California Penal Code 13730 PC requires every police department to keep detailed records of each domestic violence-related call to which its officers respond. The report must include whether the incident involved alcohol or drugs, strangulation, a weapon, and whether there have been previous domestic violence-related calls at that address. Then every month, each police department compiles this information and provides it to the California Attorney General.
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
13730 PC. (a) Each law enforcement agency shall develop a system, by January 1, 1986, for recording all domestic violence-related calls for assistance made to the department, including whether weapons are involved, or whether the incident involved strangulation or suffocation. All domestic violence-related calls for assistance shall be supported with a written incident report, as described in subdivision (c), identifying the domestic violence incident. Monthly, the total number of domestic violence calls received and the numbers of those cases involving weapons or strangulation or suffocation shall be compiled by each law enforcement agency and submitted to the Attorney General.
(b) The Attorney General shall report annually to the Governor, the Legislature, and the public the total number of domestic violence-related calls received by California law enforcement agencies, the number of cases involving weapons, the number of cases involving strangulation or suffocation, and a breakdown of calls received by agency, city, and county.
(c) Each law enforcement agency shall develop an incident report form that includes a domestic violence identification code by January 1, 1986. In all incidents of domestic violence, a report shall be written and shall be identified on the face of the report as a domestic violence incident. The report shall include at least all of the following:
(1) A notation of whether the officer or officers who responded to the domestic violence call observed any signs that the alleged abuser was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
(2) A notation of whether the officer or officers who responded to the domestic violence call determined if any law enforcement agency had previously responded to a domestic violence call at the same address involving the same alleged abuser or victim.
(3) A notation of whether the officer or officers who responded to the domestic violence call found it necessary, for the protection of the peace officer or other persons present, to inquire of the victim, the alleged abuser, or both, whether a firearm or other deadly weapon was present at the location, and, if there is an inquiry, whether that inquiry disclosed the presence of a firearm or other deadly weapon. Any firearm or other deadly weapon discovered by an officer at the scene of a domestic violence incident shall be subject to confiscation pursuant to Division 4 (commencing with Section 18250) of Title 2 of Part 6.
(4) A notation of whether there were indications that the incident involved strangulation or suffocation. This includes whether any witness or victim reported any incident of strangulation or suffocation, whether any victim reported symptoms of strangulation or suffocation, or whether the officer observed any signs of strangulation or suffocation.
In California, law enforcement agencies must write detailed reports for every domestic violence-related incident they attend to, even if there is no arrest and the alleged victim recants. These reports must contain the following four pieces of information:
- Whether the alleged abuser was intoxicated or high;
- Whether there have been prior domestic violence calls at that address;
- Whether the officers found it necessary to inquire whether a firearm or other deadly weapon was at the location, and if so, whether there actually was a firearm or deadly weapon there.
- Whether the alleged victim was strangled or suffocated.1
Note that if there is a weapon at the location of the alleged domestic violence incident, the law enforcement officer may be able to confiscate it.2
California law enforcement agencies are required to compile their domestic violence incident reports and submit to the Attorney General on a monthly basis. The AG, in turn, submits an annual report to the Governor, Legislature, and public revealing the following information:
- The total number of domestic violence-related calls received by California law enforcement agencies,
- The number of these cases involving weapons,
- The number of cases involving strangulation or suffocation, and
- A breakdown of calls received by each California agency, city, and county.3
Victims are always advised to get a copy of their reports as soon as possible following an incident. This way they can check that the report was indeed done and that the information is accurate.
- California Penal Code 13730 PC – Recording Domestic Violence–Related Calls; Reports; Incident Report Forms. County of Los Angeles v. Commission on State Mandates, (Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Seven, 2003) 110 Cal. App. 4th 1176, 2 Cal. Rptr. 3d 419.
- 13730 PC.
- 13730 PC.