Tierne’s Law Earns Final Approval, Heads to the Governor’s Desk

HARRISBURG – A proposal that would help district judges protect domestic violence victims is now headed to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).

The Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 449, also known as Tierne’s Law. The legislation clarifies existing law that allows judges to use risk assessment tools when setting bail in domestic violence cases. These tools have proven to be effective in predicting an abuser’s odds of re-offending and creating a dangerous circumstance for victims, Bartolotta said.

The bill was named in honor of Tierne Ewing, a Washington County resident who was kidnapped and later murdered by her estranged husband in August 2016. The killer had been arrested a few weeks prior to the kidnapping for domestic violence and other offenses, but was granted bail in spite of the prosecutor’s request for bail to be raised or revoked.

Last year, Pennsylvania provided support to more than 89,000 victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence played a role in 102 homicides in 2016, including eight in the counties Bartolotta represents. 

CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463