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But since the couple wasn’t married, didn’t have children together, and wasn’t living together, the domestic violence statute could not be applied. The original wording of the law defined a dating partner as “a person in a social relationship of a romantic and intimate nature.” The law also specified that the existence of a dating partner’s relationship would be determined by three factors: “the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.” The new version of the law omits this wording entirely.Had the event transpired just six months later, the result would likely have been very different. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans introduced a bill to incorporate dating partners into domestic violence statutes. Director of Clinical Legal Education Robert Lancaster said the original wording in the law is more in line with “traditional notions” of dating. 1, the law allowed for dating partners to acquire civil protection orders after incidents of dating violence.“When you have a protection order, those cases don’t really get appealed,” he said. “When you add a criminal context, we’re going to see more cases defining dating partners.” Until then, Lancaster said it will be interesting to see how courts interpret the new language and apply the new laws.
To support this conclusion, the court noted that the exclusion of only “casual acquaintances” and people who merely “fraternize” with each other indicates a legislative intent to exclude from the definition of dating relationship “only the least intimate of personal relationships.” According to the court, this expression of legislative intent coupled with the rule of statutory construction that remedial statutes such as the 50B statute be interpreted broadly, means that the mere fact that a relationship is “short-term” does not “categorically preclude” that relationship from being one covered by Chapter 50B.However, in September, Kent pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors — simple battery, false imprisonment and unauthorized use of a movable.He received a suspended sentence of six months at the Orleans Justice Center jail, a year of inactive probation and six weeks of drug and alcohol testing and anger management.At least 14 of those days must be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.If convicted of a third offense, the offender will be fined ,000 imprisoned with or without hard labor for at least one year and no more than five years.