🔵 Daniel's Law allows some high-level individuals to keep their addresses private

🔵 The law is named after the son of a judge who was gunned down

🔵 Critics say the 2020 law has resulted in less transparency

A New Jersey law that was prompted by the tragic death of a judge's son in 2020 doesn't offer enough protection to all officials, according to a New Jersey mayor who is concerned about his own safety.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said a city resident recently filed an Open Public Records Act request to obtain the GPS coordinates of the vehicle he drives.

This type of information can reveal one's travel patterns and possibly offer a roadmap for someone who wants to do harm, he said.

"I just thought that was a little over the top," Armstead told New Jersey 101.5. "It gave me pause when I saw the request."

Armstead is calling on the New Jersey Legislature to add government officials to the roster of high-level individuals who are protected under Daniel's Law, which permits judges, law enforcement officials, and the family members in their homes to request that their address and telephone number not be disclosed publicly.

Judge's son killed in their home

Gov. Phil Murphy signed Daniel's Law in November 2020. The law is named after Daniel Anderl, the late son of New Jersey federal judge Esther Salas. He was shot and killed in their home in July 2020 by a man who had found the judge's address online and disguised himself as a delivery driver to gain access to the home. Salas's husband was seriously wounded in the attack.

SEE ALSO: NJ lawmakers backtrack on restricting right to know

“In light of its proven success, it is imperative to extend the purview of Daniel's Law to also protect elected government officials and their family members, further bolstering its impact and effectiveness,” Armstead said.

According to Armstead, people should still have access to an elected official's address and number, but information related to their whereabouts should be off limits.

Judge Salas has been working to make Daniel's Law a reality in other states. But the protections have had critics from the start.

According to attorney CJ Griffin, a partner with Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in Hackensack, Daniel's Law "hasn't been successful."

"It was a well-intended law in response to a tragedy that intended to protect judges, but then it was expanded so broadly that it's been a nightmare for local agencies to implement and it's resulted in less transparency," Griffin said in an emailed statement to New Jersey 101.5.

Law offices cite scores of lawsuits tied to Daniel's Law violations in 2024 — against, for example, real estate platforms that publish property records.

Griffin said local officials definitely should not have their addresses blocked — they're "supposed to be connected to their communities."

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