Legislature(2013 - 2014)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/05/2014 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved CSSB 108(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 171(JUD) Out of Committee
         SB 108-LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS TO CRIMINAL RECORDS                                                                     
1:43:14 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." He  asked for  a                                                               
motion to adopt the new committee substitute (CS), Version Y.                                                                   
SENATOR  DYSON moved  to adopt  the CS  for SB  108, labeled  LS-                                                               
280973\Y, as the working document.                                                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL objected for an explanation of the differences.                                                                   
1:43:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHUCK  KOPP,  Staff,  Senator  Fred Dyson,  sponsor  of  SB  108,                                                               
described  the five  pertinent changes  found in  Version Y.  The                                                               
first  change  found   on  page  1,  lines   6-10,  introduces  a                                                               
legislative  intent section.  It asks  the court,  to the  extent                                                               
practical,  to  treat as  confidential  the  records of  criminal                                                               
cases  disposed  of before  the  effective  date  of the  Act  by                                                               
acquittal or dismissal of some or  all of the charges to the same                                                               
extent that the records are held confidential by this bill.                                                                     
1:44:51 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease to distribute copies of the CS.                                                                                         
1:45:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL  reconvened the  meeting  and  asked Mr.  Kopp  to                                                               
MR. KOPP  explained that the  second change  is found on  page 1,                                                               
line 13. It changes  the time limit from 90 days  to 120 days for                                                               
a  court record  to  become confidential  following  the date  of                                                               
acquittal  or dismissal.  This was  done  at the  request of  the                                                               
Department of Law and is  consistent with the court rule deadline                                                               
of 120  days for those  petitions. The  third change is  found on                                                               
page 2, line  3. It adds language that limits  the application of                                                               
confidential status  to dismissals  by the  prosecuting attorney.                                                               
This was at  the request of the Department of  Law and will cover                                                               
the majority of dismissals.                                                                                                     
The fourth change is found on  page 2, lines 6-16. At the request                                                               
of DHSS,  DOL and OPA, language  was added to allow  state agency                                                               
child   protection   workers,   employees  that   protect   other                                                               
vulnerable  citizens,   and  Alaska  Public   Safety  Information                                                               
Network  (APSIN)  users  to  have   access  to  information  made                                                               
confidential.  He noted  that the  courts have  advised that  the                                                               
legislature may make such an  exception in statute. The fifth and                                                               
final change is  found on page 2, line 22.  The effective date of                                                               
the Act  is changed from  July 1, 2014  to October 1,  2014. This                                                               
gives the courts more time to implement the changes.                                                                            
1:47:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI  questioned   limiting  the   confidential                                                               
designation  of cases  to the  prosecuting  authority because  it                                                               
means   a   dismissal  by   a   judge   wouldn't  be   considered                                                               
MR. KOPP  said the sponsor  agreed to that inconsistency  to move                                                               
the bill along.                                                                                                                 
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  if  the  Department  of  Law  could                                                               
explain  the rationale  for the  distinction, because  a case  is                                                               
dismissed if a judge dismisses it.  The question is on the record                                                               
and he would suggest addressing it in the next committee.                                                                       
CHAIR  COGHILL posited  it  would be  discussed  before the  bill                                                               
reaches the floor.                                                                                                              
MR. KOPP added  that Senator Wielechowski's point  is well taken,                                                               
but this will cover the majority of dismissals.                                                                                 
1:49:19 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHY HANSEN, Office of Victims'  Rights (OVR), said she reviewed                                                               
the  new committee  substitute  and  submitted written  testimony                                                               
that was  added to BASIS. The  primary concern is that  at trials                                                               
there is  a difference  between not being  convinced that  a case                                                               
has been proved  beyond a reasonable doubt and  innocence. When a                                                               
victim  of domestic  violence, sexual  violence, or  child sexual                                                               
abuse speaks up and has the  courage to testify and go through an                                                               
entire trial, it's a disservice to  the victim and the public for                                                               
that record to disappear in the case of an acquittal.                                                                           
CHAIR COGHILL  said the  general principle he  follows is  that a                                                               
person is innocent until proven guilty.                                                                                         
MR.  KOPP  said  OVR  plays  a valuable  advocacy  role  and  the                                                               
legislature's role is more balancing:  protections of the accused                                                               
and the  interest of justice  and public safety. The  sponsor has                                                               
worked hard with a variety of  agencies and is satisfied that the                                                               
bill wisely balances  the protections of the public  and the need                                                               
to protect people's privacy and liberty interests, he said.                                                                     
1:53:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL   removed  his   objection.  Finding   no  further                                                               
objection, Version Y was adopted.                                                                                               
1:54:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DYSON moved  to report CS for SB 108  from committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s).                                                                         
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  that  without  objection CSSB  108(JUD)                                                               
moved from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 173 ADN Article 2.8.14.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
SB 173 ADN Article 2.4.14.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
SB 173 ADN Article 1.22.14.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
SB 173 - Anchorage Ordinance.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
SB 173 - Alaska Dispatch Article 1.10.14.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
SB 173 Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
Legal Memo 2.10.14.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
SB 173 ADN Article 12.18.13.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 173
Fiscal Note - University.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 176
Written Testimony - OVR #2.pdf SJUD 3/5/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 108