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Missouri lawmaker proposes ankle bracelets in some domestic cases

Lawmakers in Jefferson City are considering making changes to the law somewhat related to domestic abuse allegations. A bill has been introduced in the Missouri Senate that is aimed at people who have violated a restraining order on at least one occasion. The measure would create a new provision that would allow for repeat offenders to be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

Essentially, the device would be an ankle bracelet to track the person’s whereabouts. The unit would be used to notify a domestic violence victim and law enforcement if the alleged offender were to get within a defined range of the alleged victim.

A victim of domestic abuse may seek an order for protection related to the domestic violence issues. These restraining orders are currently available under Missouri law. The new proposed measure would essentially create a new form of potential enforcement -- using the electronic monitoring device to track the whereabouts of the subject of the domestic violence restraining order.

Notably, allegations of domestic abuse may arise from time-to-time when a marriage breaks down. Indeed, a domestic violence order for protection may include provisions that go beyond ordering a person to refrain from acts of abuse, or contacting a victim. The court may include provisions related to child custody and visitation issues in an order for protection.

These issues may arise at any time, and not all no-contact orders are specifically tied to a divorce. But, a person seeking a domestic abuse order for protection, or one seeking to defend against the allegations, may retain legal counsel for assistance related to the issue.

Source: Fox 4 Kansas City, "Mo. legislation: Track domestic violence suspects with ankle bracelets," Rob Low, Jan. 10, 2014

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