Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/16/2002 02:14 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                                                                      
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                                                                   
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                                                                   
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                                                                   
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                                                                   
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                                                                   
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                                                                   
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                                                                   
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.                                                                                        

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