THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

519

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

S.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 domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality, or educational background. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Between 2008 and 2012, there was an eighteen per cent increase statewide in arrests relating to abuse of family or household members. During this same time period, there was also an increase in the number of persons served by various statewide agencies who provide services to victims of domestic violence.

The legislature further finds that the practices of county police departments require that all external complaints against a police officer be in writing and sworn to by the complainant. The legislature is concerned that this requirement may discourage individuals involved in a domestic dispute with a police officer from reporting the abuse. In some cases, a concerned friend or family member may wish to remain anonymous, or a neighbor may fear retaliation. In other cases, the victim may need, for safety reasons, to keep his or her name off the complaint. The legislature is concerned that mandatory, written, notarized complaints against an alleged abuser may result in victims, friends, and family members unwilling to seek help, thus leaving the victim vulnerable to increasing violence. The legislature acknowledges that the majority of police officers enforce the law and act appropriately toward members of the public.

The purpose of this Act is to avoid the re-victimization of officer-involved domestic violence victims by ensuring that individuals who wish to report allegations of officer-involved domestic abuse against a family or household member do not have to do so in writing or by notarized statement.

SECTION 2. Chapter 52D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"52D-   Citizen complaints; officer-involved domestic violence. Citizen complaints against a police officer that involve allegations of domestic violence by the police officer against a family or household member shall not be required to be in writing or sworn to by the complainant.

For purposes of this section, "family or household member" has the same meaning as defined in section 709-906."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 


 


 

Report Title:

County Police Departments; Police Officers; Citizen Complaints; Officer-involved Domestic Violence

 

Description:

Specifies that citizen complaints against a police officer that involve allegations of domestic violence against a family or household member on the part of the police officer shall not be required to be in writing or sworn to by the complainant. (SD1)

 

 

 

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