U.S. Supreme Court justice and New Jersey native Samuel Alito has not lived in the Garden State since 2007 but that hasn't stopped people from sending hate mail to his old address.

Alito, who was born in Trenton, was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush in 2005 and was sworn onto the court in 2006.

West Caldwell police Chief Dennis A. Capriglione Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 that Alito moved to Washington in 2007 and the family that bought the house has not had any issues because of its former owner.

Problems started after the leak

After a draft of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling was leaked in May, the current family began getting some hate mail and threats.

When the ruling was announced last week, Alito was indeed one of the six judges who voted to overturn the precedent.

A social media post on Saturday exacerbated the problem by releasing the West Caldwell address as Alito's and encouraging people to go to the house in order to harass the judge.

"It's targeted towards him but it's not being received by him. It's being received by a third-party family with no affiliation to Judge Alito," Capriglione said. "I put myself in the family's shoes. Receiving anonymous packages that are sent to somebody else being sent to my home and it's being done out of hate and anger would not give me an easy feeling."

Federal law prohibits pickets, protests and other forms of intimidation outside the home of judges when done with the "intent of influencing" the official. 

Nothing has been sent so far that poses a real danger, according to Capriglione.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito with Hamilton Mayor Kelly A. Yaede and Rep. Chris Smith in 2016
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito with Hamilton Mayor Kelly A. Yaede and Rep. Chris Smith in 2016 (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Just a regular family without federal protection

The chief said that the family does not have the benefit of protections that a Supreme Court judge receives, including U.S. Marshals stationed outside their home.

"They're just a regular family living in town trying to make a living like the rest of us. It's just not fair for them to have to go through this. They're being targeted and it has to stop," Capriglione said.

Capriglione would not disclose the nature of the threats citing the active investigation by local, state, county and federal law enforcement. But local businesses have been impacted as well. Calls have been made for deliveries of food and other items, often made without payment.

"All incidents will be investigated and those responsible will be charged and prosecuted," Capriglione said.

Protesters have shown up at the homes of all six justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. An armed man named Nicholas John Roske showed up at the home of Brett Kavanaugh on June 8 with a gun, a knife and zip ties. Roske told police he was going to kill Kavanaugh, officials said.

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Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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