Idaho Hope Card Now Available

Date: January 19, 2012

Idaho Hope Card Now Available

(Boise) – Idaho residents who have a long term civil protection order can now obtain a free Idaho Hope Card from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.  Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association announced the new program during a news conference this morning.

The Idaho Hope Card provides law enforcement with critical information regarding a protection order in a format that is convenient for the person being protected.

The Hope Card is free and is available through the Attorney General’s website.

“The Hope Card is a laminated, wallet-sized card, so it is much easier to carry with you than the actual, multiple-page legal-size court order, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.  “In case of a potential violation of an order, a law enforcement officer can quickly refer to the Hope Card for more information.”

"The Idaho Sheriffs’ Association is pleased to be a part of the effort to provide Hope Cards statewide," said Tammara Slater, Victim Service Coordinator for the Association.  "Hope Cards let law enforcement know there is a valid, permanent Civil Protection Order in place no matter in which jurisdiction the order was issued."

“The Hope Card program will provide an added safety measure for survivors of domestic violence by ensuring that victims will more easily be able to carry documentation of their protection order with them at all times and facilitate the reporting of potential violations of long term civil protection orders to Idaho’s law enforcement agencies,” said Kelly Miller, Executive Director, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence. “Civil protection orders are an important tool in preventing additional harm to victims of domestic violence and their children, and the Hope Card goes one step further in helping survivors more easily seek relief from the civil and criminal justice systems.”

One side of the card contains the name and identifying information of the person being protected, the court issuing the order, the case number and effective dates of the order.  The Hope Card may also include the names of other people, for example, children, who are being protected.

The other side contains information about the person the court has ordered to "stay away," including that person’s name, date of birth, physical description and a color photograph, when available.

A protection order is a civil court order that carries criminal penalties if violated. It can be obtained to restrict or prohibit contact between a victim of abuse and the perpetrator.

A distinction should be made between a civil protection order and a no contact order. A no contact order is an order from a judge in a criminal case. The civil protection order is obtained in civil court.

The Hope Card program is for persons who have long-term (12 months or more) civil protection orders.  A Hope Card is not a substitute for a protection order.  It is simply a more durable and convenient means of providing pertinent information from the existing order.

The Idaho Hope Card program was made possible by a Memorandum of Understanding between Attorney General Wasden’s office and the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association.

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Posted: January 19, 2012