LA Laws Enacted to Curb Domestic Violence and Protect Victims
Gov. Bobby Jindal held a bill signing ceremony in May 2014, for legislation toughening restrictions on perpetrators of domestic violence and further aid law enforcement involved in related domestic violence and dating abuse cases.
Jindal signed into law SB291 and SB292 sponsored by Senator Jean-Paul Morrell, and HB750 sponsored by Representative Helena Moreno. He also signed HB1142 sponsored by Representative Roy Burrell, known as Gwen’s Law.
The Governor ceremonially signed HB747 and HB753, the Pixie Geaux Act, sponsored by Moreno, which were signed a week earlier. He also highlighted HB1052 by Moreno, which he plans to sign once it is approved through the legislative process.
“Domestic violence is a tragedy that has plagued our society for too long,” Jindal said. “Sadly, too many victims of domestic violence live throughout Louisiana. I am pleased to sign this legislation that will toughen current law to help protect victims from further abuse and increase penalties for criminals who commit these terrible acts of violence.”
HB747 by Representative Moreno – Relates to domestic abuse battery and other offenses involving domestic abuse.
This bill adds the crime of “domestic abuse aggravated assault” to the enumerated list of crimes of violence. Additionally, this bill amends present law to provide that the offender shall be required to participate in a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program.
HB750 by Representative Moreno – Provides relative to restraining orders, protective orders, and injunctions issued in conjunction with domestic abuse cases.
This bill speeds up the transmission of the “Uniform Abuse Prevention Order” and sends a copy to additional relevant law enforcement; establishes that any person against whom a protective order has been issued shall be presumed to be the “predominant aggressor”; and provides for immediate arrest if a law enforcement officer has reason to suspect domestic abuse or if the predominant aggressor is in violation of a protective order.
HB753 by Representative Moreno – Provides relative to the possession of firearms as it relates to persons convicted of domestic abuse battery or subject to a protective order.
This bill, known as the Pixie Geaux Act, creates the crime of “Possession of a firearm or carrying of a concealed weapon by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery” and provides for penalties of one to five years of jail time. It also prohibits the possession of firearms by a person against whom a protective order is issued for the extent of the protective order. This is consistent with current federal law regarding prohibitions on the possession of firearms.
Rep. Moreno said, “These bills will help us continue the fight against domestic abuse. I am proud to author legislation that will further protect victims, and help ensure that those who commit these terrible crimes are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
SB29 by Senator Morrell – Authorizes exemplary damages in certain suits arising from domestic abuse.
This bill authorizes punitive damages in suits arising from acts of domestic abuse when the injuries are caused by domestic abuse that results in serious bodily injury or severe emotional/mental distress. Current law does not allow for these punitive damages for victims in these domestic violence situations.
SB292 by Senator Morrell – Relates to divorce proceedings.
This bill provides an additional ground for an immediate divorce. This bill adds domestic abuse to the criteria for immediate divorce. Under current law, spouses must live apart for 180 days and have no minor children to be eligible for a divorce involving domestic abuse. It also makes spousal support mandatory and removes the 1/3 net income cap on the amount of support in cases of domestic abuse.
“I am proud to author this legislation,” Sen. Morrell said. “It will help us continue our efforts to eradicate domestic violence in our state, and it will show the perpetrators of these crimes that they do no want to continue committing these horrible acts in Louisiana.”
HB1142 by Representative Burrell – Relates to bail restrictions for offense against a family or household member or dating partner.
This bill, also known as “Gwen’s Law”, adds additional restrictions to authorizing bail in situations of domestic abuse. It allows the court to require electronic monitoring (including an electronic monitoring device), requires a contradictory bail hearing and the authority to deny bail altogether. It also requires that the court issue a protective order when