Law 54 – the most abused law in PR (PR Conservative)

Ley 54 – was heralded as a great step forward in women’s rights.  The right by allegation alone – to have any man arrested for spousal abuse.

Curiously enough, there are no statistics to indicate that the law has, in any way shape or form; reduced the number of women assaulted by their husbands, nor has it reduced the number of women killed by a lover.

So what has the law done?  It has given women the absolute power to jail any man based on a verbal accusation alone with no physical proof what so ever.

You have seen it, I have seen it, we have all heard the stories.  A couple going through a divorce and the woman calls the cops because the man won’t do what she wants him to do and she makes an accusation.  He pleads, and begs the cops and he goes to jail anyway.

Whether convicted or not under the law the accusation alone tarnishes a mans reputation and gives the woman unfair advantage in civil court in cases of divorce.

I propose a simple alternative.  If a woman accuses a man of assault under law 54 BOTH should be immediately arrested.  If no evidence of abuse is found the woman should face a trial for false police reports and serve the maximum sentence automatically.   (the same would apply to men who make false allegations).

If that change is implemented you will see a dramatic reduction in the number of alleged acts of abuse.  Then maybe  the police can focus on the real cases of abuse and protect people who are really being hurt.

It does of course open an entire discussion of the question of civil law in Puerto Rico and how it is applied in cases between men and women, but that is a discussion for another day.




About Cacique

Semi-retired Media Relations guy, former radio and TV reporter and legislative aide. Middle of the road Libertarian (as if that actually existed) who reviews current news items and stories, and offers an alternative point of view.
This entry was posted in Civil Law, Law 54 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Law 54 – the most abused law in PR (PR Conservative)

  1. Shocked Gringo says:

    In all of my travels, I have never seen a population of women as legally favored as in Puerto Rico. There is a real problem here, and laws like Ley 54 are the reason why.

    I’ve noticed that Puerto Rican men are browbeaten by women and feminism on the island. Perhaps it is the social debt of the era of machismo, but whatever the case, it is not fair. Young men are now even taking on the “If I can’t beat them, join them” approach. Homosexuality is not only a fashionable trend, but it is exploding due to this misandric culture on the island.

    Perhaps most troubling is the tendency for Puerto Rican women to make false allegations in the workplace and in the courtroom when they can’t get their way.

    You have a wonderful blog started here, and this is the most important issue you have discussed. Conservatism is all too rare in Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rican nuclear family will be decimated in a generation if radicals like Rep. Albita Rivera have their way.

    I am all for protecting people via proper legislation, but protections must be gender neutral and fair for all, not just the privileged class that is women in Puerto Rico.


    • worleyf says:

      Thanks for your comments and please, spread the word about our blog. Hopefully we’ll have more than just a blog in the future. And I will certainly agree with you that the nuclear family must be preserved and protected when ever possible. Divorce has become a profitable business at the expense of men and families.


  2. America Roman says:

    what is the 2.8 law in the law 54.


    • worleyf says:

      Here is a copy of Article 2.1

      2.1 Ordenes de protección. (8 L.P.R.A. sec. 621)

      Cualquier persona que haya sido víctima de violencia doméstica o de conducta constitutiva de delito según tipificado en esta Ley o en la Ley Núm. 115 de 22 de julio de 1974, según enmendada, conocida como “Código Penal del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico” [33 LPRA secs. 3001et seq.] o en cualquier otra ley especial, en el contexto de una relación de pareja, podrá radicar por sí, por conducto de su representante legal o por un agente del orden público una petición en el tribunal y solicitar una orden de protección, sin que sea necesaria la radicación previa de una denuncia o acusación. Cuando el tribunal determine que existen motivos suficientes para creer que la parte peticionaria ha sido víctima de violencia doméstica, podrá emitir una orden de protección. Dicha orden podrá incluir, sin que se entienda como una limitación, lo siguiente:

      (a) Adjudicar la custodia provisional de los niños y niñas menores de edad de la parte peticionaria.

      (b) Ordenar a la parte peticionada desalojar la residencia que comparte con la parte peticionaria, independientemente del derecho que se reclame sobre la misma.

      (c) Ordenar a la parte peticionada abstenerse de molestar, hostigar, perseguir, intimidar, amenazar o de cualesquiera otra forma interferir con el ejercicio de la custodia provisional sobre los menores que ha sido adjudicada a una de éstas.

      (d) Ordenar a la parte peticionada abstenerse de penetrar en cualquier lugar donde se encuentre la parte peticionaria, cuando a discreción del tribunal dicha limitación resulte necesaria para prevenir que la parte peticionada moleste, intimide, amenace o de cualquier otra forma interfiera con la parte peticionaria o con los menores cuya custodia provisional le ha sido adjudicada.

      (e) Ordenar a la parte peticionada pagar una pensión para los menores cuando la custodia de éstos haya sido adjudicada a la parte peticionaria, o para los menores y la parte peticionaria cuando exista una obligación legal de así hacerlo.

      (f) Prohibir a la parte peticionada esconder o remover de la jurisdicción a los hijos e hijas menores de las partes.

      (g) Prohibir a la parte peticionada disponer en cualquier forma de los bienes privativos de la parte peticionaria o los bienes de la sociedad legal de gananciales o la comunidad de bienes, cuando los hubiere. Disponiéndose, que cuando se trate de actos de administración de negocio, comercio o industria la parte contra la cual se expida la orden deberá someter un informe financiero mensual al tribunal de sus gestiones administrativas.

      (h) Ordenar cualesquiera medidas provisionales respecto a la posesión y uso de la residencia de las partes y sobre aquellos bienes muebles enumerados y comprendidos en los incisos (1), (2), (3), (4), (4)(a), (5) y (6) de la [32 LPRA sec. 1130] la cual establece las propiedades exentas de ejecución.

      (i) Ordenar a la parte peticionada pagar una indemnización económica de su caudal privativo por los daños que fueren causados por la conducta constitutiva de violencia doméstica. Dicha indemnización podrá incluir, pero no estará limitada a compensación por gastos de mudanza, gastos por reparaciones a la propiedad, gastos legales, gastos médicos, psiquiátricos, psicológicos, de consejería, orientación, alojamiento, albergue y otros gastos similares, sin perjuicio de otras acciones civiles a las que tenga derecho la parte peticionaria.

      (j) Ordenar a la parte promovida a entregarle a la Policía de Puerto Rico para su custodia, bien sea con carácter temporero, indefinido o permanente, cualquier arma de fuego perteneciente al promovido y sobre la cual se le haya expedido una Licencia de Tener o Poseer, o de Portación, o de tiro al blanco, según fuere el caso, cuando a juicio del Tribunal dicha arma de fuego puede ser utilizada por el promovido para causarle daño corporal al peticionario, o a los miembros de su núcleo familiar.

      (k) Emitir cualquier orden necesaria para dar cumplimiento a los propósitos y política pública de esta Ley. (Enmienda por Ley 159, 1995; 2004, ley 100, enmienda el inciso (c) en términos generales)
      Art. 2.1A.- Prohibición de órdenes de protección reciprocas (8 L.P.R.A. sec. 621a)

      El Tribunal no podrá emitir órdenes de protección recíprocas a las partes, a menos que cada una:

      (a) haya radicado una petición independiente solicitando una orden de protección en contra de la otra parte;

      (b) haya sido notificada de la petición radicada por la otra parte;

      (c) demuestre en una vista evidenciaria que la otra parte incurrió en conducta constitutiva de violencia doméstica; y

      (d) demuestre que la violencia doméstica no ocurrió en defensa propia. (Adicionado en el 2004, ley 100)


  3. simply want the best for all of us... says:

    Hello, I had no idea the ley 54 was such a serious charge (especially when causing “emotional abuse” to a 1 year old) when I went to the police a couple of weeks ago simply asking them to remove my boyfriend of 5 years from the house. They told me they could only remove him that night If I filed that complaint for the ley 54…which applied to us. He was very drunk and grabbed and pushed me and threatened me and threatened that I was going to wake up without my 1 year old daughter by my side bc he was going to dissapear with her (that’s what terrified me the most and the reason I did not want to go to sleep until he was out of the house). They also kept asking me if he hit me so finally I let them know that he did punch me one time in the rib but I didn’t feel I needed to mention it because it wasn’t hard…it was more so to scare me as he told me “wait until we get upstairs”. Anyway, all I wanted was for him to be taken out of the house and to have an order of protection against him but I never wanted him to end up in jail. I just want to know what I can do to get him out of jail. He’s been there since May 31st and I am terrified for him. I no longer want to be with him and still would like to have protection from him but I don’t want to see him in Jail. Our next court date is on June 14th…this Tuesday and I don’t know what to do. I was planning on asking the judge to transfer him to a rehab for his alcohol and drug abuse because he only asks crazy like that when he’s on something and also if she could please put him on probation instead of jail time since it’s his first offense (in Puerto Rico). But he sent someone to call me yesterday and beg for simply not to go to court…I don’t think that would be wise or help his case…I don’t know what to do. Can you please give me some advise? I’m afraid to drop the charges because the court might not take me seriously God forbid something like that happens again…and I truly do want him to go to rehab so he can get out of his drug (and now alcohol) abuse. I’ve been trying to get him off of drugs througout our entire relationship…he really needs professional help and that is all that I want for him. Any advice would be great. I really hope you see this before Tuesday the 14th. Thank you in advance.


    • worleyf says:

      First let me say that I am very sorry for your situation. He had no right to treat you like that and you did the right thing by trying to get help. I am NOT an attorney, but I suggest you get one and use their advice. You can as the plaintiff choose to drop the charges as I understand it, however, in some jurisdictions (Puerto Rico may be one) once the charge is filed it is out of the hands of the person who filed the complaint and its up to the state. Your story shows again how bad that law can be even for the victim of abuse. I wish you the very best but please, contact an attorney near you and get some good professional legal advice before you make any decision.


  4. la injusticia says:

    Yo he sido victima de la ley 54 en dos ocasiones, mi ex-esposa es oficial de probatoria en mayaguez ,PR. En la primera ocasion fue el año pasado y estaba separado de ella,yo la llamo para su cumpleaños y la invite a cenar y ella me dijo que tenia una cita,pues la deje asi y fui a un restaurant con unos amigos. ella me llama y me indica que yo iba a recibir una sorpresa. al poco tiempo llego la policia al restaurant y me arresta indicandome que habia cometido violecia dometica, ella alega que yo llegue a su hogar y que rompi el porton principal y rompi el segundo porton y rompi una ventana de cristal y con pedazo de cristal la amanace de muerte a ella y a su hijo. tuvo 14 hora arrestado y cuando me llevaron ante el juez ,el mismo policiia le indico que no habia nigun porton roto y si habia una ventana rota en la cual su propio hijo indico que fue el cual la rompio. sali no causa de 8 cargo de la ley 54. tuve fuera del hogar por 8 meses ,luego regreso nuevamente con mi ex y este mayo del 2011 su hijo me agredio con un cuchillo y yo me marche del hogar y esta llamo a la policia y le indica al policia que yo la empuje y que su hijo habia peliado conmigo.. cuando fui entrevistado por el policia y me lee la situacion y declaron lo ocurido y el policia me indica que ella esta mintiendo ya que ella indico que habia un cuchillo y cuando entrevisto a su hijo este alego que fue el que tenia el cuchillo y no radicaron el caso. entoce mi ex fue ante el jueves y le indiica que yo la empuje y pone una orden de protecion ex partes. ella espera varios dias y llama a la policia indicando que yo habia violado la orden de protecion, me vuelve a restar y cuando fuimos ante el juez este si tener prueba de supina determina cauda para aresto y me pone una fianza y un grillete. cuando fuimos a la regla 6 el fiscal entrevista a mi ex y bajo juramento indica que yo llame a su hijo y que la amenase a muerte a su hijp y a ella del telefono 787.832.9696 en la cual es del cuadro telefonico de la policia de mayaguez, entrevista a su hijo y este le indica que el me persiguio desde mayaguez mall hasta frente a mi casa en la cual conducia un guagua lexus en la cual esta estaba en mantenimineto y se le presenta envidencia al jueves ,la juezas determina no causa ,pero fiscalia se fue en alzada ,mi abogado le indico a juez que ordenara que me quitra el grillete y esta indico que no hasta la alsada. siendo inocente y estando pricionero en mi hogar. a la vista en alsada mi ex nunca llego la jueza la mando a buscar y esta lleha dando beso al fiscal ,aguacil ,a secretaria de la jueza y cuando empezo la vista ni un regaño se le hizo y ni un desacato por incumplir la orden de la citacion que le hiciera al tribunal.
    en esa vista ella se contradijo en varias ocasiones y su hijo de igual forma se presentaron las misma envidencia y hasta el fidcal tuvo que decir que el telefono era dee la policia , la jueza encontro acusa la jucio , ella al ser oficial de probatoria por 12 años gregando con fiscales y juezes manipula al sistema para lograr su proposito. en estos momento estamos enviando una mocion de cambio de juridicion y para que cambie las condiciones del grillete en la cual el juez emitio una orden que este todo el tiempo dentro de mi hogar ,perdiendo mi trabajo y le estamos suplicando al tribunal que me des dos horas para buscar trabajo y este lo ha negado. yo tengo mi record limpio , he sido una persona trabajadora y ha cometido un abuso conmigo cuando no he cometido nigun abuso con mi ex y ella por proteger a su hijo a usado su posicion y la ley 54 para hacer daño. yo se que voy a salir bien,pero cuando salga voy a llevar a los tribunales que le sometan cargo de ley 54 por daños sicologico porque donde queda mi moral,reputacion y imagen.


    • worleyf says:

      Hay historias como el suyo por todos lados. Lamento mucho su situacion y te deseo lo mejor – pero hasta la ley cambia, habran mas vidas destrosados por esta injusticia.


  5. johnny ruiz says:

    Todo padre que se sienta asi abusado por el sitema tiene que hacer una marcha y reclamar por nuestros derechos como hombres ya que lamentablemente hemos sido pisoteados y humillados.

    Hay que levantarnos y luchar por nuestros derechos.


  6. Anon says:

    Well here is the deal, I had a law 54 two years ago for “verbal abuse” whatever the fuck that means..In a phone conversation while my girlfriend was clearly out cheating, I called her a whore and a bitch,..NO threats, just two words. She went to the police and I was arrested at my house that night for law 54 “verbal abuse”. I went to one hell of a dangerous prison and luckily was bailed out from a true friend who had to post 7500 cash as my bail was…ready for this, $75.000…Yes first time arrested, all around good guy, didnt even know calling a girl a dirty name was illegal in PR. Perhaps I make a cake and celebrate her cheating next time? Well after being bailed out from a 3 world jail (yes, it looked worse than those jails on locked up abroad, drugs everywhere, NO Correction officers, 75 guys in one cage, cell phones, weapons, gangs everywhere) I went to court for the next 4 months every few weeks as they kept postponing or denying motions. The women who pressed charges NEVER wanted me arrested, she was just doing what PR women are trained to do, go to the police and cry. She wanted charges dropped but couldn’t because it was state vs me, not accuser vs. me. The prosecutor wanted 3 years in jail for me, I shit you not…For calling her a bad name. 3 years out of my life in a stinky PR prison..Luckily the judge and eventually the prosecutor had come to their senses and dropped the case. I left the island two weeks later never to return. I cant explain how hopeless I felt, like I was in an Arab country being persecuted for something.. And get this, I GOT LUCKY, when asked on trial if she NEEDED a psychologist or was emotionally harmed by my two words, she said no. However when in court I have seen girls cry and say yes and the men whisked away for long jail terms..Imagine she said yes? I would be in jail to this day..It is crazy and corrupt in PR, do not come or visit or mingle with the women if you do. It is a very serious problem and I do not know of many friends that havent had law 54’s against them…Only one deserved it because he hit the girl, the other friends i know with law 54 were simply there because their wife or gf shed a tear in front of a cop…


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  10. No more dating in Puerto Rico. says:

    I have recently learned about the “Ley 54″ law and how much power it gives to women in Puerto Rico. My girlfriend and i had an argument concerning the safety of our individual children. I raised my voice but i didn’t say anything threatening, hostile, or negative about her or her child. A security guard came over to my car and told me the police had been called and should leave because of “Ley 54″. Later i verified no report or charges were ever filed but this event lead me to read up on the law in PR. I was shocked to find that a woman can claim “verbal abuse” for anything if it makes her “feel upset or threatened”.
    After consulting with my attorney i have decided not to return to Puerto Rico. Here was his advice: If you have been accused of any type of “Ley 54″ violation, do NOT be alone with the female in question. Always meet in a public place and have a witness or attorney present if you must deal with an angry woman in PR.


  11. Jacob Siller says:

    Im 22 years old and came to Puerto Rico to work on the power lines after hurricane Maria from Texas, and ended up getting a girl friend from the island. We ended up breaking up after a very short time, and I took my belongs that she was using at the time from her and she called the cops of me and made up a huge story that never happened. I spent 6 months in jail before I was able to get bounded out, which was a whole nother mess and now I’m on house arresting waiting for trial where I could be doing 5-3 years in prison. This is my first time ever getting in trouble. I didn’t even know I had a warrent for my arrest until I was back home in Texas. Where I was arrested and extradited to PR. And not they want me to pay 5000$ it took to pick me up and 10months in prison. 😦


    • Cacique says:

      That is one of the reasons I wrote this article and it has been one of the most engaged articles I’ve put on my blog. I’m sorry for your situation, I hope you can get a good lawyer. The laws and enforcement are so slanted that it is almost worth pleading out, but if you did nothing wrong (I assume you didn’t) then all you can do is fight. Good luck


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