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Rep.Landgraf, Brooks

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Texas Protective Order Registry Established by Monica’s Law Goes Live Across Texas 
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by: Rep. Landgraf, Brooks
10/29/2020

ODESSA — The Texas Protective Order Registry, which State Representative Brooks Landgraf (Odessa) created through “Monica’s Law,” is now in operation across all 254 Texas counties. The online database lists protective orders issued by Texas courts as a result of domestic violence, with victims’ privacy protections in place.

“The Texas Protective Order Registry fills in an information gap that existed between the courts, law enforcement and the public as it relates to protective orders arising from incidents of domestic violence,” Representative Landgraf said. “Now, repeat offenders of domestic abuse won't be able to hide their crimes by moving from county to county, because every court and law enforcement agency in the state will have access to a complete database of all protective orders.”

“Monica’s Law” was named in honor of Monica Deming, an Odessa mother who was murdered by an abusive ex-boyfriend in 2015. He was able to hide his violent past and protective orders filed against by exploiting the information gap in the system.

More than 1,800 protective orders have already been entered in the registry by court clerks across Texas. The Office of Court Administration (OCA) continues to provide training for courts and law enforcement agencies on how to use the system.

The publicly accessible portion of the Texas Protective Order Registry is now live as well. A protective order will only be entered into the searchable, public database when the person being protected expressly authorizes access. This access is subject to strict confidentiality standards to protect victims of family violence, stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

“Monica and her family were unaware that her killer had two previous protective orders against him that he had been able to easily hide,” Representative Landgraf said. “Monica would likely still be alive today, had that information been accessible. That is precisely why we -- Monica’s family, Senator Joan Huffman, Representative Morgan Meyer, and so many West Texans -- worked so hard to pass Monica's Law. Lives will be saved through the Texas Protective Order Registry.”

The next phase of this project will allow courts, law enforcement, and prosecutors access to more complete protective order information than previously available under the law. This will enhance both the criminal justice response and safety planning for survivors.

The Texas Protective Order Registry can be viewed at:
www.txcourts.gov/judicial-data/protective-order-registry

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