Bill Summary for H 551 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Jun 25 2018

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 551 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 4, 2017
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION OF NORTH CAROLINA TO PROVIDE BETTER PROTECTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS TO VICTIMS OF CRIME.
Intro. by Dollar, R. Turner, Destin Hall, Earle.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 2nd edition. Adds general proclamation that victims of crimes are to be treated with dignity and respect by the criminal justice system. Clarifies that a victim must request to be present at the court proceedings of the accused. Qualifies the right of a victim to be heard in the accused's court proceedings by requiring that the victim may only be reasonably heard. Qualifies the victim's right to restitution from the accused by requiring the restitution to be provided in a reasonably timely manner, and when ordered by the court. Qualifies the victim's right to information about the final disposition of the accused's case by requiring that the victim request this information. Qualifies right to confer with the prosecution by requiring that the conferring be reasonable. Deletes victim's right to be reasonably protected from the defendant. Deletes victim's right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay and a prompt conclusion to the accused's case. Delete's victims right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy. Deletes provision that this section does not affect the State's discovery obligations. Deletes provision that prohibits this section from being construed to authorize a collateral civil cause of action. 

Defines victim as a person that a crime or act of delinquency was committed against or involving their person, or when a crime or act of delinquency is equivalent to a felony property crime. Deletes prior definition of victim

Clarifies that the General Assembly will provide, by general law, the procedure for a victim or victim's representative to assert the rights provided by this section.  

Adds provision that nothing in this section may be construed to provide for any cause of action against any government employees or agents. Adds provision that nothing in this section may be construed to create a right of action for a victim to appeal any decision made in the accused's proceedings, or challenge any adjudication, or participate in any proceeding as a party, or gain access to confidential juvenile records. Adds provision that nothing in this section may be construed to restrict the power of the district attorney or the inherent authority of the court. 

Makes other clarifying and technical changes. 

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