8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill amends provisions relating to protective orders and child protective orders
11 when a party knowingly provides false information.
12 Highlighted Provisions:
13 This bill:
14 ▸ provides that a party may bring a petition to allege that the other party knowingly
15 falsified a material statement or material information for the purpose of obtaining a
16 protective order or a child protective order; and
17 ▸ requires a court to sanction a party who knowingly falsified a material statement or
18 material information.
19 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
21 Other Special Clauses:
23 Utah Code Sections Affected:
25 78B-7-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 348
26 78B-7-105, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 232
27 78B-7-115, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 232
28 78B-7-201, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
29 78B-7-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 34
30 78B-7-207, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
32 78B-7-204.5, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
35 Section 1. Section 78B-7-102 is amended to read:
36 78B-7-102. Definitions.
37 As used in this chapter:
38 (1) "Abuse" means intentionally or knowingly causing or attempting to cause a
39 cohabitant physical harm or intentionally or knowingly placing a cohabitant in reasonable fear
40 of imminent physical harm.
41 (2) "Cohabitant" means an emancipated person pursuant to Section 15-2-1 or a person
42 who is 16 years of age or older who:
43 (a) is or was a spouse of the other party;
44 (b) is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;
45 (c) is related by blood or marriage to the other party;
46 (d) has or had one or more children in common with the other party;
47 (e) is the biological parent of the other party's unborn child; or
48 (f) resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.
49 (3) Notwithstanding Subsection (2), "cohabitant" does not include:
50 (a) the relationship of natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent to a minor; or
51 (b) the relationship between natural, adoptive, step, or foster siblings who are under 18
52 years of age.
53 (4) "Court clerk" means a district court clerk.
54 (5) "Domestic violence" means the same as that term is defined in Section 77-36-1.
55 (6) "Ex parte protective order" means an order issued without notice to the defendant in
56 accordance with this chapter.
57 (7) "Foreign protection order" is as defined in Section 78B-7-302.
58 (8) "Law enforcement unit" or "law enforcement agency" means any public agency
59 having general police power and charged with making arrests in connection with enforcement
60 of the criminal statutes and ordinances of this state or any political subdivision.
61 (9) "Material statement" or "material information" means a statement made or
62 information given, by a party, that contains an allegation of abuse or domestic violence.
64 Officer Classifications.
66 subsequent to a hearing on the petition, of which the petitioner and respondent have been given
67 notice in accordance with this chapter.
68 Section 2. Section 78B-7-105 is amended to read:
69 78B-7-105. Forms for petitions and protective orders -- Assistance.
70 (1) (a) The offices of the court clerk shall provide forms and nonlegal assistance to
71 persons seeking to proceed under this chapter.
72 (b) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall develop and adopt uniform forms for
73 petitions and orders for protection in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. That
74 office shall provide the forms to the clerk of each court authorized to issue protective orders.
75 The forms shall include:
76 (i) a statement notifying the petitioner for an ex parte protective order that knowing
77 falsification of any material statement or material information provided for the purpose of
78 obtaining a protective order may subject the petitioner to felony prosecution;
79 (ii) a separate portion of the form for those provisions, the violation of which is a
80 criminal offense, and a separate portion for those provisions, the violation of which is a civil
81 violation, as provided in Subsection 78B-7-106(5);
82 (iii) language in the criminal provision portion stating violation of any criminal
83 provision is a class A misdemeanor, and language in the civil portion stating violation of or
84 failure to comply with a civil provision is subject to contempt proceedings;
85 (iv) a space for information the petitioner is able to provide to facilitate identification
86 of the respondent, such as social security number, driver license number, date of birth, address,
87 telephone number, and physical description;
88 (v) a space for the petitioner to request a specific period of time for the civil provisions
89 to be in effect, not to exceed 150 days, unless the petitioner provides in writing the reason for
90 the requested extension of the length of time beyond 150 days;
91 (vi) a statement advising the petitioner that when a [
92 parte protective order or a protective order, as part of either the criminal or the civil portion of
93 the order, the petitioner may provide a copy of the order to the principal of the school where the
94 child attends; and
95 (vii) a statement advising the petitioner that if the respondent fails to return custody of
96 a minor [
97 the court a writ of assistance.
98 (2) If the person seeking to proceed under this chapter is not represented by an
99 attorney, it is the responsibility of the court clerk's office to provide:
100 (a) the forms adopted pursuant to Subsection (1);
101 (b) all other forms required to petition for an order for protection including, but not
102 limited to, forms for service;
103 (c) clerical assistance in filling out the forms and filing the petition, in accordance with
104 Subsection (1)(a). A court clerk's office may designate any other entity, agency, or person to
105 provide that service, but the court clerk's office is responsible to see that the service is
107 (d) information regarding the means available for the service of process;
108 (e) a list of legal service organizations that may represent the petitioner in an action
109 brought under this chapter, together with the telephone numbers of those organizations; and
110 (f) written information regarding the procedure for transporting a jailed or imprisoned
111 respondent to the protective order hearing, including an explanation of the use of transportation
112 order forms when necessary.
113 (3) No charges may be imposed by a court clerk, constable, or law enforcement agency
115 (a) filing a petition under this chapter;
116 (b) obtaining an ex parte protective order;
117 (c) obtaining copies, either certified or not certified, necessary for service or delivery to
118 law enforcement officials; or
119 (d) fees for service of a petition, ex parte protective order, or protective order.
120 (4) A petition for an order of protection shall be in writing and verified.
121 (5) (a) All orders for protection shall be issued in the form adopted by the
122 Administrative Office of the Courts pursuant to Subsection (1).
123 (b) Each protective order issued, except orders issued ex parte, shall include the
124 following language:
125 "Respondent was afforded both notice and opportunity to be heard in the hearing that
126 gave rise to this order. Pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, P.L. 103-322,
127 108 Stat. 1796, 18 U.S.C.A. 2265, this order is valid in all the United States, the District of
128 Columbia, tribal lands, and United States territories. This order complies with the Uniform
129 Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act."
130 (c) Each protective order issued in accordance with this part, including protective
131 orders issued ex parte, shall include the following language:
132 "NOTICE TO PETITIONER: The court may amend or dismiss a protective order after
133 one year if it finds that the basis for the issuance of the protective order no longer exists and the
134 petitioner has repeatedly acted in contravention of the protective order provisions to
135 intentionally or knowingly induce the respondent to violate the protective order, demonstrating
136 to the court that the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear of the respondent."
137 Section 3. Section 78B-7-115 is amended to read:
138 78B-7-115. Dismissal of protective order.
139 (1) A protective order that has been in effect for at least two years may be dismissed if
140 the court determines that the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear of future abuse. In
141 determining whether the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear of future abuse, the court
142 shall consider the following factors:
143 (a) whether the respondent has complied with treatment recommendations related to
144 domestic violence, entered at the time the protective order was entered;
145 (b) whether the protective order was violated during the time it was in force;
146 (c) claims of harassment, abuse, or violence by either party during the time the
147 protective order was in force;
148 (d) counseling or therapy undertaken by either party;
149 (e) impact on the well-being of any minor children of the parties, if relevant; and
150 (f) any other factors the court considers relevant to the case before it.
151 (2) The court may amend or dismiss a protective order issued in accordance with this
152 part that has been in effect for at least one year if it finds that:
153 (a) the basis for the issuance of the protective order no longer exists;
154 (b) the petitioner has repeatedly acted in contravention of the protective order
155 provisions to intentionally or knowingly induce the respondent to violate the protective order;
156 (c) the petitioner's actions demonstrate that the petitioner no longer has a reasonable
157 fear of the respondent; and
158 (d) the respondent has not been convicted of a protective order violation or any crime
159 of violence subsequent to the issuance of the protective order, and there are no unresolved
160 charges involving violent conduct still on file with the court.
161 (3) (a) Either party may file a petition to allege that the other party knowingly falsified
162 a material statement or material information:
163 (i) for the purpose of obtaining a protective order; or
164 (ii) in a protective order proceeding.
165 (b) The court shall enter sanctions against [
169 (iii) knowingly falsified a material statement or material information as described in
170 Subsection (3)(a).
171 (c) Sanctions shall include:
172 (i) a monetary penalty to be awarded to the harmed party;
173 (ii) an award of reasonable attorney fees and costs; and
174 (iii) any other sanction that the court considers appropriate.
175 (d) The court shall retain jurisdiction to hear a petition described in Subsection (3)(a) if
176 the petition was filed within 45 days after the court dismisses or vacates a protective order.
177 (e) The court shall, if the party who filed the petition described in Subsection (3)(a)
178 agrees, refer any evidence of falsification to the district attorney or county attorney for
179 screening of criminal charges.
180 (4) Notice of a motion to dismiss a protective order shall be made by personal service
181 on the petitioner in a protective order action as provided in Rules 4 and 5, Utah Rules of Civil
183 (5) If a divorce proceeding is pending between the parties to a protective order, the
184 protective order shall be dismissed when the court issues a decree of divorce for the parties if:
185 (a) the petitioner in the protective order action is present or has been given notice in
186 both the divorce and protective order action of the hearing; and
187 (b) the court specifically finds that the order need not continue.
188 (6) When the court dismisses a protective order, the court shall immediately issue an
189 order of dismissal to be filed in the protective order action and transmit a copy of the order of
190 dismissal to the statewide domestic violence network as described in Section 78B-7-113.
191 Section 4. Section 78B-7-201 is amended to read:
192 78B-7-201. Definitions.
193 As used in this chapter:
194 (1) "Abuse" means physical abuse or sexual abuse.
195 (2) "Court" means the district court or juvenile court.
196 (3) "Material statement" or "material information" means the same as those terms are
197 defined in Section 78B-7-102.
199 Section 5. Section 78B-7-203 is amended to read:
200 78B-7-203. Hearing.
201 (1) If an ex parte order is granted, the court shall schedule a hearing within 20 days after
202 the ex parte determination. If an ex parte order is denied, the court, upon the request of the
203 petitioner, shall schedule a hearing within 20 days after the ex parte determination.
204 (2) The petition, ex parte child protective order, and notice of hearing shall be served
205 on the respondent, the minor's parent or guardian, and, if appointed, the guardian ad litem. The
206 notice shall contain:
207 (a) the name and address of the person to whom it is directed;
208 (b) the date, time, and place of the hearing;
209 (c) the name of the minor on whose behalf a petition is being brought; and
210 (d) a statement that a person is entitled to have an attorney present at the hearing.
211 (3) The court shall provide an opportunity for any person having relevant knowledge to
212 present evidence or information. The court may hear statements by counsel.
213 (4) An agent of the division served with a subpoena in compliance with the Utah Rules
214 of Civil Procedure shall testify in accordance with the Utah Rules of Evidence.
215 (5) If the court determines, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the minor is
216 being abused or is in imminent danger of being abused, the court shall enter a child protective
217 order. With the exception of the provisions of Section 78A-6-323, a child protective order
218 does not constitute an adjudication of abuse, neglect, or dependency under Title 78A, Chapter
219 6, Part 3, Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings.
220 (6) If the court determines that the petitioner knowingly falsified a material statement
221 or material information, as described in Subsection 78B-7-204.5(1), the court shall enter a child
222 protective order based on clear and convincing evidence that the minor is being abused or is in
223 imminent danger of being abused.
224 Section 6. Section 78B-7-204.5 is enacted to read:
225 78B-7-204.5. Falsification of information.
226 (1) A party may file a petition to allege that the other party knowingly falsified a
227 material statement or material information:
228 (a) for the purpose of obtaining a protective order on behalf of a child; or
229 (b) in a child protective order proceeding.
230 (2) If the court determines that a party knowingly falsified a material statement or
231 material information, as described in Subsection (1), the court shall enter sanctions against the
232 party in accordance with Subsection 78B-7-115(3)(c).
233 (3) If the parties to the child protective order proceeding are the child's parents, and the
234 court determines that a party knowingly falsified a material statement or material information,
235 as described in Subsection (1), the court may order counseling for the parties' child, if
236 appropriate for the child's age, with a mental health therapist, as defined in Section 58-60-102,
237 chosen by the party who filed the petition under Subsection (1), up to 20 sessions, at the
238 discretion of the mental health therapist.
239 (4) If a parent has lost parent-time as a result of the other parent's falsification of a
240 material statement or material information, as described in Subsection (1), the court shall order
241 the parent to allow the other parent additional parent-time with the child to make up for any
242 parent-time the parent lost as a result of the falsification.
243 (5) The court shall retain jurisdiction to hear a petition described in Subsection (1) if
244 the petition was filed within 45 days after a child protective order expires or is dismissed or
246 (6) The court shall, if the party who filed the petition described in Subsection (1)
247 agrees, refer any evidence of falsification to the district attorney or county attorney for
248 screening of criminal charges.
249 Section 7. Section 78B-7-207 is amended to read:
250 78B-7-207. Forms and assistance -- No fees.
251 (1) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall adopt and make available uniform
252 forms for petitions and orders conforming to this part. The forms shall notify the petitioner
254 (a) a knowing falsehood in any material statement under oath may subject the
255 petitioner to felony prosecution;
256 (b) the petitioner may provide a copy of the order to the principal of the minor's school;
258 (c) the petitioner may enforce a court order through the court if the respondent violates
259 or fails to comply with a provision of the order.
260 (2) If the petitioner is not represented, the clerk of the court shall provide, directly or
261 through an agent:
262 (a) the forms adopted pursuant to Subsection (1);
263 (b) clerical assistance in completing the forms and filing the petition;
264 (c) information regarding means for service of process;
265 (d) a list of organizations with telephone numbers that may represent the petitioner;
267 (e) information regarding the procedure for transporting a jailed or imprisoned
268 respondent to hearings, including transportation order forms when necessary.
269 (3) No fee may be imposed by a court, constable, or law enforcement agency for:
270 (a) filing a petition under this chapter;
271 (b) obtaining copies necessary for service or delivery to law enforcement officials; or
272 (c) service of a petition, ex parte child protective order, or child protective order.