Permits access to a crime victim to information about status of case he or she was involved in and the right to participate in the proceedings of a juvenile offender.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law and the family court act, in relation to a victim's right of access to information in certain proceedings
PURPOSE: This bill gives a crime victim access to information about the status of the case in which he was involved, and the right to participate in the judicial proceedings of a juvenile offender.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: o Section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law is amended by adding a new subdivision 44 which reads: "Victim" means a person as defined in subdivision seven of section 10.00 of the penal law alleged to have sustained physical injury to person or financial damage to property as a direct result of the crime or crimes charged in an accusatory instrument.
o A new article 235 is added to the Criminal Procedure Law, entitling a victim of a crime to certain information on the status of the case. This information includes the plea the accused has entered, the trial date assigned to the accused, whether the case has been transferred to another court, and the general status of the case The prosecutor of the case is responsible for turning this information over to the victim on demand.
o A new section, 340.3, is added to the Family Court Act, giving the victim access to the same information in the case of a juvenile offender. A victim is also given the right to request participation in the proceedings against a juvenile, subject to the approval of the court.
JUSTIFICATION: The information that will be given to the victim under this bill is clearly information which may have a direct bearing upon the victim's well being. Access to this information should surely be a matter of right. Too often, the criminal justice system, given its heavy workload and the necessity of safeguarding the rights of the accused, neglects the victims and their needs. Providing the victim with updated information on the status of cases will not only protect victims, it will increase their confidence in the criminal justice system, and encourage them to take a more active role in bringing criminals to justice.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This bill has been introduced in previous legislative sessions.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Agencies responsible for prosecution will have to develop a system to keep victims informed The cost should be minimal, as the information to be provided to the victim is certainly already part of the prosecution's file on the case.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 647 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law and the family court act, in relation to a victim's right of access to information in certain proceedings THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law is amended by adding a new subdivision 44 to read as follows: 44. "VICTIM" MEANS A PERSON AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF SECTION 10.00 OF THE PENAL LAW ALLEGED TO HAVE SUSTAINED PHYSICAL INJURY TO PERSON OR FINANCIAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE CRIME OR CRIMES CHARGED IN AN ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT. S 2. The criminal procedure law is amended by adding a new article 235 to read as follows: ARTICLE 235 VICTIM'S RIGHT TO DISCLOSURE OF THE ACCUSED'S CASE STATUS SECTION 235.10 VICTIM'S RIGHT OF ACCESS. S 235.10 VICTIM'S RIGHT OF ACCESS. 1. A VICTIM OF A CRIME MAY OBTAIN UPON DEMAND FROM THE PROSECUTOR, INFORMATION CONCERNING THE STATUS OF THE ACCUSED'S CASE FROM THE TIME OF ARRAIGNMENT TO SENTENCING. 2. A VICTIM HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT PLEA THE ACCUSED HAS ENTERED. 3. A VICTIM HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN ASSIGNED FOR TRYING THE ACCUSED. 4. A VICTIM HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW IF THE ACCUSED'S CASE HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO A COURT OTHER THAN THE ORIGINAL ONE WHERE THE ACCUSED ENTERED HIS/HER PLEA.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03591-01-3 S. 647 2
S 3. The family court act is amended by adding a new section 340.3 to read as follows: S 340.3. VICTIM'S RIGHT OF ACCESS TO DISCLOSURE OF THE ACCUSED'S CASE STATUS. 1. "VICTIM" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL, A CORPORATION, AN UNINCORPORAT- ED ASSOCIATION, A PARTNERSHIP, OR A GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTAL- ITY ALLEGED TO HAVE SUSTAINED PHYSICAL INJURY TO PERSON OR FINANCIAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE CRIME OR CRIMES CHARGED IN AN ACCUSATORY INSTRUMENT, AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 1.20 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW. 2. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER TO THE CONTRARY, THE VICTIM SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO REQUEST PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCEEDINGS, AND SUCH REQUEST SHALL BE GRANTED BY THE COURT UNLESS IT CAN BE SHOWN FOR GOOD CAUSE THAT SUCH PARTICIPATION WOULD INHIBIT THE JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS. 3. A VICTIM MAY OBTAIN UPON DEMAND FROM THE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROSECUTION OF THE ACCUSED, INFORMATION CONCERNING THE STATUS OF THE ACCUSED'S CASE FROM THE TIME OF ARRAIGNMENT TO SENTENCING. 4. A VICTIM HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT PLEA THE ACCUSED HAS BEEN OFFERED. 5. A VICTIM HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT HEARING OR TRIAL DATE HAS BEEN ASSIGNED FOR TRYING THE ACCUSED. 6. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 341.1 OF THIS ARTICLE, THE VICTIM HAS THE RIGHT TO ATTEND THE HEARING AND/OR TRIAL. S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.