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Chief Justice Rabner forms ad hoc committee to “conduct an in-depth review of our current domestic violence laws and policies”

Domestic violence is once again a topic of national discussion after the release of the controversial Fifty Shades of Grey movie.

While I doubt many of our New Jersey Supreme Court justices have seen the film (let alone read the book), the state judiciary is currently moving to reexamine how the court system adjudicates domestic violence cases. 

On Monday, New Jersey’s Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced the formation of a special committee, comprised of representatives from all three branches of state government, to both study domestic violence cases in New Jersey make recommendations for possible improvements. Any changes to current procedures could represent the most significant developments in New Jersey’s body of family law since last September’s enactment of alimony reform.

domestic-violence (large)The committee members are listed below:

Hon. Georgia M. Curio, Chair
Assignment Judge
Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem Vicinage

Senator Diane B. Allen

Jose I. Bastarrika, Esq.
Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, LLP

Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office

Laurence J. Cutler, Esq.
(representative of the American
Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – NJ)
Laufer Dalena Cadicina Jensen & Boyd, LLC

Amy K. DePaul, Esq., Trial Court Administrator
Essex Vicinage

Joanne M. Dietrich, Esq.
Assistant Director, Family Practice Division
Administrative Office of the Courts

Paris Eliades, Esq., President
New Jersey State Bar Association

Hon. Marlene Lynch Ford, J.S.C.
Burlington Vicinage

Hon. Greta Gooden Brown, P.J.S.C.
Passaic Vicinage

Ryan Goodwin, Esq., Assistant Counsel
Office of Legal Counsel to the Governor

Monica Gural, Esq.
Supervising Attorney
Legal Services of New Jersey

Joseph A. Levin, Esq.
Law Offices of Joseph A. Levin, LLC

Jessica Lyons, Esq., Deputy Public Defender
(designee of Public Defender Joseph E. Krakora)

Hon. Julio L. Mendez, A.J.S.C.
Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage

Assemblywoman Nancy F. Munoz

Norma Murgado, Esq.
Chief Municipal Prosecutor, City of Elizabeth

Hon. Thomas M. North, P.J.M.C.
Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem Vicinage

Penny Paparteys, Advocate Supervisor
Providence House

Jane Baldwin Shivas, Executive Director
New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women

Assemblyman Troy Singleton
Jennifer Stonerod, Esq., Deputy Attorney General
(designee of Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman)

Senator Loretta Weinberg

Charles W. Wigginton, Esq.
Municipal Public Defender, Collingswood Municipal Court

Staff to the Committee:
Amelia Wachter-Smith, Chief
Family Practice Division, AOC

Steven Somogyi, Chief
Municipal Court Services, AOC

“The committee will serve as a forum for stakeholders to conduct an in-depth review of our current domestic violence laws and policies, including the interaction of the Municipal and Superior Courts in domestic violence matters, the level and degree of domestic violence offenses, resources available to victims of domestic violence, and education and training opportunities available for all stakeholders,” explained Justice Rabner upon announcing the ad hoc committee’s formation. “I welcome a report on the committee’s findings and potential recommendations.”

Are you or someone you care about grappling with domestic violence?

Our firm is deeply committed to this area of the law, inside and outside of the court room.

We’re here to help. 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 with a lawyer at our firm. We will set up a confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

Post Author: Matt Rooney

is a New Jersey attorney, former Superior Court law clerk, and noted commentator who focuses his practice on family law, municipal court defense, and personal injury matters. He was recognized by SJ Magazine as a 2018 “Top Divorce & Family Attorney."