Bill Summary for H 935 (2015-2016)
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AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO RESTORE STATE FUNDING OF DRUG TREATMENT COURTS, TO PROVIDE THAT AN INVESTIGATIVE GRAND JURY MAY BE CONVENED TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF ILLEGAL USE OF FORCE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, AND TO AMEND THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION TO AUTHORIZE AN OFFICIAL OTHER THAN A DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR AND ALSO AUTHORIZE PRIVATE PROSECUTIONS OF FELONY OFFENSES.Intro. by L. Hall.
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Appropriates $3,185,888 for the 2015-16 fiscal year and $3,185,888 for the 2016-17 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Judicial Department to provide state funding for 33 full-time equivalent positions for the operation of all currently existing drug treatment courts. Effective July 1, 2015.
Amends GS 15A-622(i) to add an allegation of the illegal use of force as grounds for convening an investigative grand jury under subsection (h) of GS 15A-622. Effective December 1, 2015.
Adds a new Article 10, Private Prosecution of Felony Offense to GS Chapter 7A. Declares that it is the intent of this Article to authorize private prosecutions of felony offenses and provides that the discretion to prosecute a felony is not limited to the district attorney. Provides that an attorney, who is licensed in North Carolina, may submit a bill of indictment charging an offense within the original jurisdiction of the superior court and may prosecute that case if the grand jury returns a true bill of indictment. Designates an attorney retained by a private citizen to prosecute a felony offense as a special prosecutor and provides that the special prosecutor has the same authority and responsibility to prosecute the case as a district attorney. Requires the special prosecutor to provide written notice of the designation to the district attorney in a timely manner and requesting the prosecutor to calendar the case. Directs the district attorney to calendar the case upon receipt of the written notice. Provides that the court is to order payment of attorneys' fees to a special prosecutor who successfully prosecutes a case under this Article. Effective only if the voters approve the constitutional amendment proposed in this act.
Prohibits concurrent prosecutions--that is, a defendant cannot be prosecuted by the district attorney and the special prosecutor for the same felony offense. Amends GS 114-11.6 to provide that the request for a special prosecutor may come from persons other than a district attorney, including a clerk of court, register of deeds, or legislator. Makes a conforming change adding a new subsection requiring written notice to the district attorney as a prerequisite for a case being placed on the calendar by the district attorney. Effective only if the voters approve the constitutional amendment proposed in this act.
Proposes an amendment to Section 18 of Article IV of the North Carolina Constitution authorizing officials other than district attorneys to request special prosecutors to prosecute criminal actions and to provide that attorneys other than district attorneys may prosecute criminal actions in the Superior Courts on behalf of the state. Provides that the amendment is to be submitted to qualified voters at the next statewide general election.