Delegate Gerron S. Levi says:
On my watch, I have been proud as a member of Maryland’s House Judiciary Committee to sponsor, co-sponsor and support law and legislation requiring abusers to surrender firearms as part of domestic violence protective orders, lengthening the term of protective orders, enabling more services to victims of domestic violence, among other improvements to Maryland law. Between July 1st and December 31st last year, 10,049 petitions reached a final protective order hearing in Maryland and just 742 or 7% were denied because the person seeking protection could not meet the required burden of proof. I am searching for how many states in this country that beat that number — states that are denying fewer requests for protective orders than Maryland. Even as a woman lawmaker who is committed to protecting women from domestic violence, I must try to be fair to both the alleged abuser and the alleged victim in what are essentially criminal charges in a civil proceeding. Charges that will create a permanent public record for the alleged abuser, available to employers, landlords and others even if the domestic violence charge is dropped, dismissed or a final protective order is never entered. Even when horrid cases are grabbing headlines, lawmakers must try to examine the law and protect victims without creating public records in an electronic age that undermine the presumption of innocence until found guilty. I cannot support lowering the burden of proof for protective orders, but I feel at peace that domestic violence victims are getting as much protection from Maryland courts as they could get anywhere in the United States.
State Delegate Gerron S. Levi
Candidate for Prince George’s County Executive
Maryland Delegate Joseph Vallario Responsible for ‘Killing Domestic Violence H.B 700' http://dumpjosephvallariojr.blogspot.com/
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Washington Post – Sunday, March 7, 2010: AS EXPECTED, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee wrongly killed a bill on Thursday that would have made it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain protective orders. H.B. 700 would have brought Maryland into conformance with the practices of every other state in the country. As an election-year service to voters, here is the 15 to 6 vote:
Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George’s) did not vote, as is the general practice.
Against: Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore), Benjamin S. Barnes (D-Prince George’s), Jill P. Carter (D-Baltimore), Frank M. Conaway Jr. (D-Baltimore), Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), William J. Frank (R-Baltimore County), J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County), Kevin Kelly (D-Allegany), Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George’s), Tony McConkey (R-Anne Arundel), Victor R. Ramirez (D-Prince George’s), Samuel I. Rosenberg (D-Baltimore), Todd L. Schuler (D-Baltimore County), Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Montgomery) and Michael D. Smigiel Sr. (R-Cecil).
For: Kathleen M. Dumais (D-Montgomery), Benjamin F. Kramer (D-Montgomery), Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery), Susan McComas (R-Harford), Kriselda Valderrama (D-Prince George’s) and Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery).
Remind Maryland lawmakers that domestic violence victims will not forget how they have been pushed to the side once again. Here are links to information and contact info on the legislators who voted against this important bill.
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