2014 Legislative Alert
The 2014 Maryland General Assembly opened on January 8. One of the goals of House of Ruth's strategic plan is to support an intimate partner violence legislative agenda and work towards the passage of these bills. To help achieve this goal, we are asking our supporters to actively advocate for these efforts. We will provide legislative updates via Facebook and on our website to keep you informed about the status of the bills and information on how you can help support our legislative efforts.
We want to acknowledge and thank our lobbyist, Sean Malone of Harris Jones and Malone, who represents the House of Ruth in Annapolis on a pro bono basis.
Listed below is a short summary of bills that we are tracking and supporting (or opposing) at this time. To find out who your elected officials are, go to www.mdelect.net. If you have questions or want more information on how you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative Update 2.24.14
The following is a list of the bills we are monitoring:
HB307/SB333/SB 28 - Family Law - Peace Orders and Protective Orders – Burden of Proof– This bill would change the standard of proof in protective order and peace order cases from clear and convincing evidence to a preponderance of the evidence, the standard by which a judge in a final protective or peace order hearing must find that abuse has occurred before the judge may grant a final protective or peace order. Hearing before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on January 28, 2014. Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
HB306/SB 337 – Criminal Law – Crimes Committed in the Presence of a Minor – Penalties – This bill would increase the penalties for a defendant who commits a domestically related crime in front of a minor. . Hearing before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on January 28, 2014. Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
HB 309/SB 334 – Family Law – Domestic Violence - Permanent Final Protective Orders – Under the current law, protective orders are only in effect for one or two years. There are very few circumstances under which a court can order a permanent protective order. Under this proposed law, the circumstances under which a permanent protective order could be ordered would be expanded to include the crime of second degree assault and to allow cases where the defendant is sentenced to, rather than served, 5 years. Hearing before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on January 28, 2014. Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
SB 41 - Domestic Violence – Persons Eligible for Relief - This bill will allow people who are in dating relationships and sexual relationships to be covered under the protective order statute. Under the current law, they are only eligible for peace orders. Hearing before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on January 28, 2014.
HB 185 - Committing a Crime of Violence in the Presence of a Minor - Penalties – This bill would prohibit a person from committing a crime of violence when the person knows or reasonably should know that a minor is present. Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
Revision to Modification, Rescission, and Appeals of Protective Orders – Revise protective order statute to address the issue decided in the La Valle case. La Valle held that the protective order statute does not permit a court to extend an expired protective order, even when the motion to extend such order was timely filed during the term of the order. An expired protective order no longer exists, and an untimely hearing cannot revive it. This bill would establish a procedure to extend protective orders that are about to or have already expired if the request is timely filed.
HB 352/SB 369 – Peace Orders and Protective Orders – Penalties – Second or Subsequent Offenses – This bill would make violations for failing to comply with an interim, temporary, or final peace or protective order a prior offense for the purposes of determining penalties for a second or subsequent offense for the other. Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
HB 29 - Maryland Law Enforcement Trust Act – This bill would clarify the parameters of local participation in federal immigration enforcement efforts by providing that when an individual becomes eligible for release from State or local custody, a law enforcement official may not continue to detain the individual on the basis of an immigration detainer.
HB 282 - Family Law - Peace Orders and Protective Orders – Shielding – Under the current law, a respondent can ask the court to shield a protective/peace order if the order was denied or dismissed. Under this proposal, all denied and dismissed orders would be shielded. Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.