The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1069, on no contact orders and battery. This bill permits the Department of Child Services (DCS) to file a petition for a no contact order on behalf of foster parents and their foster kids. The legislation also increases the penalty for battery against members of foster families from a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony. DCS spoke in favor of this legislation. The Committee was concerned about elevating a Class B misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony for a class of persons (foster parents and family) who were not in an otherwise protected class of vulnerable persons. This class of protected persons currently in statute includes those with mental or physical disabilities, certain younger persons, and public safety officials acting in the course of their official duties. Sen. Glick, the sponsor of the bill, argued that foster parents should be viewed as public officials. The Committee was also concerned by the lack of a requirement of physical injury for a Level 6 felony.
The Committee amended the bill by consent to incorporate the language of Senate Bill 198, which collects all domestic battery offenses and placing them together in one section of the Indiana Code. The amended bill passed 9-0.
Read the bill at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/bills/house/1069