Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
04/04/2017 03:30 PM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS
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HB 8-ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN PROTECTIVE ORDERS 3:41:28 PM CHAIR BISHOP called the meeting back to order and announced consideration of HB 8, sponsored by Representative Edgmon. Senator MacKinnon had an amendment when it was last considered. SENATOR MACKINNON moved Amendment 1, version 30-LS0127\A.3 30-LS0127\A.3 Wallace 3/16/17 AMENDMENT 1 OFFERED IN THE SENATE BY SENATOR MACKINNON TO: HB 8 Page 4, following line 22: Insert a new bill section to read: "* Sec. 8. AS 22.35.030 is amended to read: Sec. 22.35.030. Publication of Records [RECORDS CONCERNING CRIMINAL CASES RESULTING IN ACQUITTAL OR DISMISSAL]. The Alaska Court System may not publish a court record [OF A CRIMINAL CASE] on a publicly available website (1) in a criminal case if 60 days have elapsed from the date of acquittal or dismissal and (A) [(1)] the defendant was acquitted of all charges filed in the case; (B) [(2)] all criminal charges against the defendant in the case have been dismissed and were not dismissed as part of a plea agreement in another criminal case under Rule 11, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure; (C) [(3)] the defendant was acquitted of some of the criminal charges in the case and the remaining charges were dismissed; or (D) [(4)] all criminal charges against the defendant in the case have been dismissed after a suspended entry of judgment under AS 12.55.078; (2) of a protective order under AS 18.66.100 - 18.66.180, restraining order, or injunction in a case involving domestic violence if the publication would likely reveal the identity or location of the party protected under the order." Renumber the following bill sections accordingly. CHAIR BISHOP objected for discussion purposes. SENATOR MACKINNON explained that Amendment 1 aligns state statute with federal statute with regards to protective orders for victims of domestic violence. There are multiple complications in complying with federal law, and HB 8 is not supported by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault nor the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA). The concern from agencies that advocate on behalf of those affected by domestic violence believe that a perpetrator's name should be in CourtView and available for the general public to view. 3:43:21 PM She said Nancy Meade from the court system suggested using the word "petitioner", because otherwise the court would have to take all records down from CourtView to be in compliance with what this amendment proposes. The courts already do not show the victim or the perpetrator on CourtView in light of agreements Alaska has with other states. So, being put in an awkward situation of advocating for something that is fair to everyone under the eyes of the court or the law, Senator MacKinnon said she believes this bill should advance to the Judiciary Committee where it should have a robust conversation about what is currently shown on CourtView. SENATOR MACKINNON said 3,400 protection orders were issued in the previous year, and she was told about 50 percent of those who are seeking protective orders are denied, because the reasons they give may not reach the threshold to actually qualify. The concern she has with using the language the court proposes - a petitioner - is that anyone can go to the court and ask for a protective order and give a specific set of circumstances, but the accused does not have any input into the conversation at that time. SENATOR MACKINNON said she does not support anyone who does anything violent to any other person, but she has seen individuals rush to the court house to get a protective order when they are in a child custody case and the person who is being accused of something in that order may or may not have committed a crime. But their name is forever posted on CourtView with very little way to have it removed. Sometimes an accused can petition the court to have their name removed, but by only taking the victim's (petitioner) name off, the accused is sitting there with no rebuttal on the conversation. This is an important conversation to have. SENATOR MACKINNON said that those who are accused or those who have had violence inflicted on them should be treated equitably in the sense that they deserve consideration. This language matches federal law, so she wanted this language to be submitted to the Judiciary Committee for discussion. She would defer to whatever they believe is the best for the people of Alaska. 3:47:19 PM At ease 3:47:40 PM CHAIR BISHOP called the meeting back to order and finding no comments, invited Senator Gardner to speak. SENATOR GARDNER asked if the sponsor of the amendment suggested the CDVSA would support it. SENATOR MACKINNON clarified that the CDVSA opposes the amendment. Representatives from CDVSA want the victims' names removed so that the victim would not be identified in their community or elsewhere. She would like the accused names removed if no crime has actually been proved in court. That is why she is separating this a bit. SENATOR GARDNER asked if any "nodders" in the audience wanted to testify on record about this amendment. CHAIR BISHOP asked again for public testimony. 3:49:38 PM ELISA COSNI, Policy Specialist, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Juneau, Alaska, said they are the actual victim advocate service agencies across the state and that she agreed with Senator Mackinnon's characterization of their view of the amendment. From the victim advocate perspective, they have two goals: one is to absolutely uphold victim safety and the other is privacy. In certain cases, that might require the victim making that decision: to be anonymous. But the agency's experience is that opportunity is not clear to the petitioner (the victim) even though it is in the administrative rules. The other piece is the benefit of having the protective orders on line and viewable by advocates and shelters, so they are better able to hold the accused accountable and being able to track them in that way. The accused might have a history of domestic violence that maybe wasn't prosecuted or prosecuted successfully, but oftentimes - frequently - violence is perpetrated in cycles. So, her people might have that kind of knowledge about this person. CHAIR BISHOP closed public testimony on HB 8. He removed his objection. SENATOR GARDNER objected for more questions. She asked if the protective order is not available on CourtView, to whom it is available. SENATOR MACKINNON replied law enforcement officers. NANCY MEADE, General Counsel, Administrative Staff, Alaska Court System, Anchorage, Alaska, answered they are removed from CourtView, but they are not made confidential. And other than being on the public version of CourtView, it is the same as any other case. So, all protective orders are transmitted by the court to Department of Public Safety (DPS) for posting within ABSIN. Law Enforcement has access to the fact that there was a protective order and people would be able to access those at the court house in their paper form. The prohibition in the amendment would say the court cannot post them on a publically available Internet site, which is the CourtView that people look at from their kitchens on their laptops. SENATOR GARDNER removed her objection. CHAIR BISHOP found no further objections and said Amendment 1 was adopted. SENATOR MACKINNON moved HB 8, as amended, from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. CHAIR BISHOP announced that without objection, SCS HB 8(CRA) moved from the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.
SCRA 4/4/2017 3:30:00 PM
SCRA 4/4/2017 3:30:00 PM