Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/24/2014 01:30 PM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 108 LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 171 MULTIDISCIPLINARY CHILD PROTECTION TEAMS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SJR 21 CONST. AM: MEMBERSHIP OF JUDICIAL COUNCIL
Heard & Held
         SB 108-LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:32:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  the consideration  of SB  108. "An  Act                                                               
relating to  the confidentiality  of certain records  of criminal                                                               
cases; and providing  for an effective date." This  was the first                                                               
hearing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:32:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON,  sponsor of  SB 108,  informed the  committee that                                                               
this was  one of several  criminal justice issues he's  worked on                                                               
for several years.  The bill says that a person  whose case never                                                               
went to trial or one that  resulted in acquittal would have their                                                               
case  removed from  CourtView after  90 days.  The records  would                                                               
still be  available to attorneys  and law enforcement,  but would                                                               
not be available to the public.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He  reported  that he's  tried  to  get  the last  two  attorneys                                                               
general  and  the Department  of  Law  to  take  on the  task  of                                                               
updating the criminal  justice code, but on this  issue there had                                                               
been  no progress.  He directed  attention  to a  handout in  the                                                               
packet  from  the Alaska  Justice  Forum  that talks  about  this                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  COGHILL   recognized  that  Senator  McGuire   joined  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:37:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK  KOPP,  Staff,  Senator  Fred   Dyson,  introduced  SB  108                                                               
speaking   to   the   following  sponsor   statement:   [Original                                                               
punctuation provided.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     SB  108   seeks  to  strengthen  privacy   and  liberty                                                                    
     interests  of persons  by designating  confidential (as                                                                    
     defined in  Administrative Rule of Court  37.5) certain                                                                    
     court records  associated with dismissed  and acquitted                                                                    
     charges. SB 108 would make  court records of a criminal                                                                    
     case  confidential if  90 days  have  elapsed from  the                                                                    
     date of acquittal  or dismissal, and 1)  the person was                                                                    
     acquitted  of all  charges filed  in the  case; 2)  all                                                                    
     criminal   charges  against   the   person  have   been                                                                    
     dismissed; or  3) the person  was acquitted of  some of                                                                    
     the  charges in  the  case, and  the remaining  charges                                                                    
     were dismissed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     SB  108 does  not pose  any restriction  to police  and                                                                    
     prosecution  ability  to   access  arrest  records  and                                                                    
     charging documents.  It does not remove  information in                                                                    
     the  federal National  Crime Information  Center (NCIC)                                                                    
     database, or  in the  Alaska Public  Safety Information                                                                    
     Network (APSIN)  state database,  and would  not render                                                                    
     information already in the public domain confidential.                                                                     
     CourtView,  the  Alaska  Trial Courts  online  publicly                                                                    
     accessible  database, provides  exceptional access  for                                                                    
     persons seeking  information on the status  of criminal                                                                    
     and civil  cases, the nature of  criminal charges filed                                                                    
     against persons,  and the final outcome  of litigation.                                                                    
     CourtView  indefinitely   shows  arrest   and  charging                                                                    
     documents  for  persons  who were  never  convicted  or                                                                    
     incarcerated,  and  is  an unrestricted  site  allowing                                                                    
     anyone to  use the database  to screen any  person, for                                                                    
     any reason. In spite of  CourtView user warnings that a                                                                    
     charge  is  not to  be  considered  a conviction,  this                                                                    
     public posting of  a person's name and  charges has had                                                                    
     significant    deleterious   effects    on   employment                                                                    
     prospects,   ability  to   find   housing,  and   other                                                                    
     professional   and  personal   opportunities  of   many                                                                    
     Alaskans.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     By  very definition,  a  person is  not  a criminal  if                                                                  
     acquitted at  trial, or if  their case is  dismissed by                                                                    
     the prosecution and not refiled  in a timely manner. In                                                                    
     American  jurisprudence, we  are all  to be  considered                                                                    
     innocent until  proven guilty. SB 108  strengthens this                                                                    
     maxim  of  presumption  of  innocence  by  treating  as                                                                    
     confidential  court records  associated with  dismissed                                                                    
     and acquitted charges.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. KOPP provided the following sectional analysis:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1                                                                                                                
     Amends AS 22.35 by adding  a new section, AS 22.35.030.                                                                    
     Records   concerning   criminal  cases   resulting   in                                                                    
     acquittal or dismissal confidential.                                                                                       
     This  section  establishes that  a  court  record of  a                                                                    
     criminal case  is confidential if 90  days have elapsed                                                                    
     from the  date of  acquittal or  dismissal and  (1) the                                                                    
     person was acquitted of all  charges filed in the case;                                                                    
     (2)   all  charges   against  the   person  have   been                                                                    
     dismissed; or (3)  the person was acquitted  of some of                                                                    
     the  charges in  the  case, and  the remaining  charges                                                                    
     were dismissed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2                                                                                                                
     Adds a  new section to  AS 22.35 which  establishes the                                                                    
     Applicability of the Act  to criminal charges concluded                                                                    
     on or after the effective  date of the Act by dismissal                                                                    
     or by acquittal of the defendant.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3                                                                                                                
     Act takes effect July 1, 2014.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:41:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked how this would  work in the case of an                                                               
appeal.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KOPP replied  the  case information  would  be on  CourtView                                                               
during the entire appeal process.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MCGUIRE summarized  the case  of Nancy  Means. On  Black                                                               
Friday this  18-year-old young  woman was  out shopping  with her                                                               
friends who  were age  17. When Ms.  Means' car  became disabled,                                                               
she pulled  to the side  of the road to  look for help.  A police                                                               
officer stopped  and rather than  giving assistance  he proceeded                                                               
to  ask  a  series  of   questions.  When  the  questions  became                                                               
invasive,  Ms.  Means  asserted  her  constitutional  rights  and                                                               
refused  to answer  any  further questions.  At  that point,  the                                                               
officer  administered   a  walking  test  and   arrested  her  on                                                               
suspicion  of  DUI. When  Ms.  Means  was  tested at  the  police                                                               
station  she blew  a blood-alcohol-content  of  0.00. Since  this                                                               
incident  occurred,  she's  been  fighting  to  get  it  expunged                                                               
because the  record says  she was arrested  on suspicion  of DUI,                                                               
regardless of the facts to the contrary.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MCGUIRE asked if the bill  would apply to Ms. Means' case                                                               
because it's not really an acquittal or a dismissal.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. KOPP  offered his  belief that  the bill  would apply  to Ms.                                                               
Means because dismissals include  those charges when the district                                                               
attorney declines to issue an indictment.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MCGUIRE said  she'd like that on the  record, because she                                                               
wanted these kinds of cases covered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. KOPP reiterated his belief that  the bill would apply in that                                                               
sort of circumstance.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR COGHILL said he'd like  that question answered definitively                                                               
when the bill was brought forward again.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DYSON  expressed hope that  if the Department of  Law had                                                               
any concerns with the bill that  they'd agree to meet and discuss                                                               
the matter before the next hearing.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said he'd heard from  many constituents who                                                               
have had  this problem  and he appreciated  that the  sponsor was                                                               
addressing  it.  He expressed  interest  in  having a  discussion                                                               
about both sides of this issue,  because this was impacting a lot                                                               
of Alaskans in an adverse way.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:48:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  said the  Court System and  the Department  of Law                                                               
would be asked  to speak to the bill in  a subsequent hearing. He                                                               
stated  that  he would  hold  SB  108  in committee  for  further                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB108-DOA-PDA-02-20-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB108-DOA-OPA-02-21-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB108-ACS-TRC-01-31-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB108-LAW-CRIM-02-21-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB 108 - Rule 37.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB 108 - Collateral Consequences in Alaska.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB 108 - Section Analysis.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB 108 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108
SB171-LAW-CIV-02-21-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
SB171-DHSS-CSM-02-21-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
SB171-DOA-OPA-02-21-14.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
Version U Marked Up.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
7 AAC 54.020 Protected Info.docx SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
Sectional.docx SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
MDTs By 2010.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171
Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 171