House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.
Deletes the provisions added to GS 7A-414 creating longevity pay for the Executive Director of the Conference of District Attorneys.
Deletes the proposed changes to GS 7A-314 concerning witness and expert fees.
Further amends GS 7A-38.3D(m) and GS 7A-38.7(a) to allow dispute resolution fees paid by an outside source (other than the parties) to be paid directly to a community mediation center. Modifies the proposed changes to GS 7A-38.7 to require the community mediation center providing services to consent to a court's waiver or reduction of dispute resolution fees applied to an entire class of criminal cases by administrative order, or otherwise when the court finds a compliant program exists in the district and that such fee prevents access to a community mediation center. Adds that a community mediation center can withdraw its consent to waive fees assessed for an entire class of criminal cases by providing written notice to the district attorney, who then must file a motion to withdraw with the court.
Makes technical and conforming changes to the act's effective date provisions.
Bill Summaries: H116 (2023-2024 Session)
Summary date: May 3 2023 - View summary
Summary date: Apr 25 2023 - View summary
House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes. Deletes proposed changes to GS 7A-65 (compensation of district attorneys and staff) set forth as section 2 in the prior version of the act. Makes organizational changes to account for deleted text. Makes conforming changes to effective date to account for reorganization.
Summary date: Mar 1 2023 - View summary
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Amends GS 7A-413 (pertaining to the powers of the Conference of District Attorneys’ [Conference]) as follows. Authorize the Conference to provide legal counsel and advice to the district attorneys and their staff related to the performance of their duties through attorneys employed by the Conference. Specifies that advice or counsel provided by the Conference is confidential and privileged, including any documents or communications made or used in connection with that legal counsel or advice. Specifies that those communications or documents are not public records under State law (GS 132-1) and are not available for inspection or copying except as provided for by GS 132-1.4(g) (pertaining to exemption and disclosures of criminal investigation records).
Amends GS 74-414 (pertaining to executive director of the Conference) as follows. Requires the conference to employ an Executive Director, who must be an attorney licensed and eligible to practice law in North Carolina at the time of appointment and while serving as Executive Director. (Currently, just authorized to employ an executive secretary, who does not have to be a North Carolina licensed attorney.) Makes conforming changes to the section’s title. Provides for longevity pay to Executive Director instead of merit and other increment raises starting after five years of service as Executive Director, including any service as a public defender, appellate defender, assistant public or appellate defender, district attorney, assistant district attorney, resource prosecutor, justice or judge of the General Court of Justice, or clerk of superior court. Sets forth formula to establish rates of longevity pay which increases every five years.
Amends GS 7A-314 (pertaining to uniform fees for witnesses and experts) as follows. Allows witnesses who are entitled to a fee under State law and law enforcement officers who qualify as a witness to be paid either an allowance or reimbursement for meals and lodging, and travel expenses. (Currently, just reimbursement.) Specifies that those individuals who are required to appear for more than one day are entitled to an allowance or reimbursement for expenses. (Currently, just reimbursement for actual expenses.) Makes conforming changes to indicate option for allowances in addition to reimbursement.
Amends GS 7A-38.7 (pertaining to dispute resolution fees for cases referred to mediation) to allow for the court, upon a motion by the district attorney, to waive or reduce a dispute resolution fee for criminal cases referred to the community mediation center, as applied to an entire class of criminal cases by administrative order or otherwise, when the court finds that a mediation program exists in the judicial district that operates in compliance with state law and such fee prevents access to a community mediation center. Deletes requirement that requires the court to set forth findings of fact and conclusions of law when issuing any other order waiving or reducing community mediation fees. Amends GS 7A-38.3D(m) (pertaining to mediation as part of a criminal case) to allow for dispute resolution fees for mediation to be waived in part or in its entirety pursuant to the court orders issued under GS 7A-38.7, discussed above. Effective October 1, 2023 and applies to proceedings on or after that date.
Makes conforming changes to the effective dates.
Deletes proposed amendments to GS 132-1.1(a). Makes organizational changes.
Summary date: Feb 14 2023 - View summary
Amends GS 7A-64 to remove subdivision (b)(3) and create subsection (d), establishing a procedure for district attorneys who recuse themselves from the investigation and prosecution of a matter due to a conflict of interest or for other good cause, to apply to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) for assignment of another district attorney, a resource prosecutor, or a special prosecutor. Establishes that payment for a special prosecutor must be approved by the Conference of District Attorneys and the director of the AOC. Gives a special prosecutor all the authority the requesting district attorney would otherwise have had.
Amends GS 7A-65 to include other district attorney staff, and provides that the salaries for district attorney administrative assistants, district attorney legal assistants, and district attorney investigators will be as provided in the Current Operations Appropriations Act. Provides that those employees are also entitled to reimbursement for subsistence expenses, travel expenses on official business and longevity pay to the same extent as state employees generally. Effective July 1, 2023, and applies to reimbursements and pay increases after that date.
Amends GS 7A-69 to provide that each district attorney is entitled to at least one district attorney investigator (was, specified districts were entitled to one or two investigatorial assistants). Makes changes to the statute to rename “investigatorial assistant” as “district attorney investigator.” Effective July 1, 2023.
Amends GS 132.1-1(a) to include district attorneys and staff in the list of governmental bodies for which written attorney-client communications are confidential and not public records when concerning claims or judicial/administrative actions for or against the body. Specifies that written attorney-client communications regarding criminal investigations and prosecutions made to a governmental body are not public information except as provided in GS 132.1-4(g).
Amends GS 132.1-4(g) to specify that disclosure of records regarding criminal investigations and criminal intelligence transmitted to a staff member of the Conference of District Attorneys is subject to the requirements of GS 132.1-4 and GS Chapter 15A.