Senator Roraback Secures Senate Passage Of Bill To Protect Domestic Violence Victims

April 28, 2004

Senator Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen, has secured Senate passage of legislation intended to protect those who are at risk of domestic violence by allowing them to obtain protective or restraining orders when the courts are closed.

“There can be nothing more terrifying than to feel trapped and frightened in your own home, whether you are an adult or a child. This legislation is intended to provide an additional measure of protection to those who fear for themselves and their children at times when the courts are closed. Allowing judges to issue emergency protective or restraining orders, and immediately notifying both law enforcement agencies and the respondent about this order, will hopefully prevent tragedies of the type we hear far too much about in our society,” said Senator Roraback, who introduced this legislation this year for the third consecutive time.

The Senate last night passed SB 514 An Act Concerning an Emergency Judicial Response System for Family Violence Cases. The bill is subject to further action by the House of Representatives.

The legislation permits judges to issue protective (criminal) or restraining (civil) orders without a hearing on weekend days when the courts are closed. These orders, which prohibit the respondent from restraining, threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting, sexually assaulting, or attacking, the victim, or entering the victim’s home, are effective until the next court day, when the victim can go to court to obtain a permanent protective order. The bill permits victims to apply for an emergency order at their local police station when they believe they are in immediate and present danger.
“This legislation is modeled on a successful program in Massachusetts. Under this legislation, someone who is fearful can go to a police station and request a protective order. Even when the courts are closed, a judge is always available. The police would fax the request to the judge on duty, who could then grant the request and fax the order back to the police station. This is a responsible and efficient way to help individuals who are trying to protect themselves against domestic violence,” said Senator Roraback.