JOPLIN, Mo. — A bill, aimed at making protective orders permanent in some cases – is just one step away from becoming Missouri law.
If a person is in fear of being harmed by someone with whom they are, or were, in a relationship – they must appear before a judge, each year, to receive an “ex parte” against that person.
In extreme cases, “Senate Bill 71” would change that. It also re-defines what constitutes stalking. Louise Secker, with “Lafayette House” in Joplin – says she fully supports the bill.
Louise Secker, Dir. of Development, Lafayette House:
“A victim of domestic violence, who has hopefully left that relationship but then is forced to go back to court repeatedly for violations of the orders in the most extreme cases, you know we’ve talked to victims and heard from those that have been back just up to a hundred times they’re going back to court, so this will eliminate that.”
“Senate Bill 71” even extends an “ex parte” to include pets – because many are threatened, hurt or even killed as a means of payback. No word on when the bill could be signed by the governor.
Former Joplin Police Chief and state representative Lane Roberts is one of the driving forces behind it.