(a) There shall be family violence response and intervention units in the Connecticut judicial system to respond to cases involving family violence. The units shall be coordinated and governed by formal agreement between the Chief State’s Attorney and the Judicial Department.
Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 46b-38c
- Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
- another: may extend and be applied to communities, companies, corporations, public or private, limited liability companies, societies and associations. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
- Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
- Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- oath: shall include affirmations in cases where by law an affirmation may be used for an oath, and, in like cases, the word "swear" shall include the word "affirm". See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1
- Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
- Reporter: Makes a record of court proceedings and prepares a transcript, and also publishes the court's opinions or decisions (in the courts of appeals).
- Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
- Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
- Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
- Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(b) The Court Support Services Division, in accordance with the agreement between the Chief State’s Attorney and the Judicial Department, shall establish within each geographical area of the Superior Court a local family violence intervention unit to implement sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g. The Court Support Services Division shall oversee direct operations of the local units.
(c) Each such local family violence intervention unit shall: (1) Accept referrals of family violence cases from a judge or prosecutor, (2) prepare written or oral reports on each case for the court by the next court date to be presented at any time during the court session on that date, (3) provide or arrange for services to victims and offenders, (4) administer contracts to carry out such services, and (5) establish centralized reporting procedures. All information provided to a family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor employed by the Judicial Department in a local family violence intervention unit shall be used solely for the purposes of preparation of the report and the protective order forms for each case and recommendation of services and shall otherwise be confidential and retained in the files of such unit and not be subject to subpoena or other court process for use in any other proceeding or for any other purpose, except that a family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor employed by the Judicial Department:
(A) Shall disclose to the court and the prosecuting authority for appropriate action information that the victim has indicated that the defendant holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, possesses one or more firearms or possesses ammunition;
(B) Shall disclose to an employee of the Department of Children and Families information that indicates that a defendant poses a danger or threat to a child or a custodial parent of the child;
(C) May disclose to another family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor information pursuant to guidelines adopted by the Chief Court Administrator;
(D) May disclose to a bail commissioner or an intake, assessment and referral specialist employed by the Judicial Department information regarding a defendant who is on or is being considered for pretrial release;
(E) May disclose to a law enforcement agency information that indicates that a defendant poses a danger or threat to another person;
(F) May disclose, after disposition of a family violence case, to a probation officer or a juvenile probation officer, for purposes of determining service needs and supervision levels, information regarding a defendant who has been convicted and sentenced to a period of probation in the family violence case;
(G) May disclose, after a conviction in a family violence case, to a probation officer for the purpose of preparing a presentence investigation report, any information regarding the defendant that has been provided to the family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor in the case or in any other case that resulted in the conviction of the defendant;
(H) May disclose to any organization under contract with the Judicial Department to provide family violence programs and services, for the purpose of determining program and service needs, information regarding any defendant who is a client of such organization, provided no information that personally identifies the victim may be disclosed to such organization; and
(I) Shall disclose such information as may be necessary to fulfill such counselor’s, trainee’s or supervisor’s duty as a mandated reporter under section 17a-101a to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
(d) In all cases of family violence, a written or oral report that indicates whether the parties in the family violence case are parties to a case pending on the family relations docket of the Superior Court and includes recommendation of the local family violence intervention unit shall be available to a judge at the first court date appearance to be presented at any time during the court session on that date. A judge of the Superior Court may consider and impose the following conditions to protect the parties, including, but not limited to: (1) Issuance of a protective order pursuant to subsection (e) of this section; (2) prohibition against subjecting the victim to further violence; (3) referral to a family violence education program for persons who commit acts of family violence; and (4) immediate referral for more extensive case assessment. Such protective order shall be an order of the court, and the clerk of the court shall cause (A) a copy of such order to be sent to the victim, and (B) a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to be sent by facsimile or other means within forty-eight hours of its issuance to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim resides and, if the defendant resides in a town different from the town in which the victim resides, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the defendant resides. If the victim is employed in a town different from the town in which the victim resides, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim is employed not later than forty-eight hours after the issuance of such order. If the victim is enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school, including a technical education and career school, or an institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-55, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to such school or institution of higher education, the president of any institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled and the special police force established pursuant to section 10a-156b, if any, at the institution of higher education at which the victim is enrolled, if the victim provides the clerk with the name and address of such school or institution of higher education.
(e) A protective order issued under this section may include provisions necessary to protect the victim from threats, harassment, injury or intimidation by the defendant, including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the defendant from (1) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the victim, (2) threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting or sexually assaulting the victim, or (3) entering the family dwelling or the dwelling of the victim. A protective order issued under this section may include provisions necessary to protect any animal owned or kept by the victim including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the defendant from injuring or threatening to injure such animal. Such order shall be made a condition of the bail or release of the defendant and shall contain the following notification: “In accordance with section 53a-223 of the Connecticut general statutes, any violation of this order constitutes criminal violation of a protective order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years, a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or both. Additionally, in accordance with section 53a-107 of the Connecticut general statutes, entering or remaining in a building or any other premises in violation of this order constitutes criminal trespass in the first degree which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars, or both. Violation of this order also violates a condition of your bail or release, and may result in raising the amount of bail or revoking release.” Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall be accompanied by a notification that is consistent with the full faith and credit provisions set forth in 18 USC 2265(a), as amended from time to time. The information contained in and concerning the issuance of any protective order issued under this section shall be entered in the registry of protective orders pursuant to section 51-5c.
(f) The Judicial Department may establish, within available appropriations, a pilot program in three judicial districts for the purpose of using electronic monitoring in accordance with this subsection. Such pilot program shall be conducted in at least one judicial district that contains an urban area, as defined in section 4b-13, and at least one judicial district that does not contain such an urban area. Pursuant to such pilot program, the court may order that any person appearing in such judicial district who is charged with the violation of a restraining order or a protective order, and who has been determined to be a high-risk offender by the family violence intervention unit, be subject to electronic monitoring designed to warn law enforcement agencies, a state-wide information collection center and the victim when the person is within a specified distance of the victim, if the court finds that such electronic monitoring is necessary to protect the victim, provided the cost of such electronic monitoring is paid by the person who is subject to such electronic monitoring, subject to guidelines established by the Chief Court Administrator. If the court orders that such person be subject to electronic monitoring, the clerk of the court shall send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of the order, or the information contained in any such order, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the person resides. The Judicial Department shall cease operation of any pilot program established under this subsection not later than March 31, 2011, unless resources are available to continue operation of the pilot program. On and after July 1, 2012, the Judicial Department may resume operation of the pilot program, within available resources, and may operate such pilot program in one or more additional judicial districts, within such available resources.
(g) (1) In cases referred to the local family violence intervention unit, it shall be the function of the unit to (A) identify victim service needs, (B) assess offenders for the purpose of identifying appropriate services, (C) monitor compliance with program requirements by offenders who are allowed to participate in the pretrial family violence education program described in subsection (h) of this section, and (D) monitor offenders who have been referred to pretrial services or programs.
(2) The Judicial Department may contract with victim service providers to make available, either directly or through referral, appropriate services that include, but are not limited to, the provision of trauma-informed care, as defined in subsection (f) of section 46b-38b.
(3) The Judicial Department may contract with service providers to provide domestic violence offender treatment programs for offenders referred by the court. Such treatment programs shall comply with the domestic violence offender program standards promulgated under section 46b-38l. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the pretrial family violence education program described in subsection (h) of this section.
(h) (1) There shall be a pretrial family violence education program for persons who are charged with family violence crimes. At a minimum, such program shall inform participants of the basic elements of family violence law and applicable penalties. The court may, in its discretion, invoke such program on motion of the defendant when it finds: (A) That the defendant has not previously been convicted of a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; (B) the defendant has not had a previous case assigned to the family violence education program; (C) the defendant has not previously invoked or accepted accelerated rehabilitation under section 54-56e for a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; and (D) that the defendant is not charged with a class A, class B or class C felony, or an unclassified felony carrying a term of imprisonment of more than ten years, or unless good cause is shown, a class D felony, an unclassified offense carrying a term of imprisonment of more than five years or an offense that involved the infliction of serious physical injury, as defined in section 53a-3. Participation by any person in the accelerated pretrial rehabilitation program under section 54-56e prior to October 1, 1986, shall not prohibit eligibility of such person for the pretrial family violence education program under this section. The court may require that the defendant answer such questions under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under the penalties of perjury as will assist the court in making these findings.
(2) The court, on such motion, may refer the defendant to the family violence intervention unit, and may continue the defendant’s case pending the submission of the report of the unit to the court. The court shall also give notice to the victim or victims that the defendant has requested assignment to the family violence education program, and, where possible, give the victim or victims opportunity to be heard. Any defendant who accepts placement in the family violence education program shall agree to the tolling of any statute of limitations with respect to the crime or crimes with which the defendant is charged, and to a waiver of the defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Any such defendant shall appear in court and shall be released to the custody of the family violence intervention unit for such period, not exceeding two years, and under such conditions as the court shall order. If the defendant refuses to accept, or, having accepted, violates such conditions, the defendant’s case shall be brought to trial. If the defendant satisfactorily completes the family violence education program and complies with the conditions imposed for the period set by the court, the defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against the defendant and the court, on finding satisfactory compliance, shall dismiss such charges.
(3) Upon dismissal of charges under this subsection, all records of such charges shall be erased pursuant to section 54-142a.
(i) A nonrefundable application fee of one hundred dollars shall be paid to the court by any person who files a motion pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (h) of this section to participate in the pretrial family violence education program, and a fee of three hundred dollars shall be paid to the court by any person who enters the family violence education program, except that no person shall be excluded from such program for inability to pay any such fee, provided (1) the person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, and (2) the court enters a finding thereof. All such fees shall be credited to the General Fund.
(j) The Judicial Department shall establish an ongoing training program for judges, Court Support Services Division personnel, guardians ad litem and clerks to inform them about the policies and procedures of sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g, including, but not limited to, the function of the family violence intervention units and the use of restraining and protective orders. Such training program shall include an examination of the factors that contribute to a family being at risk for episodes of domestic violence within the family. The Judicial Branch may consult with organizations that advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence in order to ensure that the training includes information on the unique characteristics of family violence crimes.