Bill Summary for H 641 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Apr 10 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 641 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Intro. by Boles, Pierce, Speciale, R. Turner.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Amends GS 127A-111 by providing that no NC National Guard member is to be forced to use (was, use or exhaust) any of the member's vacation or other accrued leave from the member's civilian employment for a period of active service. Makes language gender-neutral.

Part II.

Enacts new GS 143B-600.1 Allows an employee of the Department of Public Safety to perform work involving the installation, construction, maintenance, or repair of any buildings, wiring, piping, devices, appliances, or equipment located in or constituting improvements located on State-owned land without being licensed if the work performed is valued at less than $100,000 or all work is performed as force-account work otherwise authorized by law up to the value authorized. 

Part III. 

Amends the powers of a probation officer under GS 15-205 by giving probation officers the authority to serve any warrant or other process issuing from any of the state courts having criminal jurisdiction. Removes the same right to execute process as that given to sheriffs. Gives probation officers  authority to assist law enforcement officers in making arrests and preventing escapes from custody when requested or when, in the judgment of the probation officer, such assistance may be necessary. Gives probation officers subject matter jurisdiction of law enforcement officers on prison property for the purpose of protecting life and property, for the purpose of transferring prisoners from place to place, and for apprehending, arresting, and returning to prison escaped prisoners. Gives probation officers  subject matter jurisdiction of law enforcement officers when responding to active assailant incidents and civil disturbances or when assigned to perform additional duties during times of disasters. 

Part IV.

Amends GS 143-341 to exempt Community Corrections vehicles from the requirement for State agencies to transfer their vehicles to the Department of Administration. 

Part V. 

Amends GS 143B-720 to give the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission authority to issue orders of temporary or conditional revocation of post-release supervision and parole subjecting supervisees and parolees to arrest by a law enforcement officer or a post-release supervision and parole officer. Requires such orders to be entered into NCAWARE. Makes language gender-neutral.

Part VI.

Amends GS 14-258.4 to sentence any prisoner who knowingly and willfully exposes genitalia to an employee while the employee is performing the employee's duties to a minimum term of six months and a maximum of 12 months in prison. Clarifies that sentences imposed under the statute run consecutively to and commence at the expiration of any sentence being served for an offense by the person sentenced. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

Part VII.

Amends GS 14-258 to require that any prisoner possessing a letter, weapon, tool, good, article of clothing, device, or instrument to effect an escape or aid in an assault or insurrection must be sentenced to a minimum term of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months in prison. Makes organizational changes.

Amends GS 15A-1368.1 by making conforming changes to specify that Article 84A (Post-Release Supervision) of GS Chapter 15A is applicable to felons sentenced to an active punishment under GS 14-258 (providing forbidden articles or tools for escape), and GS 14-258.4 (malicious conduct by prisoner).

Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

Part VIII.

Enacts GS 143-18.2 to prohibit the personal property of an inmate in the custody of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice (Division) from exceeding a total value of $250. Requires DPS to reimburse an inmate for the value of an item or provide replacement for an item, when DPS’s Administrative Remedies Procedures results in such a recommendation, when the inmate’s property is lost, destroyed or damaged through the negligent maintenance of the correctional facility or the negligence of the correctional facility’s employees. Establishes this remedy as the sole remedy for inmate property loss, damage, or destruction. Limits reimbursement from exceeding $250 per incident. Prohibits reimbursement of an inmate for lost, damaged, or destroyed State-issued property. 

Enacts GS 143-295.2 to establish that an inmate has no recourse against the Division through Article 31, Tort Claims against State Departments and Agencies, for property lost, stolen, or otherwise damaged through the negligent handling of its correctional facility or staff members, but instead requires reimbursement or replacement of the item pursuant to new GS 148-18.2.

Makes technical changes to GS 143-291. Establishes that the Industrial Commission (Commission) has no jurisdiction over any claim brought by an inmate in the custody of the Division unless the inmate has exhausted DPS’s Administrative Remedy Procedure set out in GS 148-118.2. Makes conforming changes to GS 148-118.2. Eliminates the provision which allowed a court to waive the exhaustion requirement if it finds waiver to be in the interest of justice. Makes technical and clarifying changes.

Amends GS 143-291.2 to specify that the Commission can tax costs against the losing party in the same amount and manner as costs are taxed in the Superior Court Division of the General Court of Justice (previously did not specify costs and manner of superior court). Adds an explicit prohibition against the Commission taxing the cost against the prevailing party. Additionally establishes a new disqualification for an inmate seeking indigent status. Prohibits granting indigent status to a currently incarcerated inmate who is the claimant under Article 31 if, while incarcerated or detained in any State facility, the inmate has on three or more prior occasions brought an action or appeal before the Commission that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, not within the statute of limitations, exceeds the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can by granted. 

Amends GS 143-295 to authorize claims to be settled upon agreement between the various departments, institutions, and agencies of the State and the claimant without approval of the Commission for an amount not to exceed $25,000 (previously, this authority was limited to settlement between the claimant and the Attorney General). Makes conforming changes.

Enacts GS 143-299.5 to establish limited liability for the Division for damages under Article 31 for acts or omissions of its employees tasked with the supervision, protection, control, confinement, or custody of the State’s inmate population. Excepts gross negligence from the immunity provided.

Amends GS 143-299.1A, regarding when the public duty doctrine can be used as an affirmative defense. Establishes that the provisions which specify when the doctrine cannot be used do not limit the application of the public duty doctrine in cases where the claimant is an inmate in the Division’s custody unless the injury arises from the gross negligence of DPS or its staff. Makes conforming organizational changes.

Part IX.

Enacts new GS 20-43.3 to allow the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to collect and maintain motor carrier or commercial motor vehicle data in a manner that complies with the information system established by the US Secretary of Transportation.

Amends GS 20-54 by requiring the DMV to deny registration of a vehicle of a motor carrier if the applicant fails to disclose material information required; if the applicant has made a materially false statement on the application; if the applicant has applied as a subterfuge for the real party in interest who has been issued a Federal out-of-service order; or if the applicant's business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled or affiliated with a person who is ineligible for registration. Also requires denying registration for a vehicle that has been assigned for safety to a commercial motor carrier who has been prohibited from operating by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or a carrier whose business is operated, managed, or otherwise controlled or affiliated with a person who is ineligible for registration. Previously, required the DMV to refuse registration or issuance of a certificate of title or any transfer of registration when the applicant motor carrier is subject to an order issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the DMV to cease all operations based on a finding that the continued operations of the motor carrier pose an imminent hazard. Makes the same changes to the requirements of GS 20-110 concerning cancelling and rescinding registration of a vehicle of a motor carrier. 

Makes conforming changes to GS 20-381.

Effective 90 days after the act becomes law. 

Part X.

Recodifies GS 14-254.5, which defines employee and prisoner under Article 32, Misconduct in Private Office, to GS 14-259.1, under Article 33, Prison Breach and Prisoners. 

Part XI.

Amends GS 8-53.10 concerning peer support group counselors. Defines emergency personnel officer as firefighting, search and rescue, or emergency medical service personnel, or any employee of any duly accredited State or local government agency possessing authority to enforce the criminal laws of the State who is (1) actively serving in a position with assigned primary duties and responsibilities for prevention and detection of crime or the general enforcement of the criminal laws of the State and (2) possesses the power of arrest by virtue of an oath administered under the authority of the State. Adds emergency personnel officers to the definition of peer counselor under the statute, subject to the training and designation criteria specified therein. Makes conforming changes to the definition of privileged communication