AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS MODIFICATIONS TO THE GENERAL STATUTES TO EXPAND PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF CERTAIN CRIMES.
Amends GS 7B-1111 to allow parental rights to be terminated when the court finds that the parent has been found, by clear and convincing evidence, to have committed (was, the parent has been convicted of) a sexually related offense under GS Chapter 14 that resulted in the juvenile's conception. Amends GS 7B-1112 by adding that a parent whose rights are terminated because of clear and convincing evidence that they committed a sexually related offense under GS Chapter 14 that resulted in the juvenile's conception, has no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from that child, nor does that person have any rights related to the child under GS Chapter 48 (Adoptions) or Subchapter I (Abuse, Neglect, Dependency) of GS Chapter 7B. Makes additional clarifying and organizational changes.
Enacts new GS 8-53.12A, providing as follows. Defines victim as a person who: (1) alleges a homicide has been attempted against them or committed against a loved one or someone with whom they have a significant relationship and (2) consults an agent of a victim assistance center for services concerning mental, physical, or emotional injuries suffered as a result of the homicide. Prohibits requiring an agent of a victim assistance center from disclosing any information that the agent acquired during the provision of services to a victim and that was necessary to enable the agent to render the services, unless the victim waives the privilege. Terminates the privilege upon the victim's death. Requires the court to compel disclosure, either at the trial or before the trial, if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, a good-faith, specific, and reasonable basis for all of the following: (1) the records or testimony sought contain information that is relevant and material to factual issues to be determined in a civil proceeding or that is relevant, material, and exculpatory upon the issue of guilt, degree of guilt, or sentencing in a criminal proceeding for the offense charged or any lesser included offense; (2) the evidence is not sought merely for character impeachment purposes; and (3) the evidence sought is not merely cumulative of other evidence or information available or already obtained by the party seeking the disclosure. Requires the party seeking disclosure to have made a sufficient showring that the records are likely to contain information subject to disclosure; upon such a showring requires the records to be produced for the court under seal and examined in camera.
Amends GS 42-40 by including in the definition of a protected tenant a victim of attempted homicide or household member of a victim of homicide under the specified statutes, where the premises was the location of the crime. Amends GS 42-45.1, which allows a protected tenant to terminate his or her rental agreement for a dwelling unit by providing the landlord with a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated in the notice that is at least 30 days after the landlord's receipt of the notice. Requires a protected tenant who is a victim of attempted homicide or household member of a homicide victim, to include with the notice law enforcement, court, or federal agency records or files. Amends GS 42-2.2 to prohibit a landlord from terminating a tenancy, failing to renew a tenancy, refusing to enter into a rental agreement, or otherwise retaliating in the rental of a dwelling, because of the tenant's, applicant's, or household member's status as a victim of attempted homicide when the premises was the location of the crime or as a household member of a victim of homicide when the premises was the location of the crime. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 50B-2, concerning the filing of actions alleging acts of domestic violence, by deleting the provision that allowed magistrates to hear any motions for emergency relief ex parte (including the awarding of temporary child custody). Allows all hearings held under the statute, including those to consider emergency or permanent relief, to be held via video conference. Makes additional organizational and clarifying changes. Effective October 1, 2021.