Assembly Passes Legislation to Help Victims of Domestic Violence Obtain Orders of Protection

Bronx, N.Y. – The New York State Assembly passed Assembly Bill A.6262 on April 28, as part of a legislative package of bills to improve safety for domestic violence victims. First introduced by Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D – Bronx, 77th AD), the legislation makes it easier for victims of domestic violence and their families to obtain temporary orders of protection.

Assembly Bill A.6262 will create a pilot program that protects domestic violence victims by speeding up the process for obtaining temporary orders of protection. The legislation won widespread support with 50 Assembly members joining as sponsors. Unanimously approved by the Senate in mid-January, the bill will provide victims of domestic violence a safer and more accessible method for obtaining temporary orders of protection.

“We use technology every single day to make our lives easier,” said Assemblywoman Joyner. “Today, we have the remarkable opportunity to allow technology to enhance the implementation of this very important law to which will benefit people that need it the most. Currently, New Yorkers are forced to travel to family court to file for an order of protection – a trip that may not be possible for many due to the fear of retaliation from their abuser. This bill will help eliminate those obstacles.”

One-in-four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and nearly 3 million men face physical assaults, according to Safe Horizon, one of the largest victims’ services agencies in the United States. Locally, the New York Police Department responds to more than 250,000 domestic incidents annually, or approximately 600 calls daily.

The legislation seeks to amend the family court act and the judiciary law, which will allow the Office of the Court Administration to develop a pilot program to permit domestic violence victims to electronically file protection orders and issue such orders remotely. The legislation requires the Chief Administrator of the Courts to submit regular reports to the Governor and the Legislature on court practices, procedures and services with respect to the adequate and appropriateness of its services for crime victims. This bill would take effect on April 1, 2016.

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For more information, please contact Jamie Gilkey at (518) 455-5671 or Mike Giardina at (718) 538-2000.