Bill Summary for H 465 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

May 27 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 465 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 1, 2015
AN ACT TO ENACT THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S PROTECTION ACT OF 2015.
Intro. by Schaffer, McElraft, Turner, S. Martin.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

Amends the short and long titles.

Amends GS 14-27.7A to define statutory rape as vaginal intercourse or a sexual act against someone who is 15 years old or younger as specified. Amends the following statutes to make conforming changes: GS 14-208.6 (concerning definitions for Sex Offender and Public Protection Registration Programs) and GS 90-210.25B (concerning the license of individuals for funeral service). Effective December 1, 2015, applying to offenses committed on or after that date. 

Amends GS 110-130.1 to add that any fee imposed by the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of the Treasury to cover the costs of withholdings for administrative offsets are to be borne by the client.

Amends GS 110-136.4, concerning child support withholdings in IV-D cases, to allow the obligee to serve the payor with the required notice of obligation to withhold by electronic transmission in compliance with specified procedures; allows for this type of notice whether or not the withholding was contested. Also allows the IV-D agency to serve the payor with a notice of obligation to withhold, and service of notices to subsequent payors of their obligation to withhold when the obligor changes jobs, by electronic transmission in compliance with specified procedures.

Amends GS 110-139.2 to require only reference to the applicable law (instead of providing a copy of the law) in the notice to the obligor of levy on an account with a financial institution. 

Enacts new GS 7A-343.6, authorizing the NC Administrative Office of the Courts to develop a program that provides for the electronic filing of documents in domestic violence and civil no-contact cases as specified.

Also enacts GS 50C-2(e) concerning no-contact orders providing that all documents filed, issued, registered or served in such actions can be filed electronically. Enacts GS 50B-2(e) to allow the electronic filing of all documents related to domestic violence protective orders. Further provides that hearings held to consider ex party relief can be held via video conference but hearings dealing with emergency or permanent relief as specified cannot be held via video conference. Amends GS 50C-6 to provide that ex party hearings for temporary civil no contact orders can be held via video conference. Amends GS 50C-7 to provide that hearings held to consider permanent civil no contact orders cannot be held via video conference. Effective December 1, 2015, applying to documents filed and hearings held on or after that date. 

Amends GS 15A-1340.16 to add to the list of aggravating factors that can be considered in determining whether to impose an aggravated sentence, that it is an aggravating factor when a defendant commits a violent offense and knew or reasonably should have known that a person under the age of 16 who was not involved in the commission of the offense was in a position to see or hear the offense. Amends the definition of in the presence of a minor as used in GS 14-33(d), concerning misdemeanor assault in the presence of a minor, to mean that the minor was in a position to see or hear the assault (was, minor was in the position to have observed the assault). Amends GS 15A-534.1 to require a judge to determine the conditions of pretrial release when a defendant is charged with assault on, stalking, communicating a threat to, or committing a felony upon a person with whom the defendant is or has been in a dating relationship. Effective December 1, 2015, applying to offenses committed on or after that date. 

Amends GS 14-208.18(c)(1), concerning the unlawful presence of sex offenders on specified premises, adding new language that provides that the limitations on presence also apply to offenders required to register as a result of any federal offense or offense committed in another state, which if committed in North Carolina would be substantially similar to an offense in GS Chapter 14, Article 7A, Rape and Other Sex Offenses. Effective December 1, 2015, applying to offenses committed on or after that date.

Enacts new Part 5 in Article 1B of GS Chapter 130A, establishing the Maternal Mortality Review Committee (Committee) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the purpose of which is to reduce maternal mortality in the state by conducting multidisciplinary maternal death reviews and developing recommendations for the prevention of future maternal deaths. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) to appoint the nine members. Specifies the duties of the Committee, including identifying maternal death cases, reviewing medical records and other relevant data, and making recommendations regarding the preventability of maternal deaths. Requires licensed health care providers, health care facilities, and pharmacies to provide the Committee with reasonable access to all relevant medical records associated with a case under review by the Committee. Provides that a health care provider, health care facility, or pharmacy providing access to medical records will not be held liable for civil damages or be subject to any criminal or disciplinary action for good faith efforts to provide the records. Provides that information, records, reports, statements, notes, memoranda, or other data collected under this Part, unless otherwise provided for, is not admissible as evidence in any action in any court or before any other tribunal, board, agency, or person, and they may not be exhibited nor their contents disclosed, except as necessary to further the Committee's review of the case. Makes the information, records of interviews, written reports, statements, memoranda, or other data obtained by DHHS, the Committee, and other persons, agencies, or organizations authorized by DHHS confidential. Also makes all Committee proceedings and activities, member opinions formed as a result of such proceedings and activities, and records obtained, created, or maintained pursuant to this Part confidential and exempt from statutes relating to open meetings and open records or subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding. Prohibits Committee members from being questioned in any civil or criminal proceeding regarding the information presented or opinions formed as a result of a meeting or communication of the Committee but does not prevent a Committee member testifying as to information obtained independently of the committee or which is public information. Effective December 1, 2015.

Renumbers the provisions of Section 1 of this act as Section 7 and makes the following changes.

Amends subsection (a) of GS 14-45.1 to specify that the advising, procuring, or causing of a miscarriage or abortion during the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy is not unlawful when the procedure is performed by a qualified physician (was, a physician) licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina in a hospital or clinic certified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to be a suitable facility for performing abortions.

Enacts new subsection (a1) to require DHHS to inspect annually any clinic where abortions are performed and to publish the results and findings of all inspections conducted on or after January 1, 2013, on the DHHS website and the state website established under GS 90-21.84. Prohibits employing any person who is less than 18 years of age at any clinic where abortions are performed.

Amends subsection (b) to specify that the advising, procuring, or causing of a miscarriage or abortion after the twentieth week of a pregnancy is not unlawful when the procedure is performed by a qualified physician (was, a physician) licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina in a hospital or clinic certified by DHHS, if there is a medical emergency as defined by GS 90-21.81(5), (was, if there is substantial risk that continuance of the pregnancy would threaten the life or gravely impair the health of the woman).

Also amends subsection (b1) to clarify that a physician who advises, procures, or causes a miscarriage or abortion under any of the provisions of GS 14-45.1 must be a qualified physician. Requires that a qualified physician who advises, procures, or causes a miscarriage or abortion after the sixteenth week (was, eighteenth week) of a pregnancy record all of the information as specified in subsection (b1). Requires that the information be gathered only for statistical purposes and that the confidentiality of the patient and the physician be protected (was, the confidentiality of the patient). Prohibits the materials provided by the physician to DHHS from being considered as public records under GS 132-1.

Enacts new subsection (g) to define the term “qualified physician” as a (1) physician who has, or is eligible for, board certification in obstetrics or gynecology, or (2) physician who performs an abortion in a medical emergency.

Makes technical corrections to clarify the applicable effective dates in this section. Provides that GS 14-45.1(b1) as enacted and GS 14-45.1(c) as amended by subsection (a) (was, Section 1) of this act become effective January 1, 2016, and apply to abortions performed or attempted on or after January 1, 2016. Provides that subsections (a), (b), and (c) of Section 7 (previously Section 1) of this act becomes effective October 1, 2015 and applies to abortions performed or attempted on or after that date. Provides that except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.

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