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S.B. 220






Chief Sponsor: Brent H. Goodfellow

House Sponsor: Kay L. McIff

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill amends provisions of the Cohabitant Abuse Procedures Act relating to an
             11      order issued to a defendant pending trial.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    permits a court to issue an order to a person awaiting trial on a crime of domestic
             15      violence at the time that the charge is filed instead of at the time that the person is
             16      released from custody; and
             17          .    makes technical changes.
             18      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             19          None
             20      Other Special Clauses:
             21          None
             22      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             23      AMENDS:
             24          77-36-2.7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             26      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          Section 1. Section 77-36-2.7 is amended to read:

             28           77-36-2.7. Dismissal -- Diversion prohibited -- Plea in abeyance -- Order pending
             29      trial.
             30          (1) Because of the serious nature of domestic violence, the court, in domestic violence
             31      actions:
             32          (a) may not dismiss any charge or delay disposition because of concurrent divorce or
             33      other civil proceedings;
             34          (b) may not require proof that either party is seeking a dissolution of marriage before
             35      instigation of criminal proceedings;
             36          (c) shall waive any requirement that the victim's location be disclosed other than to the
             37      defendant's attorney, upon a showing that there is any possibility of further violence, and order
             38      the defendant's attorney not to disclose the victim's location to his client;
             39          (d) shall identify, on the docket sheets, the criminal actions arising from acts of
             40      domestic violence;
             41          (e) may dismiss a charge on stipulation of the prosecutor and the victim; and
             42          (f) may hold a plea in abeyance, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2a, Pleas
             43      in Abeyance, making treatment or any other requirement for the defendant a condition of that
             44      status.
             45          (2) When the court holds a plea in abeyance in accordance with Subsection (1)(f), the
             46      case against a perpetrator of domestic violence may be dismissed only if the perpetrator
             47      successfully completes all conditions imposed by the court. If the defendant fails to complete
             48      any condition imposed by the court under Subsection (1)(f), the court may accept the
             49      defendant's plea.
             50          (3) (a) Because of the likelihood of repeated violence directed at those who have been
             51      victims of domestic violence in the past, when any defendant is charged with a crime involving
             52      domestic violence [is released from custody before trial], the court [authorizing the release]
             53      may issue an order, pending trial:
             54          (i) enjoining the defendant from threatening to commit or committing acts of domestic
             55      violence or abuse against the victim and any designated family or household member;
             56          (ii) prohibiting the defendant from harassing, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise
             57      communicating with the victim, directly or indirectly;
             58          (iii) removing and excluding the defendant from the victim's residence and the

             59      premises of the residence;
             60          (iv) ordering the defendant to stay away from the residence, school, place of
             61      employment of the victim, and the premises of any of these, or any specified place frequented
             62      by the victim and any designated family member; and
             63          (v) ordering any other relief that the court considers necessary to protect and provide
             64      for the safety of the victim and any designated family or household member.
             65          (b) Violation of an order issued pursuant to this section is punishable as follows:
             66          (i) if the original arrest or subsequent charge filed is a felony, an offense under this
             67      section is a third degree felony; and
             68          (ii) if the original arrest or subsequent charge filed is a misdemeanor, an offense under
             69      this section is a class A misdemeanor.
             70          (c) The court shall provide the victim with a certified copy of any order issued pursuant
             71      to this section if the victim can be located with reasonable effort.
             72          (4) When a court dismisses criminal charges or a prosecutor moves to dismiss charges
             73      against a defendant accused of a domestic violence offense, the specific reasons for dismissal
             74      shall be recorded in the court file and made a part of the statewide domestic violence network
             75      described in Section 78B-7-113 .
             76          (5) When the privilege of confidential communication between spouses, or the
             77      testimonial privilege of spouses is invoked in any criminal proceeding in which a spouse is the
             78      victim of an alleged domestic violence offense, the victim shall be considered to be an
             79      unavailable witness under the Utah Rules of Evidence.
             80          (6) The court may not approve diversion for a perpetrator of domestic violence.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-10-09 11:10 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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