OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5366

AN ACT CONCERNING COURT OPERATIONS.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires a parent, guardian, or responsible adult as a next friend to apply to court on behalf of someone under age 18 who seeks a restraining or civil protection order. The bill contains additional provisions about the actions of a parent, guardian, or responsible adult in these proceedings; allows the court to consider additional information in a report from the Judicial Branch's family services unit at a hearing on a restraining order; and provides that an ex parte civil protection order does not continue if a party requests a postponement of the hearing on the order unless the parties agree to it or the court orders if for good cause.

The bill also:

1. changes the requirements placed on a party on whose behalf a deposition is taken;

2. eliminates a $2 fee for filing with the court an appraiser's assessment of land taken for public use ( 6);

3. allows the Judicial Branch to use up to $4.5 million to repair, improve, and acquire a juvenile court in Waterford out of the $7.5 million in bond proceeds previously authorized to alter, renovate, and improve buildings and grounds of state-owned and -maintained branch facilities ( 8); and

4. makes technical changes by updating references to federal law ( 1-2 & 7).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except the provisions on restraining and protective orders and the eliminated fee are effective October 1, 2016.

3 & 4 — RESTRAINING AND CIVIL PROTECTION ORDERS

The bill requires a parent, guardian, or responsible adult as a next friend to apply to court on behalf of someone under age 18 who seeks a:

1. restraining order, which is available to a family or household member subjected to continuous threat of physical pain or physical injury, stalking, or pattern of threatening by another family or household member or

2. civil protection order, which is available to a victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking who cannot obtain a restraining order.

The law requires an applicant for either type of order to submit to the court an affidavit under oath including a brief statement of the conditions from which relief is sought. The bill requires the applicant to make the affidavit, but a parent, guardian, or responsible adult as next friend who has personal knowledge of the conditions from which relief is sought may make the application for someone under age 18 or who is incompetent.

The bill prohibits a parent, guardian, or responsible adult who brought an application as next friend of someone under age 18 from speaking for the applicant at a hearing except for good cause showing why the applicant cannot speak on his or her own behalf.

The bill allows the court to appoint a responsible adult as next friend for a respondent (the subject of the order) who is under age 18 and appears at a hearing without a parent or guardian.

Restraining Orders

When issuing an ex parte order (an order issued before a hearing, when one of the parties is not present), the law allows the court to consider relevant publicly available court records. At a hearing on the application, the bill allows the court to consider a report from the Judicial Branch's family services unit that may include:

1. existing or prior protection orders from the protection order registry;

2. outstanding arrest warrants for the respondent;

3. his or her risk level as determined by a risk assessment tool used by the branch's Court Support Services Division;

4. information about a pending or disposed family matters case involving the applicant and respondent; and

5. information on pending or past criminal cases in which the respondent was charged with or convicted of a violent crime (including an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; threatened violence constituting fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault including stalking or a pattern of threatening; verbal abuse or argument with a present danger and likelihood that physical violence will occur; or cruelty to animals).

The bill requires that both the applicant and respondent receive this report.

Civil Protection Orders

The law requires scheduling a hearing on an application for a civil protection order within 14 days. Under the bill, if either party requests a postponement, any ex parte order issued by the court does not continue unless the parties agree to it or the court orders if for good cause.

5 — DEPOSITIONS

Under current statutes, the party on whose behalf a deposition is taken must pay to give a copy of the deposition to each adverse party. Court rules require the party on whose behalf a deposition is taken to pay for the original transcript and any permanent electronic record such as an audio or videotape and any party or the deponent can obtain a copy at its own expense (Conn. Pract. Bk. 13-30(f)). The bill conforms the statute to the court rule except it specifies that in Workers' Compensation Commission proceedings, the party on whose behalf a deposition is taken must pay to provide a copy to each adverse party.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

40

Nay

2

(03/11/2016)