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Missouri bill would allow lifelong, pet restraining orders

Missouri capitol
Posted at 10:41 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 23:41:59-04

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Judges could issue lifelong restraining orders that also cover pets under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature on Monday.

Currently, orders of protection are limited to, at most, one year. After that, victims have to return to court to secure an extension.

Under the bill, which the Senate approved, 31-0, judges have the option to grant restraining orders for longer lengths of time, depending on the potential threat. The orders could be programmed to be automatically renewed.

The person with the restraining order against them would have to prove that they have been rehabilitated and are no longer a threat in order for the protection orders to be lifted early.

The measure also would allow orders of protection to cover pets.

Republican bill sponsor Sen. Elaine Gannon said that provision would be a tool against people who might threaten someone's pet as a way to emotionally hurt its owner.

The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Mike Parson's desk.