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house Bill H.R. 2120

Do Victims of Sex Offenses Need Permanent Restraining Orders On Their Attackers?

Argument in favor

Victims of sex offenses and those close to them should never have to endure contact with the person’s attacker. Letting courts issue permanent protection orders makes sense, and doesn’t place the burden of continuing a protective order on the victim.

Frank's Opinion
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08/26/2015
Permanent restraining orders should be on a case by case basis. A sixteen year old girl dating a seventeen year old male should not have a permanent restraining order because a parent gets upset for what ever reason.
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Scott's Opinion
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08/26/2015
This is a common sense measure that in no way infringes on "states rights" (code for racist, bigoted, anti women, anti lgbt). It simply mandates that states failing to comply will lose some federal subsidies which will be distributed to states that comply. These "states rights" advocates should welcome this, as it REMOVES a layer of federal involvement in the case of a states' non compliance. Of course, the citizens claiming states rights the loudest are living in states that receive the most federal aid, compared to what they pay in federal taxes. Go figure.
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PacificCstar's Opinion
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08/26/2015
With the number of unreported sex crimes that take place, victims who actually do come forward should never have to see their abuser again.
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Argument opposed

While this may be a well-intentioned policy, the Dept. of Justice shouldn’t be requiring states to adopt these policies under threat of cutting off 10 percent of the state’s federal law enforcement grant funding.

John's Opinion
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08/21/2015
NO NO NO!!! None of the Federal Government's business. Completely up to local and State government's to decide.
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JasonRL's Opinion
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08/26/2015
This needs to stay at the state level, for sure.
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operaman's Opinion
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08/21/2015
Just how will this help when the Fed Justice Dept releases alien illegal immigrants with sexual assault from jail or releases them by back to their country of origin where they then return back to the US border. So much for security! Another common way to ignore a restraining order is to move to another State or possibly to another county. Seems like the only way this could work is assigning a Fed agent(s) for lifetime protection or maybe a Fed leg bracelet. What about the 2A? Weapon training, personal weapon and a "Joe Biden" shotgun. Then give the sexual assault victim a "open season" license to shoot, maim or kill the sexual pervert upon site. "Wild West Retribution"
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What is House Bill H.R. 2120?

This bill would enhance protections for victims of sex offenses by allowing those victims to seek a permanent restraining order against their attacker. It would essentially make permanent protections the default option for judges rather than issuing protection orders which are only in effect for a certain period.


In order for these protections to be lifted, the offender would have to ask for its removal, a change from the prevailing situation which typically leads to the victim having to ask for a protection order to be continued.

States would be encouraged into adopting these laws by making 10 percent of their federal criminal justice funding contingent on having policies in place that:
  • Authorize judges and courts to issue orders prohibiting alleged sex offenders from having any contact with the victim, or the victim’s friends, co-workers, or relatives;

  • Permit judges and courts to order a continuation of that protection after the sex offender has been found guilty as a condition of granting bail, parole, probation, or other supervised release;

  • Provide judges and courts with the authority to grant or extend a protection order that would remain in effect until the court orders otherwise.

If states don’t comply with these requirements, federal funding that is withheld would be reallocated to states that have adopted such policies. The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) would have the option of granting a state one additional year to fully implement those policies if they are making a good faith effort to do so.

Impact

Victims of sex offenses, their relatives, co-workers, and friends; alleged and convicted sex offenders; judges and courts; and the Dept. of Justice.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2120

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: While delivering his introductory remarks on the House floor, this bill’s lead sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) underscored the need to ensure that victims have faith in the criminal justice system:

“The more support and confidence victims have in the ability of our justice system to hold those who commit sex crimes accountable, the more likely victims will come forward — which will help ensure that more criminals are properly prosecuted, leading to fewer victims in the future… We should do all we can to encourage victims to come forward and ensure those victims who do; are afforded permanent protection. My legislation will help with this effort, and I urge all members to support it.”

This bill is based on a law adopted in New Jersey after Nicole Norberto was raped by an acquaintance, and was informed that under current law she couldn’t request a permanent restraining order against her attacker because she was not in a “dating relationship” with the offender. New Jersey then corrected that loophole in the law with what became known as Nicole’s Law.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user @lattefarsan)

AKA

Nicole's Law of 2015

Official Title

To encourage States to expand the protections offered to victims of sex offenses who are not in a familiar or dating relationship with the perpetrators of such offenses.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedApril 29th, 2015
    Permanent restraining orders should be on a case by case basis. A sixteen year old girl dating a seventeen year old male should not have a permanent restraining order because a parent gets upset for what ever reason.
    Like (10)
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    NO NO NO!!! None of the Federal Government's business. Completely up to local and State government's to decide.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This needs to stay at the state level, for sure.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a common sense measure that in no way infringes on "states rights" (code for racist, bigoted, anti women, anti lgbt). It simply mandates that states failing to comply will lose some federal subsidies which will be distributed to states that comply. These "states rights" advocates should welcome this, as it REMOVES a layer of federal involvement in the case of a states' non compliance. Of course, the citizens claiming states rights the loudest are living in states that receive the most federal aid, compared to what they pay in federal taxes. Go figure.
    Like (5)
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    With the number of unreported sex crimes that take place, victims who actually do come forward should never have to see their abuser again.
    Like (4)
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    I'd actually like to see the "death" penalty for sex offenders of children. I don't think these perverts can be punished enough.
    Like (4)
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    Of course they do ! I would not want a person with these illnesses following my family members around! This is where people could get very hurt! From being a victim of a repeat action!
    Like (3)
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    Just how will this help when the Fed Justice Dept releases alien illegal immigrants with sexual assault from jail or releases them by back to their country of origin where they then return back to the US border. So much for security! Another common way to ignore a restraining order is to move to another State or possibly to another county. Seems like the only way this could work is assigning a Fed agent(s) for lifetime protection or maybe a Fed leg bracelet. What about the 2A? Weapon training, personal weapon and a "Joe Biden" shotgun. Then give the sexual assault victim a "open season" license to shoot, maim or kill the sexual pervert upon site. "Wild West Retribution"
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    Let states decide domestic relations, like the Constitution says.
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    Yes if a person is a victim of a sex crime they should have a permanent order of protection against the the perpetrator.
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    It should at least be an option.
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    It is simply common sense for a very real problem
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    YES They do!
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    This is not mandatory permanent restraint, it just places burden of lifting the order on the offender - still allows case by case determination. Burden on states to implement is minimal.
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    Normally I would be against the Feds involvement and say states should undertake the burden of enforcing this law but what happens when somebody moves from one state to the other and their stocker follows them I think in this case a federal law would be appropriate
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    Duh!!!
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    Why should a victim of a sex offense have to worry about renewing?!
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    Might get hurt or killed
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    I would have voted "yea" if not for the threat of cutting off 10% of funding to the states for law enforcement if they don't comply. That's unnecessary.
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    It's their right to choose who is around them. If they are attacked, then it is their right to not want to be bothered or attacked again
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