HB 379: "An Act authorizing establishment of alternative dispute resolution centers to foster the resolution of disputes between juvenile offenders and their victims."
00HOUSE BILL NO. 379 01 "An Act authorizing establishment of alternative dispute resolution centers to foster 02 the resolution of disputes between juvenile offenders and their victims." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 47.10.020(a) is amended to read: 05 (a) Whenever circumstances subject a minor to the jurisdiction of 06 AS 47.10.010 - 47.10.142, the court shall 07 (1) provide, under procedures adopted by court rule, that, for a minor 08 who is alleged to be a delinquent minor under AS 47.10.010(a)(1), a state agency shall 09 make a preliminary inquiry to determine if any action is appropriate and may take 10 appropriate action to adjust or dispose of the matter without a court hearing; if, under 11 this paragraph, 12 (A) the state agency makes a preliminary inquiry and takes 13 appropriate action to adjust or dispose of the matter without a court hearing, 14 the minor may not be detained or taken into custody as a condition of the
01 adjustment or disposition and, subject to (d) of this section, the matter shall be 02 closed by the agency if the minor successfully completes all that is required of 03 the minor by the agency in the adjustment or disposition; in a municipality or 04 municipalities in which a youth court has been established under AS 47.10.265, 05 adjustment or disposition of the matter under this paragraph may include 06 referral to the youth court; if an alternative dispute resolution center has 07 been established under AS 47.10.267, adjustment or disposition of the 08 matter under this paragraph may include use of the services of the 09 alternative dispute resolution center; 10 (B) the agency concludes that the matter may not be adjusted 11 or disposed of without a court hearing, the agency may file a petition under (2) 12 of this subsection setting out the facts; or 13 (2) appoint a competent person or agency to make a preliminary inquiry 14 and report for the information of the court to determine whether the interests of the 15 public or of the minor require that further action be taken; if, under this paragraph, the 16 court appoints a person or agency to make a preliminary inquiry and to report to it, 17 then upon the receipt of the report, the court may informally adjust or dispose of the 18 matter without a hearing, or it may authorize the person having knowledge of the facts 19 of the case to file with the court a petition setting out the facts; if the court informally 20 adjusts or disposes of the matter, the minor may not be detained or taken into the 21 custody of the court as a condition of the adjustment or disposition, and the matter 22 shall be closed by the court upon adjustment or disposition. 23 * Sec. 2. AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 24 Sec. 47.10.267. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR MATTERS 25 INVOLVING MINORS. (a) A municipality or a nonprofit corporation organized 26 exclusively for the resolution of disputes between minors who are alleged to have 27 committed offenses and the victim of those offenses may establish and operate an 28 alternative dispute resolution center. 29 (b) A center may not begin operation under this section until a plan for 30 establishing a center for the mediation and settlement of disputes has been approved 31 by the assembly or council of the municipality establishing the center or, in the case
01 of a center operated by a nonprofit corporation, by the assembly or council of the 02 municipality within which the center will be located. A plan for a dispute resolution 03 center may not be approved and the center may not begin operation until the assembly 04 or council finds that the plan adequately prescribes procedures 05 (1) for filing requests for dispute resolution services with the center and 06 for scheduling mediation sessions participated in by the parties to the dispute; 07 (2) to ensure that each dispute mediated by the center meets the criteria 08 for appropriateness for mediation set by the assembly or council and for rejecting 09 disputes that do not meet the criteria; 10 (3) for giving notice of time, place, and nature of the mediation session 11 to the parties, and for conducting mediation sessions that comply with the provisions 12 of this section; 13 (4) to ensure that participation by all parties is voluntary; 14 (5) for obtaining referrals from public and private bodies; 15 (6) for meeting the particular needs of the participants, including 16 providing services at times convenient to the participants, in sign language, and in 17 languages other than English; 18 (7) for providing trained mediators who, during the dispute resolution 19 process, may not make decisions or determinations of the issues involved, but who 20 shall facilitate negotiations by the participants themselves to achieve a voluntary 21 resolution of the issues; and 22 (8) for informing and educating the community about the dispute 23 resolution center and encouraging the use of the center's services in appropriate cases. 24 (c) A center established under this section annually shall provide to the 25 administrative director of the Alaska Court System the data regarding its operation as 26 the administrative director requires. The administrative director shall report annually 27 to the supreme court, the legislature, and the governor regarding the operation of 28 centers established under this chapter. 29 (d) A center established under this section shall provide dispute resolution 30 services between a minor who has committed an offense and who, because of the 31 commission of the offense, may be alleged to be a delinquent minor under
01 AS 47.10.010(a)(1), and a person who was a victim of that offense. The center shall 02 provide dispute resolution services either without charge to a participant or for a fee 03 that is based on the participant's ability to pay. 04 (e) In conducting a dispute resolution process under this section, a center shall 05 require that 06 (1) the minor and the victim enter into a written agreement that 07 expresses the method by which they shall attempt to resolve the issues in dispute; and 08 (2) at the conclusion of the dispute resolution process, the minor and 09 the victim enter into a written agreement that sets out the settlement of the issues and 10 the future responsibilities, if any, of each party. 11 (f) All memoranda, work notes or products, or case files of centers established 12 under this section are confidential and privileged and are not subject to disclosure in 13 any judicial or administrative proceeding unless the court or administrative tribunal 14 determines that the materials were submitted by a participant to the center for the 15 purpose of avoiding discovery of the material in a subsequent proceeding. Any 16 communication relating to the subject matter of the resolution made during the 17 resolution process by a participant, mediator, or another person is a privileged 18 communication and is not subject to disclosure in a judicial or administrative 19 proceeding unless all parties to the communication waive the privilege. However, 20 privilege and limitation on evidentiary use set out in this subsection do not apply to 21 a communication of a threat that injury or damage may be inflicted on a person or on 22 the property of a party to the dispute to the extent the communication may be relevant 23 evidence in a criminal matter. 24 (g) A minor or a victim who voluntarily enters a dispute resolution process at 25 a center established under this chapter may revoke consent, withdraw from dispute 26 resolution, and seek judicial or administrative redress before reaching a written 27 resolution agreement. The withdrawal shall be in writing. If a minor or a victim 28 withdraws from dispute resolution, a legal penalty, sanction, or restraint may not be 29 imposed upon the person for that withdrawal. 30 (h) A center established under this section may seek and accept contributions 31 and any other available money and may expend the money to carry out the purposes
01 of this section. 02 (i) A member of the board of directors of a dispute resolution center is 03 immune from suit in a civil action based upon a proceeding or other official act 04 performed in good faith as a member of the board. Employees and volunteers of a 05 dispute resolution center are immune from suit in a civil action based on a proceeding 06 or other official act performed in their capacity as employees or volunteers, except in 07 cases of wilful or wanton misconduct. A center is immune from suit in a civil action 08 based on a proceeding or other official act performed by its employees, volunteers, or 09 members or its board of directors, except in cases of wilful or wanton misconduct by 10 its employees or volunteers or in cases of official acts performed in bad faith by 11 members of the board. 12 (j) In this section, "center" means an alternative dispute resolution center.