Status Summary

Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on 1/18; LAW - Majority; do pass and Minority; do not pass. Passed to Rules Committee for second reading on 1/19 Placed on second reading by Rules Committee on 1/25 and was voted on by the Senate. The bill passed 44-5. Referred to House Judiciary on 1/29. SB5598 was heard in the House Committee on Judiciary on 2/15 at 1:30 p.m. It was amended and exec’d action on 2/22. Heard in Appropriations on 2/24 . Exec. action taken on 2/26; passed with amendment(s) by Judiciary and referred to Rules. Placed on second reading by Rules on 2/27. On 3/2, Amendment ruled beyond the scope and object of the bill and Committee amendment(s) adopted with no other amendments. Rules suspended and placed on third reading. Passed on third reading; yeas, 53; nays, 45; absent, 0; excused, 0. Vote on third reading reconsidered. Third reading passed; yeas, 56; nays, 42; absent, 0; excused, 0. On 3/6, Senate concurred in House amendments. Final passage passed; yeas, 43; nays, 6; absent, 0; excused, 0. After the Speaker and President of the Senate sign the bill it will be sent to the Governor for action. (updated 3/8)

Legislative Session

2017

Status

In Progress

Sponsor

Pedersen

Carryover from 2017: 

SB 5598 allows a relative, including but not limited to grandparents, the right to seek visitation with a child through the courts. The bill establishes set eligibility criteria for what qualifies a relative as: (a) The petitioner has an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child; (b) The petitioner is a relative of the child or a parent of the child; (c) The child is likely to suffer harm or a substantial risk of harm if visitation is denied; and (d) if the person and the child have had a relationship formed and sustained through interaction, companionship, and mutuality of interest and affection, without expectation of  financial compensation, with substantial continuity for at least two years unless the child is under the age of two years, in which case there must be substantial continuity for at least half of the child's life, and with a shared expectation of and desire for an ongoing relationship. SB 5598 states that the child’s reasonable preference, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference, should be taken into consideration by the court. The petition must be filed in the county where the child primarily resides. Additionally the bill outlines the rights of the petitioner at court hearings and the petition process.

*Companion to HB 2117

Amendments by the Public Safety Committee:

Provides that the term "relative" does not include a person whose parental rights have been terminated, relinquished, or determined not to exist with respect to a child who is the subject of a petition under the act.

Provides that if a juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction over the child in proceedings relating to dependency, termination of parental rights, or out-of-home placement, a petition for visitation, or a petition for modification of a visitation order, must be filed with that court. A person granted visitation is not entitled to party status in a child custody proceeding. 

Strikes a provision in the non-parental child custody statute that allows any person to petition for visitation with a child at any time and that allows a court to grant visitation if it is in the best interest of the child.

As amended in the House Judiciary Committee, the following changed were made: 

-Provides that if a juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction over the child in proceedings relating to dependency, termination of parental rights, or out-of-home placement, a petition for visitation, or a petition for modification of a visitation order, must be filed with that court. A person granted visitation is not entitled to party status in a child custody proceeding.
-Strikes a provision in the non-parental child custody statute that allows any person to petition for visitation with a child at any time and that allows a court to grant visitation if it is in the best interest of the child.
-Provides that the term “relative” does not include a person whose parental rights have been terminated, relinquished, or determined not to exist with respect to a child who is the subject of a petition under the act.