FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 07, 2015
Contact: Senator Jerry Petrowski (608) 266-2502
Contact: Representative Amy Loudenbeck (608) 266-9967
Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Ease Burden on Victims
Madison, WI…Today, Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon)and Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) offered for co-sponsorship a bill to address an often confusing situation under current law that puts the onus on victims of domestic abuse, stalking and violence to personally forward Temporary Restraining Orders, among other orders, to law enforcement and then to verify that service has occurred. This bill shifts that responsibility to court.
“In theory, restraining orders are an empowering option a victim can utilize to invoke the protection of the law from someone who is threatening, harassing or abusing them,” said Senator Petrowski. “Unfortunately, there are some technicalities under current law that can actually create more uncertainty for someone who may be in a life or death situation. The process created under this bill will be less burdensome and confusing to victims and will give them greater peace of mind during a stressful and challenging time,” said Petrowski.
Under this bill, courts will automatically forward the documents to law enforcement to execute service. Once service is accomplished, law enforcement may use the Wisconsin Statewide Victim Notification service (VINE) or another notification system administered by the Department of Corrections to provide notification to the victim of service.
“Quite honestly, with advances in technology, this bill is long overdue because there is no reason that a victim seeking a temporary restraining order needs to take their court documents to the Sheriff to ensure they are served,” stated Representative Loudenbeck. “Changing this procedural requirement will give peace of mind to victims of abuse and harassment, by ensuring temporary restraining orders are served in an efficient and timely manner.”
The bill is expected to be introduced in both the State Senate and Assembly houses following the conclusion of the co-sponsorship period on December 21st.