The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled this week in favor of a man who, fearing for his life, answered his front door carrying a machete, holding that in such an instance an individual may lawfully possess and hold a weapon for self-defense.
On March 24, 2012, Arturs Daleckis and his wife grew agitated at the noise emanating from the apartment directly above their own, occupied by Crisoforo Montalvo and his wife. Daleckis pounded on his ceiling, and Montalvo appeared at Daleckis’s front door shortly thereafter. Montalvo broke a table belonging to Daleckis, at which point Montalvo retreated back into his apartment.
Daleckis walked upstairs and, according to Montalvo and his wife, began kicking and slamming their front door. Fearing for his life and that of his wife and unborn child, Montalvo retrieved a machete he used for roofing and answered the door.
Daleckis claimed that Montalvo pointed the machete at him, and Montalvo testified that he kept it at his side. In any case, while Montalvo convinced Daleckis to leave his apartment without inflicting injury, he was still charged with “possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose” and “unlawful possession of a weapon.”