Legislation Would Establish Trial Monitoring Program in Ocean County
Back in December 2013, we told you about a proposal drafted by state four primary sponsors including Assemblyman Ronald Dancer of Ocean County and Troy Singleton of Burlington County, A321 (S2910 is the Senate companion version), which if enacted would “designate $1 million in state funds for a four-year domestic violence electronic monitoring program in his home county” and mandate that “[o]ffenders would need to shoulder the significant costs associated with the device including monitoring and notification services unless they could demonstrate extreme financial hardship.“ We have an update for you: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed the legislation on Monday. The legislation was nicknamed “Lisa's Law” in honor of the late Letizia Zindell, a 30-year-old woman from the Ocean County community of Toms River who was brutally murdered by her ex-fiance in 2009. “I welcome proposals like this bill that call for enhanced monitoring and supervision of defendants released back onto our streets,” said Gov. Christie in his veto message. “As noted in the bill, however, the technology necessary to provide the monitoring, warning, and round-the-clock supervision, does not appear to be currently available to law enforcement. Given that limitation, appropriate steps should first be taken to evaluate the feasibility of implementing such a robust monitoring system, and any alternatives that may exist for improved oversight of serious offenders in all counties of our State.” A “conditional veto” nullifies legislation but gives the legislature an opportunity to make the Governor's desired revisions and, in so doing, salvage the bill. “Therefore, I recommend that the Attorney General conduct a thorough evaluation of the availability of the technology needed to create and implement this monitoring system and report back to me in no more than 120 days,” added Christie. The Governor expressed his belief that such a study could be completed – and the program could be ready to proceed – by April 2014. We'll continue to keep you advised of its progress. If you are a New Jersey victim of domestic violence and need help in the court room, or if you have been accused of committing an act or acts of domestic violence, then please contact the domestic violence attorneys at DeMichele & DeMichele online today or call (856) 546-1350 to speak wit a lawyer at our firm. We will set up a confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.