Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/15/1995 01:09 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HJUD - 03/15/95                                                               
 HB 151 - MAGISTRATE PRESUMPTIVE DEATH JURISDICTION                          
                                                                               
 Number 410                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN explained that this bill is also a technical                
 change, a cleanup, as it were.  AS 20.215.120 purports to set forth           
 the complete jurisdiction of magistrates.  However, over the years,           
 a new statute may be added someplace else, increasing the                     
 jurisdiction of magistrates, and the bill drafters forget to cross            
 reference this statute.  A review of the presumptive death statutes           
 which are in Title 9, indicates that magistrates do have                      
 jurisdiction in presumptive death cases.  These are cases where an            
 interested person alleges that someone has disappeared, and after             
 diligent search, cannot be found.  If it appears to the                       
 satisfaction of the district judge or the magistrate that the                 
 circumstances surrounding the disappearance afford reasonable                 
 grounds that the person has suffered death from accidental or other           
 violent means, it will be presented to a six person coroner's jury.           
 If a unanimous jury finds sufficient evidence to presume that the             
 missing person is dead, and the judge or magistrate approves the              
 finding, then after a period of six months have elapsed, then the             
 person would be presumed deceased.  Essentially, Title 9 gives                
 magistrates this authority.  They have been doing it now, for                 
 decades.  To clean up the language, we would like to make it clear            
 by adding the same language to AS 22.15.100, since that is where              
 people normally look when they want to see what a magistrate can              
 do.                                                                           
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY made a motion to move HB 151 out of             
 committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note.             
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      

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