PARSIPPANY, N.J., July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the tragic Asbury Park killing of Tamara Seidle, allegedly murdered by her ex-husband, Neptune police Sgt. Philip Seidle, New Jersey family law expert Bari Z. Weinberger, Esq. is demanding the NJ Legislature revamp the state's dated domestic violence laws.
Ms. Weinberger, a featured expert in the recent Asbury Park Press investigative report, Inside the Dark World of Domestic Violence, addressed current police protocol for domestic violence calls when the alleged domestic violence offender is a fellow police officer. Among special rules that apply:
- The officer must surrender their weapons on the spot;
- The county prosecutor must investigate allegations immediately. While the case is pending, the prosecutor can find that guns should remain out of the hands of the accused officer; and
- If a charge or complaint is withdrawn, the officer's department chief must still investigate to determine if the officer can carry a firearm.
According to Weinberger, even with these rules in place, more can be done to protect domestic violence victims.
"Although New Jersey has some of the most stringent DV laws in the nation, we still have a long way to go in how well they function to protect victims and punish offenders," she said in a statement.
To this end, Weinberger, who has represented domestic violence cases in the state for over 15 years, is issuing a challenge to New Jersey lawmakers to prioritize a string of domestic violence bills introduced last fall, around the time of the Ray Rice scandal. Since then, the bills have languished in committee. These include:
- A2154, a bill allowing domestic violence victims to testify by closed circuit television, and
- A3801, establishing a three-year Domestic Violence Court pilot program in Monmouth and Camden counties.
- A3802, which upgrades domestic violence crimes and includes a mandatory three years of imprisonment for offenders who injure their victims.
- A3803, which requires that all judges receive at least three hours of domestic violence training.
"I am eager to sit down with lawmakers to give them guidance on why these domestic violence laws deserve to be passed." she stated.
Weinberger also encourages discussion of whether police officers should be required to leave their weapon at the station when not on duty. Tamara Seidle was reportedly murdered by multiple gunshots from Philip Seidle's service firearm.
"If such a rule were in place, could this murder have been prevented? This is a discussion that needs to take place with lawmakers and I am prepared to lead it," she stated.
Bari Z. Weinberger is the founder and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group, New Jersey's largest divorce and family law firm. Ms. Weinberger is available for interviews. Her expert opinion is frequently published in the media.
Bari Z. Weinberger, Esq.
Weinberger Law Group
Phone: (888) 888-0919
SOURCE Weinberger Law Group