HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

669

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that section 350-1.1(a)(4) and (b), Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), already requires employees or officers of any law enforcement agency, including the courts, to immediately report to the department of human services all cases where they have reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or that there exists a substantial risk that child abuse or neglect may occur in the reasonably foreseeable future.

The legislature further finds that section 346-224(a)(3), HRS, requires employees or officers of any law enforcement agency, including the courts, to promptly report to the department of human services all cases where they have reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has incurred abuse or is in danger of abuse if immediate action is not taken.

Best practices suggest that families experiencing domestic violence should have access to protective orders and other domestic services without fear that they will automatically be referred for investigation by child welfare or adult protective services.

Allowing the courts to exercise discretion as provided by section 350-1.1(a)(4) and (b) and section 346-224(a)(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes, permits the courts to direct families to appropriate services to meet their individual needs, does not discourage parents or family members from seeking a protective order, and does not unnecessarily overburden an already overworked child welfare or adult protective services system.

The legislature finds that the reporting requirements under section 586-10.5, HRS, may appear redundant or unnecessary in cases where there are allegations of domestic abuse involving a family or household member who is a minor or incapacitated person; however, it is necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of children are not compromised.

The purpose of this Act is to reduce redundancies in the reporting requirements of the department of human services and the family courts, while ensuring the safety and well-being of children by requiring the department of human services, upon request by the court, to provide the family court with an oral or written report regarding the safety of a minor child of the parties, and to make other changes to streamline the reporting process.

SECTION 2. Section 586-10.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"586-10.5 Reports by the department of human services; court responsibilities. [In cases where there are allegations of domestic abuse involving a family or household member who is a minor or an incapacitated person as defined in section 560:5-102, the employee or appropriate nonjudicial agency designated by the family court to assist the petitioner shall report the matter to the department of human services, as required under chapters 350 and 587A, and shall further notify the department of the granting of the temporary restraining order and of the hearing date. The department of human services shall provide the family court with a written report on the disposition of the referral. The court shall file the report and mail it to the petitioner and respondent at least two working days before the hearing date, if possible. If circumstances prevent the mailing of the report as required in this section, the court shall provide copies of the report to the petitioner and respondent at the hearing. The report shall be noted in the order dismissing the petition or granting the restraining order.] If directed by the court, the department of human services shall provide the family court with an oral or written report regarding the safety of a minor child of the parties on or prior to the next regularly scheduled court hearing. If the department of human services provides a written report, the department need not appear at the hearing unless ordered by the court. The court shall provide copies of all written reports to the parties."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2075.



Report Title:

Domestic Abuse; Department of Human Services; Family Court; Report

 

Description:

Streamlines the reporting requirements of the Department of Human Services (DHS)and the family courts to require DHS, upon direction of the court, to provide the family court with an oral or written report regarding the safety of a minor child of the parties on or prior to the next regularly scheduled court hearing. Provides that if DHS provides a written report, the DHS need not appear at the hearing unless ordered to do so. Requires the court to provide copies of all written reports to the parties. (HB669 HD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.