Legislature(2003 - 2004)
05/08/2004 09:04 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 308(JUD) "An Act relating to warnings on domestic violence and stalking forms; and increasing the duration of certain provisions of domestic violence protective orders from six months to up to one year." This was the first hearing for this bill in the Senate Finance Committee. Co-Chair Wilken explained that the Senate Judiciary committee substitute, Version 23-LS1672\H, would double the current maximum length of domestic violence protective orders by allowing a judge to issue an order for no less than six months and up to a maximum of one year. He stated that in addition to being accompanied by several fiscal notes, there is a Letter of Intent from the Senate Judiciary Committee. SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH, the bill's sponsor, explained that this bill would allow a judge to extend the current six-month protective order mandate to "up to one year." He informed the Committee that the State has two types of protective orders: a 20-day emergency order that a petitioner could have implemented without the involvement of the other party; and the six month protective order which could be issued upon a court hearing involving the petitioner and the respondent. He clarified that this bill solely addresses the six-month domestic violence protective order, which requires full due process before implementation. Senator French shared that the Senate Judiciary Committee added language to the bill, which would clarify that false statements made during a court hearing would be subject to the penalty of perjury. Senator French voiced disagreement with the Public Defender Agency's fiscal note as, he contented that the Agency simply doubled its current associated expense level through the rationale that the length of the protective order would be doubled. He distributed a copy of an email exchange [copy on file], dated March 16, 2004 between himself and Bob Linton of the Department of Law in which it is noted that, of the 23 Domestic Violence Restraining Orders violations cases that occurred in Anchorage between January 1 and March 1, 2004, 19 were related to the 20-day restraining order that is not affected by this legislation, and only four were violations of the six-month order; thus, he contended that most violations occur within the first 20 days of an order. Therefore, he concluded that the fiscal note "is quite a bit higher" than the expenses that would be realized were this legislation enacted. Senator Bunde asked regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee Letter of Intent that accompanies the bill; specifically whether any financial impact would result. Senator French replied that the Letter of Intent addresses language in Sections 1 and 3 of the bill, which would require the Alaska Court System to "conspicuously" highlight the penalty for perjury on Court System domestic violence restraining order documents. The Letter of Intent, he continued, would mandate that, only after current forms are exhausted, should the Courts implement the bold type requirement. Senator French voiced support for the Letter of Intent. Senator Bunde moved to adopt the Senate Judiciary Letter of Intent. There being no objection, the Senate Judiciary Letter of Intent was ADOPTED. Senator Dyson moved to report the bill and the accompanying Letter of Intent from Committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CS SB 308(JUD) and the Judiciary Letter of Intent were REPORTED from Committee accompanied by a $125,600 fiscal note, dated April 9, 2004, from the Department of Administration and zero fiscal note #2, dated March 8, 2004 from the Alaska Court System.