SB430 HJUD AM #1

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

            That §48-27-507 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code by amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §51-2A-2a, to read as follows:



§ 48-27-507. Mutual protective orders prohibited.

            Mutual protective orders are prohibited unless both parties have filed a petition under part 3 of this article and have proven the allegations of domestic violence by a preponderance of the evidence. This shall not prevent other persons, including the respondent, from filing a separate petition. The court may consolidate two or more petitions if he or she determines that consolidation will further the interest of justice and judicial economy. The court shall enter a separate order for each petition filed: Provided, That nothing in this section shall preclude the court from entering an order restricting contact pursuant to section two-a, article two-a, chapter fifty-one of this code.



§51-2A-2a. Family court jurisdiction to restrict contact between parties.

            (a) A family court in its discretion may, at any time during the pendency of any action prosecuted under chapter forty-eight of this code, restrict contact between the parties thereto without a finding of domestic violence under article twenty-seven of said chapter. This order shall not be considered a protective order for purposes of section five hundred seven, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code. A court may enter a standing order regarding the conduct expected of the parties during the proceeding. Any standing order may restrict the parties from:

            (1) Entering the home, school, business or place of employment of the other for the purpose of bothering or annoying the other;

            (2) Contacting the other, in person, in writing, electronically or by telephone, for purposes not clearly necessary for the prosecution of the underlying action or any obligation related thereto or resulting therefrom;

            (b)Upon a finding of misconduct by a party, the Court shall enter an Order against the offending party enjoining the conduct which disturbs or interferes with the peace or liberty of the other party so long as such conduct does not rise to the level of or constitute domestic violence as defined in article twenty seven of Chapter forty-eight of this Code. The Court shall not issue orders under this section in cases where the conduct of either party has previously risen to the level of domestic violence.

            (c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the court from entering an emergency protective order, or final protective order, as provided in article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code.

            (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of section five hundred five, article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code, an order entered pursuant to the provisions of this section shall remain in effect for a period of time as specified in the order.

            (e) The court may enforce orders under this section against the offending party through its powers of contempt, pursuant to section nine of this article.

            (f) It is the express intent of the Legislature that orders issued pursuant to this section are to restrict behavior which is not of sufficient severity to implicate the provisions of article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code and 18 U.S.C. section 922(g)(8).