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First Substitute S.B. 168

Senator D. Edgar Allen proposes the following substitute bill:




Sponsor: D. Edgar Allen

             5      This act modifies the Human Services Code to create a new Office of Parent Visitation as a
             6      one-year pilot program in Salt Lake County. The act sets out the duties of the office and
             7      allows for coordination with law enforcement, the attorney general, and the Office of
             8      Recovery Services. It also provides for agency action under the Administrative Procedures
             9      Act and allows the office to help a person fill out court-related documents once the office can
             10      no longer effectively help the person. This act provides an effective date.
             11      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             12      ENACTS:
             13          62A-15-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             14          62A-15-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             15          62A-15-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             16          62A-15-104, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             17          62A-15-105, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             18          62A-15-106, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             19          62A-15-107, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             20          62A-15-108, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             21          62A-15-109, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             22          62A-15-110, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             23      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             24          Section 1. Section 62A-15-101 is enacted to read:

             26          62A-15-101. Office of Parent Visitation -- Creation.
             27          (1) There is created within the department as a one-year pilot program in Salt Lake County
             28      the Office of Parent Visitation which has the powers and duties provided by law.
             29          (2) The office is under the administrative and general supervision of the executive director
             30      of the department.
             31          Section 2. Section 62A-15-102 is enacted to read:
             32          62A-15-102. Definitions.
             33          As used in this part:
             34          (1) "Director" means the director of the Office of Parent Visitation.
             35          (2) "Office" means the Office of Parent Visitation.
             36          Section 3. Section 62A-15-103 is enacted to read:
             37          62A-15-103. Duties of office.
             38          The office has the following duties:
             39          (1) to provide parent-time services if:
             40          (a) the office has received a complaint regarding custodial interference or the denial of
             41      parent-time; or
             42          (b) the office has received a request for assistance in enforcing a parent-time schedule;
             43          (2) to carry out the obligations of the department with regard to supporting families;
             44          (3) to promote mediation as an alternative to court action;
             45          (4) to promote shared parenting by inclusion of both parents in the lives of their children;
             46          (5) to provide information concerning laws pertaining to parent-time; and
             47          (6) to cooperate and coordinate with the Office of Recovery Services when necessary to
             48      ensure the fair and reasonable enforcement of parent-time laws.
             49          Section 4. Section 62A-15-104 is enacted to read:
             50          62A-15-104. Director -- Assistance of law enforcement -- Receipt of grants --
             51      Rulemaking and enforcement.
             52          (1) The director of the office shall be appointed by the executive director.
             53          (2) The office may request the assistance of the attorney general or any local law
             54      enforcement agency to enforce a parent-time order.
             55          (3) The office, with department approval, is authorized to receive any grants or stipends
             56      from the federal government or other public or private source to aid the effective operation of its

             57      programs.
             58          (4) The office may adopt, amend, and enforce rules in accordance with Title 63, Chapter
             59      46a, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this
             60      chapter.
             61          Section 5. Section 62A-15-105 is enacted to read:
             62          62A-15-105. Access to motor vehicle and law enforcement data.
             63          The office shall have access to any system used by this state to locate an individual,
             64      including motor vehicle, drivers license, or law enforcement records.
             65          Section 6. Section 62A-15-106 is enacted to read:
             66          62A-15-106. Request for assistance -- Procedure.
             67          Any person who has been awarded parent-time rights by a court may request assistance
             68      from the office in the enforcement of those rights. A person requesting assistance shall:
             69          (1) provide copies of all documents relevant to an award of parent-time rights, including
             70      divorce decree, custody agreement, any written communication with the other parent concerning
             71      parent-time schedules, mediation documents, and any other documents necessary to adequately
             72      represent their situation;
             73          (2) provide the name, current address, and phone number of the other party, if known; and
             74          (3) any other information considered necessary by the office.
             75          Section 7. Section 62A-15-107 is enacted to read:
             76          62A-15-107. Office procedures.
             77          (1) Upon the receipt of a request for assistance, the office shall immediately attempt to
             78      contact the other party by phone and attempt to resolve any difficulties to insure that parent-time
             79      is properly carried out.
             80          (2) If the party cannot be reached by phone, a letter shall be sent requesting an interview
             81      or a written and notarized statement explaining the circumstances surrounding the denial of
             82      parent-time referred to in the letter, and requiring a response by a date not later than ten days from
             83      the date of the letter.
             84          (3) If no response is received, or if the response is uncooperative, the office may initiate
             85      an action in accordance with Title 63, Chapter 46b, Administrative Procedures Act.
             86          Section 8. Section 62A-15-108 is enacted to read:
             87          62A-15-108. Hearings.

             88          (1) The office shall by rule:
             89          (a) designate hearings as formal or informal; and
             90          (b) provide for notice requirements and hearing procedures.
             91          (2) The office may impose a fine of up to $250 against any party who refuses to respond,
             92      does not appear, or is found to have been noncompliant with court-ordered parent-time.
             93          (3) The office may also order make-up parent-time at up to twice the amount denied.
             94          Section 9. Section 62A-15-109 is enacted to read:
             95          62A-15-109. Office assistance in preparation of court documents.
             96          (1) The office may assist a party in the preparation of documents to be presented to the
             97      court involving custody and parent-time matters, if the office determines that a pattern or practice
             98      of denial of parent-time is continuing such that the office can no longer effectively assist the party
             99      being denied parent-time. The office, however, may not provide legal advice.
             100          (2) The office shall supply any party or the court, upon request, a detailed, written
             101      accounting of efforts by the office to assist in the enforcement of parent-time, the results of those
             102      efforts, and any recommended changes to the current parent-time order.
             103          Section 10. Section 62A-15-110 is enacted to read:
             104          62A-15-110. Pilot Program -- Department to assess need -- Report to Judiciary
             105      Committee.
             106          (1) As a pilot program, this chapter shall be limited to Salt Lake County.
             107          (2) The department may provide a limited amount of services during the pilot program
             108      while assessing the demand for broader, more comprehensive services.
             109          (3) The department shall assess the need for services, including the demand for specific
             110      services.
             111          (4) The department shall report its assessments, findings, and conclusions to the Judiciary
             112      Interim Committee by September 30, 2003.
             113          Section 11. Effective date.
             114          This act takes effect on July 1, 2002.

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