HB 1138 - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1138
SPONSORS: Rep. French, Graf. 14; Rep. Berrien, Rock. 18; Rep. P. Schmidt, Straf. 19; Rep. Mulligan, Graf. 12; Rep. Murphy, Hills. 21; Rep. Rice, Hills. 37; Rep. Ellison, Merr. 27; Rep. Gordon, Graf. 9; Sen. Watters, Dist 4
COMMITTEE: Children and Family Law
This bill establishes a commission to expand the rights of minors to legal representation.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
COMMISSION TO EXPAND THE RIGHTS OF MINORS TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION
494-B:1 Commission to Expand the Rights of Minors to Legal Representation.
I. There is established a commission to expand the rights of minors to legal representation.
(a) The members of the commission shall be as follows:
(1) Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.
(2) One member of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate.
(3) The executive director of the judicial council, or designee.
(4) The commissioner of the department of health and human services, or designee.
(5) The director of the office of the child advocate, or designee.
(6) The chief administrative judge of the New Hampshire circuit court, or designee.
(7) An attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender, with experience representing juveniles, appointed by that organization.
(8) The executive director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance, or designee.
(9) The executive director of the Disability Rights Center - NH, or designee.
(10) The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, or designee.
(11) The president of CASA of New Hampshire, or designee.
(12) A representative of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, appointed by that organization.
(13) A licensed child psychologist, appointed by the governor.
(b) Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.
II. The commission shall review how New Hampshire can strengthen and expand the rights of minors to legal representation.
(a) The commission's study shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) Identifying legal proceedings in which New Hampshire does not currently provide minors with legal representation, but which directly impact minors.
(2) The impact on minors in not having legal representation in such cases.
(3) The potential benefit of providing minors with additional opportunities for legal representation, including in education and family law proceedings.
(4) The effectiveness of court appointed special advocates and guardians ad litem in representing the interests of minors in legal proceedings outside of the juvenile justice context.
(5) The breadth of legal representation provided to minors in other states, including in education and family law proceedings.
(6) Consideration of how other states offer legal services for minors, including through the establishment of child law centers.
(7) Examination of how other states fund legal services for minors.
(8) Identification of federal funds available to New Hampshire if it were to expand the rights of minors to legal representation.
(9) Consideration of any other issues related to improving the legal representation of minors in New Hampshire.
(b) After the first year, the commission shall assess the impact and effectiveness of any enacted legislation recommended by the commission and shall continue to monitor state laws and legislation related to the representation of minors in judicial proceedings.
(c) The commission shall solicit input from the public and may request the input of any person or entity the commission deems relevant to its work.
III. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named house 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. Beginning November 1, 2020 and each November 1 thereafter, the commission shall make a report with its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library.
I. Section 2 of this act shall take effect November 1, 2025.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.
|Feb. 18, 2020||House||Hearing|
|March 3, 2020||House||Exec Session|
|Jan. 8, 2020||Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Children and Family Law HJ 1 P. 11|
|Feb. 18, 2020||Public Hearing: 02/18/2020 10:00 am LOB 206 (exec. session may follow public hearing schedule)|
|March 3, 2020||Executive Session: 03/03/2020 03:00 pm LOB 206|