THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

953

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO A basic bill of rights for victims and witnesses.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Section 801D-4(a), Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"801D-4 Basic bill of rights for victims and witnesses. (a) Upon written request, victims and surviving immediate family members of crime shall have the following rights:

(1) To be informed by the police and the prosecuting attorney of the final disposition of the case. If the crime charged is a felony, the victim or a surviving immediate family member shall be notified of major developments in the case and whenever the defendant or perpetrator is released from custody. The victim or a surviving immediate family member shall also be consulted and advised about plea bargaining by the prosecuting attorney;

(2) To be notified by the prosecuting attorney if a court proceeding to which they have been subpoenaed will not proceed as scheduled;

(3) To receive protection from threats or harm;

(4) To be informed by the police, victim/witness counselor, or other criminal justice personnel, of financial assistance and other social services available as a result of being a witness to or a victim of crime, including information on how to apply for the assistance and services;

(5) To be provided by the court, whenever possible, with a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require them to be in close proximity to defendants and families and friends of defendants;

(6) To have any stolen or other personal property expeditiously returned by law enforcement agencies when the property is no longer needed as evidence. If feasible, all the property, except weapons, currency, contraband, property subject to evidentiary analysis, and property, the ownership of which is disputed, shall be returned to the person within ten days of being taken; [and]

(7) To be informed by the department of public safety of changes planned by the department in the custodial status of the offender that allows or results in the release of the offender into the community, including escape, furlough, work release, placement on supervised release, release on parole, release on bail bond, release on appeal bond, and final discharge at the end of the prison term[.]; and

(8) To be given priority on courts' criminal case calendars over other pending criminal prosecutions for any case of a prosecution of an offense if the victim is:

(a) Under 14 years of age at the time alleged offense; or

(b) Is a minor who is developmentally disabled; and

(c) Is the alleged victim of any crime in HRS, 701-701 to 701-704, HRS 701-710 to 701-712, HRS 707-720 to 701-721, 707-730 to 707-734, and 709-903.5 to 709-904(1) inclusive, and which is a subject of the relevant prosecution;

(d) Unless the court determines, sua sponte or upon motion by a party pursuant to court rules, that justice will be served by permitting a delay in proceedings.

(e) Definitions - "Priority" as used in this section is defined as being placed first on the court's calendar for next sitting immediately following 30 days after any written request under sub-section(a) above, and if there is more than one case which may determined as having priority then the matter with the oldest date of the commission of the offense shall have priority over the later date of a commission an offense with priority within this section unless otherwise in the interests of justice.

(f) Any request for priority may be made by any victim, parent or guardian of victim, or by the victim's counselor or forensic interviewer, provided the person making the request is not the named defendant in the relevant criminal prosecution.

SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Judicial court calendars; priority for child victims of serious crimes

 

 

Description:

Provides for child victims of serious crimes to obtain priority on court calendars to minimize the psychological effects of the crime and the associated re-traumatization of child victims. Minimizes the loss of evidence associated with time lapse memory losses of young children.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.