Legislation sponsored by Senator Jon Bramnick that permits stalking victims to obtain restraining orders against strangers was signed into law today.
Prior to this legislation being signed, the law did not permit victims of stalking and other forms of abuse to obtain a restraining order when the defendant was a stranger. In most cases, a victim had to prove that they had a prior or existing spousal, household, or dating relationship with the offender, unless the defendant was previously convicted of stalking.
Senator Bramnick's bill, S-1517, closed this loophole by authorizing the issuance of restraining orders when a victim lacks a prior or existing relationship with their offender.
The new law also allows any parent or guardian of a victim who is underage, has a developmental disability, or is incapable of providing consent to file for a restraining order on the victim's behalf.
"With the signing of this life-saving legislation, victims of stalking and harassment can now obtain protective orders without having to show they had a prior relationship with the defendant," said Bramnick (R-21). "It is ridiculous that many people who were being stalked couldn't get a restraining order without filing criminal charges when they were being threatened or harassed by a stranger. This new law will make it easier for more victims to get restraining orders before frightening behavior escalates to actual harm."