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California to honor Canada's domestic violence restraining orders

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday, July 25 that will provide reciprocity for a now 6-year-old Canadian law. California law enforcement agencies will now be required to uphold restraining orders in domestic violence cases issued by Canadian authorities statewide.

As for why the governor decided to sign what's now known as SB 204 into law, he noted that both Canada and California have historically enjoyed a close relationship in terms of cross-border travel and trade. He noted that it only makes sense that the two would also uphold restraining orders as well.

Despite the fact that the bill was signed into law in July, the Recognition and Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2018.

California is the first state in the country to implement such a law. As for the Canadian consul general that attended the bill signing, he notes that the reciprocal legislation is important to maintain public safety within the two countries. Governor Brown notes that, in signing this bill, he hopes that domestic violence survivors will be made to feel that the state is a safe haven for them.

As for Canada, the country first instituted what's called the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act in 2011. It essentially calls for the recognition of foreign protection orders from various countries including the United States.

Prosecutors tend to look poorly upon those defendants that have been previously admonished by a judge to stay away from their victim. Given the existence of this new law, violating it could even lead a prosecutor to ask for you to have your visa revoked, making it impossible to live or work in the United States.

If you've been accused of domestic violence and are subject to a restraining order, either issued in the United States or Canada, then it's imperative that you seek out the guidance of a Van Nuys criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected in your legal case.

Source: Lake County News, "California passes law to recognize Canadian domestic violence restraining orders," July 26, 2017

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