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Attorney General's News Release

July 12, 2011

Attorney General Koster says new domestic violence law will help protect victims

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today thanked Governor Jay Nixon for signing into law comprehensive domestic violence legislation, saying it will go a long way toward further protecting victims of domestic violence.

"Victims of domestic violence are among our state’s most vulnerable, and we owe it to them to make sure that we are working as seamlessly as possible through all aspects of our law enforcement and legal systems to protect them," Koster said.

The legislation, which had strong bipartisan support and passed unanimously in both chambers, was the result of the recommendations made by the Task Force on Domestic Violence that Koster appointed in September 2010. The task force conducted the first comprehensive review of all Missouri domestic violence laws in 30 years and offered 12 recommendations that would offer greater protections to domestic violence victims.

    Provisions of the new law include:

  • Creating one definition of domestic violence in law and making all statutory references to domestic violence consistent with that definition;
  • Eliminating conflicts between child and adult protection orders;
  • Allowing child Orders of Protection to be entered against juvenile respondents and creating a new section of law to govern these new juvenile court processes;
  • Clarifying and expanding which violations of protection orders are arrestable offenses;
  • Giving judges more discretion about what they can include in protection orders as prohibitions or requirements of respondents that are specific to the individual circumstances of the parties;
  • Requiring entry into MULES, within 24 hours, of custody and visitation orders contained in Orders of Protection; and
  • Requiring similar immediate entry into MULES when protection orders are served on respondents.

Koster thanked Senator John Lamping for sponsoring the legislation and Representatives Ryan Silvey and Chris Kelly for sponsoring companion legislation in the House. He also thanked Representative John Diehl for handling the legislation in the House.

Koster praised the work of the task force, which consisted of representatives of groups involved in the domestic violence protection system, including law enforcement, prosecutors, victims’ advocates, probation and parole, and court officials, as well as legislators, including: Representatives Chris Kelly and Stacey Newman, who were present at all three task force meetings; Senators Joan Bray, Jolie Justus, Kurt Schaefer, and Robin Wright-Jones; and Representatives Shalonn Curls, Jeff Grisamore, Tishaura Jones, Jason Kander, Margo McNeil, Jeff Roorda, Jill Schupp, Mary Still, and Stephen Webber.

Koster said Colleen Coble, Chief Executive Officer of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence contributed greatly to the work of the task force, as did Jason Lamb, Executive Director of the Missouri Office of Prosecutorial Services.



 
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