgments touching
the suitable support and maintenance to be paid and provided by the
spouse, or to be made out of the spouse's property, for the other
spouse and their children, or any of them, by their marriage and for
such time, as the nature of the case and circumstances of the parties
render suitable and proper, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 34
of Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes notwithstanding the securing of
such judgment or decree.

L. 1954, c. 187, s. 1; amended 1988,c.153,s.6.


2A:34-25. Termination of alimony

2A:34-25. If after the judgment of divorce a former spouse shall
remarry, permanent and limited duration alimony shall terminate as of
the date of remarriage except that any arrearages that have accrued
prior to the date of remarriage shall not be vacated or annulled. A
former spouse who remarries shall promptly so inform the spouse
paying permanent or limited duration alimony as well as the collecting
agency, if any. The court may order such alimony recipient who fails
to comply with the notification provision of this act to pay any
reasonable attorney fees and court costs incurred by the recipient's
former spouse as a result of such non-compliance.

The remarriage of a former spouse receiving rehabilitative or
reimbursement alimony shall not be cause for termination of such
alimony by the court unless the court finds that the circumstances
upon which the award was based have not occurred or unless the payer
spouse demonstrates an agreement or good cause to the contrary.

Alimony shall terminate upon the death of the payer spouse, except
that any arrearages that have accrued prior to the date of the payer
spouse's death shall not be vacated or annulled.

Nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit a court from
ordering either spouse to maintain life insurance for the protection
of the former spouse or the children of the marriage in the event of
the payer spouse's death.

Amended 1988, c.153, s.7; 1997, c.301; 1999, c.199, s.2.


2A:34-26. Attachment of property

2A:34-26. When a spouse cannot be found within this State to be
served with process, the spouse's estate, property and effects within
this State and the rents and profits thereof may be attached to compel
the spouse's appearance and performance of any judgment or order which
may be made in the action. Where the proceedings are by process of
attachment and the defendant does not appear, the judgment shall be
enforceable only out of and against the property attached.

Amended 1988,c.153,s.8.


2A:34-27. Bond for costs

In any action under sections 2A:34-24 and 2A:34-26 of this title
the court may order a bond to be given in the sum of $100 with 1 or
more sufficient sureties, with condition to pay such costs as may be
awarded by the court to the defendant.

 

 

Update: 2005 09 21

Prevention of Domestic Violence Act



NEW JERSEY PERMANENT STATUTES

(UPDATED THROUGH P.L. 2005, c.223 AND JR6.)


TITLE 2C: THE CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE


Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991

2C:25-17. Short title

1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Prevention
of Domestic Violence Act of 1991."

L.1991,c.261,s.1.


2C:25-18. Findings, declarations

2. The Legislature finds and declares that domestic violence is
a serious crime against society; that there are thousands of persons
in this State who are regularly beaten, tortured and in some cases
even killed by their spouses or cohabitants; that a significant number
of women who are assaulted are pregnant; that victims of domestic
violence come from all social and economic backgrounds and ethnic
groups; that there is a positive correlation between spousal abuse and
child abuse; and that children, even when they are not themselves
physically assaulted, suffer deep and lasting emotional effects from
exposure to domestic violence. It is therefore, the intent of the
Legislature to assure the victims of domestic violence the maximum
protection from abuse the law can provide.

The Legislature further finds and declares that the health and
welfare of some of its most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and
disabled, are at risk because of incidents of reported and unreported
domestic violence, abuse and neglect which are known to include acts
which victimize the elderly and disabled emotionally, psychologically,
physically and financially; because of age, disabilities or
infirmities, this group of citizens frequently must rely on the aid
and support of others; while the institutionalized elderly are
protected under P.L.1977, c.239 (C.52:27G-1 et seq.), elderly and
disabled adults in noninstitutionalized or community settings may find
themselves victimized by family members or others upon whom they feel
compelled to depend.

The Legislature further finds and declares that violence against
the elderly and disabled, including criminal neglect of the elderly
and disabled under section 1 of P.L.1989, c.23 (C.2C:24-8), must be
recognized and addressed on an equal basis as violence against spouses
and children in order to fulfill our responsibility as a society to
protect those who are less able to protect themselves.

The Legislature further finds and declares that even though many
of the existing criminal statutes are applicable to acts of domestic
violence, previous societal attitudes concerning domestic violence
have affected the response of our law enforcement and judicial
systems, resulting in these acts receiving different treatment from
similar crimes when they occur in a domestic context. The Legislature
finds that battered adults presently experience substantial difficulty
in gaining access to protection from the judicial system, particularly
due to that system's inability to generate a prompt response in an
emergency situation.

It is the intent of the Legislature to stress that the primary
duty of a law enforcement officer when responding to a domestic
violence call is to enforce the laws allegedly violated and to protect
the victim. Further, it is the responsibility of the courts to protect
victims of violence that occurs in a family or family-like setting by
providing access to both emergent and long-term civil and criminal
remedies and sanctions, and by ordering those remedies and sanctions
that are available to assure the safety of the victims and the public.
To that end, the Legislature encourages the training of all police
and judicial personnel in the procedures and enforcement of this act,
and about the social and psychological context in which domestic
violence occurs; and it further encourages the broad application of
the remedies available under this act in the civil and criminal courts
of this State. It is further intended that the official response to
domestic violence shall communicate the attitude that violent behavior
will not be excused or tolerated, and shall make clear the fact that
the existing criminal laws and civil remedies created under this act
will be enforced without regard to the fact that the violence grows
out of a domestic situation.

L.1991,c.261,s.2.

2C:25-19. Definitions

3. As used in this act:

a. "Domestic violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the
following acts inflicted upon a person protected under this act by an
adult or an emancipated minor:

(1) Homicide N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq.

(2) Assault N.J.S.2C:12-1

(3) Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3

(4) Kidnapping N.J.S.2C:13-1

(5) Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2

(6) False imprisonment N.J.S.2C:13-3

(7) Sexual assault N.J.S.2C:14-2

(8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S.2C:14-3

(9) Lewdness N.J.S.2C:14-4

(10) Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3

(11) Burglary N.J.S.2C:18-2

(12) Criminal trespass N.J.S.2C:18-3

(13) Harassment N.J.S.2C:33-4

(14) Stalking P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10)

When one or more of these acts is inflicted by an unemancipated
minor upon a person protected under this act, the occurrence shall not
constitute "domestic violence," but may be the basis for the filing of
a petition or complaint pursuant to the provisions of section 11 of
P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-30).

b. "Law enforcement agency" means a department, division, bureau,
commission, board or other authority of the State or of any political
subdivision thereof which employs law enforcement officers.

c. "Law enforcement officer" means a person whose public duties
include the power to act as an officer for the detection,
apprehension, arrest and conviction of offenders against the laws of
this State.

d. "Victim of domestic violence" means a person protected under
this act and shall include any person who is 18 years of age or older
or who is an emancipated minor and who has been subjected to domestic
violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a
present or former household member. "Victim of domestic violence" also
includes any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to
domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child in
common, or with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common,
if one of the parties is pregnant. "Victim of domestic violence" also
includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a
person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.

e. "Emancipated minor" means a person who is under 18 years of
age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a
child or is pregnant or has been previously declared by a court or an
administrative agency to be emancipated.

L.1991,c.261,s.3; amended 1994,c.93,s.1; 1994,c.94,s.1.


2C:25-20 Development of training course; curriculum.


4. a. (1) The Division of Criminal Justice shall develop and
approve a training course and curriculum on the handling,
investigation and response procedures concerning reports of domestic
violence and abuse and neglect of the elderly and disabled. This
training course and curriculum shall be reviewed at least every two
years and modified by the Division of Criminal Justice from time to
time as need may require. The Division of Criminal Justice shall
distribute the curriculum to all local police agencies.

(2) The Attorney General shall be responsible for ensuring that
all law enforcement officers attend initial training within 90 days of
appointment or transfer and annual inservice training of at least four
hours as described in this section.

b. (1) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall develop and
approve a training course and a curriculum on the handling,
investigation and response procedures concerning allegations of
domestic violence. This training course shall be reviewed at least
every two years and modified by the Administrative Office of the
Courts from time to time as need may require.

(2) The Administrative Director of the Courts shall be
responsible for ensuring that all judges and judicial personnel attend
initial training within 90 days of appointment or transfer and annual
inservice training as described in this section.

(3) The Division of Criminal Justice and the Administrative
Office of the Courts shall provide that all training on the handling
of domestic violence matters shall include information concerning the
impact of domestic violence on society, the dynamics of domestic
violence, the statutory and case law concerning domestic violence, the
necessary elements of a protection order, policies and procedures as
promulgated or ordered by the Attorney General or the Supreme Court,
and the use of available community resources, support services,
available sanctions and treatment options. Law enforcement agencies
shall: (1) establish domestic crisis teams or participate in
established domestic crisis teams, and (2) shall train individual
officers in methods of dealing with domestic violence and neglect and
abuse of the elderly and disabled. The teams may include social
workers, clergy or other persons trained in counseling, crisis
intervention or in the treatment of domestic violence and neglect and
abuse of the elderly and disabled victims.

L.1991,c.261,s.4; amended 1994, c.93, s.2; 1999, c.289; 1999,
c.433, s.1.


2C:25-21 Arrest of alleged attacker; seizure of weapons, etc.


5. a. When a person claims to be a victim of domestic violence,
and where a law enforcement officer responding to the incident finds
probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred, the law
enforcement officer shall arrest the person who is alleged to be the
person who subjected the victim to domestic violence and shall sign a
criminal complaint if:

(1) The victim exhibits signs of injury caused by an act of
domestic violence;

(2) A warrant is in effect;

(3) There is probable cause to believe that the person has
violated N.J.S.2C:29-9, and there is probable cause to believe that
the person has been served with the order alleged to have been
violated. If the victim does not have a copy of a purported order,
the officer may verify the existence of an order with the appropriate
law enforcement agency; or

(4) There is probable cause to believe that a weapon as defined
in N.J.S.2C:39-1 has been involved in the commission of an act of
domestic violence.

b. A law enforcement officer may arrest a person; or may sign a
criminal complaint against that person, or may do both, where there is
probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been
committed, but where none of the conditions in subsection a. of this
section applies.

c. (1) As used in this section, the word "exhibits" is to be
liberally construed to mean any indication that a victim has suffered
bodily injury, which shall include physical pain or any impairment of
physical condition. Where the victim exhibits no visible sign of
injury, but states that an injury has occurred, the officer should
consider other relevant factors in determining whether there is
probable cause to make an arrest.

(2) In determining which party in a domestic violence incident
is the victim where both parties exhibit signs of injury, the officer
should consider the comparative extent of the injuries, the history of
domestic violence between the parties, if any, and any other relevant
factors.

(3) No victim shall be denied relief or arrested or charged
under this act with an offense because the victim used reasonable
force in self defense against domestic violence by an attacker.

d. (1) In addition to a law enforcement officer's authority to
seize any weapon that is contraband, evidence or an instrumentality of
crime, a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe
that an act of domestic violence has been committed shall:

(a) question persons present to determine whether there are
weapons on the premises; and

(b) upon observing or learning that a weapon is present on the
premises, seize any weapon that the officer reasonably believes would
expose the victim to a risk of serious bodily injury. If a law
enforcement officer seizes any firearm pursuant to this paragraph, the
officer shall also seize any firearm purchaser identification card or
permit to purchase a handgun issued to the person accused of the act
of domestic violence.

(2) A law enforcement officer shall deliver all weapons,
firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a
handgun seized pursuant to this section to the county prosecutor and
shall append an inventory of all seized items to the domestic violence
report.

(3) Weapons seized in accordance with the "Prevention of
Domestic Violence Act of 1991", P.L.1991,c.261(C.2C:25-17 et seq.)
shall be returned to the owner except upon order of the Superior
Court. The prosecutor who has possession of the seized weapons may,
upon notice to the owner, petition a judge of the Family Part of the
Superior Court, Chancery Division, within 45 days of seizure, to
obtain title to the seized weapons, or to revoke any and all permits,
licenses and other authorizations for the use, possession, or
ownership of such weapons pursuant to the law governing such use,
possession, or ownership, or may object to the return of the weapons
on such grounds as are provided for the initial rejection or later
revocation of the authorizations, or on the grounds that the owner is
unfit or that the owner poses a threat to the public in general or a
person or persons in particular.

A hearing shall be held and a record made thereof within 45 days
of the notice provided above. No formal pleading and no filing fee
shall be required as a preliminary to such hearing. The hearing shall
be summary in nature. Appeals from the results of the hearing shall be
to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, in accordance with the law.

If the prosecutor does not institute an action within 45 days of
seizure, the seized weapons shall be returned to the owner.

After the hearing the court shall order the return of the
firearms, weapons and any authorization papers relating to the seized
weapons to the owner if the court determines the owner is not subject
to any of the disabilities set forth in N.J.S.2C:58-3c. and finds that
the complaint has been dismissed at the request of the complainant and
the prosecutor determines that there is insufficient probable cause to
indict; or if the defendant is found not guilty of the charges; or if
the court determines that the domestic violence situation no longer
exists. Nothing in this act shall impair the right of the State to
retain evidence pending a criminal prosecution. Nor shall any
provision of this act be construed to limit the authority of the State
or a law enforcement officer to seize, retain or forfeit property
pursuant to chapter 64 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

If, after the hearing, the court determines that the weapons are
not to be returned to the owner, the court may:

(a) With respect to weapons other than firearms, order the
prosecutor to dispose of the weapons if the owner does not arrange for
the transfer or sale of the weapons to an appropriate person within 60
days; or

(b) Order the revocation of the owner's firearms purchaser
identification card or any permit, license or authorization, in which
case the court shall order the owner to surrender any firearm seized
and all other firearms possessed to the prosecutor and shall order the
prosecutor to dispose of the firearms if the owner does not arrange
for the sale of the firearms to a registered dealer of the firearms
within 60 days; or

(c) Order such other relief as it may deem appropriate. When
the court orders the weapons forfeited to the State or the prosecutor
is required to dispose of the weapons, the prosecutor shall dispose of
the property as provided in N.J.S.2C:64-6.

(4) A civil suit may be brought to enjoin a wrongful failure to
return a seized firearm where the prosecutor refuses to return the
weapon after receiving a written request to do so and notice of the
owner's intent to bring a civil action pursuant to this section.
Failure of the prosecutor to comply with the provisions of this act
shall entitle the prevailing party in the civil suit to reasonable
costs, including attorney's fees, provided that the court finds that
the prosecutor failed to act in good faith in retaining the seized
weapon.

(5) No law enforcement officer or agency shall be held liable
in any civil action brought by any person for failing to learn of,
locate or seize a weapon pursuant to this act, or for returning a
seized weapon to its owner.

L.1991,c.261,s.5; amended 2003, c.277, s.1.


2C:25-21.1 Rules, regulations concerning weapons prohibitions and
domestic violence.


6. The Attorney General may adopt, pursuant to the
"Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.),
rules and regulations necessary and appropriate to implement this act.

L.2003,c.277,s.6.


2C:25-22. Immunity from civil liability

6. A law enforcement officer or a member of a domestic crisis
team or any person who, in good faith, reports a possible incident of
domestic violence to the police shall not be held liable in any civil
action brought by any party for an arrest based on probable cause,
enforcement in good faith of a court order, or any other act or
omission in good faith under this act.

L.1991,c.261,s.6; amended 1994,c.94,s.2.


2C:25-23. Dissemination of notice to victim of domestic violence

7. A law enforcement officer shall disseminate and explain to
the victim the following notice, which shall be written in both
English and Spanish:

"You have the right to go to court to get an order called a
temporary restraining order, also called a TRO, which may protect you
from more abuse by your attacker. The officer who handed you this
card can tell you how to get a TRO.

The kinds of things a judge can order in a TRO may include:

(1) That your attacker is temporarily forbidden from entering the
home you live in;

(2) That your attacker is temporarily forbidden from having
contact with you or your relatives;

(3) That your attacker is temporarily forbidden from bothering
you at work;

(4) That your attacker has to pay temporary child support or
support for you;

(5) That you be given temporary custody of your children;

(6) That your attacker pay you back any money you have to spend
for medical treatment or repairs because of the violence. There are
other things the court can order, and the court clerk will explain the
procedure to you and will help you fill out the papers for a TRO.

You also have the right to file a criminal complaint against your
attacker. The police officer who gave you this paper will tell you
how to file a criminal complaint.

On weekends, holidays and other times when the courts are closed,
you still have a right to get a TRO. The police officer who gave you
this paper can help you get in touch with a judge who can give you a
TRO."

L.1991,c.261,s.7.


2C:25-24 Domestic violence offense reports.


8. a. It shall be the duty of a law enforcement officer who
responds to a domestic violence call to complete a domestic violence
offense report. All information contained in the domestic violence
offense report shall be forwarded to the appropriate county bureau of
identification and to the State bureau of records and identification
in the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public
Safety. A copy of the domestic violence offense report shall be
forwarded to the municipal court where the offense was committed
unless the case has been transferred to the Superior Court.

b. The domestic violence offense report shall be on a form
prescribed by the supervisor of the State bureau of records and
identification which shall include, but not be limited to, the
following information:

(1) The relationship of the parties;

(2) The sex of the parties;

(3) The time and date of the incident;

(4) The number of domestic violence calls investigated;

(5) Whether children were involved, or whether the alleged act
of domestic violence had been committed in the presence of children;

(6) The type and extent of abuse;

(7) The number and type of weapons involved;

(8) The action taken by the law enforcement officer;

(9) The existence of any prior court orders issued pursuant to
this act concerning the parties;

(10) The number of domestic violence calls alleging a violation of
a domestic violence restraining order;

(11) The number of arrests for a violation of a domestic violence
order; and

(12) Any other data that may be necessary for a complete analysis
of all circumstances leading to the alleged incident of domestic
violence.

c. It shall be the duty of the Superintendent of the State
Police with the assistance of the Division of Systems and
Communications in the Department of Law and Public Safety to compile
and report annually to the Governor, the Legislature and the Advisory
Council on Domestic Violence on the tabulated data from the domestic
violence offense reports, classified by county

L.1991,c.261,s.8; amended 1999, c.119, s.2.

2C:25-25. Criminal complaints; proceedings

9. The court in a criminal complaint arising from a domestic
violence incident:

a. Shall not dismiss any charge or delay disposition of a case
because of concurrent dissolution of a marriage, other civil
proceedings, or because the victim has left the residence to avoid
further incidents of domestic violence;

b. Shall not require proof that either party is seeking a
dissolution of a marriage prior to institution of criminal
proceedings;

c. Shall waive any requirement that the victim's location be
disclosed to any person.

L.1991,c.261,s.9.


2C:25-26 Release of defendant before trial; conditions.


10. a. When a defendant charged with a crime or offense involving
domestic violence is released from custody before trial on bail or
personal recognizance, the court authorizing the release may as a
condition of release issue an order prohibiting the defendant from
having any contact with the victim including, but not limited to,
restraining the defendant from entering the victim's residence, place
of employment or business, or school, and from harassing or stalking
the victim or victim's relatives in any way. The court may enter an
order prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm or other
weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 and ordering the
search for and seizure of any such weapon at any location where the
judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is located. The
judge shall state with specificity the reasons for and scope of the
search and seizure authorized by the order.

b. The written court order releasing the defendant shall
contain the court's directives specifically restricting the
defendant's ability to have contact with the victim or the victim's
friends, co-workers or relatives. The clerk of the court or other
person designated by the court shall provide a copy of this order to
the victim forthwith.

c. The victim's location shall remain confidential and shall
not appear on any documents or records to which the defendant has
access.

d. Before bail is set, the defendant's prior record shall be
considered by the court. The court shall also conduct a search of the
domestic violence central registry. Bail shall be set as soon as is
feasible, but in all cases within 24 hours of arrest.

e. Once bail is set it shall not be reduced without prior
notice to the county prosecutor and the victim. Bail shall not be
reduced by a judge other than the judge who originally ordered bail,
unless the reasons for the amount of the original bail are available
to the judge who reduces the bail and are set forth in the record.

f. A victim shall not be prohibited from applying for, and a
court shall not be prohibited from issuing, temporary restraints
pursuant to this act because the victim has charged any person with
commission of a criminal act.

L.1991,c.261,s.10; amended 1994, c.94, s.3; 1999, c.421, s.2.


2C:25-26.1. Notification of victim of release of defendant

1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary,
whenever a defendant charged with a crime or an offense involving
domestic violence is released from custody the prosecuting agency
shall notify the victim.

L.1994,c.137,s.1.


2C:25-27 Conditions of sentencing of defendant found guilty of
domestic violence.


11. When a defendant is found guilty of a crime or offense
involving domestic violence and a condition of sentence restricts the
defendant's ability to have contact with the victim, that condition
shall be recorded in an order of the court and a written copy of that
order shall be provided to the victim by the clerk of the court or
other person designated by the court. In addition to restricting a
defendant's ability to have contact with the victim, the court may
require the defendant to receive professional counseling from either a
private source or a source appointed by the court, and if the court so
orders, the court shall require the defendant to provide documentation
of attendance at the professional counseling. In any case where the
court order contains a requirement that the defendant receive
professional counseling, no application by the defendant to dissolve
the restraining order shall be granted unless, in addition to any
other provisions required by law or conditions ordered by the court,
the defendant has completed all required attendance at such
counseling.

L.1991,c.261,s.11; amended 1999, c.236, s.1.


2C:25-28 Filing complaint alleging domestic violence in Family Part;
proceedings.


12. a. A victim may file a complaint alleging the commission of an
act of domestic violence with the Family Part of the Chancery Division
of the Superior Court in conformity with the Rules of Court. The court
shall not dismiss any complaint or delay disposition of a case because
the victim has left the residence to avoid further incidents of
domestic violence. Filing a complaint pursuant to this section shall
not prevent the filing of a criminal complaint for the same act.

On weekends, holidays and other times when the court is closed, a
victim may file a complaint before a judge of the Family Part of the
Chancery Division of the Superior Court or a municipal court judge who
shall be assigned to accept complaints and issue emergency, ex parte
relief in the form of temporary restraining orders pursuant to this
act.

A plaintiff may apply for relief under this section in a court
having jurisdiction over the place where the alleged act of domestic
violence occurred, where the defendant resides, or where the plaintiff
resides or is sheltered, and the court shall follow the same
procedures applicable to other emergency applications. Criminal
complaints filed pursuant to this act shall be investigated and
prosecuted in the jurisdiction where the offense is alleged to have
occurred. Contempt complaints filed pursuant to N.J.S.2C:29-9 shall
be prosecuted in the county where the contempt is alleged to have been
committed and a copy of the contempt complaint shall be forwarded to
the court that issued the order alleged to have been violated.

b. The court shall waive any requirement that the petitioner's
place of residence appear on the complaint.

c. The clerk of the court, or other person designated by the
court, shall assist the parties in completing any forms necessary for
the filing of a summons, complaint, answer or other pleading.

d. Summons and complaint forms shall be readily available at
the clerk's office, at the municipal courts and at municipal and State
police stations.

e. As soon as the domestic violence complaint is filed, both
the victim and the abuser shall be advised of any programs or services
available for advice and counseling.

f. A plaintiff may seek emergency, ex parte relief in the
nature of a temporary restraining order. A municipal court judge or a
judge of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior
Court may enter an ex parte order when necessary to protect the life,
health or well-being of a victim on whose behalf the relief is sought.

g. If it appears that the plaintiff is in danger of domestic
violence, the judge shall, upon consideration of the plaintiff's
domestic violence complaint, order emergency ex parte relief, in the
nature of a temporary restraining order. A decision shall be made by
the judge regarding the emergency relief forthwith.

h. A judge may issue a temporary restraining order upon sworn
testimony or complaint of an applicant who is not physically present,
pursuant to court rules, or by a person who represents a person who is
physically or mentally incapable of filing personally. A temporary
restraining order may be issued if the judge is satisfied that exigent
circumstances exist sufficient to excuse the failure of the applicant
to appear personally and that sufficient grounds for granting the
application have been shown.

i. An order for emergency, ex parte relief shall be granted
upon good cause shown and shall remain in effect until a judge of the
Family Part issues a further order. Any temporary order hereunder is
immediately appealable for a plenary hearing de novo not on the record
before any judge of the Family Part of the county in which the
plaintiff resides or is sheltered if that judge issued the temporary
order or has access to the reasons for the issuance of the temporary
order and sets forth in the record the reasons for the modification or
dissolution. The denial of a temporary restraining order by a
municipal court judge and subsequent administrative dismissal of the
complaint shall not bar the victim from refiling a complaint in the
Family Part based on the same incident and receiving an emergency, ex
parte hearing de novo not on the record before a Family Part judge,
and every denial of relief by a municipal court judge shall so state.

j. Emergency relief may include forbidding the defendant from
returning to the scene of the domestic violence, forbidding the
defendant from possessing any firearm or other weapon enumerated in
subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, ordering the search for and seizure of
any such weapon at any location where the judge has reasonable cause
to believe the weapon is located and the seizure of any firearms
purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun issued
to the defendant and any other appropriate relief. The judge shall
state with specificity the reasons for and scope of the search and
seizure authorized by the order. The provisions of this subsection
prohibiting a defendant from possessing a firearm or other weapon
shall not apply to any law enforcement officer while actually on duty,
or to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or member of
the National Guard while actually on duty or traveling to or from an
authorized place of duty.

k. The judge may permit the defendant to return to the scene of
the domestic violence to pick up personal belongings and effects but
shall, in the order granting relief, restrict the time and duration of
such permission and provide for police supervision of such visit.

l. An order granting emergency relief, together with the
complaint or complaints, shall immediately be forwarded to the
appropriate law enforcement agency for service on the defendant, and
to the police of the municipality in which the plaintiff resides or is
sheltered, and shall immediately be served upon the defendant by the
police, except that an order issued during regular court hours may be
forwarded to the sheriff for immediate service upon the defendant in
accordance with the Rules of Court. If personal service cannot be
effected upon the defendant, the court may order other appropriate
substituted service. At no time shall the plaintiff be asked or
required to serve any order on the defendant.

m. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.94.)

n. Notice of temporary restraining orders issued pursuant to
this section shall be sent by the clerk of the court or other person
designated by the court to the appropriate chiefs of police, members
of the State Police and any other appropriate law enforcement agency
or court.

o. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.94.)

p. Any temporary or permanent restraining order issued pursuant
to this act shall be in effect throughout the State, and shall be
enforced by all law enforcement officers.

q. Prior to the issuance of any temporary or permanent
restraining order issued pursuant to this section, the court shall
order that a search be made of the domestic violence central registry
with regard to the defendant's record.

L.1991,c.261,s.12; amended 1994, c.94, s.4; 1999, c.421, s.3;
2003, c.277, s.5.


2C:25-28.1. In-house restraining order prohibited

2. Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17
et seq.) to the contrary, no order issued by the Family Part of the
Chancery Division of the Superior Court pursuant to section 12 or
section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-28 or 2C:25-29) regarding
emergency, temporary or final relief shall include an in-house
restraining order which permits the victim and the defendant to occupy
the same premises but limits the defendant's use of that premises.

L.1995,c.242,s.2.


2C:25-29 Hearing procedure; relief.


13. a. A hearing shall be held in the Family Part of the Chancery
Division of the Superior Court within 10 days of the filing of a
complaint pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-28) in
the county where the ex parte restraints were ordered, unless good
cause is shown for the hearing to be held elsewhere. A copy of the
complaint shall be served on the defendant in conformity with the
Rules of Court. If a criminal complaint arising out of the same
incident which is the subject matter of a complaint brought under
P.L.1981, c.426 (C.2C:25-1 et seq.) or P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et
seq.) has been filed, testimony given by the plaintiff or defendant in
the domestic violence matter shall not be used in the simultaneous or
subsequent criminal proceeding against the defendant, other than
domestic violence contempt matters and where it would otherwise be
admissible hearsay under the rules of evidence that govern where a
party is unavailable. At the hearing the standard for proving the
allegations in the complaint shall be by a preponderance of the
evidence. The court shall consider but not be limited to the
following factors:

(1) The previous history of domestic violence between the
plaintiff and defendant, including threats, harassment and physical
abuse;

(2) The existence of immediate danger to person or property;

(3) The financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant;

(4) The best interests of the victim and any child;

(5) In determining custody and parenting time the protection of
the victim's safety; and

(6) The existence of a verifiable order of protection from
another jurisdiction.

An order issued under this act shall only restrain or provide
damages payable from a person against whom a complaint has been filed
under this act and only after a finding or an admission is made that
an act of domestic violence was committed by that person. The issue
of whether or not a violation of this act occurred, including an act
of contempt under this act, shall not be subject to mediation or
negotiation in any form. In addition, where a temporary or final
order has been issued pursuant to this act, no party shall be ordered
to participate in mediation on the issue of custody or parenting time.

b. In proceedings in which complaints for restraining orders
have been filed, the court shall grant any relief necessary to prevent
further abuse. In addition to any other provisions, any restraining
order issued by the court shall bar the defendant from purchasing,
owning, possessing or controlling a firearm and from receiving or
retaining a firearms purchaser identification card or permit to
purchase a handgun pursuant to N.J.S.2C:58-3 during the period in
which the restraining order is in effect or two years whichever is
greater, except that this provision shall not apply to any law
enforcement officer while actually on duty, or to any member of the
Armed Forces of the United States or member of the National Guard
while actually on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of
duty. At the hearing the judge of the Family Part of the Chancery
Division of the Superior Court may issue an order granting any or all
of the following relief:

(1) An order restraining the defendant from subjecting the
victim to domestic violence, as defined in this act.

(2) An order granting exclusive possession to the plaintiff of
the residence or household regardless of whether the residence or
household is jointly or solely owned by the parties or jointly or
solely leased by the parties. This order shall not in any manner
affect title or interest to any real property held by either party or
both jointly. If it is not possible for the victim to remain in the
residence, the court may order the defendant to pay the victim's rent
at a residence other than the one previously shared by the parties if
the defendant is found to have a duty to support the victim and the
victim requires alternative housing.

(3) An order providing for parenting time. The order shall
protect the safety and well-being of the plaintiff and minor children
and shall specify the place and frequency of parenting time. Parenting
time arrangements shall not compromise any other remedy provided by
the court by requiring or encouraging contact between the plaintiff
and defendant. Orders for parenting time may include a designation of
a place of parenting time away from the plaintiff, the participation
of a third party, or supervised parenting time.

(a) The court shall consider a request by a custodial parent
who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with parenting
time rights to a child in the parent's custody for an investigation or
evaluation by the appropriate agency to assess the risk of harm to the
child prior to the entry of a parenting time order. Any denial of
such a request must be on the record and shall only be made if the
judge finds the request to be arbitrary or capricious.

(b) The court shall consider suspension of the parenting time
order and hold an emergency hearing upon an application made by the
plaintiff certifying under oath that the defendant's access to the
child pursuant to the parenting time order has threatened the safety
and well-being of the child.

(4) An order requiring the defendant to pay to the victim
monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of the
act of domestic violence. The order may require the defendant to pay
the victim directly, to reimburse the Victims of Crime Compensation
Board for any and all compensation paid by the Victims of Crime
Compensation Board directly to or on behalf of the victim, and may
require that the defendant reimburse any parties that may have
compensated the victim, as the court may determine. Compensatory
losses shall include, but not be limited to, loss of earnings or other
support, including child or spousal support, out-of-pocket losses for
injuries sustained, cost of repair or replacement of real or personal
property damaged or destroyed or taken by the defendant, cost of
counseling for the victim, moving or other travel expenses, reasonable
attorney's fees, court costs, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Where appropriate, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to
compensatory damages.

(5) An order requiring the defendant to receive professional
domestic violence counseling from either a private source or a source
appointed by the court and, in that event, requiring the defendant to
provide the court at specified intervals with documentation of
attendance at the professional counseling. The court may order the
defendant to pay for the professional counseling. No application by
the defendant to dissolve a final order which contains a requirement
for attendance at professional counseling pursuant to this paragraph
shall be granted by the court unless, in addition to any other
provisions required by law or conditions ordered by the court, the
defendant has completed all required attendance at such counseling.

(6) An order restraining the defendant from entering the
residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim or
of other family or household members of the victim and requiring the
defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the
order and is frequented regularly by the victim or other family or
household members.

(7) An order restraining the defendant from making contact with
the plaintiff or others, including an order forbidding the defendant
from personally or through an agent initiating any communication
likely to cause annoyance or alarm including, but not limited to,
personal, written, or telephone contact with the victim or other
family members, or their employers, employees, or fellow workers, or
others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or
alarm to the victim.

(8) An order requiring that the defendant make or continue to
make rent or mortgage payments on the residence occupied by the victim
if the defendant is found to have a duty to support the victim or
other dependent household members; provided that this issue has not
been resolved or is not being litigated between the parties in another
action.

(9) An order granting either party temporary possession of
specified personal property, such as an automobile, checkbook,
documentation of health insurance, an identification document, a key,
and other personal effects.

(10) An order awarding emergency monetary relief, including
emergency support for minor children, to the victim and other
dependents, if any. An ongoing obligation of support shall be
determined at a later date pursuant to applicable law.

(11) An order awarding temporary custody of a minor child. The
court shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by
an award of custody to the non-abusive parent.

(12) An order requiring that a law enforcement officer accompany
either party to the residence or any shared business premises to
supervise the removal of personal belongings in order to ensure the
personal safety of the plaintiff when a restraining order has been
issued. This order shall be restricted in duration.

(13) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.242).

(14) An order granting any other appropriate relief for the
plaintiff and dependent children, provided that the plaintiff consents
to such relief, including relief requested by the plaintiff at the
final hearing, whether or not the plaintiff requested such relief at
the time of the granting of the initial emergency order.

(15) An order that requires that the defendant report to the
intake unit of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the
Superior Court for monitoring of any other provision of the order.

(16) In addition to the order required by this subsection
prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm, the court may
also issue an order prohibiting the defendant from possessing any
other weapon enumerated in subsection r. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 and ordering
the search for and seizure of any firearm or other weapon at any
location where the judge has reasonable cause to believe the weapon is
located. The judge shall state with specificity the reasons for and
scope of the search and seizure authorized by the order.

(17) An order prohibiting the defendant from stalking or
following, or threatening to harm, to stalk or to follow, the
complainant or any other person named in the order in a manner that,
taken in the context of past actions of the defendant, would put the
complainant in reasonable fear that the defendant would cause the
death or injury of the complainant or any other person. Behavior
prohibited under this act includes, but is not limited to, behavior
prohibited under the provisions of P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10).

(18) An order requiring the defendant to undergo a psychiatric
evaluation.

c. Notice of orders issued pursuant to this section shall be
sent by the clerk of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the
Superior Court or other person designated by the court to the
appropriate chiefs of police, members of the State Police and any
other appropriate law enforcement agency.

d. Upon good cause shown, any final order may be dissolved or
modified upon application to the Family Part of the Chancery Division
of the Superior Court, but only if the judge who dissolves or modifies
the order is the same judge who entered the order, or has available a
complete record of the hearing or hearings on which the order was
based.

e. Prior to the issuance of any order pursuant to this section,
the court shall order that a search be made of the domestic violence
central registry.

L.1991,c.261,s.13; amended 1994, c.94, s.5; 1994, c.137, s.2;
1995, c.242, s.1; 1997, c.299, s.8; 1999, c.236, s.2; 1999, c.421,
s.4; 2003, c.277, s.2.


2C:25-29.1 Civil penalty for certain domestic violence offenders.


1. In addition to any other disposition, any person found by
the court in a final hearing pursuant to section 13 of P.L.1991, c.261
(C.2C:25-29) to have committed an act of domestic violence shall be
ordered by the court to pay a civil penalty of at least $50, but not
to exceed $500. In imposing this civil penalty, the court shall take
into consideration the nature and degree of injury suffered by the
victim. The court may waive the penalty in cases of extreme financial
hardship.

L.2001,c.195,s.1.


2C:25-29.2 Collection, distribution of civil penalties collected.


2. All civil penalties imposed pursuant to section 1 of
P.L.2001, c.195 (C.2C:25-29.1) shall be collected as provided by the
Rules of Court. All moneys collected shall be forwarded to the
Domestic Violence Victims' Fund established pursuant to section 3 of
P.L.2001, c.195 (C.30:14-15).

L.2001,c.195,s.2.


2C:25-29.3 Rules of Court.


4. The Supreme Court may promulgate Rules of Court to
effectuate the purposes of this act.

L.2001,c.195,s.4.


2C:25-29.4 Surcharge for domestic violence offender to fund grants.

50. In addition to any other penalty, fine or charge imposed
pursuant to law, a person convicted of an act of domestic violence, as
that term is defined by subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261
(C.2C:25-19), shall be subject to a surcharge in the amount of $100
payable to the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey for use by the
Department of Human Services to fund grants for domestic violence
prevention, training and assessment.

L.2002,c.34,c.50.


2C:25-30. Violations, penalties

14. Except as provided below, a violation by the defendant of an
order issued pursuant to this act shall constitute an offense under
subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 and each order shall so state. All
contempt proceedings conducted pursuant to N.J.S.2C:29-9 involving
domestic violence orders, other than those constituting indictable
offenses, shall be heard by the Family Part of the Chancery Division
of the Superior Court. All contempt proceedings brought pursuant to
P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.) shall be subject to any rules or
guidelines established by the Supreme Court to guarantee the prompt
disposition of criminal matters. Additionally, and notwithstanding the
term of imprisonment provided in N.J.S.2C:43-8, any person convicted
of a second or subsequent nonindictable domestic violence contempt
offense shall serve a minimum term of not less than 30 days. Orders
entered pursuant to paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (8) and (9) of
subsection b. of section 13 of this act shall be excluded from
enforcement under subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9; however, violations
of these orders may be enforced in a civil or criminal action
initiated by the plaintiff or by the court, on its own motion,
pursuant to applicable court rules.

L.1991,c.261,s.14; amended 1994,c.93,s.3; 1994,c.94,s.6.


2C:25-31 Contempt, law enforcement procedures.


15. Where a law enforcement officer finds that there is
probable cause that a defendant has committed contempt of an order
entered pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1981, c.426 (C.2C:25-1 et
seq.) or P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et seq.), the defendant shall be
arrested and taken into custody by a law enforcement officer. The law
enforcement officer shall follow these procedures:

The law enforcement officer shall transport the defendant to the
police station or such other place as the law enforcement officer
shall determine is proper. The law enforcement officer shall:

a. Conduct a search of the domestic violence central registry
and sign a complaint concerning the incident which gave rise to the
contempt charge;

b. Telephone or communicate in person or by facsimile with the
appropriate judge assigned pursuant to this act and request bail be
set on the contempt charge;

c. If the defendant is unable to meet the bail set, take the
necessary steps to insure that the defendant shall be incarcerated at
police headquarters or at the county jail; and

d. During regular court hours, the defendant shall have bail
set by a Superior Court judge that day. On weekends, holidays and
other times when the court is closed, the officer shall arrange to
have the clerk of the Family Part notified on the next working day of
the new complaint, the amount of bail, the defendant's whereabouts and
all other necessary details. In addition, if a municipal court judge
set the bail, the arresting officer shall notify the clerk of that
municipal court of this information.

L.1991,c.261,s.15; amended 1994, c.94, s.7; 1999, c.421, s.5.

2C:25-32. Alleged contempt, complainant's procedure

16. Where a person alleges that a defendant has committed
contempt of an order entered pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1981,
c.426 (C.2C:25-1 et seq.) or P.L.1991, c.261, but where a law
enforcement officer has found that there is not probable cause
sufficient to arrest the defendant, the law enforcement officer shall
advise the complainant of the procedure for completing and signing a
criminal complaint alleging a violation of N.J.S.2C:29-9. During
regular court hours, the assistance of the clerk of the Family Part of
the Chancery Division of the Superior Court shall be made available to
such complainants. Nothing in this section shall be construed to
prevent the court from granting any other emergency relief it deems
necessary.

L.1991,c.261,s.16.


2C:25-33 Records of applications for relief; reports;
confidentiality; forms.


17. a. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall, with the
assistance of the Attorney General and the county prosecutors,
maintain a uniform record of all applications for relief pursuant to
sections 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-25,
C.2C:25-26, C.2C:25-27, C.2C:25-28, and C.2C:25-29). The record shall
include the following information:

(1) The number of criminal and civil complaints filed in all
municipal courts and the Superior Court;

(2) The sex of the parties;

(3) The relationship of the parties;

(4) The relief sought or the offense charged, or both;

(5) The nature of the relief granted or penalty imposed, or
both, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) custody;

(b) child support;

(c) the specific restraints ordered;

(d) any requirements or conditions imposed pursuant to
paragraphs (1) through (18) of subsection b. of section 13 of
P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-29), including but not limited to
professional counseling or psychiatric evaluations;

(6) The effective date of each order issued; and

(7) In the case of a civil action in which no permanent
restraints are entered, or in the case of a criminal matter that does
not proceed to trial, the reason or reasons for the disposition.

It shall be the duty of the Director of the Administrative Office
of the Courts to compile and report annually to the Governor, the
Legislature and the Advisory Council on Domestic Violence on the data
tabulated from the records of these orders.

All records maintained pursuant to this act shall be confidential
and shall not be made available to any individual or institution
except as otherwise provided by law.

b. In addition to the provisions of subsection a. of this
section, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall, with the
assistance of the Attorney General and the county prosecutors, create
and maintain uniform forms to record sentencing, bail conditions and
dismissals. The forms shall be used by the Superior Court and by
every municipal court to record any order in a case brought pursuant
to this act. Such recording shall include but not be limited to, the
specific restraints ordered, any requirements or conditions imposed on
the defendant, and any conditions of bail.

L.1991,c.261,s.17; amended 1994, c.94, s.8; 1999, c.119, s.1;
1999, c.421, s.6.


2C:25-34 Domestic violence restraining orders, central registry.


1. The Administrative Office of the Courts shall establish and
maintain a central registry of all persons who have had domestic
violence restraining orders entered against them, all persons who have
been charged with a crime or offense involving domestic violence, and
all persons who have been charged with a violation of a court order
involving domestic violence. All records made pursuant to this
section shall be kept confidential and shall be released only to:

a. A public agency authorized to investigate a report of
domestic violence;

b. A police or other law enforcement agency investigating a
report of domestic violence, or conducting a background investigation
involving a person's application for a firearm permit or employment as
a police or law enforcement officer or for any other purpose
authorized by law or the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey;

c. A court, upon its finding that access to such records may be
necessary for determination of an issue before the court; or

d. A surrogate, in that person's official capacity as deputy
clerk of the Superior Court, in order to prepare documents that may be
necessary for a court to determine an issue in an adoption proceeding.

Any individual, agency, surrogate or court which receives from the
Administrative Office of the Courts the records referred to in this
section shall keep such records and reports, or parts thereof,
confidential and shall not disseminate or disclose such records and
reports, or parts thereof; provided that nothing in this section shall
prohibit a receiving individual, agency, surrogate or court from
disclosing records and reports, or parts thereof, in a manner
consistent with and in furtherance of the purpose for which the
records and reports or parts thereof were received.

Any individual who disseminates or discloses a record or report,
or parts thereof, of the central registry, for a purpose other than
investigating a report of domestic violence, conducting a background
investigation involving a person's application for a firearm permit or
employment as a police or law enforcement officer, making a
determination of an issue before the court, or for any other purpose
other than that which is authorized by law or the Supreme Court of the
State of New Jersey, shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

L.1999,c.421,s.1; amended 2003, c.286, s.1.


2C:25-35 Rules of Court concerning central registry for domestic
violence.


7. The Supreme Court of New Jersey may adopt Rules of Court
appropriate or necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

L.1999,c.421,s.7.

Update: NJS 2005 09 22