SOURCE: The Law Collaborative

The Law Collaborative

February 11, 2016 06:00 ET

Collaborative Law Attorney Ron Supancic Announces Brand New Changes in California Penal Code Regarding Digital Harassment

WOODLAND HILLS, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 11, 2016) - Family Law Attorney Ron Supancic, widely known as the "Godfather" of Collaborative Law in California, today announced new changes in the state's Civil and Penal Codes, identifying and protecting victims of digital harassment. On January 1st, 2016, Civil Section 1708.8 and Penal Code Sections 422 and 646.9 went into effect identifying cyberstalking as a crime and enforcing penalties of a $1,000 fine, a year of imprisonment in a county jail, or both. Digital harassment is defined as using cell phones, video recorders, fax machines, computers, and other digital devices to willfully or maliciously carry out threats on another person.

"This is a major step forward in protecting innocent victims of divorce or separation," states Attorney Ron Supancic, a veteran Family Law attorney and the founder of The Law Collaborative, California's first collaborative law practice. "By prohibiting and restraining parties from engaging in a pattern of conduct intended to harass, alarm, and intimidate family members or cause them to be fearful for their life, these laws now provide for the welfare and safety of innocent victims, often women and children of a divorce, while creating a legal means to fight back."

Ron Supancic founded Southern California's first collaborative law group back in 1998. Through his work at The Law Collaborative and as an instructor of collaborative law, he has widely helped promote non-adversarial practices in family law.

"With these new Penal and Civil Codes now on the books, there is a legal platform duly available to attorneys representing victims of ongoing coercive conduct and behavior," he says. "My clients commonly experience chronic intimidation practices by their spouses in an attempt to induce fear, but until now there has never been a remedy to address this behavior."

In addition to the new California statutes, two recent decisions by the Appellate Court in May and June 2015 further identify the direction in which Attorney Supancic believes the legislature is headed. In the cases of Altafulla vs. Ervin and Evilsizor vs. Sweeney, the trial courts last year affirmed their recognition of electronic harassment as akin to spousal abuse and domestic violence. In doing so, Divorce Attorney Supancic says these decisions have expanded the remedies available to victims of spousal abuse in a manner and form not previously recognized by the state's courts.

The next step necessary, he says, is to have stronger laws aimed at withholding property from criminal parties who are trying to conceal assets contrary to their fiduciary duties under the Family Code. While he acknowledges that it is standard procedure to award triple damages to injured parties in civil matters, triple penalties are not awarded in these instances in family law.

About The Law Collaborative: Ron Supancic is a Certified Family Law Specialist, author, speaker, educator and the founder of The Law Collaborative, a family law practice serving Southern California with expertise in contested and uncontested divorce, collaborative divorce, mediation, and child custody cases. In practice since 1970, Attorney Supancic was one of the first attorneys certified as a Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California in 1980. He served as the founding president of the Coalition for Collaborative Divorce and is committed to helping families in transition restructure their relationships to reduce economic hardship and psychological injury to children. For more information, visit: www.thelawcollaborative.com.

Contact Information

  • Media, please contact:
    CFLS Ron Supancic
    Office: (818) 348-6700 / Cell: (818) 416-7007
    E-mail: Email Contact