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In re Appeal of Denial of Application by Picorelli

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

November 14, 2013



Submitted October 1, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County.

Evan F. Nappen, attorney for appellant Daniel Picorelli (Louis P. Nappen, on the brief).

John L. Molinelli, Bergen County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent State of New Jersey (Catherine A. Foddai, Senior Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).

Before Judges Reisner and Alvarez.


Daniel Picorelli appeals from the January 27, 2012 Law Division denial of his application for the issuance of a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) and a Permit to Purchase a Handgun (PPH). See N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3. We affirm.

On January 6, 2011, after an investigation by Wood-Ridge Police Department Sergeant William Wolfsohn, Chief of Police Joseph T. Rutigliano denied the application. Rutigliano concluded, after review of the investigation reports, that issuance would be contrary to "the public health, safety or welfare." See N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c)(5).

The investigation revealed that Picorelli's former girlfriend, K.C., had obtained two separate temporary restraining orders (TROs) under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-1 to -35. Picorelli had also been charged with contempt of the first TRO. After trials, during which only Picorelli was represented by counsel, the TROs were dissolved, he was not found guilty of contempt, and no final restraining orders (FROs) were issued.

At the Law Division hearing, K.C. testified on behalf of the State. She said that during her short-term relationship with Picorelli, on one occasion while arguing, Picorelli "shoved [her]" and threw objects around a room. This, in part, led to the issuance of the first TRO.

Picorelli explained the incident as follows:

I had not disconnected the DVD player from my TV, so the only place to put the blu-ray player was on the drawer, so I pulled out the drawer and placed the blu-ray player on top of it, and while [K.C.] and I were having sexual relations, I wasn't aware that the Tempur-Pedic mattress molds to everyone's body, I fell backwards off the bed, elbowed the drawer, and I pushed her forward on to the bed so the catapulting blu-ray player would not hit her. It actually happened that the $300 blu-ray player fell on the floor and broke into pieces.

K.C. also testified about a second incident that occurred on October 13, 2009. At approximately midnight, the couple was arguing while seated in Picorelli's car, resulting in Picorelli terminating the relationship. He told K.C. he never wanted to see her again, threw his cell phone at her, and said that she should walk the several miles to her home: "b[]tch get the f[]ck out of my car." K.C. left, and immediately afterwards, Picorelli proceeded to call K.C. twenty-one times and text her seventy times.

Picorelli explained this incident as follows:

Round trip from my house to her house is about 25 miles. I had just picked her up, brought her to my house, we had just pulled in the driveway, and her roommate, who I believe was jealous of our relationship, had called her and told her that she had just watched . . . Paranormal Activity, and that she was afraid to sleep at home, and Kaitlin would have to go back to her house to sleep. I raised the argument that it's not really her roommate, it's a friend, she still lives with her parents and fiance, [sic] so there's four other people in the house at the time, and if she wanted to go back there, that the roommate would have to come pick her up. But I didn't physically kick her out of the car, I told her you need to get out then and have her pick you up. Then I noticed her walking down the block, and she's a very petite girl, and it's about 12 miles away, she can't be walking home, so I tried calling her and texting her a few times, and I couldn't find her on the street, and she had, I found out later, gotten picked up by her roommate and went home.
I was actually very nervous for her, that's why, you know, on the cell phone [sic] just keep hitting the send button. I didn't know if she was on the phone with someone, I was actually very worried about her, a very small girl 11:00 at night walking by herself.

At some unspecified later date, K.C. contacted Picorelli, because she was concerned that she might be pregnant. The couple met in the parking lot at her place of employment, and, according to K.C., during the course of the conversation, Picorelli told her that he would kill her if they did not reconcile. At one point, ...

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