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California to enforce Canadian restraining orders

A California bill that allows law enforcement agencies in the state to enforce Canadian orders of protection has been signed into law. Not only does the bill allow police to better protect those seeking protection from domestic violence, but it will also improve cooperation between the state and Canadian authorities.

In 2011, the Uniform Law Conference of Canada began recognizing and enforcing foreign protection orders, including restraining orders that were issued in California and other U.S. states. This piece of legislation was called the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act. California will now similarly enforce protection orders that are issued by Canadian ccourts.

The bill is officially known as the Uniform Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act. In a news release, the state senator who authored the bill said he hoped that other states would follow California's lead. The law is scheduled to take effect at the beginning of 2018.

Those who experience domestic violence at home are at risk for being seriously injured or even killed if the incidents escalate. One way a person can protect himself or herself against a violent family member, partner or spouse is to obtain a restraining order against the abuser. An attorney could advocate for a victim seeking a restraining order. For example, the attorney could submit evidence demonstrating that the person is at risk for serious harm. In the event that the offender continues to violate the order, the attorney could return to court to ask the judge to enforce the terms.

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