The New Jersey Senate advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Jon Bramnick that permits stalking victims to obtain restraining orders against strangers.
Sen. Jon Bramnick’s bill that permits stalking victims to obtain restraining orders against strangers was passed by the New Jersey Senate. (©iStock)
Current state law does not permit victims of stalking and other forms of abuse to obtain a restraining order when the defendant is a stranger. In most cases, a victim must prove that they have a prior or existing spousal, household, or dating relationship with the offender, unless the defendant was already convicted of stalking.
Senator Bramnick’s bill, S-1517, closes this loophole by authorizing the issuance of restraining orders when a victim lacks a prior or existing relationship with their offender.
The bill also allows any parent or guardian of a victim who is underage, has a developmental disability, or is incapable of providing consent to file for a restraining order on the victim’s behalf.
“It’s ridiculous that many people who are being stalked can’t get a restraining order without filing criminal charges when they are being threatened or intimidated by a stranger,” said Bramnick (R-21). “In too many instances, the police are unable to do anything when extremely dangerous behavior is reported. This legislation makes it easier for more victims to get protective restraining orders before frightening conduct escalates to actual harm.”
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