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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 02:17 PM
From: Representative Eddie Day Pashinski
To: All House members
Subject: Reintroduction of Domestic Violence: Treatment and GPS Monitoring (Former HB1337)
In the near future, I will reintroduce a bill that provides additional safeguards for victims of domestic violence and more options for sanctions against perpetrators that will help ensure the safety and success of all involved.

In light of several tragic fatal incidents involving defendants with current or prior protection from abuse (PFA) orders against them, I believe more must be done to protect victims of domestic violence and the communities surrounding them, and to reduce the chances that a perpetrator will re-abuse in the future. Therefore, my legislation makes a number of updates to the PFA Act, including the following key provisions:
  • Requiring emergency PFA orders to be served within six hours of issuance, and requiring law enforcement officers to serve the orders.
  • Allowing the court to order GPS monitoring of a defendant as a type of relief under a PFA order, at bail for a violation of a PFA order, and as a condition of a sentence for indirect criminal contempt.
  • Allowing the court to order the defendant to undergo a domestic violence treatment evaluation, and if the evaluation recommends treatment, to require the defendant to complete a treatment program approved by the Department of Human Services.The treatment program must include mental health and substance abuse treatment if the evaluation reveals that the defendant needs these services.Similar to GPS monitoring, the court can order this condition a type of relief under a PFA order, at bail for a violation of a PFA order, and as a condition of a sentence for indirect criminal contempt.
  • Requiring the court to complete a risk assessment when considering bail for a defendant arrested for an alleged violation of a PFA order.
  • If the defendant must wear a GPS monitoring device, allowing the plaintiff to opt into receiving alerts when the defendant is nearby.
This legislation does not make plaintiffs pay for anything, nor does it give counties an unfunded mandate. The defendant must cover all of their own costs, and GPS monitoring for plaintiffs will be paid out of a new restricted account comprised of funds from a new surcharge on assault convictions.

As our communities continue to feel the impact of these recent incidents, and as this Commonwealth prepares for the second round of Justice Reinvestment, my legislation would give the court more options for victim safety and sanctions against perpetrators that I hope will reduce future incidents of abuse. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.