Lt. Governor Brown Applauds Delegate Glenn, General Assembly for Passing Strong Legislation to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Bill passes third reader in both chambers, moves to Governor O'Malley's desk for signature
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (April 9, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown enthusiastically applauded the Maryland General Assembly for passing HB1382, a bill that strengthens Maryland’s protection of domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The bill was introduced and championed by Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn from Baltimore City.
“I commend Delegate Glenn’s leadership and thank her for continuing the fight for victims of domestic violence. Far too many of our neighbors, including myself, personally know the real stories of domestic violence and this bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that fewer and fewer Marylanders are victims in the future,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “We have an obligation to protect women and children – and in some circumstances, men – from the dangers of domestic violence. By allowing victims of abuse to terminate a lease or request that their locks be changed so they can seek additional security or new shelter, we can and we will save lives.”
HB1382 allows a tenant who has become a victim of domestic violence to terminate a residential lease with a copy of a final protective order. Victims of sexual assault can terminate their lease with a copy of a final protective or peace order. The bill also allows tenants who become victims to request that the locks be changed to keep a respondent of a protective or peace order from entering the victim’s home. The landlord must change the locks by the close of the next business day. During an eviction proceeding, the bill creates a rebuttable presumption defense for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who have either a final protective or peace order. The tenant, under emergency situations where the property owners or representatives are not available, may also have the locks changed by a certified locksmith with the evidence of a final protective or peace order; they would have to provide a key, immediately to the property owner.
“This bill would not have been possible without the strong support of Lt. Governor Brown and the compromises made by the advocates for victims of domestic and sexual assault and the representatives of property owners. I would also like to commend my very competent staff. The issue of domestic violence is particularly sensitive for me, but I am pleased to be able to use my life experiences to help strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Delegate Glenn.
Last year, Lt. Governor Brown led the O’Malley-Brown administration’s effort to pass legislation taking guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. In August 2008, Brown’s cousin Cathy was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend in Montgomery County during a domestic dispute.