NJ governor signs 'Daniel's Law,' named after Judge Esther Salas' son, to protect families

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday signed "Daniel's Law," named after the murdered son of U.S. Judge Esther Salas, which protects the home addresses and telephone numbers of judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers from public disclosure.

The bill was inspired by the death of 20-year-old Daniel Anderl, who fell victim to a senseless act of gun violence allegedly committed by a man posing as a FedEx employee but who had compiled a dossier of personal information about Judge Salas, including her home address.

"This is a renewed commitment to ensure our judiciary, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement who answer the call of justice can do so without fear for their personal safety, or that of their loved ones," Murphy said. "By shielding the home addresses and private contact information for those who serve on the bench and enforce our laws, we are demonstrating that in the face of unspeakable tragedy, New Jersey responds not with thoughts and prayers, but with concrete action."

Also Read | 'Every parent's worst nightmare': Federal Judge Esther Salas opens about son's murder

The bill amends the Open Public Records Act to exclude from the definition of a government record the portion of any document which discloses the home address of any active or retired judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer.

Further, the bill prohibits government agencies, individuals and businesses from knowingly publishing on the internet, or otherwise making available, the home address or unpublished home telephone number of any active or retired judge or prosecutor.

"My husband, Mark, and I would like to thank Governor Murphy and all the men and women of the New Jersey State Legislature for enacting this trailblazing legislation," Judge Salas said. "We hope this law can be a steppingstone to improving the security of my sisters and brothers who serve as federal judges throughout the country. Nobody should be forced to endure the kind of pain my family has experienced ever again. Together we can work to ensure that all members of the judiciary can perform their duties without fear of retribution or harm. Daniel used to say, 'Mom, I love talking with you.' I know Daniel is listening now, and he is smiling down on us today because he knows that with this bill signing, we are doing our part to ensure that his death will not be in vain."

Also Read: Funeral held for judge's son, killed when he answered door in New Jersey

The bill also enables any active or retired judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer whose home address or unpublished telephone number is disclosed on the internet or otherwise made available to the public, or whose immediate family member's name, home address, or unpublished phone number is disclosed on the internet or otherwise made available to the public, to request that the information be removed.

The government agency, individual or business would be required to remove the information within 72 hours of receiving such a request in writing.

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