Bill Details - SB314 (2019)

SB 314-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-1064

04/10

 

SENATE BILL 314-FN

 

AN ACT relative to release of a defendant pending trial.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill amends the procedure for considering the dangerousness of a defendant for the purpose of determining whether the defendant should be released pending trial; establishes the position of bail reform coordinator in the department of justice; re-establishes the commission on pretrial detention, pretrial scheduling, and pretrial services; and waives the bail commissioner's fee for indigent defendants.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-1064

04/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to release of a defendant pending trial.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Bail and Recognizances; Release of a Defendant Pending Trial.  Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 597:2, III(b) to read as follows:

(b)  In determining the amount of the unsecured appearance bond or cash or corporate surety bail under subparagraph [II(a)] III(a), if any, the court:

2  Bail and Recognizances; Release of a Defendant Pending Trial.  Amend RSA 597:2, IV to read as follows:

IV.(a)  If a person is charged with any criminal offense, an offense listed in RSA 173-B:1, I or a violation of a protective order under RSA 458:16, III, or after arraignment, with a violation of a protective order issued under RSA 173-B, the court may order preventive detention without bail, or, in the alternative, may order restrictive conditions including but not limited to electronic monitoring and supervision, only if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that release will endanger the safety of that person or the public.  The court may consider [the following conduct as evidence of posing a danger, including, but not limited to:

(1)  Threats of suicide.

(2)  Acute depression.

(3)  History of violating protective orders.

(4)  Possessing or attempting to possess a deadly weapon in violation of an order.

(5)  Death threats or threats of possessiveness toward another.

(6)  Stalking, as defined in RSA 633:3-a.

(7)  Cruelty or violence directed toward pets] all relevant factors bearing on the issue of dangerousness.

(b)  Evidence in support of preventive detention shall be made by offer of proof at the initial appearance before the court.  At that time, the defendant may request a subsequent bail hearing where live testimony is presented to the court.  At any subsequent hearing, such testimony may be presented via video conferencing, unless the court determines that witness testimony in court is necessary.  A request by the defendant for in-court testimony shall be made by oral motion at the initial hearing or by written motion prior to any subsequent hearing.  Any order granting the defendant's request shall be distributed to the parties at least 48 hours prior to any subsequent hearing.

(c)  There shall be a rebuttable presumption that an alleged victim of the crime shall not be required to testify at the bail hearing.  Nothing in this section shall preclude an alleged victim from voluntarily testifying at such hearing.  The state may present evidence of statements made in the course of an investigation through a law enforcement officer.  

3  Position Established; Department of Justice; Bail Reform Coordinator.  There is established in the department of justice the unclassified position of bail reform coordinator who shall be responsible for overseeing the judicial branch's text messaging initiative and monitoring and evaluating issues concerning a defendant's failure to appear while on bail.  The salary of the bail reform coordinator position shall be determined after assessment and review of the appropriate temporary letter grade allocation for the position for inclusion in RSA 94:1-a, I(b), which shall be conducted pursuant to RSA 94:1-d and RSA 14:14-c.

4  Bail Commissioners; Fees.  Amend RSA 597:20 to read as follows:

597:20  Fees.  The bail commissioners in such cases shall be entitled to a fee of $40.  However, clerks of court or members of their staffs who are bail commissioners shall be entitled to collect such fee only when called while not on active duty.  In jurisdictions where the bail commissioner is a full-time salaried police officer, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, state police employee, or anyone else authorized to execute police powers, such person shall not receive the fee established in this section, but instead such amount shall be remitted to the town or city in which the district court is situated.  If the defendant is indigent, the fee shall be waived.

5  Commission on Pretrial Detention, Pretrial Scheduling, and Pretrial Services.  RSA 597:43 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

597:43  Commission Established.  

I.  There is established a commission on pretrial detention, pretrial scheduling, and pretrial services.  The commission shall consist of the following members:

(a)  One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president.

(b)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(c)  The attorney general, or designee.

(d)  The chief justice of the New Hampshire superior court, or designee.

(e)  The chief administrative judge of the New Hampshire circuit court, or designee.

(f)  The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, or designee.

(g)  The executive director of the New Hampshire Public Defender, or designee.

(h)  The president of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, or designee.

(i)  The president of the New Hampshire Police Association, or designee.

(j)  One superintendent of a New Hampshire county correctional facility, appointed by the governor.

(k)  One member from the public with experience in law enforcement, appointed by the governor.

(l)  One member from the Association of County Attorneys, appointed by that association.

II.  The commission shall:

(a)  Review and provide recommendations on risk assessment, dangerousness determinations, pretrial services, and funding for pretrial services in advance of the 2020-2021 legislative session.

(b)  Review and provide recommendations on cost-effective court communications and scheduling of pretrial matters.

(c)  Review the rates of failure to appear in criminal cases and possible reasons for such failures.  

(d)  Solicit testimony and input from the general public.

III.  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the senate member.  The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

IV.  The commission shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate clerk, the house clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before November 1, 2020.

6  Repeal.  RSA 597:43, relative to establishing a commission on pretrial detention, pretrial scheduling, and pretrial services, is repealed.

7  Effective Date.

I.  Section 6 of this act shall take effect November 1, 2020.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.  

 

LBAO

19-1064

1/28/19

 

SB 314-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to release of a defendant pending trial.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$101,000

$105,000

$111,000

$117,000

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

The Judicial Branch was originally contacted on December 29, 2019 for a fiscal note worksheet, which they have not provided as of January 28,2019.

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill amends the procedure for considering the dangerousness of a defendant for the purpose of determining whether the defendant should be released pending trial; establishes the position of bail reform coordinator in the Department of Justice; re-establishes the commission on pretrial detention, pretrial scheduling, and pretrial services; and waives the bail commissioner's fee for indigent defendants.

 

The Department of Justice assumes the Bail Reform Coordinator position established by the bill would be an unclassified investigator position paid at salary grade BB, step 3.  The anticipated  cost  for the position including benefits, necessary equipment and operating expenses is $101,000 in FY 202, $105,000 in FY 2021, $111,000 in FY 2022, and $117,000 in FY 2023.   The bill does not make an appropriation for the position.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch and Department of Justice

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 4
Feb. 19, 2019 Hearing: 02/19/2019, Room 100, SH, 10:30 am; SC 11
March 14, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0797s, 03/14/2019; SC 13
March 14, 2019 Sen. Hennessey Moved Laid on Table, MA, VV; 03/14/2019; SJ 8
March 14, 2019 Pending Motion Committee Amendment # 2019-0797s; 03/14/2019; SJ 8

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 19, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 14, 2019 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB314 Revision: 5300 Date: Jan. 29, 2019, 5:20 p.m.