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  Connecticut Marriage Laws

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1. Get Ordained- View information about what World Christianship Ministries offers and our brief application. Click Blue Apply Now Button below.

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2. Apply for ordination in one of 4 Ways:  After completing the brief application you may: Call in your application, Fax in your application, PDF your application to us by E-Mail, or Mail in your application.

3. Perform the wedding ceremony....We suggest you get a copy of World Christianship Ministries "Marriage Minister Handbook" before doing a wedding.  It is a "straight to the point" guide for everything concerning the wedding such as: handling the Marriage License, where people stand, example marriage ceremonies, opportunities open to you as a Marriage Minister, Advertising, Location of Ceremonies, what to wear, and more. (Based on over 2,500 weddings performed by the Administrator of WCM).




 
Connecticut Marriage Laws - Who Can Do Marriages



Sec. 46b-22b. Refusal to solemnize or participate in ceremony solemnizing a marriage on religious grounds. (a) No member of the clergy authorized to join persons in marriage pursuant to section 46b-22 shall be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the first amendment to the United States Constitution or section 3 of article first of the Constitution of the state.

(b) No church or qualified church-controlled organization, as defined in 26 USC 3121, shall be required to participate in a ceremony solemnizing a marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that church or qualified church-controlled organization.

Sec. 46b-22. (Formerly Sec. 46-3). Who may join persons in marriage. Penalty for unauthorized performance. (a) Persons authorized to solemnize marriages in this state include (1) all judges and retired judges, either elected or appointed, including federal judges and judges of other states who may legally join persons in marriage in their jurisdictions, (2) family support magistrates, state referees and justices of the peace who are appointed in Connecticut, and (3) all ordained or licensed members of the clergy, belonging to this state or any other state, as long as they continue in the work of the ministry. All marriages solemnized according to the forms and usages of any religious denomination in this state, including marriages witnessed by a duly constituted Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is, are valid. All marriages attempted to be celebrated by any other person are void.

(b) No public official legally authorized to issue marriage licenses may join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by himself, or his assistant or deputy; nor may any such assistant or deputy join persons in marriage under authority of a license issued by such public official.

(c) Any person violating any provision of this section shall be fined not more than fifty dollars.






Other Laws, Codes & Statutes in Connecticut


  • 46b-20 Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Registrar" means the registrar of vital statistics;

    (2) "Applicant" means applicant for a marriage license;

    (3) "License" means marriage license; and

    (4) "Marriage" means the legal union of two persons.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 78-230, S. 1, 54; P.A. 09-13, S. 3.)

  • 46b-20a Eligibility to marry

    A person is eligible to marry if such person is:

    (1) Not a party to another marriage, or a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, entered into in this state or another state or jurisdiction, unless the parties to the marriage will be the same as the parties to such other marriage or relationship;

    (2) Except as provided in section 46b-30, at least eighteen years of age;

    (3) Except as provided in section 46b-29, not under the supervision or control of a conservator; and

    (4) Not prohibited from entering into a marriage pursuant to section 46b-21.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 09-13, S. 4.)

  • 46b-21 Marriage of persons related by consanguinity or affinity prohibited

    No person may marry such person's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, parent's sibling, sibling's child, stepparent or stepchild. Any marriage within these degrees is void.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 7301; P.A. 78-230, S. 3, 54; P.A. 09-13, S. 6.)

  • 46b-22a Validation of marriages performed by unauthorized justice of the peace

    All marriages celebrated before June 7, 2006, otherwise valid except that the justice of the peace joining such persons in marriage did not have a valid certificate of qualification, are validated, provided the justice of the peace who joined such persons in marriage represented himself or herself to be a duly qualified justice of the peace and such persons reasonably relied upon such representation.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 82-166, S. 1, 4; P.A. 84-171, S. 1, 7; P.A. 85-83, S. 1, 2; P.A. 87-587, S. 13, 18; P.A. 89-4, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-12, S. 1, 3; P.A. 93-87, S. 1, 3; P.A. 95-6, S. 1, 3; P.A. 96-258, S. 4, 5; P.A. 97-10, S. 1, 3; P.A. 99-20, S. 1, 3; P.A. 01-4, S. 1, 3; P.A. 02-71, S. 3; P.A. 03-238, S. 1; P.A. 06-195, S. 18.)

  • 46b-22b Refusal to solemnize or participate in ceremony solemnizing a marriage on religious grounds

    (a) No member of the clergy authorized to join persons in marriage pursuant to section 46b-22 shall be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her right to the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the first amendment to the United States Constitution or section 3 of article first of the Constitution of the state.

    (b) No church or qualified church-controlled organization, as defined in 26 USC 3121, shall be required to participate in a ceremony solemnizing a marriage in violation of the religious beliefs of that church or qualified church-controlled organization.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 09-13, S. 7.)

  • 46b-23 Joining persons in marriage knowingly without authority

    Any person who undertakes to join persons in marriage, knowing that he is not authorized to do so, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 8595.)

  • 46b-24 License. Period of validity. Penalty for solemnization without license. Validity of marriage ceremony

    (a) No persons may be joined in marriage in this state until both have complied with the provisions of sections 46b-24, 46b-25 and 46b-29 to 46b-33, inclusive, and have been issued a license by the registrar for the town in which the marriage is to be celebrated, which license shall bear the certification of the registrar that the persons named therein have complied with the provisions of said sections.

    (b) Such license, when certified by the registrar, is sufficient authority for any person authorized to perform a marriage ceremony in this state to join such persons in marriage, provided the ceremony is performed within a period of not more than sixty-five days after the date of application.

    (c) Anyone who joins any persons in marriage without having received such license from them shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.

    (d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, in order to be valid in this state, a marriage ceremony shall be conducted by and in the physical presence of a person who is authorized to solemnize marriages.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1967, P.A. 313, S. 1; P.A. 78-230, S. 5, 54; P.A. 03-188, S. 3; P.A. 07-79, S. 6; P.A. 09-232, S. 73.)

  • 46b-24a Validation of marriages occurring in town other than town where license issued

    All marriages celebrated before June 7, 2006, otherwise valid except that the license for any such marriage was issued in a town other than the town in this state in which such marriage was celebrated, or where either party to the marriage resided at the time of the marriage license application, are validated.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 79-298, S. 1; P.A. 82-166, S. 3, 4; P.A. 89-151, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-12, S. 2, 3; P.A. 93-87, S. 2, 3; P.A. 95-6, S. 2, 3; P.A. 97-10, S. 2, 3; P.A. 99-20, S. 2, 3; P.A. 01-4, S. 2, 3; P.A. 02-71, S. 4; P.A. 03-238, S. 2; P.A. 06-195, S. 19.)

  • 46b-25 Application for license

    No license may be issued by the registrar until both persons have appeared before the registrar and made application for a license. The registrar shall issue a license to any two persons eligible to marry under this chapter. The license shall be completed in its entirety, dated, signed and sworn to by each applicant and shall state each applicant's name, age, race, birthplace, residence, whether single, widowed or divorced and whether under the supervision or control of a conservator or guardian. The Social Security numbers of both persons shall be recorded in the "administrative purposes" section of the license. If the license is signed and sworn to by the applicants on different dates, the earlier date shall be deemed the date of application.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1967, P.A. 313, S. 2; P.A. 78-230, S. 6, 54; P.A. 96-3; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 16, 38; P.A. 01-163, S. 34; P.A. 04-255, S. 26; P.A. 09-13, S. 5.)

  • 46b-28 Validity of marriages celebrated in a foreign country

    All marriages in which one or both parties are citizens of this state, celebrated in a foreign country, shall be valid, provided: (1) Each party would have legal capacity to contract such marriage in this state and the marriage is celebrated in conformity with the law of that country; or (2) the marriage is celebrated, in the presence of the ambassador or minister to that country from the United States or in the presence of a consular officer of the United States accredited to such country, at a place within his consular jurisdiction, by any ordained or licensed clergyman engaged in the work of the ministry in any state of the United States or in any foreign country.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 7303; February, 1965, P.A. 94; P.A. 78-230, S. 14, 54.)

  • 46b-28a Recognition of marriages and other relationships entered into in another state or jurisdiction

    A marriage, or a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, between two persons entered into in another state or jurisdiction and recognized as valid by such other state or jurisdiction shall be recognized as a valid marriage in this state, provided such marriage or relationship is not expressly prohibited by statute in this state.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 09-13, S. 1.)

  • 46b-28b Recognition by another state or jurisdiction of marriages entered into in this state

    A marriage between two persons entered into in this state and recognized as valid in this state may be recognized as a marriage, or a relationship that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage, in another state or jurisdiction if one or both persons travel to or reside in such other state or jurisdiction.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 09-13, S. 2.)

  • 46b-29 Marriage of persons under conservatorship

    (a) No marriage license may be issued to any applicant under the supervision or control of a conservator, appointed in accordance with sections 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive, unless the written consent of the conservator, signed and acknowledged before a person authorized to take acknowledgments of conveyances under the provisions of section 47-5a, or authorized to take acknowledgments in any other state or country, is filed with the registrar.

    (b) Any person married without the consent provided for in subsection (a) of this section shall acquire no rights by such marriage in the property of any person who was under such control or supervision at the time of the marriage.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1967, P.A. 313, S. 5; P.A. 77-14; P.A. 78-230, S. 9, 54; P.A. 86-323, S. 13; P.A. 00-196, S. 25.)

  • 46b-30 Marriage of minors

    (a) No license may be issued to any applicant under sixteen years of age, unless the judge of probate for the district in which the minor resides endorses his written consent on the license.

    (b) No license may be issued to any applicant under eighteen years of age, unless the written consent of a parent or guardian of the person of such minor, signed and acknowledged before a person authorized to take acknowledgments of conveyances under the provisions of section 47-5a, or authorized to take acknowledgments in any other state or country, is filed with the registrar. If no parent or guardian of the person of such minor is a resident of the United States, the written consent of the judge of probate for the district in which the minor resides, endorsed on the license, shall be sufficient.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1967, P.A. 313, S. 6; P.A. 78-230, S. 10, 54.)

  • 46b-33 Copy of law to applicants

    Each registrar shall issue a copy of sections 46b-24, 46b-25 and 46b-29 to 46b-33, inclusive, to any person making application for a license.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1967, P.A. 313, S. 10; P.A. 78-230, S. 13, 54; P.A. 03-188, S. 5.)

  • 46b-34 Marriage certificate. Affidavit in lieu of certificate

    (a) Each person who joins any person in marriage shall certify upon the license certificate the fact, time and place of the marriage, and return it to the registrar of the town where the marriage took place, before or during the first week of the month following the marriage. Any person who fails to do so shall be fined not more than ten dollars.

    (b) If any person fails to return the certificate to the registrar, as required under subsection (a) of this section, the persons joined in marriage may provide the registrar with a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that they were joined in marriage and stating the date and place of the marriage. Upon the recording of such affidavit by the registrar, the marriage of the affiants shall be deemed to be valid as of the date of the marriage stated in the affidavit.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 7304; P.A. 78-230, S. 15, 54; P.A. 02-71, S. 5; P.A. 04-255, S. 27.)

  • 46b-35 Certificates prima facie evidence

    The certificates required by sections 46b-24, 46b-24a, 46b-25 and 46b-29 to 46b-34, inclusive, or an affidavit recorded pursuant to subsection (b) of section 46b-34, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in them.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 7305; 1967, P.A. 313, S. 12; P.A. 78-230, S. 16, 54; P.A. 02-71, S. 6; P.A. 04-257, S. 73.)

  • 46b-35a Refusal to provide services or accommodations related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage on religious grounds

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges to an individual if the request for such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges is related to the solemnization of a marriage or celebration of a marriage and such solemnization or celebration is in violation of their religious beliefs and faith. Any refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action, or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such religious organization, association or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 09-13, S. 17.)

  • 46b-35b Effect of marriage equality law on provision of adoption, foster care or social services by religious organization

    Nothing in public act 09-13* shall be deemed or construed to affect the manner in which a religious organization may provide adoption, foster care or social services if such religious organization does not receive state or federal funds for that specific program or purpose.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 09-13, S. 19.)

  • 46b-36 Wife and husband property rights not affected by marriage

    Neither husband nor wife shall acquire by the marriage any right to or interest in any property held by the other before or acquired after such marriage, except as to the share of the survivor in the property as provided by sections 45a-436 and 45a-437. The separate earnings of the wife shall be her sole property. She shall have power to make contracts with her husband or with third persons, to convey to her husband or to third persons her real and personal estate and to receive conveyances of real and personal estate from her husband or from third persons as if unmarried. She may bring suit in her own name upon contracts or for torts and she may be sued for a breach of contract or for a tort; and her property, except such as is exempt by law, may be taken on attachment and execution, but shall not be taken for the debts of her husband, except as provided in section 46b-37. The husband shall not be liable for her debts contracted before marriage, nor upon her contracts made after marriage, except as provided in said section.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 7307.)

  • 46b-36a Short title: Connecticut Premarital Agreement Act

    Sections 46b-36a to 46b-36j, inclusive, may be cited as the Connecticut Premarital Agreement Act.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 9, 11.)

  • 46b-36b Definitions

    As used in sections 46b-36a to 46b-36j, inclusive:

    (1) "Premarital agreement" means an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage.

    (2) "Property" means an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, tangible or intangible, including income and debt.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 1, 11.)

  • 46b-36c Form of premarital agreement

    A premarital agreement shall be in writing and signed by both parties. It shall be enforceable without consideration.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 2, 11.)

  • 46b-36d Content of premarital agreement

    (a) Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

    (1) The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;

    (2) The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;

    (3) The disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;

    (4) The modification or elimination of spousal support;

    (5) The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;

    (6) The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;

    (7) The right of either party as a participant or participant's spouse under a retirement plan;

    (8) The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and

    (9) Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations.

    (b) No provision made under subdivisions (1) to (9), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section may be in violation of public policy or of a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

    (c) The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement. Any provision relating to the care, custody and visitation or other provisions affecting a child shall be subject to judicial review and modification.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 3, 11.)

  • 46b-36e Effect of marriage on premarital agreement

    A premarital agreement becomes effective upon marriage unless otherwise provided in the agreement.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 4, 11.)

  • 46b-36f Amendment or revocation of premarital agreement after marriage

    After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement or the revocation shall be enforceable without consideration.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 5, 11.)

  • 46b-36g Enforcement of premarital agreement

    (a) A premarital agreement or amendment shall not be enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that:

    (1) Such party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or

    (2) The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed or when enforcement is sought; or

    (3) Before execution of the agreement, such party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the amount, character and value of property, financial obligations and income of the other party; or

    (4) Such party was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to consult with independent counsel.

    (b) If a provision of a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support and such modification or elimination causes one party to the agreement to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation or marital dissolution, a court, notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid such eligibility.

    (c) An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 6, 11.)

  • 46b-36h Enforcement of premarital agreement when marriage void

    If the marriage is held void or voidable, an agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement shall be enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 7, 11.)

  • 46b-36i Statute of limitations re claims under premarital agreement

    Any statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting a claim for relief under a premarital agreement is tolled during the marriage of the parties to the agreement, except that equitable defenses limiting the time for enforcement, including laches and estoppel, shall be available to either party.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 8, 11.)

  • 46b-36j Premarital agreements made prior to October 1, 1995, not affected

    Nothing in sections 46b-36a to 46b-36j, inclusive, shall be deemed to affect the validity of any premarital agreement made prior to October 1, 1995.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 95-170, S. 10, 11.)

  • 46b-37 Joint duty of spouses to support family. Liability for purchases and certain expenses. Abandonment

    (a) Any purchase made by either a husband or wife in his or her own name shall be presumed, in the absence of notice to the contrary, to be made by him or her as an individual and he or she shall be liable for the purchase.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, it shall be the joint duty of each spouse to support his or her family, and both shall be liable for: (1) The reasonable and necessary services of a physician or dentist; (2) hospital expenses rendered the husband or wife or minor child while residing in the family of his or her parents; (3) the rental of any dwelling unit actually occupied by the husband and wife as a residence and reasonably necessary to them for that purpose; and (4) any article purchased by either which has in fact gone to the support of the family, or for the joint benefit of both.

    (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a spouse who abandons his or her spouse without cause shall be liable for the reasonable support of such other spouse while abandoned.

    (d) No action may be maintained against either spouse under the provisions of this section, either during or after any period of separation from the other spouse, for any liability incurred by the other spouse during the separation, if, during the separation the spouse who is liable for support of the other spouse has provided the other spouse with reasonable support.

    (e) Abandonment without cause by a spouse shall be a defense to any liability pursuant to the provisions of subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section for expenses incurred by and for the benefit of such spouse. Nothing in this subsection shall affect the duty of a parent to support his or her minor child.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (1949 Rev., S. 7308; 1957, P.A. 191; P.A. 77-288, S. 1; P.A. 78-230, S. 17, 54; P.A. 88-364, S. 58, 123; P.A. 92-140; P.A. 01-195, S. 35, 181.)

  • 46b-38a Family violence prevention and response: Definitions

    For the purposes of sections 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive:

    (1) "Family violence" means an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury or assault, or an act of threatened violence that constitutes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members. Verbal abuse or argument shall not constitute family violence unless there is present danger and the likelihood that physical violence will occur.

    (2) "Family or household member" means (A) spouses, former spouses; (B) parents and their children; (C) persons eighteen years of age or older related by blood or marriage; (D) persons sixteen years of age or older other than those persons in subparagraph (C) presently residing together or who have resided together; (E) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time; and (F) persons in, or have recently been in, a dating relationship.

    (3) "Family violence crime" means a crime as defined in section 53a-24 which, in addition to its other elements, contains as an element thereof an act of family violence to a family member and shall not include acts by parents or guardians disciplining minor children unless such acts constitute abuse.

    (4) "Institutions and services" means peace officers, service providers, mandated reporters of abuse, agencies and departments that provide services to victims and families and services designed to assist victims and families.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 86-337, S. 1; P.A. 87-567, S. 1, 7; P.A. 88-364, S. 59, 123; P.A. 99-186, S. 2.)

  • 46b-38b Investigation of family violence crime by peace officer. Arrest. Assistance to victim. Guidelines. Education and training program. Assistance and protocols for victims whose immigration status is questionable

    (a) Whenever a peace officer determines upon speedy information that a family violence crime, except a family violence crime involving a dating relationship, has been committed within such officer's jurisdiction, such officer shall arrest the person or persons suspected of its commission and charge such person or persons with the appropriate crime. The decision to arrest and charge shall not (1) be dependent on the specific consent of the victim, (2) consider the relationship of the parties, or (3) be based solely on a request by the victim. Whenever a peace officer determines that a family violence crime has been committed, such officer may seize any firearm or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, at the location where the crime is alleged to have been committed that is in the possession of any person arrested for the commission of such crime or suspected of its commission or that is in plain view. Not later than seven days after any such seizure, the law enforcement agency shall return such firearm or electronic defense weapon in its original condition to the rightful owner thereof unless such person is ineligible to possess such firearm or electronic defense weapon or unless otherwise ordered by the court.

    (b) No peace officer investigating an incident of family violence shall threaten, suggest or otherwise indicate the arrest of all parties for the purpose of discouraging requests for law enforcement intervention by any party. Where complaints are made by two or more opposing parties, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether such officer should make an arrest or seek a warrant for an arrest. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, when a peace officer reasonably believes that a party in an incident of family violence has used force as a means of self defense, such officer is not required to arrest such party under this section.

    (c) No peace officer shall be held liable in any civil action regarding personal injury or injury to property brought by any party to a family violence incident for an arrest based on probable cause or for any conditions of release imposed pursuant to subsection (b) of section 54-63c.

    (d) It shall be the responsibility of the peace officer at the scene of a family violence incident to provide immediate assistance to the victim. Such assistance shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Assisting the victim to obtain medical treatment if such treatment is required; (2) notifying the victim of the right to file an affidavit for a warrant for arrest; (3) informing the victim of services available and referring the victim to the Office of Victim Services; and (4) providing assistance in accordance with the uniform protocols for treating victims of family violence whose immigration status is questionable established pursuant to subsection (g) of this section. In cases where the officer has determined that no cause exists for an arrest, assistance shall include: (A) Assistance as provided in subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, of this subsection; and (B) remaining at the scene for a reasonable time until, in the reasonable judgment of the officer, the likelihood of further imminent violence has been eliminated.

    (e) (1) Each law enforcement agency shall develop, in conjunction with the Division of Criminal Justice, and implement specific operational guidelines for arrest policies in family violence incidents. Such guidelines shall include, but not be limited to: (A) Procedures for the conduct of a criminal investigation; (B) procedures for arrest and for victim assistance by peace officers; (C) education as to what constitutes speedy information in a family violence incident; (D) procedures with respect to the provision of services to victims; and (E) such other criteria or guidelines as may be applicable to carry out the purposes of sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g. Such procedures shall be duly promulgated by such law enforcement agency.

    (2) On and after July 1, 2010, each law enforcement agency shall designate at least one officer with supervisory duties to expeditiously process, upon request of a victim of family violence or other crime who is applying for U Nonimmigrant Status (A) a certification of helpfulness on Form I-918, Supplement B, or any subsequent corresponding form designated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, confirming that the victim of family violence or other crime has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity, and (B) any subsequent certification required by the victim.

    (f) The Police Officer Standards and Training Council, in conjunction with the Division of Criminal Justice, shall establish an education and training program for law enforcement officers, supervisors and state's attorneys on the handling of family violence incidents. Training under such program shall: (1) Stress the enforcement of criminal law in family violence cases and the use of community resources, and include training for peace officers at both recruit and in-service levels; and (2) include, but not be limited to: (A) The nature, extent and causes of family violence; (B) legal rights of and remedies available to victims of family violence and persons accused of family violence; (C) services and facilities available to victims and batterers; (D) legal duties imposed on police officers to make arrests and to offer protection and assistance, including applicable probable cause standards; and (E) techniques for handling incidents of family violence that minimize the likelihood of injury to the officer and promote the safety of the victim. On and after July 1, 2010, training under such program shall also include, within available appropriations, information on (i) the impact of arrests of multiple parties in a family violence case on the immigration status of the parties; (ii) crime scene investigation and evaluation practices in family violence cases designed by the council to reduce the number of multiple arrests in family violence cases; and (iii) practical considerations in the application of state statutes related to family violence. On and after July 1, 2010, such training shall also address, within available appropriations, eligibility for federal T Visas for victims of human trafficking and federal U Visas for unauthorized immigrants who are victims of family violence and other crimes.

    (g) Not later than July 1, 2010, the Police Officer Standards and Training Council shall establish uniform protocols for treating victims of family violence whose immigration status is questionable, and shall make such protocols available to law enforcement agencies. Each law enforcement agency shall adopt and use such protocols on and after the date they are established by the council.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 86-337, S. 2; P.A. 87-554; 87-567, S. 2, 7; 87-589, S. 13, 87; P.A. 95-108, S. 15; P.A. 96-246, S. 32; P.A. 99-186, S. 3; P.A. 00-196, S. 58; P.A. 02-120, S. 1; P.A. 04-66, S. 1; P.A. 07-123, S. 2, 7; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 64; P.A. 10-36, S. 5.)

  • 46b-38c Family violence response and intervention units. Local units. Duties and functions. Protective orders. Electronic monitoring pilot program. Pretrial family violence education program

    (a) There shall be family violence response and intervention units in the Connecticut judicial system to respond to cases involving family violence. The units shall be coordinated and governed by formal agreement between the Chief State's Attorney and the Judicial Department.

    (b) The Court Support Services Division, in accordance with the agreement between the Chief State's Attorney and the Judicial Department, shall establish within each geographical area of the Superior Court a local family violence intervention unit to implement sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g. The Court Support Services Division shall oversee direct operations of the local units.

    (c) Each such local family violence intervention unit shall: (1) Accept referrals of family violence cases from a judge or prosecutor, (2) prepare written or oral reports on each case for the court by the next court date to be presented at any time during the court session on that date, (3) provide or arrange for services to victims and offenders, (4) administer contracts to carry out such services, and (5) establish centralized reporting procedures. All information provided to a family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor employed by the Judicial Branch in a local family violence intervention unit shall be used solely for the purposes of preparation of the report and the protective order forms for each case and recommendation of services and shall otherwise be confidential and retained in the files of such unit and not be subject to subpoena or other court process for use in any other proceeding or for any other purpose, except that a family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor employed by the Judicial Branch:

    (A) Shall disclose to the court and the prosecuting authority for appropriate action information that the victim has indicated that the defendant holds a permit to carry a pistol or revolver or possesses one or more firearms;

    (B) May disclose to an employee of the Department of Children and Families information that indicates that a defendant poses a danger or threat to a child or a parent of the child;

    (C) May disclose to another family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor information pursuant to guidelines adopted by the Chief Court Administrator;

    (D) May disclose to a bail commissioner employed by the Judicial Branch information regarding a defendant who is on or is being considered for pretrial release;

    (E) May disclose to a law enforcement agency information that indicates that a defendant poses a danger or threat to another person;

    (F) May disclose, after disposition of a family violence case, (i) to a probation officer or a juvenile probation officer, for purposes of determining service needs and supervision levels, information regarding a defendant who has been convicted and sentenced to a period of probation in the family violence case, and (ii) to organizations under contract with the Judicial Branch to provide family violence programs and services, for purposes of determining program and service needs, information regarding defendants who are their clients; and

    (G) The family relations counselor, family relations counselor trainee or family services supervisor shall disclose such information as may be necessary to fulfill such counselor's, trainee's or supervisor's duty as a mandated reporter under section 17a-101a to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

    (d) In all cases of family violence, a written or oral report and recommendation of the local family violence intervention unit shall be available to a judge at the first court date appearance to be presented at any time during the court session on that date. A judge of the Superior Court may consider and impose the following conditions to protect the parties, including, but not limited to: (1) Issuance of a protective order pursuant to subsection (e) of this section; (2) prohibition against subjecting the victim to further violence; (3) referral to a family violence education program for batterers; and (4) immediate referral for more extensive case assessment. Such protective order shall be an order of the court, and the clerk of the court shall cause (A) a copy of such order to be sent to the victim, and (B) a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to be sent by facsimile or other means within forty-eight hours of its issuance to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim resides and, if the defendant resides in a town different from the town in which the victim resides, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the defendant resides. If the victim is employed in a town different from the town in which the victim resides, the clerk of the court shall, upon the request of the victim, send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of such order, or the information contained in such order, to the law enforcement agency for the town in which the victim is employed within forty-eight hours of the issuance of such order.

    (e) A protective order issued under this section may include provisions necessary to protect the victim from threats, harassment, injury or intimidation by the defendant, including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the defendant from (1) imposing any restraint upon the person or liberty of the victim, (2) threatening, harassing, assaulting, molesting or sexually assaulting the victim, or (3) entering the family dwelling or the dwelling of the victim. A protective order issued under this section may include provisions necessary to protect any animal owned or kept by the victim including, but not limited to, an order enjoining the defendant from injuring or threatening to injure such animal. Such order shall be made a condition of the bail or release of the defendant and shall contain the following language: "In accordance with section 53a-223 of the Connecticut general statutes, any violation of this order constitutes criminal violation of a protective order which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both. Additionally, in accordance with section 53a-107 of the Connecticut general statutes, entering or remaining in a building or any other premises in violation of this order constitutes criminal trespass in the first degree which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars, or both. Violation of this order also violates a condition of your bail or release, and may result in raising the amount of bail or revoking release." Every order of the court made in accordance with this section after notice and hearing shall also contain the following language: "This order is accorded full faith and credit pursuant to 18 USC Section 2265, as amended from time to time." The information contained in and concerning the issuance of any protective order issued under this section shall be entered in the registry of protective orders pursuant to section 51-5c.

    (f) The Judicial Branch may establish, within available appropriations, a pilot program in three judicial districts for the purpose of using electronic monitoring in accordance with this subsection. Such pilot program shall be conducted in at least one judicial district that contains an urban area, as defined in section 4b-13, and at least one judicial district that does not contain such an urban area. Pursuant to such pilot program, the court may order that any person appearing in such judicial district who is charged with the violation of a restraining order or a protective order, and who has been determined to be a high-risk offender by the family violence intervention unit, be subject to electronic monitoring designed to warn law enforcement agencies, a state-wide information collection center and the victim when the person is within a specified distance of the victim, if the court finds that such electronic monitoring is necessary to protect the victim, provided the cost of such electronic monitoring is paid by the person who is subject to such electronic monitoring, subject to guidelines established by the Chief Court Administrator. If the court orders that such person be subject to electronic monitoring, the clerk of the court shall send, by facsimile or other means, a copy of the order, or the information contained in any such order, to the law enforcement agency or agencies for the town in which the person resides. The Judicial Branch shall cease operation of any pilot program established under this subsection not later than March 31, 2011, unless resources are available to continue operation of the pilot program.

    (g) In cases referred to the local family violence intervention unit, it shall be the function of the unit to (1) identify victim service needs and, by contract with victim service providers, make available appropriate services, and (2) identify appropriate offender services and where possible, by contract, provide treatment programs for offenders.

    (h) There shall be a pretrial family violence education program for persons who are charged with family violence crimes. At a minimum, such program shall inform participants of the basic elements of family violence law and applicable penalties. The court may, in its discretion, invoke such program on motion of the defendant when it finds: (1) That the defendant has not previously been convicted of a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; (2) the defendant has not had a previous case assigned to the family violence education program; (3) the defendant has not previously invoked or accepted accelerated rehabilitation under section 54-56e for a family violence crime which occurred on or after October 1, 1986; and (4) that the defendant is not charged with a class A, class B or class C felony, or an unclassified felony carrying a term of imprisonment of more than ten years, or unless good cause is shown, a class D felony or an unclassified offense carrying a term of imprisonment of more than five years. Participation by any person in the accelerated pretrial rehabilitation program under section 54-56e prior to October 1, 1986, shall not prohibit eligibility of such person for the pretrial family violence education program under this section. The court may require that the defendant answer such questions under oath, in open court or before any person designated by the clerk and duly authorized to administer oaths, under the penalties of perjury as will assist the court in making these findings. The court, on such motion, may refer the defendant to the family violence intervention unit, and may continue the defendant's case pending the submission of the report of the unit to the court. The court shall also give notice to the victim or victims that the defendant has requested assignment to the family violence education program, and, where possible, give the victim or victims opportunity to be heard. Any defendant who accepts placement in the family violence education program shall agree to the tolling of any statute of limitations with respect to the crime or crimes with which the defendant is charged, and to a waiver of the defendant's right to a speedy trial. Any such defendant shall appear in court and shall be released to the custody of the family violence intervention unit for such period, not exceeding two years, and under such conditions as the court shall order. If the defendant refuses to accept, or, having accepted, violates such conditions, the defendant's case shall be brought to trial. If the defendant satisfactorily completes the family violence education program and complies with the conditions imposed for the period set by the court, the defendant may apply for dismissal of the charges against the defendant and the court, on finding satisfactory compliance, shall dismiss such charges. Upon dismissal all records of such charges shall be erased pursuant to section 54-142a.

    (i) A fee of two hundred dollars shall be paid to the court by any person who enters the family violence education program, except that no person shall be excluded from such program for inability to pay the fee, provided (1) the person files with the court an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay, and (2) the court enters a finding thereof. All such fees shall be credited to the General Fund.

    (j) The Judicial Department shall establish an ongoing training program for judges, Court Support Services Division personnel and clerks to inform them about the policies and procedures of sections 46b-1, 46b-15, 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, and 54-1g, including, but not limited to, the function of the family violence intervention units and the use of restraining and protective orders.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 86-337, S. 3; P.A. 87-567, S. 3, 7; P.A. 89-219, S. 1, 10; P.A. 91-6, S. 2, 3; 91-24, S. 3; 91-381, S. 4; P.A. 93-280, S. 2; 93-343; P.A. 96-180, S. 125, 166; 96-246, S. 33, 34; P.A. 97-126, S. 2; P.A. 01-130, S. 13; P.A. 02-132, S. 13, 14, 55; P.A. 03-202, S. 5; P.A. 05-288, S. 157; P.A. 06-196, S. 170; P.A. 07-78, S. 2; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 65; P.A. 10-43, S. 13; 10-144, S. 3.)

  • 46b-38d Family violence offense report by peace officer. Compilation of statistics by Commissioner of Public Safety. Report to Governor and General Assembly

    (a) A peace officer who responds to a family violence incident shall complete a family violence offense report, whether or not an arrest occurs.

    (b) Each police department, including resident troopers and constables, shall report all family violence incidents where an arrest occurs to the Commissioner of Public Safety, who shall compile statistics of family violence crimes and cause them to be published annually in the Connecticut Uniform Crime Reports. An offense shall be counted for each incident reported to the police. A zero shall be reported if no incidents have occurred during the reporting periods.

    (c) For the purpose of establishing accurate data on the extent and severity of family violence in the state and on the degree of compliance with the requirements of sections 46b-38a to 46b-38f, inclusive, the Commissioner of Public Safety shall prescribe a form for making family violence offense reports. The form shall include, but is not limited to, the following: (1) Name of the parties; (2) relationship of the parties; (3) sex of the parties; (4) date of birth of the parties; (5) time and date of the incident; (6) whether children were involved or whether the alleged act of family violence was committed in the presence of children; (7) type and extent of the alleged abuse; (8) existence of substance abuse; (9) number and types of weapons involved; (10) existence of any prior court orders; (11) any other data that may be necessary for a complete analysis of all circumstances leading to the arrest.

    (d) A copy of the family violence offense report shall be forwarded to the state's attorney for the appropriate judicial district in cases where an arrest has been made.

    (e) The Department of Public Safety shall tabulate and compile data from the family violence offense reports and report such compilation annually for the five years following October 1, 1986, to the Governor and the General Assembly.

    (f) Any person required to report under the provisions of this section who fails to make such report shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 86-337, S. 4.)

  • 46b-38f Statistical summary of family violence cases maintained by Court Support Services Division. Reports

    (a) The Court Support Services Division shall maintain a statistical summary of all family violence cases referred to the family violence intervention units. Such summary shall include, but not be limited to, the number of family violence cases referred, the nature of the cases and the charges and dispositions.

    (b) The statistical summary reports prepared by the Court Support Services Division shall be submitted to the Department of Public Safety on a monthly basis. The Department of Public Safety shall compile and report annually for a period of five years to the Governor and the General Assembly the tabulated data of family violence crime reports.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 86-337, S. 8; P.A. 02-132, S. 15.)

  • 46b-38g Programs for children impacted by domestic violence


    The Chief Court Administrator shall, within available appropriations, establish programs for children impacted by domestic violence.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 93-280, S. 1.)

  • 46b-38h Designation of conviction of certain crimes as involving domestic violence for purposes of criminal history record information

    If any person is convicted of a violation of section 53a-59, 53a-59a, 53a-60, 53a-60a, 53a-60b, 53a-60c, 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-181c, 53a-181d, 53a-181e, 53a-223, 53a-223a or 53a-223b, against a family or household member, as defined in section 46b-38a, or a person in a dating relationship, the court shall include a designation that such conviction involved domestic violence on the court record for the purposes of criminal history record information, as defined in subsection (a) of section 54-142g.

    General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (P.A. 99-186, S. 1; P.A. 03-202, S. 6.)

46b-38i Judicial Department training for staff re family violence issues and law. Methods to reduce geographic disparities


(a) The Judicial Department shall provide training to Judicial Department staff, including court personnel, within available appropriations, on family violence issues and law, including, but not limited to, issues and law related to family violence in immigrant communities. Such training shall address arrest policies and eligibility for federal T Visas for victims of human trafficking and federal U Visas for unauthorized immigrants who are victims of family violence and other crimes.

(b) The Judicial Department shall, on an ongoing basis, within available appropriations, study and implement methods to reduce disparities in the disposition of family violence cases among geographic areas.

General Statutes of Connecticut - Volume 12 - Title 46b: Family Law - Chapter 815e: Marriage (Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-7, S. 66.)


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