M E M O
TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
RE: Administrative Rule 34, Rule Regarding Domestic Violence Advocates
Mr. Luke Davis recently wrote staff with a request that the Committee revise Admin. Rule 34. Staff asked Ms. Bonnie Palecek, executive director of the North Dakota Council for Abused Women's Services (NDCAWS), to respond to Mr. Davis's letter. Copies of both the Davis and Palecek letters are included in the meeting materials, as well as additional background material provide by Ms. Palecek.
Admin. Rule 34 deals with certification of Domestic Violence Advocates and the role of these advocates in certain domestic cases. Mr. Davis's letter suggests that Admin. Rule 34 is "discriminatory and non-competitive." His complaint seems to be with Section 2 of the rule, which requires Certified Domestic Violence Advocates to be certified by, affiliated with, and trained by NDCAWS. Mr. Davis's group, the North Dakota Family Violence Coalition, apparently does not want to become involved with NDCAWS and therefore its members cannot become Certified Domestic Violence Advocates.
Ms. Palecek addresses the points raised by Mr. Davis in her letter and provides additional information about NDCAWS. One point that Ms. Palecek makes is that Admin. Rule 34 is very narrow and its existence does not prevent "Mr. Davis or others from providing training, developing an advocacy program, or receiving funds or grants."
Staff has not proposed any amendments to Admin. Rule 34. If reference to NDCAWS was removed from the rule, the certification section would be gutted and the rest of the rule would become essentially meaningless. The Committee, however, may wish to discuss whether it is necessary to amend the rule to remove its "discriminatory" elements and, if so, how such amendment might be accomplished.