BILL NUMBER: SB 353 AMENDED BILL TEXT AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 10, 2007 INTRODUCED BY Senator Kuehl FEBRUARY 20, 2007 An act to amend Section 6320 of the Family Code, relating to protective orders. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SB 353, as amended, Kuehl. Protective orders: companion animals. Existing law authorizes a court to issue an ex parte order enjoining a party from engaging in specified acts against another party, including threatening or harassing that party, and, in the discretion of the court, against other named family or household members. A violation of this court order constitutes contempt of court, which is punishable as a misdemeanor. This bill would additionally authorize the court to
order that the petitioner be grantedinclude in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or respondent. The bill would furtherauthorize the court to order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid specified acts with respect to that animal. The bill would require the Judicial Council, by July 1, 2009, to modify the criminal and civil court forms consistent with these provisions. The bill would also include specified findings and declarations. Because a violation of this court order would be punishable as a contempt, a misdemeanor, the bill would create a new crime and , therefore, the billwould thereby impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares the following: (a) There is a correlation between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. (b) According to the California Department of Justice, California law enforcement received 181,362 domestic violence calls in 2005. (c) Perpetrators often abuse animals in order to intimidate, harass, or silence their human victims. (d) A survey of pet-owning families with substantiated child abuse and neglect found that animals were abused in 88 percent of homes where child physical abuse was present. (e) A 1997 survey of 50 of the largest shelters for battered women in the United States found that 85 percent of women and 63 percent of children entering shelters discussed incidents of pet abuse in the family. (f) A study of women seeking shelter at a safe house showed that 71 percent of those having pets affirmed that their partner had threatened, hurt, or killed their companion animals. (g) Another study showed that violent offenders incarcerated in a maximum security prison were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty toward pets. (h) In many communities across California and the United States, human services, animal services, and law enforcement agencies are sharing resources and expertise to address violence, including engaging in cross-training and cross-reporting through interagency partnerships. SEC. 2. Section 6320 of the Family Code is amended to read: 6320. (a) The court may issue an ex parte order enjoining a party from molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, annoying telephone calls as described in Section 653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and, in the discretion of the court, on a showing of good cause, of other named family or household members. (b) On a showing of good cause, the court may order that the petitioner be grantedinclude in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent. The court may furtherorder the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal. (c) On or before July 1, 2009, the Judicial Council shall modify the criminal and civil court forms consistent with this section. SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.