Summer 2007 Newsletter - Page 2

Kansas Legislative Summary:

Updates on domestic and sexual violence

The information below contains summaries of enrolled bills passed during the 2007 Kansas Legislative session. These summaries do not reflect the entirety of the statutory changes included in any one bill. Readers should consult an attorney and/or read the entire bill before relying on it for any legal actions. The full text of these bills can be found at: www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-bills/enrolledBills.do.


SB18: Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA).
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This would allow for the filing of a motion to prevent possible child abduction. This has some good pieces to it IF the abuser does not use these provisions mischievously. We have asked for two things to accompany UCAPA: (1) publishing the official comments to the Act in the statute books so practitioners can see the intent of the legislation, and (2) amending the Kansas parental kidnapping crimes. See SB182 below. Effective 07.01.07: it should include comments from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) in the Kansas statute book. NCCUSL is an organization that drafts and advocates for enactment of uniform state laws. Comments to uniform laws drafted by NCCUSL often contain clarifying information about the intent of the drafters.

SB182: Crimes concerning Interference with Parental Custody.
DID NOT PASS.

This bill would have amended the crimes of Interference with Parental Custody (K.S.A. 21-3422) and Aggravated Interference with Parental Custody (K.S.A. 21-3422a) to provide an exception and a defense for those parents who flee with their children in order to protect the child or themselves from mistreatment or abuse. The exception keeps the protective parent from being charged if she does certain things after fleeing; the defense allows her to raise the abuse as a defense if she is charged. SB182 did not pass but an interim committee met August 16 for further review.

SB31: "Elliott" fix.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This law will allow municipal courts to charge enhanced penalty crimes that could be charged as a felony due to prior convictions. Domestic Battery is one such crime. The Elliott case, decided by the Kansas Supreme Court last year, prohibited municipal courts from charging these enhanced penalty crimes if they could be charged as a felony. As a general rule, municipal courts cannot charge felonies. We will need to watch for the impact of this new law on third-time convictions for Domestic Battery.

SB68: Anti-bullying.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This law will require school boards to adopt policies prohibiting bullying on school property, in a school vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity. It also requires school boards to develop and implement a plan to address bullying on or before January 1, 2008. Bullying is defined in the new law.

HB2006/HB2372/SB2: Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Alexa's Law.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

For purposes of criminal laws, "person" would include a fetus.

SB204: Kansas Offender Registration Act Amendments.
PASSED AND SIGNED.

This will amend the Kansas Offender Registration Act by adding a person convicted of Aggravated Trafficking to the definition of offender; eliminates the requirement of the KBI to send letters every 90 days to verify address, etc.; requires offenders to report to sheriff four times per year and pay a $20.00 fee per reporting.

KCSDV begins project to address the criminal justice system response to domestic violence

Governor Kathleen Sebelius was recently awarded a federal grant that will involve a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, statewide training initiative. KCSDV is one of the grant partners and will house the Project Coordinator and three other staff funded under the project.

The Grants to Encourage Arrest Program (GTEAP), a grant program out of the Department of Justice, is designed to improve the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence. The grant will focus on training and model protocol development.

Grant partners include Governor Sebelius, KCSDV, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, the Office of Judicial Administration, the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association, and the Kansas Department of Corrections. Training initiatives will include judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, corrections officials, and victims' advocates.

For more information, contact Sara Rust-Martin, GTEAP project coordinator at KCSDV, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 785-232-9784.

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