California Passes Law to Recognize Canadian Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

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SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), to protect victims of domestic violence and strengthen cooperation with Canadian authorities. The newly signed bill authorizes California law enforcement officers to enforce Canadian domestic violence protection orders.

“California and Canada enjoy significant cross-border trade, travel, and partnership. We need to protect victims of domestic violence regardless of are,” said Senator Dodd. “It’s my hope that states across the nation will follow suit.”

“We applaud Senator Dodd’s leadership authoring Senate Bill 204, and appreciate Governor Brown signing the bill into law,” said Canadian Consul General Brandon Lee. “Collaboration with our American counterparts is key to finding solutions to common public safety and security challenges. This bill will ensure vulnerable Canadian families receive protection under the law in California and reinforces an important precedent for other states. We are grateful to Senator Bill Dodd and his staff for their work on this important legislation.”

Canada already recognizes domestic violence restraining orders issued by California courts.  In 2011, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada approved the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act, which provides for the recognition of foreign protection orders, including those of the United States.  With the passage of Dodd ‘s bill, California will provide similar credence to domestic violence protection orders issued by Canadian courts.

“When survivors of domestic violence come to our state, it’s vital that we welcome them to a safe haven,” said Kathy Moore, Executive Director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. “We’re pleased that Governor Brown recognized this and signed SB 204 into law. Honoring Canadian domestic violence protective orders will provide a greater sense of security to survivors in knowing that California law honors their existing safeguards.”

The legislation was proposed by the Uniform Law Commission, which seeks to protect victims and promote a standard practice across all U.S. states. The law, also known as the Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

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Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s Third Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa Counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd

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