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What We’re Working On

Professional Visitation Monitor Reform

AB 1165 would prevent anyone from serving as a paid visitation monitor for children if they are convicted of a sex crime as well as other violent or serious felonies. The bill would require monitor candidates to obtain a LiveScan background check at the time of their initial employment and annually thereafter. LiveScans are currently required for teachers, childcare workers and even school volunteers.

The bill clarifies that 12 of the required 24 hours of training for professional monitors must be done in-person to ensure the training has been done.

View Recent AB-1165
Download Professional Monitor White Paper
Download Pro Visitation Monitors 101

No Firearms: Out-of-State Domestic Abuse Suspects (or restraining order holders)

AB 164 would close a loophole and help protect domestic abuse survivors by allowing California courts to enforce firearm prohibitions that are part of court orders issued in other states. Currently, California recognizes domestic violence protective orders issued by other states. However, California law does not permit a law enforcement official or court to recognize a firearm prohibition issued by another state for domestic abuse or any other violation. That leaves California officials unable to enforce a valid prohibition of the possession or purchase of a firearm issued in another state. AB 164 prevents someone from skirting a valid firearm prohibition issued in another state by crossing the state line in to California.

View Recent AB-164

Screening For Sexually Violent Predators

AB 141 would require that sexually violent predators serving an indeterminate prison sentence be evaluated less than 6 months from the inmates scheduled release date.

View Recent SB-141

Rape Kit Testing Reform

SB 22 & AB 643 would require that law enforcement agencies submit sexual assault forensic evidence to a crime lab for processing in a timely manner.

View Recent AB-643
View Recent SB-22

Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation: No Communication With A Minor

AB 135 would make it a felony to contact a minor with the intent to engage in human trafficking.

View Recent AB-135

Passed Legislation

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 117

Key Elkins’ Recommendations for Family Law Courts

Develop Streamline Procedures for Uncontested Cases & Defaults

The research by the Elkins Report indicates there is a high percentage of divorce cases that could be settled without the people involved appearing before a judicial officer.  Developing streamline procedures for uncontested cases and defaults could help eliminate unnecessary court appearance and reduce the cost and time commitment from the people involved in those case as well as speed up the process dramatically.

Simple Forms for Motions, Discovery, and Couples in Agreement

The number and complexity of forms used for motions, discovery and even agreements have grown over the years often making it difficult to tell which forms are needed or even how they should be used. Frequently used forms should be reviewed to make them clear and easy to use by attorneys and by people representing themselves. These forms should also be easy to find.

Assess and Improve Mechanisms to Handle Perjury

Finding a timely and fair resolution to marriage dissolution cases depends on factual information being presented to the courts, but many litigants feel far too often the information submitted to the courts is false. To combat this problem, the types of sanctions available to judges should be expanded for both attorneys and the parties in the case who intentionally file false statements and information.

Set Time Standards for Divorce Completion

Even though other states have time standards for completion of the dissolution of marriage, California family courts do not.  Rules are needed to set out a framework for timely disposition of family law cases. The Elkins Report set the following time standards as realistic goals for case completion.

  • 20% resolved within 9 months
  • 75% resolved within 18 months
  • 90% resolved within 24 months

*Currently the average time for a marriage dissolution case in California is 11.7 months without children and 18.2 months for families with children

Provide Culturally Competent Mediation Services

California is an ethnically and culturally diverse state, but current mediation services are not always trained or equipped to consider the social norms from a variety of cultures and sexual orientations.

Source: mediation.com

The Elkins Family Law Task Force Final Reports

For more than a decade, improvements have been recommended through independent reviews by the Judicial Council via the Elkins Family Law Task Force Final Report, as well as legislators, attorneys, judges and the very people using the system. Unfortunately, few of those recommendations have been put into practice. FJAIA is committed to keeping those needed changes in the forefront and advocating for the people who use the family law courts.

The Elkins Family Law Task Force Final Reports

For more than a decade, improvements have been recommended through independent reviews by the Judicial Council via the Elkins Family Law Task Force Final Report, as well as legislators, attorneys, judges and the very people using the system. Unfortunately, few of those recommendations have been put into practice. FJAIA is committed to keeping those needed changes in the forefront and advocating for the people who use the family law courts.