N.J.S. 2C:12-10

N.J.S. 2C:12-10, specifies that a person is guilty of stalking if they intentionally engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable individual to fear for their safety or suffer other emotional distress. This is deemed to be a crime in the fourth degree. It is upgraded to a third degree offense for subsequent convictions, if the offender is in breach of an order prohibiting such behavior or is on parole for any offense. (Upon a conviction, such conviction is considered grounds for a permanent restraining order and is applied automatically upon a guilty plea or sentencing, unless the victim requests otherwise.)

Example: The Dreaded walk home or bus ride home from school -Your son or daughter is being followed home by a particular bully and is fearful for their safe passage home or is being subjected to sever emotional distress. N.J.S.A.2C:12-10.2, possibly could be used to obtain a protective order from the Court to stop such behavior. Once the protective Order is in place a violation of such an order would subject the violator to the criminal or juvenile justice system.

In any case involving an allegation of stalking in which the victim is a child under the age of 18 or is developmentally disabled as defined N.J.S.A. 5:5-44.4, or where the victim is 18 years of age or older and is mentally defective as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1h, the court may issue a temporary restraining order against the defendant prohibiting contact between the defendant and the victim. This directive sets out the procedures to be followed in such situations.

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