IMPLEMENT CRIME VICTIM RIGHTS AMENDMENT.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 682 (Public) Filed Thursday, June 27, 2019
AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE BETTER PROTECTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS TO VICTIMS OF CRIME.
Intro. by Daniel, J. Davis, Britt.

Status: Ch. SL 2019-216 (Sep 4 2019)

Bill History:

S 682/S.L. 2019-216

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Sep 5 2019 - More information

    AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE BETTER PROTECTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS TO VICTIMS OF CRIME. SL 2019-216. Enacted September 4, 2019. Part III is effective September 4, 2019. The remainder is effective August 31, 2019. 


  • Summary date: Aug 20 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 4th edition makes the following changes.

    Part I.

    Amends GS 15A-830.5 by providing that Article 46 of GS Chapter 15A does not create a claim for damages against the State; any county or municipality; or any State or county agencies, instrumentalities, officers, or employees (was, the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 46, including a service provided through the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification System, may not be used by a defendant in a criminal case, by an inmate, or by any other accused, or by any victim or any family member of a victim, as a ground for relief in any criminal or civil proceeding). 

    Amends GS 15A-831 to require that the form used by the victim to indicate whether the victim wishes to receive any further notices from the investigating law enforcement agency on the status of the accused during the pretrial process be created by the Conference of District Attorneys. 

    Amends GS 15A-832 by requiring that the pamphlet provided to the victim include the victim's rights under the Article, including the right to reasonably confer with the district attorney's office (was, with the attorney prosecuting the case) about the disposition of the case and the right to provide a victim impact statement. Also amends the statute to require that the district attorney's office offer the victim the opportunity to reasonably confer with an attorney from the district attorney's office (was, with the prosecuting attorney) to obtain the victim's views about, at a minimum, dismissal, plea or negotiations, sentencing, and any pretrial diversion programs.

    Amends GS 15A-834.5, enforcement of the rights of a victim, as follows. Clarifies that a victim may assert the rights provided in Article 46 pursuant to Section 37, Article I, of the North Carolina Constitution. Adds that in no event will any underlying proceeding be subject to undue delay for the enforcement provided in the statute. Adds that if a motion filed by the victim with the clerk of superior court involves an allegation that a law enforcement agency failed to comply with the rights of a victim provided under Article 46, the victim must first file a written complaint with that agency, to give the agency an opportunity to timely resolve the issue in the complaint. Requires that a copy of such a motion be provided to the head of the law enforcement agency referenced in the motion and allows a judge to confer with the head of that law enforcement agency as part of the review. Makes conforming changes. Adds that the victim may petition the NC Court of Appeals for a writ of mandamus if the judge fails to review the motion and dispose of it or set it for hearing in a timely manner. Adds a victim's family member to those who may not use the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 46, including a service provided through the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification System, as a ground for relief in any criminal or civil proceeding; adds the prohibition, as it applies to all named classes of individuals, is except as provided in Section 37, Article I, of the North Carolina Constitution. 

    Part II.

    Amends proposed GS 7B-2052, victim's rights, by providing that new Article 20A does not create a claim for damages against the State; any county or municipality; or any State or county agencies, instrumentalities, officers, or employees (was, the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 20A may not be used by a juvenile, by any accused, or by any victim or any family member of a victim, as a ground for relief in any criminal, juvenile, or other civil proceeding). 

    Amends proposed GS 7B-2053, to require that the district attorney's office offer the victim the opportunity to reasonably confer with an attorney from the district attorney's office (was, with the prosecuting attorney) to obtain the victim's views about, at a minimum, dismissal, plea or negotiations, disposition, and any dispositional alternatives. Also no longer includes dispositional alternatives available to the court as provided in GS 7B-2508 in the information given to the victim about the adjudication and disposition of the juvenile after the completion of the dispositional hearing. 

    Makes clarifying changes to GS 7B-2054.

    Changes the caption of GS 7B-2057. Provides that the requirement that any agency, department, or official providing a victim with written notice or information under the Article identify the juvenile by the juvenile's first and last initials, is except as provided in GS 7B-2055(c). Deletes the provision specifying that new Article 20A does not create a claim for damages against the State; any county or municipality; or any State or county agencies, instrumentalities, officers, or employees (this provision now appears in GS 7B-2052).

    Amends GS 7B-2058, enforcement of rights, as follows. Clarifies that a victim may assert the rights provided in Article 20A pursuant to Section 37, Article I, of the North Carolina Constitution. Adds that in no event will any underlying proceeding be subject to undue delay for the enforcement provided in this statute. Makes a clarifying change. Adds that the victim may petition the NC Court of Appeals for a writ of mandamus if the judge fails to review the motion and dispose of it or set it for hearing in a timely manner. Allows the court, for good cause shown, to shorten the time for filing a response. Adds a victim's family member to those who may not use the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 20A, including a service provided through the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification System, as a ground for relief in any criminal, juvenile, or other civil proceeding; adds the prohibition, as it applies to all named classes of individuals, is except as provided in Section 37, Article I, of the North Carolina Constitution. 


  • Summary date: Jul 25 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.

    Part I.

    Further amends the defined terms set forth in GS 15A-824, applicable to Article 45, Fair Treatment for Certain Victims and Witnesses, as follows. Now defines crime to mean a felony or serious misdemeanor as determined at the sole discretion of the district attorney, except those included in Article 46, Crime Victims' Rights Act, or an act by a juvenile as provided in Article 20A of GS Chapter 7B, as enacted (previously, included any act committed by a juvenile that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony or serious misdemeanor; excluded an offense against the person or a felony property crime covered by Article 46 of GS Chapter 15A or Article 20A of GS Chapter 7B). Additionally, modifies family member to more specifically include the sibling or grandparent of the victim (rather than the closest living relative of the victim), and explicitly exclude the accused from the term.

    Further amends GS 15A-825, concerning the treatment of victims by law enforcement agencies, the prosecutorial system, the judicial system, and the correctional system. Maintains existing law regarding the provision of a secure waiting area during court proceedings (previously, amended to refer to proximity to any defendant or the family of any defendant; existing law refers to proximity to defendants and families or friends of defendants). Now requires that each victim be given the opportunity to prepare a victim impact statement for consideration by the court (under current law, required to have a victim impact statement prepared). Modifies terminology to require the victim be informed prior to trial, rather than told, that the district attorney (DA) may recommend a plea bargain. Maintains current law which requires family members of a homicide victim be offered all the guarantees of the statute, as appropriate (previously, eliminated).

    Amends GS 8-53.12, concerning privileged communications with agents of rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs, establishing that any agent or center that receives a request for any necessary information which the agent acquired during the provision of services to a victim must make every effort to inform the victim of the request and provide the victim a copy of the written request, if applicable. Concerning a court's decision to compel production of the records, adds new provisions to require the judge in any proceeding subject to the statute to inquire as to whether the victim is present and wishes to be heard. Requires the court to grant the victim the opportunity to be reasonably heard if present and so desiring, including, at the victim's discretion, by oral statement, submission of a written statement, or submission of an audio or video statement.

    Further amends the defined terms set forth in GS 15A-830, applicable to Article 46, Crime Victims' Rights Act, as follows. Amends the proposed definition of court proceeding to more specifically include a hearing involving a plea that disposes of the case, rather than any plea. Adds that if it is known to law enforcement and the DA's office that the defendant and the victim have a personal relationship, as defined by state law, and the hearing can result in the defendant's release, efforts will be made to contract the victim. Makes clarifying changes. Amends the proposed definition of family member to include a guardian or legal custodian of the victim. Also qualifies that the accused can be included in the term if the charges are dismissed or the person is found not guilty. Amends the proposed definition of offense against the person to include violations of GS Chapter 20 (motor vehicle laws) if an element of the offense involves impairment of the defendant, or injury or death to the victim (previously, if the offense involved that specified). Specifies that violations of a valid GS 50B-4.1 protective order includes domestic criminal trespass, GS 14-134.3, and purchase or possession of firearms by a person subject to a domestic violence protective order, GS 14-269.8. Specifies that the term includes violations of Article 35 of GS Chapter 14 (offenses against the public peace) if the elements of the offense involve communicating a threat or stalking (previously, id the offense involved that specified). Adds that the term includes an offense that triggers the enumerated victims' rights, as required by the NC Constitution. Concerning the assertion of the victim's rights, prohibits the accused from asserting the victim's right when the victim is a minor or is legally incapacitated. Additionally, prohibits an individual who would not act in the best interest of the victim, in the determination of the DA (was, the court), from asserting or exercising the victim's rights. Adds that an individual can petition the court to review the DA's determination. 

    Amends proposed GS 15A-830.5, setting forth victim's rights, specifying that the victim's right to be reasonably heard at court proceedings involving a plea is limited to those involving a plea that disposes of the case. Also, modifies the terminology to establish the right to reasonably confer with the DA's office, rather than the prosecution. Makes further terminology changes to the Article to refer to the attorney prosecuting the case, or the prosecuting attorney, concerning the right to reasonably confer, as appropriate.

    Further amends GS 15A-832 to require the DA's office's court date notifications be given to the victim in a reasonable manner in addition to an accurate and timely manner. Adds that the DA's can provide the required notification electronically or by telephone, unless the victim requests otherwise (previously, required the victim's consent). Requires that the required notifications be documented by the DA's office. Establishes a new duty for the DA's office to make every effort to ensure that a victim's personal information is not disclosed unless required by law. Requires the DA's office to inform the victim that personal information is not relevant in every case and that the victim can request the DA to object to that line of questioning when appropriate. Specifies that the DA's responsibilities extend to a victim of an act of delinquency if the juvenile's case is transferred to criminal court (was, if transferred to superior court).

    Further amends GS 15A-832.1, concerning responsibilities of judicial officials. Modifies the scope of the statute to now extend to the issuance of criminal pleadings, rather than specified warrants for arrest, for any misdemeanor offense against the person based on testimony or evidence from a complaining witness. Makes changes to the proposed responsibilities set forth in new subsection (d) following notification that a victim has filed a motion alleging a violation of the rights provided by Article 46. Now requires the judge to review the motion and either dispose of the motion or set the motion for hearing as required by law. Adds provisions regarding recusal if justice so requires.

    Modifies and adds to proposed GS 15A-834.5, concerning enforcement of victims' rights. Makes organizational and clarifying changes. More specifically provides that a victim can allege a violation of the rights provided by Article 46 by filing a motion with the superior court clerk's office, within the same criminal proceeding giving rise to the rights in question. Adds the following provisions. Establishes a new right for the victim to consult with an attorney regarding the alleged violation of the rights provided by Article 46, but not the right to counsel provided by the State. Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to create a form to serve as the motion to allege victims' rights violations, as specified. Requires the form to be provided to victims by the superior clerk at no cost. Requires the judge to review, as described, and either dispose of the motion or set a hearing for the motion in a timely manner. Prohibits the use of the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 46 by a defendant in a criminal case, by an inmate, by any other accused, or by an victim as a ground for relief in any criminal or civil proceeding. 

    Amends GS 15A-835, concerning posttrial responsibilities, to establish that the victim is permitted to be present at any appellate proceeding that is an open hearing, though the victim does not have a right to be heard.

    Part II.

    Modifies the defined terms set forth for new Article 20A, Rights of Victims of Delinquent Acts, of GS Chapter 7B, as follows. Adds to the term court proceeding, that if it is known by the juvenile court counselor and the DA's office that the juvenile and the victim have a personal relationship, as defined under state law, and the hearing can result in the juvenile's release from custody, efforts will be made to contact the victim (identical to the provision added to the defined term applicable to Article 46 of GS Chapter 15A, above). Amends the term family member to include the guardian or legal custodian of the victim. Also no longer excepts from the exclusion of the accused from the term in the event the charges are dismissed or the person is found not guilty. Makes identical changes to the term offense against the person as those made to the term as it is applicable to Article 46 of GS Chapter 15A, described above. Similarly, explicitly prohibits the accused from asserting the victim's right when the victim is a minor or is legally incapacitated. Changes the statutory cross-reference regarding who may exercise the right to restitution if the victim is deceased. Additionally, prohibits an individual who would not act in the best interest of the victim, in the determination of the DA (was, the court), from asserting or exercising the victim's rights. Adds that an individual can petition the court to review the DA's determination. Makes clarifying changes. 

    Modifies the victims' rights enumerated in new Article 20A to no longer include the right to be reasonably heard at court proceedings involving a plea. Now entitles the victim to the right to reasonably confer with the DA's office, rather than the prosecution. Makes conforming changes to the Article to refer to the DA's office and prosecutor as appropriate. Adds that no family member of a victim can use the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under the Article as a ground for relief in any criminal, juvenile, or other civil proceeding (previously, prohibition was limited to use by a juvenile, by any accused, or by any victim).

    Regarding the responsibilities set forth of the DA's office, makes changes identical to those made to GS 15A-832, adding that the DA's office must make every effort to ensure that a victim's personal information is not disclosed unless required by law. Requires the DA's office to inform the victim that personal information is not relevant in every case and that the victim can request the DA to object to that line of questioning when appropriate. Further, requires the DA's office's court date notifications be given to the victim in a reasonable manner in addition to an accurate and timely manner. Adds that the DA's can provide the required notification electronically or by telephone, unless the victim requests otherwise (previously, required the victim's consent, consistency with the Article, and electronically only as technology allows). Requires that the required notifications be documented by the DA's office. Now makes it the responsibility of the DA's office, rather than the prosecutor, to notify the victim that the victim can request notification of the juvenile's release or escape.

    Concerning responsibilities set forth of judicial officials, makes changes to the proposed responsibilities prescribed following notification that a victim has filed a motion alleging a violation of the rights provided by Article 20A. Now requires the judge to review the motion and either dispose of the motion or set the motion for hearing as required by law. Adds provisions regarding recusal if justice so requires. Modifies the terminology used concerning the court's responsibility to make every effort to provide the victim a secure waiting area, now referring to the juvenile or the juvenile's family, rather than the defendant or the defendant's family.

    Makes organizational and clarifying changes concerning enforcement of the rights provided by new Article 20A, identical to those made to proposed GS 15A-834.5, described above. More specifically provides that a victim can allege a violation of the rights provided by Article 20A by filing a motion with the superior court clerk's office, within the same criminal proceeding giving rise to the rights in question. Adds the following provisions. Establishes a new right for the victim to consult with an attorney regarding the alleged violation of the rights provided by Article 20A, but not the right to counsel provided by the State. Directs AOC to create a form to serve as the motion to allege victims' rights violations, as specified. Requires the form to be provided to victims by the superior clerk at no cost. Requires the judge to review, as described, and either dispose of the motion or set a hearing for the motion in a timely manner. Prohibits the use of the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 20A by a defendant in a criminal case, by an inmate, by any other accused, or by an victim as a ground for relief in any criminal or civil proceeding. 

    Amends the proposed changes to GS 7B-3000 to refer to the prosecuting attorney rather than the prosecutor concerning disclosure of information to the victim.

    Part III.

    Amends the directive for AOC to develop procedures for the automation of criminal court notifications to instead limit the directive to court date notifications. 

     


  • Summary date: Jul 9 2019 - More information

    Senate amendments to the 2nd edition make the following changes.

    Part I.

    Amendment #1 amends the definition of court proceeding under GS 15A-830, applicable to the Crime Victims' Rights Act, by removing the inclusion of appellate hearings.

    Part II.

    Amendment #1 amends proposed new GS 7B-2053 concerning the information that can be provided to the victim following completion of the dispositional hearing, to include whether or not the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent, and if so, the offense classification, the dispositions available to the court under GS 7B-2508, and the dispositional alternative available to the court under GS 7B-2508 (was, the class of the offense and the level, description, and duration of disposition ordered).

    Part III.

    Amendment #2 adds a requirement that the Administrative Office of the Courts, in consultation with the Conference of District Attorneys, develop procedures to automate the criminal court notification required by this act. 


  • Summary date: Jul 2 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Part III.

    Requires the Conference of District Attorneys and the Administrative Office of the Courts to develop and disseminate the forms required by the act by August 31, 2019, rather than by July 31, 2019.

    Specifies that Parts I and II of the act apply to offenses and acts of delinquency committed on or after August 31, 2019 (previously, omitted acts of delinquency).


  • Summary date: Jul 1 2019 - More information

    Part I.

    Makes the following changes to Articles 45, Fair Treatment for Certain Victims and Witnesses, and 46, Crime Victims' Rights Act, of GS Chapter 15A.

    Amends GS 15A-824, which sets forth the defined terms for Article 45. No longer qualifies that the definitions apply unless the context clearly requires otherwise. Excludes from the definition of crime offenses against the person or a felony property crime covered by Article 46 of the Chapter or Article 20A of GS Chapter 7B, as enacted (previously, excluded felonies or serious misdemeanors in Article 46). Makes clarifying and technical changes.

    Amends GS 15A-825, concerning the treatment due to victims and witnesses by law enforcement agencies, the prosecutorial system, the judicial system, and the correctional system. To the extent reasonably possible and subject to available resources, requires that the victim or witness be provided a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not place the victim or witness in close proximity to any defendants or the family of any defendant (was, to defendants and families or friends of defendants). No longer requires that family members of a homicide victim be offered all guarantees specified, as appropriate. 

    Amends GS 15A-830, which sets forth the defined terms for Article 46. Adds the terms court proceeding, family member, felony property crime, and offense against the person. Eliminates the term next of kin and makes conforming changes to eliminate any reference to the term. Amends the definition of victim, now defined to mean a person against whom there is probable cause to believe an offense against the person or a felony property crime has been committed (previously, specified certain felonies and misdemeanors). Defines offense against the person to mean an offense against or involving the person of the victim which constitutes a violation of Subchapter III (Offenses Against the Person) of GS Chapter 14; Subchapter VII (Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency) of GS Chapter 14; Article 39 of GS Chapter 14 (Protection of Minors); GS Chapter 20 (Motor Vehicles) if the offense involves impairment of the defendant, or injury or death of the victim; a valid protective order under GS 50B-4.1; or Article 35 (Offense Against Public Peace) of GS Chapter 14 if the offense involves communicating a threat or stalking. Defines felony property crime to mean an act which constitutes a felony violation of either Subchapter IV (Offenses Against the Habitation or Other Buildings) or Subchapter V (Offenses Against Property) of GS Chapter 14. Adds new provisions to establish that a parent, guardian, or legal custodian can assert the victim's rights under Article 46 if the victim is a minor or is legally incapacitated. Provides that if the victim is deceased, a family member, in the order set forth in the definition, can assert the victim's rights under Article 46, provided that the guardian or legal custodian of a deceased minor has priority over a family member and the personal representative of the victim's estate must exercise any restitution right set forth in GS 15A-834. Defines family member to mean a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or grandparent of the victim; excludes the accused unless the charges are dismissed or the person is found not guilty. Establishes that any individual who, in the determination of the court, would not act in the best interests of the victim is not entitled to assert or exercise the victim's rights.

    Enacts GS 15A-830.5 to mandate that a victim of a crime be treated with dignity and respect by the criminal justice system. Enumerates nine victims' rights, including (1) the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of court proceedings of the accused upon request; (2) the right to receive restitution, if ordered, in a reasonably timely manner; (3) the right to be given information about the crime, how the criminal justice system works, the rights of victims, and the availability of services for victims; (4) the right to receive information about the conviction or final disposition, and sentence of the accused, upon request; (5) the right to receive notification of escape, release, proposed parole or pardon of the accused, or notice of a reprieve or commutation of the accused's sentence, upon request; and (6) the right to present the victim's views and concerns in writing to the Governor or agency considering any action that could result in the accused's release, prior to the action becoming effective. Prohibits the failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service under Article 46 from being used by a defendant in a criminal case, by an inmate, by any other accused, or by any victim or any family member of a victim as a ground for relief in any criminal or civil proceeding.

    Amends GS 15A-831 to require an investigating law enforcement agency to provide a victim, within 72 hours of identification, with the specified information in writing, on a form created by the Conference of District Attorneys (previously, listed seven items and did not specify how the information is to be given). Adds to the existing specified information (1) a list of each enumerated right of a victim, as enacted in GS 15A-830.5 and (2) information about any other rights afforded to victims by law. No longer requires law enforcement agencies to forward the victim's date of birth, Social Security number, race, and sex to the district attorney's office within 72 hours after notification of the accused's arrest, instead only requiring the agency to forward the victim's name, address, and phone number or other contact information (currently, requires name, address, and phone number). Requires a victim electing to receive further notices on the status of the accused during the pretrial process to return the form given to the investigating law enforcement agency within 10 business days of receipt of the form. Adds a new requirement for the investigating law enforcement agency to promptly share the form with the district attorney's office.

    Amends GS 15A-832, regarding the district attorney's office's responsibilities, to require the district attorney's office to explain the step generally taken by the office when prosecuting a crime (was, a felony case). Deems it the victim's responsibility to notify the office of any changes in the victims's contact information if the victim elects to receive notices. Specifies that the office's notices must be accurate and timely. Permits notification electronically or by phone with the victim's consent. No longer requires a court to make every effort to permit the fullest attendance possible by a victim witness in the proceedings. Requires the office to offer the victim the opportunity to reasonably confer, rather than consult, with the prosecution (rather than the prosecuting attorney). Establishes that the district attorney's office's responsibilities extend to the victim of an act of delinquency if the juvenile's case is transferred to superior court. 

    Amends GS 15A-832.1, regarding responsibilities of judicial officials, to require a judicial official issuing an arrest warrant for any misdemeanor offense against the person based on testimony or evidence from a complaining witness rather than from a law enforcement officer to (1) record previously specified information of the defendant and victim and (2) deliver a copy of the warrant and victim's information to the superior court clerk's office by the close of the next business day. Requires judges, in any court proceeding under the Article, as now defined in GS 15A-830, to always ask whether the victim is present and wishes to be heard, to which the victim must reasonably be heard if the victim wishes, through an oral statement, submission of a written statement, or submission of an audio or video statement. Requires a judge notified by the clerk that a victim has filed a motion alleging violation of the rights of Article 46 to inquire as to compliance and timely dispose of the motion or set the motion for hearing. Adds a new requirement for the court to make every effort to provide a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not place the victim in close proximity to the defendant or the defendant's family. 

    Enacts GS 15A-834.5 to establish that a victim or a victim's attorney can assert the rights afforded under Article 46. Allows assertion of victim rights by the prosecutor, upon request, or the parent, guardian, or legal guardian, or family members, as specified. Requires assertion by motion within the same criminal proceeding giving rise to the rights, with the right to counsel at the hearing, but no right to counsel provided by the State. Requires the victim to file a written complaint with the district attorney if the matter involves an allegation that the district attorney failed to comply with the victim's rights when obligated by law. 

    Amends GS 15A-836, regarding the responsibilities of the custodial agency of the defendant, to require the agency to notify the victim of the procedure for alleging failure of the custodial agency to notify the victim as required by the statute. 

    Repeals GS 15A-840 (No ground for relief; incorporated into new GS 15A-830.5) and GS 15A-841 (concerning incompetent victim's rights; incorporated into GS 15A-830, as amended).

    Part II.

    Enacts new Article 20, Rights of Victims of Delinquent Acts, in GS Chapter 7B, providing as follows.

    Defines victim as a person against whom there is probable cause to believe a juvenile has committed an offense against the person or a felony property offense. Defines offense against the person as an offense committed by a juvenile against or involving the person of the victim that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a violation of one of the following: Subchapter III of GS Chapter 14 (Offenses Against the Person); Subchapter VII of GS Chapter 14 (Offenses Against Public Morality and Decency); Article 39 of GS Chapter 14 (Protection of Minors); GS Chapter 20 (Motor Vehicles) if the offense involves impairment of the defendant, or injury or death to the victim; a valid protective order under GS 50B-4.1; or Article 35 of GS Chapter 14 (Offenses Against the Public Peace) if the offense involves communicating a threat or stalking. Defines felony property offense as an offense that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony violation of GS Chapter 14, Subchapter IV (Offenses Against the Habitation and Other Buildings) or Subchapter V (Offenses Against Property).

    Allows a parent, guardian, or legal custodian to assert the victim’s rights under the Article when the victim is a minor is or legally incapacitated. Allows a family member to assert a deceased victim’s rights, subject to the following: (1) the guardian or legal custodian of a deceased minor has priority over a family member and (2) the right to restitution in new GS 7B-2056 may only be exercised by the personal representative of the victim’s estate. Prohibits an individual who would not act in the best interests of the victim from being entitled to assert or exercise the victim's rights.

    Gives victims the following rights: (1) the right, upon request, to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of court proceedings of the juvenile; (2) the right, upon request, to be present at court proceedings of the juvenile; (3) the right to be reasonably heard at court proceedings involving the plea, adjudication, disposition, or release of the juvenile; (4) the right to receive restitution in a reasonably timely manner, when ordered by the court; (5) the right to be given information about the offense, how the juvenile justice system works, the rights of victims, and the availability of services for victims; (6) the right, upon request, to receive information about the adjudication of the juvenile or disposition of the case; (7) the right, upon request, to receive notification of the escape or release of the juvenile; and (8) the right to reasonably confer with the prosecution. Prohibits using the failure or inability of a person to provide a right or service under the Article as a ground for relief in any criminal, juvenile, or civil proceeding.

    Requires the district attorney’s office to provide the victim with the seven types of information within 72 hours after the filing of a petition, including the victim’s rights under the Article, steps generally taken by the district attorney’s office in cases involving juvenile offenses, and suggestions on what the victim should do if threatened or intimidated by the juvenile or someone acting on the juvenile’s behalf. Requires the victim to indicate on a form whether the victim requests to receive notices of some, all, or none of the court proceedings included under this Article as well as whether the victim wishes to receive information about the adjudication and disposition of the case. Requires the district attorney's office to offer the victim the opportunity to reasonably confer with the prosecution to obtain the views of the victim about, at a minimum, dismissal, plea or negotiations, disposition, and any dispositional alternatives. Requires the district attorney’s office to notify victims, who have indicated they wish to be notified, of the date, time, and place of court proceedings; sets out requirements for those notices. Requires, when practical, providing a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not place the victim in close proximity to the juvenile or the juvenile’s family. Requires the prosecutor, before the dispositional hearing, to notify the victim that the victim may request in writing to be notified (1) in advance of the juvenile's scheduled release date, if the juvenile is committed to the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (Division) for placement in a youth development center or (2) in the event that the juvenile escapes, if the juvenile is being held in secure custody or is committed to the Division for placement in a youth development center. Requires the prosecutor, at the dispositional hearing, to submit to the court a form containing the victim's request for further notices and any necessary identifying information about the victim, if applicable. Sets out custody and confidentiality of the form. Requires the district attorney’s office to provide the victim, when requested, with information about the adjudication and disposition of the juvenile; limits information that is to be included in that notice.

    Requires the court to give the victim an opportunity to be reasonably heard. Provides that if an entire hearing has been closed to the victim by the court, the victim must have opportunity to be heard by the court regarding the right to be present, if the court has not previously provided this opportunity to the victim. Requires the court to make every effort to provide a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not place the victim in close proximity to the defendant or the defendant's family.

    Sets out notification requirements by the Division at least 45 days before releasing a juvenile to post-release supervision. Requires the Division to give the victim an opportunity to be reasonably heard and consider the victim’s views when determining whether a juvenile is ready for release and during the post-release supervision planning conference process. Sets out notification requirements when the victim has asked to be notified of the juvenile’s escape.

    Gives the victim a right to receive restitution when ordered by the court under GS 7A-2506(4) (up to $500, payable within a 12-month period to any person who has suffered loss or damage as a result of the offense committed by the juvenile) or GS 7B-2506(22) (require restitution of more than $500 full or partial, payable within a 12-month period to any person who has suffered loss or damage as a result of an offense committed by the juvenile).

    Provides that nothing under the Article provides grounds for a victim to examine or obtain confidential juvenile records. Prohibits identifying the juvenile by name in the notice or information provided to the victim, requiring the use of first and last initials. Specifies that the Article does not create a claim for damages against the State, any county or municipality or any State or county agencies, instrumentalities, officers, or employees.

    Allows a victim or a victim’s attorney to assert the rights provided in the Article. Also allows the following to assert the victim’s rights: (1) the prosecutor, upon request of the victim; (2) if the victim is a minor or is legally incapacitated, a parent, guardian, or legal custodian; or (3) if the victim is deceased, a family member. Sets out the procedure by which a victim may assert their rights provided under the Article. Provides that if the matter involves an allegation that the district attorney failed to comply with the rights of a victim when obligated to do so by law, the victim must first file a written complaint with the district attorney to give the district attorney with jurisdiction over the criminal action an opportunity to resolve the issue stated in the written complaint in a timely manner.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-2514, GS 7B-3000, GS 7B-3111, and GS 7B-3102. Makes a conforming repeal of GS 7B-2513(j).

    Part III.

    Requires the Conference of District Attorneys and the Administrative Office of the Courts, by July 31, 2019, to develop and disseminate the forms required by the act.

    Parts I and II of the act apply to offenses committed on or after August 31, 2019.


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