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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2890         FILED ON: 1/18/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1205

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

John J. Binienda

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to videoconference hearings when one party is subject to a protective order or restraining order.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

John J. Binienda

17th Worcester

Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2890        FILED ON: 1/18/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1205

By Mr. Binienda of Worcester, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1205) of John J. Binienda and Michael O. Moore for legislation to authorize the use of video-conferencing in certain court proceedings involving children and families.  The Judiciary. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 3143 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to videoconference hearings when one party is subject to a protective order or restraining order.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  Chapter 208 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:

              Section 34E.  (a) In any court proceeding in a child and family relations matter, including, but not limited to chapters 209, 209A and 209B, the court may, within available resources, upon motion, order that the testimony of a party or a child who is a subject of the proceeding be taken outside the physical presence of any other party if a protective order, restraining order or standing criminal restraining order has been issued on behalf of the party or child, and the other party is subject to the protective order or restraining order.  Such order may provide for the use of alternative means to obtain the testimony of any party or child, including, but not limited to, the use of a secure video connection for the purpose of conducting hearings by videoconference.  Such testimony may be taken in a room other than the courtroom or at another location outside the courthouse or outside the state.  The court shall provide for the administration of an oath to such party or child prior to the taking of such testimony in accordance with the rules of the superior court.

              (b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit any party’s right to cross-examine a witness whose testimony is taken in a room other than the courtroom pursuant to an order under this section.

              (c) An order under this section may remain in effect during the pendency of the proceedings in the child and family relations matter.

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