News : Domestic Violence to be Removed from “Nuisance
Champaign County, IlL, USA, September, 2015 -- If you call 911 too many times for domestic abuse, you could lose your home. At least, that's how the law currently stands in Champaign and Urbana, but it's going to change soon. It's sort of a technicality.
Leaders at the Champaign County Emergency Response Center say they'd never consider a domestic violence call a nuisance. The problem is with a "nuisance" ordinance issued about 15 years ago.
It was created to give police a way to contact landlords when they're being called to a home or apartment excessively. It could lead to those landlords evicting people.
Domestic violence calls are on the list of those considered a nuisance. The Champaign County 911 Call Center takes about 20 domestic violence calls a day.
"It does happen. We find that if people have problems, they have problems day-after-day and we will continually get those calls until there's some resolution."
But, lawyers for the cities of Champaign and Urbana say they've rarely used that ordinance; maybe two or three times in Champaign during the past 15 years and that's been for drug-related calls.
Now, the governor has told cities domestic abuse calls should no longer be included in nuisance laws, even though in Champaign-Urbana, that's never really been the case.
"We never consider a domestic violence call to be a nuisance because it's one of the most dangerous calls that we can take here. It's one of the most dangerous calls that we can respond to and we do treat them all every seriously."
The new law goes into effect in November. Champaign and Urbana lawyers say they're reviewing their ordinances to make sure they're compliant on paper too; which means just removing "domestic violence" from the list of calls which could be considered a nuisance.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2015