Assemblywoman CAROLINE CASAGRANDE
District 11 (Monmouth)
Assemblywoman PAMELA R. LAMPITT
District 6 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblywoman NANCY F. MUNOZ
District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)
Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE
District 37 (Bergen)
Creates pilot program concerning domestic violence; creates additional Superior Court judgeships.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act establishing a domestic violence court pilot program in two vicinages and additional Superior Court judgeships, amending N.J.S.2B:2-1, supplementing chapter 25 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that domestic violence harms many layers of society from the individual victim exposed to intimate partner violence to a broader threat to the workforce at large caused by domestic violence spilling over into the workplace, as well as the interruption to individual productivity caused by injury or the fear of injury. Because of the hazards posed by persons who commit acts of violence against intimate partners it is fitting and proper that a specialized court with judges knowledgeable in criminal law and procedure, particularly in relation to intimate partner violence, be established to adjudicate these cases with expediency. Establishing a Domestic Violence Court Pilot Program in Monmouth and Camden Counties will provide information concerning the advantages of operating a specialized court to deal exclusively with domestic violence crimes and offenses and the feasibility of expanding such a program in all the counties of this State.
2. N.J.S.2B:2-1 is amended to read as follows:
2B:2-1. Number of Judges.
a. The Superior Court shall consist of 443 judges.
b. (1) The Superior Court shall at all times consist of the following number of judges, who at the time of their appointment and reappointment were resident of each county:
Camden  17
Cape May 4
Monmouth  19
(2) Additionally, the following number of those judges of the Superior Court satisfying the residency requirements set forth above shall at all times sit in the county in which they reside:
Cape May 2
(cf: P.L.2008, c.26,s.1)
3. (New section) a. There is hereby established a three-year pilot program in the Camden and Monmouth vicinages responsible exclusively for domestic violence cases.
b. ny court in a pilot program vicinage may refer a case involving domestic violence to the Domestic Violence Court.
c. udges assigned to the Domestic Violence Court shall have extensive knowledge of and experience in criminal law, criminal procedure and criminal sentencing, particularly in relation to domestic violence crimes and offenses.
d. he decision of a judge of the Domestic Violence Court shall be binding and subject to the right of appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
4. (New section) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall monitor the pilot program and report to the legislature after the program has been in effect 12 months and within six months after the expiration of the pilot program. The report shall evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program and recommend whether the program should be discontinued or expanded.
5. This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month after enactment and shall expire three years after the effective date.
This bill creates a three-year Domestic Violence Court Pilot Program in Monmouth and Camden counties.
Any case involving domestic violence could be referred to the Domestic Violence Court. Judges assigned to the Domestic Violence Court are to have extensive knowledge of and experience in criminal law, criminal procedure and criminal sentencing. Decisions would be binding and subject to the right of appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. The Administrative Office of the Courts is to monitor the Domestic Violence Court and report to the Legislature 12 months after the organization of the pilot program and within six months after its expiration. The reports are to include the impact of the pilot program on criminal sentencing and the court’s calendar and workload. The report also would evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program and recommend whether the program should be continued or expanded.