A state bill that places limits on the legal power domestic abusers have has been signed into law in California, State Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham announced Thursday.
AB 2391 was passed by the California State Senate and Assembly and was approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, July 1.
It places sanctions on abusers currently under a restraining order that file baseless lawsuits in an effort to stay in contact with a victim.
The bill allows victims of domestic violence to petition the court to have their abuser labeled a vexatious litigant. The label requires a person to get a presiding judge's approval before filing a lawsuit.
The goal of the approved bill is to stop domestic violence victims from being harassed by abusers taking advantage of the legal system.
"Abusers will use any tool at their disposal to continue to harass and intimidate their victims," Cunningham said in a statement. "Abusers with resources can exploit the court system and file meritless lawsuits in order to force their victims to continue to appear."
The bill was first read in February 2022. It will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.