Legislature(2019 - 2020)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

02/15/2019 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+= SB 12 ASSAULT; SEX OFFENSES; SENTENCING CREDIT TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+= SB 35 CRIMES;SEX CRIMES;SENTENCING; PAROLE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 41 NUMBER OF SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 41 Out of Committee
             SB 41-NUMBER OF SUPERIOR COURT JUDGES                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 41, "An Act  relating to the number  of superior                                                               
court judges  in the third  judicial district; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:35:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD said she liked the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   HUGHES   said   she   had   questions   regarding   video                                                               
conferencing.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:36:00 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel, Administrative  Offices,  Alaska                                                               
Court  System,  Anchorage,  stated  she  previously  spoke  about                                                               
judges traveling to other locations  to cover proceedings because                                                               
the  judges  assigned  to  those   locations  did  not  have  the                                                               
jurisdiction for  felonies. For  example, a superior  court judge                                                               
from Kenai  will travel  to Homer  to cover cases  that are  in a                                                               
superior court  judge's jurisdiction but beyond  the jurisdiction                                                               
of the  local court. She said  the ASC has tried  to address this                                                               
staffing  in  other   ways.  One  way  was   to  encourage  video                                                               
conferencing  between the  Kenai and  Homer courthouse  to reduce                                                               
travel.   A   question   arose    how   that   relates   to   the                                                               
videoconferencing being proposed in some of the criminal bills.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She  clarified  that a  judge's  appearance  at a  proceeding  by                                                               
videoconference or "two-way contemporaneous  television" is up to                                                               
the judge.  The judge can  determine whether he/she needs  to see                                                               
the witnesses in  person. Those decisions are based  on the types                                                               
of things  such as the  number of other  cases, the gravity  of a                                                               
case,  or whether  it is  a criminal  matter. The  judge has  the                                                               
option  to appear  by video  for proceedings.  This is  different                                                               
from defendants  in criminal  cases who  need to  be, may  be, or                                                               
shall be  present in the  courtroom for certain  proceedings. She                                                               
said that  the videoconferencing she  is speaking to  has nothing                                                               
to with  those types of  proceedings. In fact, court  rules apply                                                               
and address when defendants must be  present or do not need to be                                                               
present.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:38:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  said since  superior court  judges can  hear felony                                                               
cases  and district  court judges  cannot,  that having  superior                                                               
court judges at  these locations should reduce the  need for some                                                               
travel where videoconferencing is not appropriate.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE answered that is correct  and it will be more efficient                                                               
and give  flexibility in  how to cover  cases in  outlying places                                                               
such as  Valdez, Glennallen, Cordova,  Homer, Seward,  and Kenai.                                                               
The  more  video conferencing  the  less  travel, which  includes                                                               
criminal defendants who need to be transported, she said.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HUGHES  queried whether felony  cases might be more  apt to                                                               
require the judge to be in person.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MEADE  responded that that  was generally true, but  it might                                                               
depend on  whether the  hearing was  a short,  routine scheduling                                                               
type of  hearing in a  felony case. She acknowledged  that judges                                                               
generally try to be present for the more important cases.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE  said this bill would  authorize the court to  fill two                                                               
district court seats that are  currently vacant, or soon will be,                                                               
with superior court  judges since they can handle  all cases. She                                                               
explained that  district court  judges have  limited jurisdiction                                                               
and can  only handle misdemeanors.  They cannot  handle felonies,                                                               
probate cases,  including guardianships and mental  cases, child-                                                               
in-need-of-aid,  or  family  law  cases, such  as  child  custody                                                               
disputes and  divorces. This  would expand  the breadth  of cases                                                               
the  two judges  in  those  two districts  can  cover. This  will                                                               
reduce travel for the Kenai  judges traveling to cover the felony                                                               
or other cases  in Homer. It will prevent the  Palmer judges from                                                               
the necessity to  travel to Valdez. Further,  when judges travel,                                                               
it  means  they  cannot  handle   their  day-to-day  caseload  or                                                               
calendar in their own districts.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:42:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE joined the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGHES said  that for  this enhanced  service, the  fiscal                                                               
note is a modest $63,000.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:43:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES  stated that public testimony  was previously closed                                                               
on 2/11/19 for SB 41.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:43:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGHES moved  to report SB 41, work  order 31-LS038\A, from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
note(s). There  being no objection,  SB 41 was reported  from the                                                               
Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:43:45 PM                                                                                                                    
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB35 - Version A.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB 35 Transmittal Letter.pdf SFIN 5/4/2019 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB 35 Highlights.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB 35 - Sex Offenses Sectional.pdf SFIN 5/4/2019 9:00:00 AM
SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB35-DOC-PopMgmt-IDO-FN.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB35-DOC-PopMgmt-ParoleBd-FN.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB35-DPS-CJISP-FN.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB35-HSS-PS-FN.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB35-Law-CrimDiv-FN.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 35
SB 12 - Version M.PDF SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
SB 12 Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
SB 12 Sectional Summary Version M.pdf SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB12 Supporting Documents KTUU Article.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
SB12 Supporting Documents KTVA Article.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12
SB12 Supporting Documents Washington Post Article.pdf SJUD 2/13/2019 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 2/15/2019 1:30:00 PM
SB 12