HOUSE BILL 533
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Gail Chasey and Micaela Lara Cadena
RELATING TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM; ESTABLISHING THE RIGHT OF CRIME VICTIMS TO RECEIVE NOTICE FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE AVAILABILITY OF AND PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING FOR CRIME VICTIMS REPARATION; AMENDING CERTAIN PROCEDURES IN THE CRIME VICTIMS REPARATION ACT; EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY FOR CRIME VICTIMS REPARATION; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 31-22-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1981, Chapter 325, Section 7, as amended) is amended to read:
"31-22-7. ELIGIBILITY FOR REPARATION.--
A. [In the event any] If a person is injured or killed by [any] an act or omission of [any other] another person coming within the criminal jurisdiction of the state after [the effective date of the Crime Victims Reparation Act] July 1, 1981, which act or omission includes a crime enumerated in Section 31-22-8 NMSA 1978, and upon application for reparation, the commission may award reparation in accordance with the Crime Victims Reparation Act:
(1) to the victim;
(2) in the case of the victim's death, to or for the benefit of any one or more of the deceased victim's dependents; or
(3) to any individual who voluntarily assumes funeral or medical expenses of the victim.
B. For the purpose of the Crime Victims Reparation Act, a person shall be deemed to have intentionally committed an act or omission constituting a crime, notwithstanding that by reason of age, insanity, drunkenness or otherwise [he] the person was legally incapable of forming a criminal intent.
C. In determining whether to make an order under this section, the commission may consider any circumstances it determines to be relevant. The commission shall consider the behavior of the victim and whether, because of provocation or otherwise, the victim bears responsibility for the act or omission constituting a crime that caused [his] the victim's injury or death and shall reduce the amount of reparation in accordance with its assessment of the degree of responsibility attributable to the victim.
D. An order may be made under this section whether or not any person is prosecuted for or convicted of a crime enumerated in Section 31-22-8 NMSA 1978; provided an arrest has been made or the act or omission constituting [such] a crime has been reported to the police in a reasonable time or the act or omission constituting a crime has been reported to a licensed medical, mental health or counseling provider or tribal health provider. No order may be made under this section unless the commission finds that:
(1) the act or omission constituting a crime did occur;
(2) the injury or death of the victim resulted from the act or omission constituting a crime; and
(3) the claimant or victim fully cooperated with the appropriate law enforcement agencies or the commission finds that the claimant or victim acted reasonably under the circumstances.
E. Upon application from the district attorney of the appropriate district, the commission may suspend proceedings under the Crime Victims Reparation Act for such period as it deems desirable on the [ground] grounds that a prosecution for the act or omission constituting a crime has commenced or is imminent."
SECTION 2. Section 31-22-14 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1981, Chapter 325, Section 14, as amended) is amended to read:
"31-22-14. LIMITATIONS ON AWARD--COLLATERAL RECOVERY--
A. No order for the payment of reparation shall be made unless application has been made within two years after the date of the injury or death and the injury or death was the result of a crime enumerated in Section 31-22-8 NMSA 1978 [that had been reported to the police within thirty days after its occurrence unless a longer period is allowed pursuant to Subsection F of this section]. An application for reparation shall be made within two years after the injury or death, except for minors who are victims of criminal activity under the provisions of Section 30-6-1 NMSA 1978, regarding abandonment or abuse of a child, Section 30-9-11 NMSA 1978, regarding criminal sexual penetration, or Section 30-9-13 NMSA 1978, regarding criminal sexual contact of a minor. [The date of incident for minors who are victims of these types of criminal activity shall be the date the victim attains the age of eighteen years or the date that the criminal activity is reported to a law enforcement agency, whichever occurs first. The commission may extend the time for filing an application for good cause shown by a claimant or a victim.]
B. No award of reparation shall be in excess of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) per victim, except that the commission may award up to an additional thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for extraordinary pecuniary losses, if the personal injury to a victim is catastrophic and results in a permanent total disability. The extraordinary losses compensated may include:
(1) loss of wages;
(2) the cost of home health care;
(3) the cost of making a home or automobile accessible;
(4) the cost of training in the use of special application; or
(5) job training.
C. Except as provided by Subsection E of this section, the commission shall deduct from any reparation awarded any payments received from a collateral source or from the United States or the state or any of its political subdivisions for injury or death subject to reparation under the Crime Victims Reparation Act. If the claimant receives an award of reparation from the commission and also receives payment as set forth in the preceding sentence for which no deduction was made, the claimant shall refund to the state the lesser of the amount of reparation paid or the sums not so deducted.
D. If the claimant receives an award of reparation from the commission and also receives an award pursuant to a civil judgment arising from a criminal occurrence for which a reparation award was paid, the claimant shall refund to the state the amount of the reparation paid to the claimant. The commission may negotiate a reasonable settlement regarding repayment of the reparation award if special circumstances exist.
E. If it appears that a final award of reparation will be made by the commission, a preliminary award may be authorized by the director of the commission or the commission's designee when the commission chair concurs. The amount of the preliminary award shall be deducted from any final award made by the commission.
[F. The commission may grant a waiver to the requirement in Subsection A of this section that a crime be reported to the police within thirty days of its occurrence for:
(1) a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault if reported to the police within one hundred eighty days of the occurrence; or
(2) a crime against a child that was reported within thirty days of its occurrence to the children, youth and families department, a domestic violence or sexual assault service provider, a teacher or a health care provider; provided that a police report shall be filed before the commission approves payment.]"
SECTION 3. Section 31-26-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1994, Chapter 144, Section 4, as amended) is amended to read:
"31-26-4. VICTIM'S RIGHTS.--A victim shall have the right to:
A. be treated with fairness and respect for the victim's dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process;
B. timely disposition of the case;
C. be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process;
D. notification of court proceedings;
E. attend all public court proceedings the accused has the right to attend;
F. confer with the prosecution;
G. make a statement to the court at sentencing and at any post-sentencing hearings for the accused;
H. restitution from the person convicted of the criminal offense that caused the victim's loss or injury;
I. information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, escape or release of the accused;
J. have the prosecuting attorney notify the victim's employer, if requested by the victim, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a court proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;
K. promptly receive any property belonging to the victim that is being held for evidentiary purposes by a law enforcement agency or the prosecuting attorney, unless there are compelling evidentiary reasons for retention of the victim's property; [and]
L. be informed by the court at a sentencing proceeding that the offender is eligible to earn meritorious deductions from the offender's sentence and the amount of meritorious deductions that may be earned by the offender; and
M. be notified by law enforcement and the district attorney of the availability of and procedures to apply for crime victims reparation."
SECTION 4. Section 31-26-8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1994, Chapter 144, Section 8) is amended to read:
"31-26-8. PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING VICTIMS WITH PRELIMINARY INFORMATION--LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.--The law enforcement agency that investigates a criminal offense shall:
A. inform the victim of medical services and crisis intervention services available to victims;
B. provide the victim with the police report number for the criminal offense and a copy of the following statement: "If within thirty days you are not notified of an arrest in your case, you may call (telephone number for the law enforcement agency) to obtain information on the status of your case."; [and]
C. provide the victim with the name of the district attorney for the judicial district in which the criminal offense was committed and the address and telephone number for that district attorney's office; and
D. provide the victim or, if appropriate, a member of the victim's family with a written notification in a manner and form prescribed by the crime victims reparation commission of the availability of crime victims reparation and eligibility to apply."
SECTION 5. Section 31-26-9 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1994, Chapter 144, Section 9, as amended) is amended to read:
"31-26-9. PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING VICTIMS WITH NOTICE OF RIGHTS AND INFORMATION REGARDING PROSECUTION OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE--DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.--
A. Within seven working days after a district attorney files a formal charge against the accused for a criminal offense, the district attorney shall provide the victim of the criminal offense with:
(1) a copy of Article 2, Section 24 of the constitution of New Mexico, regarding victims' rights;
(2) a copy of the Victims of Crime Act;
(3) a copy of the charge filed against the accused for the criminal offense;
(4) a clear and concise statement of the procedural steps generally involved in prosecuting a criminal offense; [and]
(5) the name of a person within the district attorney's office whom the victim may contact for additional information regarding prosecution of the criminal offense; and
(6) written notification in a manner and form prescribed by the crime victims reparation commission of the availability of crime victims reparation and eligibility to apply.
B. The district attorney's office shall provide the victim with oral or written notice, in a timely fashion, of a scheduled court proceeding attendant to the criminal offense."
SECTION 6. Section 36-1-26 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1984, Chapter 110, Section 2) is amended to read:
"36-1-26. DIRECTOR--DUTIES.--The director of the administrative office of the district attorneys shall, under the supervision of the elected or appointed district attorneys:
A. assist in the preparation and presentation of fiscal and budgetary matters to the department of finance and administration, the legislative finance committee and the legislature;
B. prepare personnel pay plans [and];
C. develop a comprehensive [data base] database on case management;
[C.] D. prepare and distribute uniform forms and procedures manuals and develop uniform systems for use by district attorneys' offices with respect to administrative, personnel and budgetary matters;
[D.] E. prepare and distribute forms and procedures for the establishment of a uniform worthless check program;
[E.] F. prepare, update and distribute a district attorneys' trial manual;
[F.] G. prepare and conduct training and education programs for district attorneys;
[G.] H. prosecute conflict of interest and other cases at the request of an elected or appointed district attorney;
[H.] I. submit an annual report to the department of finance and administration and the legislative finance committee detailing the activities of the office and statistical and other data relating to all district attorneys' offices;
J. prepare and distribute forms for collecting victim impact information; and
[I.] K. perform such other duties in furtherance of the administration of justice and the administration of the business of the district attorneys as directed by the elected or appointed district attorneys."
SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--Five hundred fifty thousand dollars ($550,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the crime victims reparation fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2020 to cover additional crime victims seeking reparations pursuant to the Crime Victims Reparation Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2020 shall revert to the general fund.
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