State-wide domestic abuser database in effect, called “Monica’s Law” after Odessa woman

Local News

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Monica Deming was a single mom living in Odessa. She was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in 2015, who had a history of domestic abuse that she did not know about.

Thanks to a new law in effect named after her and her tragic story, people in Texas will have more access to information on if someone is a domestic abuser.

“As far as I am concerned, this is a huge step and this registry is going to be working for the people in Texas now.”

State Rep Brooks Landgraf, creator of “Monica’s Law”

The registry lists protective orders issued by courts in the state relating to domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, dating violence and abuse. The public website protects victim privacy, but shares court information, cause numbers and the person whom the order is against. Each entry includes that person’s full name, birth year, residence county, race, ethnicity and relevant dates for the order, like when the order was issued and when it expires.

When asked if he thinks his daughter would be alive today had this database been available 5 years ago, Monica’s father answered candidly.

“No doubt in my mind. Of course we can’t bring her back but maybe we can save somebody else… And I think this database is the answer.”

Jon Nielson, Monica’s father

This database creates less steps to streamline this information to the public and to law enforcement.

“Historically, in order to find a protective order that’s been issued by a court, although it’s a public document, it’s a public record, you’d have to go into the courthouse in that particular county where it was issued, and find it there, there was no way to access it unless you physically went to the courthouse. That enabled individuals who have a history of committing acts of domestic violence to basically hide their history just by concealing themselves behind jurisdictional lines.”

State Rep Brooks Landgraf, creator of “Monica’s Law”

The registry is accessible for free on the Texas Courts website.

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