! The Capitol Complex is closed to the public due to COVID-19. All meetings will be held virtually online. View procedures and guidelines for remote public comment

Download Zipped Amended WP 8.0 SB0039.ZIP 10,058 Bytes
[Introduced][Status][Bill Documents][Fiscal Note][Bills Directory]

S.B. 39

             1     

EXPEDITED VISITATION ENFORCEMENT

             2     
PROGRAM

             3     
2000 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Sponsor: Millie M. Peterson

             6      AN ACT RELATING TO HUSBAND AND WIFE; EXTENDING THE PILOT PROGRAM FOR
             7      EXPEDITED VISITATION ENFORCEMENT TO 2003; LIMITING THE DIVISION OF COSTS
             8      FOR MEDIATION TO THE INITIAL MEDIATION; AND PROVIDING FOR REPORTS TO
             9      THE JUDICIARY INTERIM COMMITTEE UPON REQUEST.
             10      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             11      AMENDS:
             12          30-3-38, as last amended by Chapters 235 and 329, Laws of Utah 1997
             13      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             14          Section 1. Section 30-3-38 is amended to read:
             15           30-3-38. Pilot Program for Expedited Visitation Enforcement.
             16          (1) There is established an Expedited Visitation Enforcement Pilot Program in the third
             17      judicial district to be administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts from July 1, 1996,
             18      to July 1, [2000] 2003.
             19          (2) As used in this section:
             20          (a) "Mediator" means a person who:
             21          (i) is qualified to mediate visitation disputes under criteria established by the
             22      Administrative Office of the Courts; and
             23          (ii) agrees to follow billing guidelines established by the Administrative Office of the
             24      Courts and this section.
             25          (b) "Services to facilitate visitation" or "services" means services designed to assist
             26      families in resolving visitation problems through:
             27          (i) counseling;


             28          (ii) supervised visitation;
             29          (iii) neutral drop-off and pick-up;
             30          (iv) educational classes; and
             31          (v) other related activities.
             32          (3) (a) Under this pilot program, if a parent files a motion in the third district court alleging
             33      that court-ordered visitation rights are being violated, the clerk of the court, after assigning the case
             34      to a judge, shall refer the case to the administrator of this pilot program for assignment to a
             35      mediator.
             36          (b) Upon receipt of a case, the mediator shall:
             37          (i) meet with the parents to address visitation issues within 15 days of the motion being
             38      filed;
             39          (ii) assess the situation;
             40          (iii) facilitate an agreement on visitation between the parents; and
             41          (iv) determine whether a referral to a service provider under Subsection (3)(c) is
             42      warranted.
             43          (c) While a case is in mediation, a mediator may refer the parents to a service provider
             44      designated by the Department of Human Services for services to facilitate visitation if:
             45          (i) the services may be of significant benefit to the parents; or
             46          (ii) (A) a mediated agreement between the parents is unlikely; and
             47          (B) the services may facilitate an agreement.
             48          (d) At anytime during mediation, a mediator shall terminate mediation and transfer the
             49      case to the administrator of the pilot program for referral to the judge S OR COURT COMMISSIONER s to
             49a      whom the case was
             50      assigned under Subsection (2) if:
             51          (i) a written agreement between the parents is reached; or
             52          (ii) the parents are unable to reach an agreement through mediation; and
             53          (A) the parents have received services to facilitate visitation;
             54          (B) both parents object to receiving services to facilitate visitation; or
             55          (C) the parents are unlikely to benefit from receiving services to facilitate visitation.
             56          (e) Upon receiving a case from the administrator of the pilot program, a judge S OR COURT
             56a      COMMISSIONER s may:
             57          (i) review the agreement of the parents and, if acceptable, sign it as an order;
             58          (ii) order the parents to receive services to facilitate visitation;


             59          (iii) proceed with the case; or
             60          (iv) take other appropriate action.
             61          (4) (a) If a parent makes a particularized allegation of physical or sexual abuse of a child
             62      who is the subject of a visitation order against the other parent or a member of the other parent's
             63      household to a mediator or service provider, the mediator or service provider shall immediately
             64      report that information to:
             65          (i) the judge assigned to the case who may immediately issue orders and take other
             66      appropriate action to resolve the allegation and protect the child; and
             67          (ii) the Division of Family Services within the Department of Human Services in the
             68      manner required by Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting
             69      Requirements.
             70          (b) If an allegation under Subsection (4)(a) is made against a parent with visitation rights
             71      or a member of that parent's household, visitation by that parent shall S , PURSUANT TO AN ORDER
             71a      OF THE COURT, s be supervised until:
             72          (i) the allegation has been resolved; or
             73          (ii) a court orders otherwise.
             74          (c) Notwithstanding an allegation under Subsection (4)(a), a mediator may continue to
             75      mediate visitation problems and a service provider may continue to provide services to facilitate
             76      visitation unless otherwise ordered by a court.
             77          (5) (a) The Department of Human Services may contract with one or more entities in
             78      accordance with Title 63, Chapter 56, Utah Procurement Code, to provide:
             79          (i) services to facilitate visitation;
             80          (ii) case management services; and
             81          (iii) administrative services.
             82          (b) An entity who contracts with the Department of Human Services under Subsection
             83      (5)(a) shall:
             84          (i) be qualified to provide one or more of the services listed in Subsection (5)(a); and
             85          (ii) agree to follow billing guidelines established by the Department of Human Services
             86      and this section.
             87          (6) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (6)(b), the cost of S [ the initial ] s mediation [and the
             88      cost of services to facilitate visitation] shall be:
             89          (i) reduced to a sum certain;


             90          (ii) divided equally between the parents; and
             91          (iii) charged against each parent taking into account the ability of that parent to pay under
             92      billing guidelines adopted in accordance with this section.
             93          (b) (i) A judge may order a parent to pay an amount in excess of that provided for in
             94      Subsection (6)(a) if the parent:
             95          (A) failed to participate in good faith in mediation or services to facilitate visitation; or
             96          (B) made an unfounded assertion or claim of physical or sexual abuse of a child.
             97          (c) (i) The cost of mediation and services to facilitate visitation may be charged to parents
             98      at periodic intervals.
             99          (ii) Mediation and services to facilitate visitation may only be terminated on the ground
             100      of nonpayment if both parents are delinquent.
             101          (7) If a parent fails to cooperate in good faith in mediation or services to facilitate
             102      visitation, a court may order, in subsequent proceedings, a temporary change in custody or
             103      visitation.
             104          (8) (a) The Judicial Council may make rules to implement and administer the provisions
             105      of this pilot program related to mediation.
             106          (b) The Department of Human Services may make rules to implement and administer the
             107      provisions of this pilot program related to services to facilitate visitation.
             108          (9) (a) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate
             109      the effectiveness of the mediation component of this pilot program. Progress reports shall be
             110      provided to the Judiciary Interim Committee [by August 1998 and] as requested [thereafter] by the
             111      committee. At least once during this pilot program, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall
             112      present to the committee the results of a survey that measures the effectiveness of the program in
             113      terms of increased compliance with visitation orders and the responses of interested persons.
             114          (b) The Department of Human Services shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate the
             115      effectiveness of the services component of this pilot program. Progress reports shall be provided
             116      to the Judiciary Interim Committee [by August 1998 and] as requested [thereafter] by the
             117      committee.
             118          (c) The Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services may
             119      adopt joint outcome measures and file joint reports to satisfy the requirements of Subsections 8(a)
             120      and (b).


             121          (10) S [ [ ] (a) [ ] ] s The Department of Human Services shall apply for federal funds
             121a      [designated for
             122      visitation, if such funds are] as available.
             123           S [ [ ] (b) This pilot program shall be funded through funds received under Subsection (a) [ ] ] . s [,the
             124      Children's Legal Defense Account as established in Section 63-63a-8 , or other available funding.
             125      Without funding, the pilot program may not proceed. ]




Legislative Review Note
    as of 12-28-99 8:26 AM


A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


[Bill Documents][Bills Directory]