Saturday, January 31, 2009

Legislation targeting domestic violence

House and Senate Judiciary, Health and Human Services committees heard from the Hawaii State coalition Against Domestic Violence this afternoon on the five-year (2007-2012) Domestic Violence Strategic Plan. The coalition updated lawmakers on actions taken thus far, progress of the plan, and future goals.

Read more about the plan in a previous post on an informal briefing held by the coalition in early December.

Here are some of the bills relating to domestic violence introduced this session:

HB229 RELATING TO THE PENAL CODE
Amends the offenses of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, assault in the second degree, and terroristic threatening in the first degree to include conduct committed against victims who the courts and police are attempting to keep safe with protective orders.

HB 275 RELATING TO MANDATORY REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT.
Broadens the group of persons required to report child abuse and neglect to include family members, unless they are victims of domestic violence.

HB332 RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
Provides unemployment insurance to those who are separated from their employment as a result of domestic or sexual violence, in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers.

HB 724 RELATING TO INCOME TAX.
Allows a taxpayer to choose between the current $5 or a new $8 check off donation from their tax liability for the Hawaii children's trust fund, and the domestic violence and sexual assault special funds within the department of health, the department of human services, and the judiciary.

HB 726 RELATING TO CHILDREN.
Establishes a task force to examine situations resulting in a child fatality or a serious injury due to drug use by a parent, guardian, or caregiver, and develop a plan to prevent such situations from occurring. Establishes a system for the Department of Human Services to allow children to continue to reside in pre-existing caregivers' safe homes rather than enter into foster care, subject to certain conditions.

HB 728 RELATING TO TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.
Requires the judiciary to establish a three-year statewide pilot project for the electronic filing of requests for and issuance of domestic abuse temporary restraining orders on nights and weekends. Makes an appropriation.

HB 812 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Allows a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or harassment by stalking to terminate his or her rental agreement.

HB 815 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Authorizes the counties to impose fees for domestic violence prevention programs upon defendants convicted of domestic violence.

HB 872 RELATING TO THE FEDERAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT.
Requires the department of human services to establish a pilot project to assist undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

HB892 RELATING TO PROTECTIVE ORDERS
Requires periodic court review of protective order where duration of initial or extended order exceeds 3 years.

HB 873 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Requires law enforcement officers to report to the Department of Human Services (DHS) when a child witnesses an incident of domestic abuse. Requires DHS to collaborate with other agencies and organizations establish procedures and protocols and report to the legislature.

HB1020 RELATING TO THE PENAL CODE
To provide greater protections to victims of domestic violence who the court is already attempting to keep safe through protective orders.

HB 1285 RELATING TO THE PENAL CODE.
Amends the offenses of assault in the second degree and terroristic threatening in the first degree to include conduct committed against victims who the courts and police are attempting to keep safe with protective orders.

HB 1286 RELATING TO TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT.
Adds the acts of inflicting serious or substantial bodily injury upon a person who is pregnant in the course of committing or attempting to commit a felony to those actions for which an extended term of imprisonment may be given. Mandates imprisonment for such actions if not subject to extended term.

HB 1647 RELATING TO TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.
Requires a judge who denies a petition for an ex parte temporary restraining order to issue an order that includes the reasons for denial. Allows the petitioner to proceed to a noticed hearing if the denied petition is jurisdictionally adequate. Permits petitioner to waive the right to a noticed hearing

HB 1496 RELATING TO TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES.
Requires department of human services to grant to families homeless assistance, under specified circumstances, as an allowance for nonrecurring special needs when homelessness is a direct result of domestic violence. Allows verification by sworn statement of victim.

HB 1497 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Prohibits a landlord from evicting a rental housing tenant solely on the basis that the tenant is a victim of domestic violence.

HB 1498 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTERS.
Makes an appropriation for emergency domestic violence shelters.

HB 1524 RELATING TO CRIMINAL CONTEMPT OF COURT.
Prohibits a court from imprisoning a victim of a sexual assault or domestic abuse crime for contempt for refusing to testify concerning that sexual assault or domestic abuse crime.

HB 1647 RELATING TO TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.
Requires a judge who denies a petition for an ex parte temporary restraining order to issue an order that includes the reasons for denial. Allows the petitioner to proceed to a noticed hearing if the denied petition is jurisdictionally adequate. Permits petitioner to waive the right to a noticed hearing

HB 1649 RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
In a case where a complaint, indictment, or information charging a crime of domestic abuse has been filed, authorizes a court to issue a restraining order upon a good cause belief, including results of a criminal history search, that harm to the victim or a witness has occurred or is reasonably likely to occur.

2 comments:

damontucker said...

Senate Bill 541 is an interesting one.

"Authorizes victims of domestic violence to acquire a stun gun; provided that: (1) they do not have any mental condition that would make them a danger to society or themselves; (2) they complete a training course in the use of stun guns; and (3) the authorization to use a stun gun is reevaluated on an annual basis. Requires program to be administered by county police departments."

chillaxin said...

I was abused by ex boyfriend 1 1/2 year ago. He headbutt my face, three times, and choked me. I have reported him and have a TRO against him. However, his court trial kept changing because he was able to change his court date. There was a court date on Feb 18, 2009, but, he was able to move it to six months from now.
What can be done about this? Why does it take a long time for the person who committed the crime to get punished?
He has a security clearance and works for Pearl Harbor. While I live my life scared and unhappy, why should he live as if he never done anything wrong?

Is there anything that Hawaii can do to expedite these court trials?? Please let me know or inform me, justice needs to be served!!!