2011 Legislative Report
The following highlights were accomplishments in the 2011 legislative session based on the legislative priorities outlined by the CAWS North Dakota board and membership.
• Prosecutors are allowed to use previous convictions for similar offenses in other courts, including municipal courts, to elevate the penalty for stalking from a class A misdemeanor to a class C felony.
• Legislation created a penalty for landlords that do not allow victims of domestic violence to terminate their residential lease or refuse to rent to a victim that has exercised their right to terminate a lease. If a landlord is found guilty, the court may award statutory damages of one thousand dollars. The court also may award actual damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, and disbursements.
• Insurance companies are prohibited from denying health insurance coverage based on domestic violence as a preexisting condition.
• Changes were made to North Dakota’s unemployment compensation legislation which enable victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits if the reason for separation from the most recent employment or continued employment would jeopardize the safety of the individual or the individual’s spouse, parent, or minor child. Victims must submit documentation such as court order, protection order, police report, or written affidavit from an advocate, counselor, or member of the clergy verifying that domestic violence or sexual assault is the reason for leaving employment.
For more information, please see the full 2011 Legislative Report.