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Domestic Abuse

DOMESTIC ABUSE
Prepared by:
Melinda Hugdahl, Staff Attorney
Legal Services Advocacy Project
651-222-3749, ext. 107
mthugdahl@mnlsap.org


I. BAIL
Chapter 299, Sections 9 and 10 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 629.72, subd. 1
Adds Minn. Stat. § 629.471, subd. 3a
Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2010

Increases the statutory bail cap from six times the maximum fine to 10 times the maximum fine for violations of an Order for Protection or misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor domestic assault.


II. COMPANION ANIMAL PROTECTION
Chapter 299, Sections 4 and 5 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subds. 6 and 7
Effective August 1, 2010

Expands the jurisdiction of the court in ex parte and permanent orders for protection petitions to: (1) direct the care of a companion animal owned, possessed, or kept by either party or by either party's child; and (2) restrain a party from injuring or threaten to injure a companion animal in the other party's residence as an indirect means of threatening the other party.


III. CRIMINAL JUSTICE DATA COMMUNICATION NETWORK
Chapter 299, Section 3 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 299C.46, subd. 6
Effective August 1, 2010

A. Definition of No Contact Order
Expands and clarifies the definition of the no contact orders that must be part of the Criminal Justice Network to include domestic abuse no contact orders.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 299C.46, subd. 6(a)

B. Expansion of Orders Included in the Data Communication Network
Requires the Criminal Justice Data Communication Network to include orders for protection and no contact orders (including domestic abuse no contact orders) against both adults and juveniles. Provides that: (1) these orders are classified as private data; and (2) data in the order about the offender may only be shared with the victim for purposes of enforcement.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 299C.46, subd. 6(b)

IV. DOMESTIC ABUSE AND SEXUAL ATTACK PROGRAM EMPLOYEES
Chapter 299, Section 1 (SF 2437)
Adds Minn. Stat. § 13.823
Effective August 1, 2010

Exempts employees and volunteers of domestic abuse and sexual attack programs (including programs that provide shelter care) who are not under the direct supervision of a government entity from the requirements of Chapter 13 (the Data Practices Act) provisions. (Note: This provision is designed to protect programs that receive funding, such as grants, from being required to disclose personnel information or policy data through a data practices request.)


V. ELECTRONIC MONITORING
Chapter 299, Section 12 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 629.72, subd. 2a
Effective August 1, 2010 and expires January 15, 2014

Permits the chief judge of a judicial district to appoint and convene an advisory group to develop standards for the use of electronic monitoring and global
positioning system (GPS) devices to protect victims of domestic abuse and for evaluating the effectiveness of electronic monitoring. Permits the chief judge to conduct a pilot project implementing the standards.


VI. EX PARTE ORDER FOR PROTECTION
Chapter 299, Section 5 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 7
Effective August 1, 2010

Extends protection under an ex parte Order for Protection to a reasonable area surrounding a dwelling. Requires the "reasonable area" to be specifically described in the ex parte order. (Note: This protection already exists under law governing the permanent Order for Protection.)


VII. HARASSMENT/STALKING
Chapter 299, Section 8 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 609.749
Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2010

A. New Definition: Stalking
Replaces "harass" with "stalking." Eliminates the specific element of intent. Clarifies that the relationship between the actor and the victim is irrelevant if the actor caused the victim to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1

B. Expansion of Crime of Stalking
Expands stalking to include: (1) stalking through third parties; (2) sending text messages; and (3) communicating via assistive devices for the visually or hearing impaired, or communicating through any available technologies or other objects.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 2

C. Arrests
Permits a law enforcement officer to make a warrantless arrest for any violation of the stalking law, except making false allegations against a law enforcement officer.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1c

D. Venue

1. Where Violations Occur in Multiple Counties
Provides for prosecution for all violations in any one county when multiple violations occur in multiple counties.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1b(a)

2. Calls
Clarifies that the venue for prosecution may be where any call was made or received.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1b(b)

3. Cell Phone, E-mail
Clarifies that the venue for prosecution may be where the actor or victim resides if the violation was made by cell phone, e-mail, or communications with other technologies.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1b(b)

4. Letters, Telegrams, Messages or Packages
Clarifies that the venue for prosecution may be where any letter,
telegram, message, package, or other object is sent or received.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1b(b)

5. Safe at Home Program
Clarifies that the venue for prosecution for a victim participating in the Safe at Home Program may be the location of the victim's designated address.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 1b(b)

VIII. NO CONTACT ORDERS
Chapter 299, Sections 11 and 13 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 609.72, subd. 1
Adds Minn. Stat. § 629.75
Repeals Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 22
Effective August 1, 2010

A. Recodification
Moves the domestic abuse no contact order (DANCO) from Chapter 518B to Chapter 629, making a DANCO a criminal, rather than civil, order.
Amends Minn. Stat. § 629.72, subd. 1

B. Juvenile Hearings
Expands the DANCO to juvenile delinquency hearings for domestic abuse. Provides that a DANCO may be issued in a juvenile case for: (1) stalking against a family member; (2) violation of an Order for Protection; or (3) violation of a prior DANCO.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 629.75, subd. 1(a)

C. Enhancement of Violations
Extends existing provisions for enhancing violation of a DANCO to prior juvenile proceedings for a qualified domestic violence-related offense.
Adds Minn. Stat. § 629.75, subd. 2

D. Issuance of a DANCO
Clarifies that a DANCO:

  • Can be issued as part of an underlying criminal case, either as a pretrial order or as a postconviction probationary order, provided that if issued as a postconviction order, the underlying offense must be for domestic abuse, stalking against a family member, or violation of a prior Order for Protection or DANCO;
  • Is independent of any condition of pretrial release (i.e. bail) or probation; and
  • Must be issued as part of a separate proceeding held immediately after the proceeding that determines pretrial release or sentencing issues.

Adds Minn. Stat. § 629.75, subd. 1(b)


IX. ORDERS FOR PROTECTION AND NO CONTACT ORDERS
Chapter 299, Sections 2 and 3 (SF 2437)
Adds Minn. Stat. §§ 13.871, subd. 13; and 299C.46, subd. 6(c)
Effective August 1, 2010

Classifies data from orders for protection or no contact orders and data entered by law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of those orders are classified as private data. Permits data about the offender to be shared with the victim for purposes of enforcement of the order.


X. WITNESS TAMPERING
Chapter 299, Sections 6 and 7 (SF 2437)
Amends Minn. Stat. § 609.498, subd. 3
Adds Minn. Stat. § 609.498, subd. 2a
Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2010

Creates a misdemeanor-level witness tampering offense requiring a person to either: (1) intentionally attempt to dissuade or prevent, or actually dissuade or prevent, another from testifying or providing information to law enforcement; or (2) by means of intimidation, attempt to influence, or actually influence, another to testify falsely or provide false information to law enforcement. Provides that: (1) intimidation can be proven by a specific act or totality of the circumstances; and (2) coercion is not an element of the offense. (Note: Current law provides for a felony and gross misdemeanor level offense, which requires an element of coercion.)

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