Chapter 06 - Law Enforcement
Chapter 06 - Law Enforcement
47.0601 Duties of law enforcement officer to victim of domestic or family violence - Required notice to victim.
(a) A law enforcement officer who responds to an allegation of domestic or family violence shall use all reasonable means to protect the victim and prevent further violence, including but not limited to:
(1) Taking the action necessary to provide for the safety of the victim and any family or household member.
(2) Confiscating any weapon involved in the alleged domestic or family violence.
(3) Transporting or obtaining transportation for the victim and any child to a shelter.
(4) Assisting the victim in removing essential personal effects.
(5) Assisting the victim and any child in obtaining medical treatment, including obtaining transportation to a medical facility.
(6) Giving the victim immediate and adequate notice of the rights of victims and of the remedies and services available to victims of domestic or family violence.
(b) As part of the notice required by(a)(6), the law enforcement officer shall give a written notice to the adult victim substantially as follows:
"If you are the victim of domestic or family violence and you believe that law enforcement protection is needed for your physical safety, you have the right to request that the officer assist in providing for your safety, including asking for an emergency order for protection. You may also request that the officer assist you in obtaining your essential personal effects and locating and taking you to a safe place, including but not limited to a designated meeting place for a shelter, a family member's or a friend's residence, or a similar place of safety. If you are in need of medical treatment, you have the right to request that the officer assist you in obtaining medical treatment. You may request a copy of the report at no cost from the law enforcement department. You may ask the prosecuting attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to file a petition n the High Court requesting an order for protection from domestic or family violence which could include any of the following orders:
(1) An order enjoining your abuser from threatening to commit or committing further acts of domestic or family violence;
(2) An order prohibiting your abuser from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with you, directly or indirectly;
(3) An order removing your abuser from your residence;
(4) An order directing your abuser to stay away from your residence, school, place of employment, or any other specified place frequented by you and another family or household member;
(5) An order prohibiting your abuser from using or possessing any firearm or other weapon specified by the Court;
(6) An order granting you possession and use of the automobile and other essential personal effects;
(7) An order granting you custody of your child or children;
(8) An order denying your abuser visitation;
(9) An order specifying arrangements for visitation, including requiring supervised visitation; and
(10) An order requiring your abuser to pay certain costs and fees, such as rent or mortgage payments, child support payments, medical expenses, expenses for shelter, court costs, and attorney?s fees.
The forms you need to obtain an order for protection are available from the Department of Human and Social Services or the Office of the Attorney General. The resources are available through the appropriate government agencies for information relating to domestic family violence, treatment of injuries, and places of safety and shelters. You also have the right to seek reimbursement for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings, or support, and other expenses for injuries sustained and damage to your property. This can be done without an attorney in small claims court if the total amount claimed is less than $3,000."
(c) The written notice:
(1) Must not include the addresses of shelters, unless the location is public knowledge.
(2) Must be available in Samoan and English and provided to the victim in his or her native language, if practicable, when the native language of the victim is not Samoan or English.
Law enforcement officers who respond to allegations of domestic or family violence are required within 72 hours of the response to either inform the prosecutor's office or provide a copy of their police report to the prosecutor's office.
47.0603 Mandatory arrest for crimes involving domestic or family violence - Determination of primary aggressor - Required report.
(a) A law enforcement officer shall, without a warrant, arrest and charge a person with the appropriate crime if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime involving domestic or family violence, whether the offense is a felony or a misdemeanor, or was committed in or outside the presence of the officer.
(b) If a law enforcement officer receives complaints of domestic or family violence from two or more opposing persons, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine who was the primary aggressor. If the officer determines that one person was the primary physical aggressor, the officer need not arrest the other person believed to have committed domestic or family violence. In determining whether a person is the primary aggressor the officer shall consider:
(1) Prior complaints of domestic or family violence;
(2) The relative severity of the injuries inflicted on each person;
(3) The likelihood of future injury to each person; and
(4) Whether one of the persons acted in self-defense.
(c) A law enforcement officer shall not threaten, suggest, or otherwise indicate the possible arrest of all parties to discourage requests for intervention by law enforcement by any party.
(d) In addition to any other report required, a law enforcement officer who does not make an arrest after investigating a complaint of domestic or family violence or who arrests two or more persons for a crime involving domestic or family violence must submit a detailed, written report setting forth the grounds for not arresting or for arresting both parties.
When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a respondent has violated one of the following orders of the court and verifies the existence of the order, the officer shall, without a warrant, arrest the apparent violator whether the violation was committed in or outside the presence of the officer:
(a) An order enjoining the respondent from threatening to commit or committing acts of domestic or family violence against the petitioner or other family or household member.
(b) An order prohibiting the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, either directly or indirectly.
(c) An order removing and excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner.
(d) An order requiring the respondent to stay away from the residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member.
(e) An order prohibiting the respondent from using or possessing a firearm or other weapon specified by the Court.
Incident to an arrest for a crime involving domestic or family violence, a law enforcement officer:
(a) Shall seize all weapons that are alleged to have been involved or threatened to be used in the commission of a crime.
(b) May seize a weapon that is in the plain view of the officer or was discovered pursuant to a consensual search, as necessary for the protection of the officer or other persons.
If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a person has violated a condition of release imposed on a perpetrator of family and domestic violence and verifies that the alleged violator has notice of the conditions, the officer shall, without a warrant, arrest the alleged violator whether the violation was committed in or outside the presence of the officer.