CHAPTER 815e
MARRIAGE

Table of Contents

Sec. 46b-38c. Family violence response and intervention units. Local units. Duties and functions. Protective orders. Pretrial family violence education program.

      Sec. 46b-38c. Family violence response and intervention units. Local units. Duties and functions. Protective orders. Pretrial family violence education program. (a) There shall be family violence response and intervention units in the Connecticut judicial system to respond to cases involving family violence. The units shall be coordinated and governed by formal agreement between the Chief State's Attorney and the Judicial Department.

      (b) The Court Support Services Division, in accordance with the agreement between the Chief State's Attorney and the Judicial Department, shall establish within each geographical area of the Superior Court a local family violence intervention unit to implement sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g. The Court Support Services Division shall oversee direct operations of the local units.

      (c) Each such local family violence intervention unit shall: (1) Accept referrals of family violence cases from a judge or prosecutor, (2) prepare written or oral reports on each case for the court by the next court date to be presented at any time during the court session on that date, (3) provide or arrange for services to victims and offenders, (4) administer contracts to carry out such services, and (5) establish centralized reporting procedures. All information provided to a family relations officer in a local family violence intervention unit shall be solely for the purposes of preparation of the report and the protective order forms for each case and recommendation of services and shall otherwise be confidential and retained in the files of such unit and not be subject to subpoena or other court process for use in any other proceeding or for any other purpose, except that if the victim has indicated that the defendant holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver or possesses one or more firearms, the family relations officer shall disclose such information to the court and the prosecuting authority for appropriate action.

      (d) In all cases of family violence, a written or oral report and recommendation of the local family violence intervention unit shall be available to a judge at the first court date appearance to be presented at any time during the court session on that date. A judge of the Superior Court may consider and impose the following conditions to protect the parties, including, but not limited to: (1) Issuance of a protective order pursuant to subsection (e) of this section; (2) prohibition against subjecting the victim to further violence; (3) referral to a family violence education program for batterers; and (4) immediate referral for more extensive case assessment. Such protective order shall be an order of the court, and the clerk of the court shall cause (A) a certified copy of such order to be sent to the victim, and (B) a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to be sent by facsimile or other means within forty-eight hours of its issuance to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim resides and, if the defendant resides in a town different than the town in which the victim resides, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the defendant resides. If the victim is employed in a town different than the town in which the victim resides, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim is employed within forty-eight hours of the issuance of such order.

      (e) A protective order issued under this section may include provisions necessary to protect the victim from threats, harassment, injury or intimidation by the defendant, including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the defendant from (1) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the victim, (2) threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting or sexually assaulting the victim, or (3) entering the family dwelling or the dwelling of the victim. Such order shall be made a condition of the bail or release of the defendant and shall contain the following language: "In accordance with section 53a-223 of the Connecticut general statutes, any violation of this order constitutes criminal violation of a protective order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both. Additionally, in accordance with section 53a-107 of the Connecticut general statutes, entering or remaining in a building or any other premises in violation of this order constitutes criminal trespass in the first degree which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars, or both. Violation of this order also violates a condition of your bail or release, and may result in raising the amount of bail or revoking release." Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall also contain the following language: "This court had jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter when it issued this protection order. Respondent was afforded both notice and opportunity to be heard in the hearing that gave rise to this order. Pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, 18 USC 2265, this order is valid and enforceable in all fifty states, any territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and tribal lands." The information contained in and concerning the issuance of any protective order issued under this section shall be entered in the registry of protective orders pursuant to section 51-5c.

      (f) In cases referred to the local family violence intervention unit, it shall be the function of the unit to (1) identify victim service needs and, by contract with victim service providers, make available appropriate services and (2) identify appropriate offender services and where possible, by contract, provide treatment programs for offenders.

      (g) There shall be a pretrial family violence education program for persons who are charged with family violence crimes. The court may, in its discretion, invoke such program on motion of the defendant when it finds: (1) That the defendant has not previously been convicted of a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; (2) the defendant has not had a previous case assigned to the family violence education program; (3) the defendant has not previously invoked or accepted accelerated rehabilitation under section 54-56e for a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; and (4) that the defendant is not charged with a class A, class B or class C felony, or an unclassified felony carrying a term of imprisonment of more than ten years, or unless good cause is shown, a class D felony or an unclassified offense carrying a term of imprisonment of more than five years. Participation by any person in the accelerated pretrial rehabilitation program under section 54-56e prior to October 1, 1986, shall not prohibit eligibility of such person for the pretrial family violence education program under this section. The court may require that the defendant answer such questions under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under the penalties of perjury as will assist the court in making these findings. The court, on such motion, may refer the defendant to the family violence intervention unit, and may continue his case pending the submission of the report of the unit to the court. The court shall also give notice to the victim or victims that the defendant has requested assignment to the family violence education program, and, where possible, give the victim or victims opportunity to be heard. Any defendant who accepts placement in the family violence education program shall agree to the tolling of any statute of limitations with respect to the crime or crimes with which he is charged, and to a waiver of his right to a speedy trial. Any such defendant shall appear in court and shall be released to the custody of the family violence intervention unit for such period, not exceeding two years, and under such conditions as the court shall order. If the defendant refuses to accept, or, having accepted, violates such conditions, his case shall be brought to trial. If the defendant satisfactorily completes the family violence education program and complies with the conditions imposed for the period set by the court, he may apply for dismissal of the charges against him and the court, on finding satisfactory compliance, shall dismiss such charges. Upon dismissal all records of such charges shall be erased pursuant to section 54-142a.

      (h) A fee of two hundred dollars shall be paid to the court by any person who enters the family violence education program, except that no person shall be excluded from such program for inability to pay the fee, provided (1) the person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay and (2) the court enters a finding thereof. All such fees shall be credited to the General Fund.

      (i) The Judicial Department shall establish an ongoing training program for judges, Court Support Services Division personnel and clerks to inform them about the policies and procedures of sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g, including, but not limited to, the function of the family violence intervention units and the use of restraining and protective orders.

      (P.A. 86-337, S. 3; P.A. 87-567, S. 3, 7; P.A. 89-219, S. 1, 10; P.A. 91-6, S. 2, 3; 91-24, S. 3; 91-381, S. 4; P.A. 93-280, S. 2; 93-343; P.A. 96-180, S. 125, 166; 96-246, S. 33, 34; P.A. 97-126, S. 2; P.A. 01-130, S. 13; P.A. 02-132, S. 13, 14, 55; P.A. 03-202, S. 5; P.A. 05-288, S. 157.)

      History: P.A. 87-567 amended Subsec. (c) by adding "to be presented at any time during the court session on that date" and provision re confidentiality of information provided to family relations officer; amended Subsec. (d) by adding "to be presented at any time during the court session on that date"; and amended Subsec. (g) by changing "two hundred" to "fifty"; P.A. 89-219 amended Subsec. (g) by increasing the fee from fifty to one hundred dollars; P.A. 91-6 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting Subdiv. (5) re provision of monitoring systems for all restraining and protective orders; P.A. 91-24 amended Subsec. (f) to authorize the court to require the defendant to answer questions under oath "before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths"; P.A. 91-381 amended Subsec. (d) by adding "pursuant to subsection (e)" after "protective order" and inserted new Subsec. (e) re provisions of protective order, including specific language required to be contained in such order and requiring that order be made a condition of bail or release of defendant, relettering remaining Subsecs. as necessary; P.A. 93-280 amended Subsec. (h) by increasing the fee for person entering family violence education program from one hundred to two hundred dollars; P.A. 93-343 amended Subsec. (e) by adding provision re establishment of twenty-four-hour registry of protective orders on the Connecticut on-line law enforcement communications teleprocessing system; P.A. 96-180 made technical change in Subsec. (e) by changing fine from one to two thousand dollars in accordance with P.A. 92-256, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 96-246 amended Subsecs. (b) and (i) by deleting references to Subsec. (e) of Sec. 17a-101 and Sec. 17a-107; P.A. 97-126 amended Subsec. (e) by adding required language in protective order re jurisdiction, notice and hearing, and validity and enforceability of order; P.A. 01-130 amended Subsec. (c) to add exception to the requirement that information provided to the family relations officer remain confidential by providing that if the victim has indicated that the defendant holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver or possesses one or more firearms the family relations officer shall disclose such information to the court and the prosecuting authority and amended Subsec. (d) to make a technical change, to reposition language re nature and distribution of a protective order and to replace the requirement that the clerk send a certified copy of the order to the "appropriate law enforcement agency" with requirement that the clerk send a copy of the order to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim resides, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the respondent resides if different than the town in which the victim resides and, if requested by the victim, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim is employed if different than the town in which the victim resides; P.A. 02-132 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing "Family Relations Division of the Superior Court" and "Family Relations Division" with "Court Support Services Division", effective October 1, 2002, amended Subsec. (c) by adding provisions re preparation of protective order forms and disclosure of information for appropriate action and making technical changes, amended Subsec. (d) by replacing provisions re sending certified copy of order to law enforcement agency with provisions re sending copy of or information contained in order to law enforcement agency by facsimile or other means and making technical changes and amended Subsec. (e) by deleting provisions re Department of Public Safety registry of protective orders, adding provisions re entry of information into registry of protective orders pursuant to Sec. 51-5c and making technical changes, effective January 1, 2003, and amended Subsec. (i) by replacing "Family Division personnel" with "Court Support Services Division personnel", deleting reference to bail commissioners and making a technical change, effective October 1, 2002; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (e) by revising language required to be contained in protective order to specify five year term of imprisonment and five thousand dollar fine for criminal violation of a protective order and make a conforming change; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (e), effective July 13, 2005.

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