Legislature(2001 - 2002)
04/16/2002 02:14 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 317 An Act relating to stalking and amending Rule 4, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Rules of Administration. REPRESENTATIVE HARRY CRAWFORD, SPONSOR, spoke in support of the legislation. He noted that HB 317 would close a loophole in the Alaska statutes, by allowing unacquainted victims of stalking to enjoy the security of a judicial protective order. Current law provides protection to those in domestic situations and minor children, but enjoins the victims of strangers from equal protection of the law. HB 317 would allow the victims of stalking to seek and obtain a protective order in cases of stalking that are not crimes involving domestic violence. The bill would streamline the process for public safety and judicial practioners by harmonizing the warrant and notification procedures to mirror those already in place for domestic violence situations. It would add the crime of violation of a child protective order and of a violation of a stalking protective order. JENNIFER ADZIMA, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE HARRY CRAWFORD, provided a sectional analysis of the bill. · Section 1. Amends AS 04.11.494(e)(1) to provide a conforming change to the change made in Sec. 2 of the committee substitute. · Section 2. Amends the existing crime of violating a protective order, AS 11.56.740(a), by adding violations of stalking protective orders, Sec. 5 of the committee substitute and child protective injunctions under AS 47.17.069 as alternative ways to commit the crime. · Section 3. Amends AS 12.25.030(b) to provide a conforming change to the change made in Sec. 2 of the committee substitute. · Section 4. Amends AS 18.65.530(a) to provide a conforming change to the change made in Sec. 2 of the committee substitute. · Section 5. Amends AS 18.65 by adding new sections that provide for the issuance of protective orders in cases of stalking, that are not crimes involving domestic violence. · Section 6. Amends AS 18.66.990(3) to provide a conforming change to the change made in Sec. 2 of the committee substitute. · Section 7. Provides notice that Sec. 5 includes an indirect amendment to a court rule. Representative Croft questioned why the legislation was warranted. Representative Crawford explained that a constituent in his community was involved with an "unknown" stalker. Current law only protects those people that are being stalked by someone that there has been a prior relationship with. Representative Croft commented that without the legislation, it puts the person in a situation where they either have had a relationship with the stalker or waiting until an actual crime has occurred. Vice-Chair Bunde inquired the number of people that the legislation would affect and how many regular restraining orders are issued each year. LIEUTENANT JULIA GRIMES, ALASKA STATE TROOPERS, DEPARTEMNT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, clarified that the legislation is important. She noted that the new version had removed a requirement for the Department of Public Safety to maintain the central registry. Lt. Grimes advised how the central registry facilitates law enforcement in relationship to violent protective orders. The State knows that the law enforcement agency in the area where the respondent abides, is required to enter protective orders within 24-hours. That entry then becomes the federal registry. The conditions of the order and/or dismissals of the order, would be similar to tracking in the central registry and that the respondents tend to hide from service of those orders. The central registry provides that when a police officer attempts to contact a respondent that is trying to avoid a service, then the action could result in the officer serving that person and they could no longer avoid that service. Lt. Grimes added, an additional benefit would be that the victims of the orders do not usually carry their papers on themselves. If there is a registry, it would provide all the details needed by the law enforcement officers. If there was a violation, the law enforcement officer would know the information on the spot. The central registry definitely enhances the ability of the law enforcement to be effective in serving the orders and then enforcing them. Lt. Grimes claimed that without a central registry for stalking orders, they could then go into absence, as previously handled. The officers would be alerted because there would be a note in the system about that person. Representative Croft questioned why the registry had been removed. Lt. Grimes responded that there was a fiscal note for $7,600 dollar included to write the program. Vice-Chair Bunde addressed the fiscal note and asked the number of restraining orders that would be run through the system and how much it would be expanded with passage of the legislation. Representative Crawford replied that twenty-two cases occurred in Anchorage last year. He did not know the statewide numbers. TAPE HFC 02 - 85, Side B Representative Crawford was surprised that that the registry had been removed. DIANE SHANKER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ALASKA STATE TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, ANCHORAGE, offered to answer questions of the Committee. Representative Davies asked why there needed to be a distinction made between domestic and non-domestic in terms of the programming. Ms. Shanker explained that the programming was set up to look like the original court order, which makes the data easier to view. Representative Davies understood that would be the best of all possible worlds, however, he asked if it would be possible to enter the data into the existing computer program. Ms. Shanker replied that would not be possible. The proposed screen follows the wording of the protective order. It could still be placed into the computer in the general text section, but it would not be preformatted and would not match the court order. LAUREE HUGONIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA NETWORK ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT, voiced support for the legislation. She noted that there have been several situations in which people have needed that type of protection. She referenced situations of "stalking" and how it affected residents. At this time, there is only a "snap- shoot" of protective orders in the registry. Last year, there were 11,000 orders and to date there has been around 200 emergency orders. It is possible to contact the Department of Public Safety to provide the number and she offered to gather that information. ANNE CARPENETI, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, LEGAL SERVICES SECTION, CRIMINAL DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW, offered to answer back ground questions for the legislation. She understood that the central registry had been removed which was a cautionary approach to a new type of protective order. She pointed out that already there is a provision for an emergency order and for that reason, it was determined not to be included that in the central registry. Representative Croft asked about the three different types of orders: · Regular · Ex parte · Emergency Ms. Carpeneti advised that emergency orders usually come after really stressful circumstances and expires in 72- hours. She added that HB 317 was similar to the Domestic Violence Protective order statutory scheme but the relief was limited to restraints from stalking and communication with the victim or the members of the family. That is where relief comes from. The domestic violence scheme has much broader parameters. Representative Hudson clarified that the emergency protective order for stalking for a crime not involving domestic violence was a new element of the proposed legislation. He asked if the language indicates what will be required. Ms. Carpeneti replied that the petitioner has to prove that the stalking has occurred. She noted that stalking is a complicated statute. It requires that the defendant place the victim in fear by repeated acts of criminal conduct with reckless disregard for that fear. She added that the problem with stalking is that much of the conduct can be normal. The person has to know that what they are doing is knowingly placing the victim in a state of fear that the acts are frightening the victim. A judicial officer issues all protective orders. LINDA WILSON, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ALASKA PUBLIC DEFENDER AGENCY, ANCHORAGE, testified on the bill. She noted that normally the agency does not support a bill that is in response to a single case. However, the agency does not have any strong objections to HB 317. She made suggestions to improve the bill, referencing Page 5, Section 4, Line 27 that amends the definition of domestic violence. That language would need to have the additional qualifier of AS 11.56.740 (a)(1), because of the redefinition of Section 1. That section would then become the domestic violence order. She stressed that it is important to narrow that language. Ms. Wilson pointed out that on Page 3, Lines 16, the sentence in question references AS 18.65.850©. There are three sections listed in that section and the third section is the one that is problematic. It does not allow ordering the respondent to stay away from their home, residence or school, unless they are provided actual notice. By including all of Section ©, it becomes confusing regarding what is allowed. She thought that "provided" should be replaced by "allowed". Co-Chair Mulder asked if it would be acceptable to insert (1) & (2), after AS 18.65.850©. Ms. Wilson agreed that would work. She pointed out that the same language occurs again on Page 3, Line 29. She noted that in an emergency order, only probable cause must be proven, which is a lesser standard. Representative Croft asked about the language in the first part of (3). He thought it would provide problems for the remaining portion of (3). Ms. Wilson agreed it was problematic and that changing the word to "allowed" would avoid that problem. A sub-section (4) could be added to address that concern. Representative Croft clarified an alternative recommendation which would change "provided" to "allowed". Ms. Carpeneti agreed that "allowed" would be clearer than the current language. The language in the last half of (3) modifies and clarifies it. Co-Chair Mulder asked Ms. Carpeneti about the reference to Page 5, Line 26, adding AS 11.56.741(a)(1). Ms. Carpeneti agreed that would be a good change. Representative Davies proposed to amend Amendment #1, Page 3, Line 16, delete "provided" and insert "allowed"; Page 3, Line 29, after "protection" delete "provided" and insert "allowed"; Page 5, Line 27 after "AS 11.56.740" insert "(a)(1)". (Copy on File). Representative J. Davies MOVED to ADOPT the amended Amendment #1. There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted. Representative Davies MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #2. (Copy on File). Ms. Wilson stated that the change would make the bill track the language in the domestic violence protective order statutes. In that statute, no charge can be implemented and there can only be a seeking the relief from filing in the chapter. She added that having that language tracked would be appropriate. It would also limit the extension for the filing fee. There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment #2 was adopted. Representative Davies MOVED to report CS HB 317 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CS HB 317 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with fiscal note #1 by the Department of Law, #2 by the Department of Corrections, #3 by the Department of Administration and a new zero fiscal note by the Department of Public Safety.