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Fenton Twp. — Fenton Township adopted an assault and battery ordinance at the Monday, Jan. 6 meeting. 

It passed 6-0, with Trustee Robert Kesler absent. The first reading of the ordinance was held late last year.

Township Attorney Jack Belzer recommended at the Dec. 16 meeting that it be adopted because most of the township’s criminal offenses are covered under a single Disorderly Persons Ordinance, which has created difficulties with law enforcement officials and in the prosecution process, according to meeting minutes. 

The ordinance separates assault and battery from the Disorderly Persons Ordinance. The new ordinance prohibits assault against all individuals, including in the cases of domestic assault. It is against the law for a person to assault or batter the following:

• His or her spouse or former spouse

• An individual with whom he or she has had a dating relationship

• An individual with whom he or she has had a child in common

• An individual who is a resident or former resident of the same household

• An individual to whom he or she is related by blood or marriage

It’s against the law to assault or batter an individual who is pregnant. 

The new ordinance includes a definition for “dating relationship,” which means “frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. This would not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context.”

“Related by blood or marriage” means within the second degree of relationship. 

A violation of this ordinance is considered punishable by imprisonment not more than 93 days and a fine up to $500, along with the cost of prosecution. The ordinance takes effect immediately. 

The board expects to consider additional criminal offense ordinances in the near future.

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