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Enrolled Version - Final Version House Bill 2603 History

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ENROLLED

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

for

H. B. 2603

         (By Delegates Morgan, Stephens, Staggers,

           Eldridge, Jones, Lynch, Paxton, Hartman,

                 M. Smith, Barrett and Skinner)

         [Passed April 12, 2013; in effect from passage.]

 

AN ACT to repeal §48-26-404, §48-26-405, §48-26-601, §48-26-602, §48-26-901, §48-26-902, §48-26-1003, §48-26-1005, §48-26-1006 and §48-26-1007 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §48-26-202, §48-26-203, §48-26-204, §48-26-205, §48-26-206, §48-26-301, §48-26-401, §48-26-402, §48-26-403, §48-26-406, §48-26-603, §48-26-604, §48-26-701, §48-26-1001, §48-26-1002 and §48-26-1004 of said code; and to amend said code by adding thereto nine new sections, designated §48-26-207, §48-26-208, §48-26-209, §48-26-210, §48-26-211, §48-26-212, §48-26-213, §48-26-214 and §48-26-408, all relating to the Family Protection Services Board; revising definitions; adding definitions; revising qualifications for membership on the board; adding two new members to the board; clarifying that the two ex officio members have voting privileges; prohibiting certain persons from serving on the board at the same time as certain other persons; providing for appointments for unexpired terms of board members; providing appointments for members who become disqualified; clarifying and expanding the board’s powers and duties; requiring board to submit annual report to Governor and Joint Committee on Government and Finance; authorizing legislative rules; increasing the percentage of board funds that may be used for administrative functions; authorizing the board to develop formulas to direct funds to certain programs; prohibiting programs from falsely representing that they are licensed; authorizing the board to develop preliminary and full application forms; requiring board to respond in writing within certain time after receiving preliminary and full applications; providing for conditional, provisional and full licenses; allowing certain entities to provide support to programs in certain situations; authorizing the board to issue licenses for up to three years; updating provisions related to the closure of programs; authorizing the board to issue notices to cease and desist and seek injunctive relief in certain situations; setting forth procedures for hearings and appeals; clarifying the uses of the Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund; requiring programs to report annually to the board; updating confidentiality protections for programs participants; updating provisions related to monitored parenting and exchange programs; providing that judges and magistrates may order persons to participate in a monitored parenting and exchange program; and allowing monitored parenting and exchange programs to receive referrals.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §48-26-404, §48-26-405, §48-26-601, §48-26-602, §48-26-901, §48-26-902, §48-26-1003, §48-26-1005, §48-26-1006 and §48-26-1007 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §48-26-202, §48-26-203, §48-26-204, §48-26-205, §48-26-206, §48-26-301, §48-26-401, §48-26-402, §48-26-403, §48-26-406, §48-26-603, §48-26-604, §48-26-701, §48-26-1001, §48-26-1002 and §48-26-1004 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto nine new sections, designated §48-26-207, §48-26-208, §48-26-209, §48-26-210, §48-26-211, §48-26-212, §48-26-213, §48-26-214 and §48-26-407, all to read as follows:

    That §48-26-404, §48-26-405, §48-26-601, §48-26-602, §48-26-901, §48-26-902, §48-26-1003, §48-26-1005, §48-26-1006 and §48-26-1007 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §48-26-202, §48-26-203, §48-26-204, §48-26-205, §48-26-206, §48-26-301, §48-26-401, §48-26-402, §48-26-403, §48-26-406, §48-26-603, §48-26-604, §48-26-701, §48-26-1001, §48-26-1002 and §48-26-1004 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto nine new sections, designated §48-26-207, §48-26-208, §48-26-209, §48-26-210, §48-26-211, §48-26-212, §48-26-213, §48-26-214 and §48-26-408, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 26. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT.

PART II. DEFINITIONS.

§48-26-202. Advocacy defined.

    “Advocacy” means assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking, and their children, in securing rights, remedies and services, by directly providing for, or referring to public and private agencies to provide for, safety planning; shelter; housing; legal services; outreach; counseling; case management; information and referral; training; employment; child care; health care; transportation; financial literacy education, financial planning and related economic empowerment services; parenting and other educational services; and other support services.

§48-26-203. Batterer Intervention and Prevention Program defined.

    “Batterer intervention and prevention program”, previously referred to as a program of intervention for perpetrators, means a licensed educational program that provides classes to individuals who commit acts of domestic violence or abuse, offering nonviolent strategies and values that promote respect and equality in intimate partner relationships.

§48-26-204. Board defined.

    “Board” means the Family Protection Services Board created pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Acts of the Legislature of 1989 and subsequently recodified by this article.

§48-26-205. Closure defined.

    “Closure” means the temporary or permanent prohibition of specified services and the corresponding suspension of licensure of a program or program component that violates the standards established by the board or that threatens the health, well being or safety of its program participants or staff.

§48-26-206. Department defined.

    “Department” means the Department of Health and Human Resources.

§48-26-207. Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund defined.

    “Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund” means the special revenue account established by section six hundred three of this article for the purposes set forth in that section.

§48-26-208. Domestic violence program defined.
    “Domestic violence program” means a licensed program of a locally controlled nonprofit organization, established primarily for the purpose of providing advocacy services, comprising both a shelter component and an outreach component, to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking, and their children: Provided, That the board may temporarily or permanently close either the shelter component or the outreach component of a domestic violence program.

§48-26-209. Family Protection Fund defined.

    “Family Protection Fund” means the special revenue account established by Chapter 74 of the Acts of the Legislature of 1981, held by the department, for the purpose of collecting marriage license fees pursuant to section ten, article one, chapter fifty-nine of this code, divorce surcharge fees pursuant to section twenty-eight-a, article one, chapter fifty-nine of this code, fees for failure to present a premarital education course completion certificate pursuant to section ten, article one, chapter fifty-nine of this code and any other funding source, including any source created in another section of this code, and distributed to licensed domestic violence programs, in accordance with the formula designated by the board.

§48-26-210. Intimate partner defined.

    “Intimate partner” means a current or former spouse, a person with whom one shares a child in common, a person with whom one is cohabiting or has cohabited, or a person with whom one is or has been in a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

§48-26-211. Licenses defined.

    (a) “Conditional license” means a license issued for up to ninety days, to programs that have violations of safety or accountability standards that may threaten the health, well-being or safety of its program participants or staff, or the responsible operation of the program, or that have a history or pattern of noncompliance with established standards.

    (b) “Provisional license” means a license issued for up to one hundred and eighty days, to programs that are not in compliance with nonlife threatening safety, programmatic, facility or administrative standards, that may be extended for an additional six months, if the board determines that the program is making active progress toward compliance.

    (c) “Full license” means a license issued for up to the maximum licensure period of three years, to programs that are in compliance with the standards established by the board and have no violations of safety or accountability standards that may threaten the health, well-being or safety of its program participants or staff, or the responsible operation of the program.

§48-26-212. Monitored parenting and exchange defined.

    (a) “Monitored parenting” means the contact between a parent without custodial responsibility, guardian or other adult and one or more children, in the presence of a third person who monitors the contact to promote the safety of the participants.

    (b) “Monitored exchange” means the observation of movement of a child or children from the custodial responsibility of one parent or guardian to the custodial responsibility of the other parent or other adult without allowing contact between the adults.

    (c) “Monitored parenting and exchange program” means a licensed program offered by a locally controlled nonprofit organization for purposes of providing a neutral, safe and child-friendly environment to allow the child or children access to a parent or other adult without allowing contact between the adults.

§48-26-213. Outreach defined.

    “Outreach” means a licensed domestic violence program’s community-based activities that increase awareness and availability of services, in every county within the program’s regional service area, to victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking, and their children.

§48-26-214. Shelter defined.

    “Shelter” means residential services offered by a licensed domestic violence program on a temporary basis, to persons who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking, and their children.

PART III. FAMILY PROTECTION SERVICES BOARD.

§48-26-301. Family protection services board continued; terms.

    (a) The family protection services board, is continued.

    (b) Membership of the board is comprised of seven persons. The Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint five members of the board who meet the following qualifications:

    (1) One member must be a director of a licensed domestic violence program;

    (2) One member must be a representative of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence;

    (3) One member must be a representative of a batterer intervention and prevention program licensed by the board;

    (4) One member must be a representative of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals who is familiar with monitored parenting and exchange program services; and

    (5) One member must be a citizen who is a resident of this state and who is not employed by, under contract with or a volunteer for a program licensed by the board, and who is knowledgeable about services for victims and survivors of domestic violence;

    (c) The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee, and the chair of the Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction, or his or her designee shall serve as ex officio voting members.

    (d) The terms of the five members appointed by the Governor are for three years, staggered in accordance with prior enactments of this act.

    (e) No person who is employed by, under contract with or volunteers for an organization that is licensed to operate any program under the provisions of this article may serve on the board at the same time as another person who is employed by, under contract with or volunteers for that organization.

        (f) If a member resigns or is unable to complete his or her term or ceases to be qualified, the Governor shall appoint within ninety days a person who meets the qualifications of this section to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.

PART IV. DUTIES OF FAMILY PROTECTION SERVICES BOARD.

§48-26-401. Powers and duties of board.

    

    (a) The board shall:

    (1) Propose rules for legislative approval, in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement the provisions of this article and any applicable federal guidelines;

    (2) Receive and consider applications for licensure of domestic violence programs, batterer intervention and prevention programs and monitored parenting and exchange programs;

    (3) Assess the need for domestic violence programs, batterer intervention and prevention programs and monitored parenting and exchange programs, including licensure preapplication and application processes;

    (4) Conduct licensure renewal reviews of domestic violence programs, batterer intervention and prevention programs and monitored parenting and exchange programs, that will ensure the safety, well-being and health of the programs’ participants and staff;

    (5) For each fiscal year, expend from the Family Protection Fund a sum not to exceed fifteen percent for the costs of administering the provisions of this article, and direct the Department of Health and Human Resources to distribute one half of the remaining funds equally and the other half of the remaining funds in accordance with a formula determined by the board, to licensed domestic violence programs;

    (6) Submit an annual report on the status of programs licensed under the provisions of this article to the Governor and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance;

    (7) Conduct hearings as necessary under this article; and

    (8) Collect data about licensed programs for use in the annual report of the board.

    

    

        

    

    

    

    (b) The board may:

    (1) Advise the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Chair of the Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction on matters of concern relative to their responsibilities under this article;

    (2) Delegate to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources such powers and duties of the board as the board considers appropriate to delegate, including, but not limited to, the authority to approve, disapprove, revoke or suspend licenses;

    (3) Advise administrators of state or federal funds of licensure violations and closures of programs; and

    (4) Exercise all other powers necessary to implement the provisions of this article.

§48-26-402. Requirements, qualifications and terms of licensure; collaboration to assist programs.

    (a) No domestic violence program, batterer intervention and prevention program or monitored parenting and exchange program may represent that it is licensed unless it is licensed by the board pursuant to the provisions of this article and the legislative rules promulgated pursuant to this article.

    (b) The board shall establish preliminary application and full application forms for the initial licensing of domestic violence programs, batterer intervention and prevention programs and monitored parenting and exchange programs.

    (1) To meet basic eligibility requirements an applicant for licensure must complete a preliminary application form to demonstrate local need for the proposed service, method of governance and accountability, administrative and programmatic design, and fiscal efficiency. The board shall respond in writing within sixty days of receipt of the preliminary application;

    (2) If the board approves the preliminary application, the applicant may complete a full application form;

    (3) The board shall determine whether all documentation set forth on the licensure checklist has been submitted, and may request supplemental or clarifying information or documentation; and

    (4) The board shall grant or deny a license within sixty days of the receipt of the completed full application form and all supplemental or clarifying information or documentation requested by the board.

    (c) Licenses may be granted or renewed for periods not to exceed three years: Provided, That the board may conduct licensure reviews at any time during the licensure period, and may downgrade, suspend or revoke a license in accordance with the provisions of this article.

    

    (d) The license granted by the board shall be prominently displayed by the licensees.

    (e) The board may grant a provisional license for up to one hundred and eighty days, to a program that is not in compliance with non-life threatening safety, programmatic, facility or administrative standards. A provisional license may be extended for up to an additional one hundred and eighty days, if the board, in its sole discretion, determines that the program is making active progress toward compliance.

    (f) The board may grant a conditional license for up to ninety days to a program that has violations of safety or accountability standards that may threaten the health, well-being or safety of its participants or staff, or the responsible operation of the program, or that have a history or pattern of noncompliance with established standards. If a program does not correct the violations within the conditional license period, the board may institute closure proceedings.

    (g) The Department of Health and Human Resources, the Division of Justice and Community Services, the Family Protection Services Board, the WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the Division of Corrections may, collectively or in any combination as appropriate to the program, collaborate to provide technical assistance to prevent and resolve deficiencies in a program’s ability to meet the standards to operate and maintain licensure.

    (h) If the board obtains information that a person or persons has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in an act that constitutes or will constitute a violation of the provisions of this article or the legislative rules promulgated pursuant to this article, it may issue a notice to the person or persons to cease and desist the act, or apply to the circuit court for an order enjoining the act. Upon a showing that the person has engaged, is engaging or is about to engage in such an act, the court may order an injunction, restraining order or other order as the court considers appropriate.

§48-26-403. Legislative rules.

    (a) The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the provisions of this article.

    (b) The rules shall include, at a minimum:

    (1) Operating procedures of the board;

    (2) Minimum standards, including, but not limited to, governance, administration, safety, referral process, intake, services, financial accountability, staffing, personnel policies, communication, program participant records, service plans, confidentiality, program evaluation, facility requirements, reports, restrictions, and other requirements in this article, for licensure of:

    (A) Domestic violence programs, including requirements for both shelter and outreach components;

    (B) Community-based, local government and Division of Corrections batterer intervention and prevention programs; and

    (C) Monitored parenting and exchange programs; and

    (3) A licensure checklist to determine the ability of applicants and licensees to meet licensure standards, to determine eligibility for a full license, provisional license, conditional license or no license.

    (c) The rules in effect as of the effective date of the reenactment of this section will remain in effect until modified, amended or repealed provided that they are not inconsistent with this article.

§48-26-406. Closure of programs.

    (a) The board may close any program that violates the standards established under this article or that threatens the health, well-being or safety of its participants or staff: Provided, That if a shelter is closed, the governing body of the program, in conjunction with the board, shall establish a plan to place the participants in other shelters or alternative housing.

    

    (b) In order to close a domestic violence program or one of its components, a batterer intervention and prevention program or a monitored parenting and exchange program, the board must vote unanimously in the affirmative.

    (c) If either the shelter component or the outreach component of a domestic violence program is closed, the remaining component of the program may continue to be licensed and to receive funds.

§48-26-408. Hearing procedures; judicial review.

    (a) When a license for a program is downgraded or discontinued through permanent or temporary closure, the program’s governing body is entitled to a hearing before the board.

    (b) Hearings shall be held in accordance with the provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

    (c) The board may conduct the hearing or elect to have a hearing examiner or an administrative law judge conduct the hearing. If the hearing is conducted by a hearing examiner or an administrative law judge:

    (1) The hearing examiner or administrative law judge shall be licensed to practice law in this state and shall conform to the Code of Conduct for Administrative Law Judges as set forth by the Ethics Commission in legislative rule;

    (2) At the conclusion of a hearing, the hearing examiner or administrative law judge shall prepare a proposed written order containing recommended findings of fact and conclusions of law and may include recommended sanctions, including closure, if the board so directs;

    (3) The board may accept, reject, modify or amend the recommendations of the hearing examiner or administrative law judge; and

    (4) If the board rejects, modifies or amends the recommendations, the board shall state in the order a reasoned, articulate justification based on the record for the rejection, modification or amendment.

    (d) Pursuant to the provisions of section one, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, informal disposition may also be made by the board by stipulation, agreed settlement, consent order or default. Further, the board may suspend its decision and place a license on conditional or provisional status.

    (e) A licensee adversely affected by a decision of the board entered after a hearing may seek an appeal to the Circuit Court, in accordance with the provisions of section four, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, and may appeal a decision of the Circuit Court to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, in accordance with the provisions of article six, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.

PART VI. FUNDING.

§48-26-603. Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund.

    (a) There is continued in the State Treasury a special revenue account, designated as the “Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund,” that shall be an appropriated fund for receipt of grants, gifts, fees, or federal or state funds designated for legal services for domestic violence victims. Expenditures from the fund shall be limited to attorneys employed or contracted by licensed domestic violence programs, or employed or contracted by West Virginia’s federally designated legal services program, its successor organization or other nonprofit organization as determined by the department, that establish a collaborative relationship with a licensed domestic violence program, to provide civil legal services to victims of domestic violence.

    (b) Any court of this state may order a nonprevailing party to pay an amount equivalent to the reasonable attorney’s fee to which the prevailing litigant would be entitled into the Domestic Violence Legal Services Fund, established in subsection (a) of this section, if the following circumstances occur:

    (1) A prevailing litigant is entitled by statute or common law to a reasonable attorney’s fee, and

    (2) The prevailing litigant’s legal counsel informs the court that no fee will be requested.

§48-26-604. Annual reports of licensed programs.

    (a) All programs licensed pursuant to this article shall report specific information annually as required by the board.

    (b) No information contained in a report may identify any person served by the program or enable any person to determine the identity of any such person.

PART VII. CONFIDENTIALITY.

§48-26-701. Confidentiality.

    (a) No program licensed pursuant to this article may disclose, reveal or release or be compelled to disclose, reveal or release, any written records or personal or personally identifying information about a program participant created or maintained in providing services, regardless of whether the information has been encoded, encrypted, hashed, or otherwise protected, pursuant to this article except:

    (1) Upon written consent, or upon oral consent in emergency situations defined by legislative rule, of the person seeking or who has sought services from the program;

    (2) In any proceeding brought under sections four and five, article six, chapter nine of this code or article six, chapter forty-nine of this code;

    (3) As mandated by article six-a, chapter forty-nine and article six, chapter nine of this code;

    (4) Pursuant to an order of any court based upon a finding that said information is sufficiently relevant to a proceeding before the court to outweigh the importance of maintaining the confidentiality established by this section;

    (5) To protect against a clear and substantial danger of imminent injury by a person receiving services to himself or herself or another; or

    (6) As authorized by the releases signed by batterer intervention and prevention program participants pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) Batterer intervention and prevention program participants shall authorize the release of information by signing the following releases:

    (1) Allowing the provider to inform the victim or alleged victim and the victim’s advocates that the batterer is participating in a batterer intervention and prevention program with the provider and to provide information to the victim or alleged victim and her or his advocates, if necessary, for the victim’s or alleged victim’s safety;

    (2) Allowing prior and current service providers to provide information about the batterer to the provider;

    (3) Allowing the provider, for good cause, to provide information about the batterer to relevant legal entities, including courts, parole officers, probation officers, child protective services, adult protective services, law enforcement, licensed domestic violence programs, or other referral agencies;

    (4) Allowing the provider to report to the court, if the participation was court ordered, and to the victim or alleged victim, if she or he requests and provides a method of notification, and to his or her advocate, any assault, failure to comply with program requirements, failure to attend the program, threat of harm by the batterer, reason for termination and recommendations for changes in the court order; and

    (5) Allowing the provider to report to the victim or alleged victim, or his or her advocate, without the participant’s authorization, all perceived threats of harm, the participant’s failure to attend and reason for termination.

    (c) Monitored parenting and exchange programs may disclose to one parent or guardian, without the permission of the other parent or guardian, any perceived threat of harm or violation of the court order or violation of the monitored parenting and exchange program rules by the other parent or guardian.

    (d) No monitored parenting and exchange program may release information about the child without consent of the parent with custodial responsibility or guardian.

    (e) In addition to the provisions set forth in this section, the release of a victim’s personally identifying information is subject to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 13925(b)(2).

    (f) No consent or authorization for the transmission or disclosure of confidential information is effective unless it is signed by the program participant whose information is being disclosed. Every person signing an authorization shall be given a copy.

    (g) A victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking shall not be required to provide consent to release his or her personally identifying information as a condition of eligibility for the services, nor may any personally-identifying information be shared in order to comply with federal or state reporting, evaluation, or data collection requirements: Provided, That nothing in this section prohibits a program from reporting suspected abuse or neglect, as defined by law, when the program is mandated by law to report suspected abuse or neglect.

PART X . MONITORED PARENTING AND EXCHANGE PROGRAMS.

§48-26-1001. Court orders; use of monitored parenting and exchange programs without court order.

    (a) Judges and magistrates may order persons to apply to a licensed monitored parenting and exchange program for monitored parenting or monitored exchange of children: Provided, That a licensed monitored parenting and exchange program may not be required to perform duties that are beyond the program’s capacity or scope of services.

    (b) Judges and magistrates may require a person to pay a reasonable amount based on ability to pay and other relevant criteria for any fee charged by a monitored parenting and exchange program.

    (c) Licensed monitored parenting and exchange programs may receive referrals from judges, magistrates, child protective services, attorneys and other agencies, for services under the terms and conditions of those services as set forth in rules promulgated by the board.

    (d) Licensed monitored parenting and exchange programs may serve self-referrals when the adult parties agree to the use of the program.

§48-26-1002. Exclusions.
    The provisions of this part do not apply to therapeutic or supervised visitation or exchanges or any activity conducted by the state or others in abuse and neglect proceedings pursuant to articles six and six-a, chapter forty-nine of this code in which assessment, evaluation, formulation of a treatment plan, case management, counseling, therapy or similar activities occur.

§48-26-1004. Contract by persons using program.

    Every program shall require that the parent, guardian or other adult sign a written contract prior to using the program and that the use of the services provided by the program can be terminated by the program for violation of the contract.





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