SB722 (2020) Detail

Relative to the payment and education of bail commissioners, relative to criteria for determining an offender's indigence, and establishing a committee to study providing remote access to a bail commissioner's services.


SB 722  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-3114

04/01

 

SENATE BILL 722

 

AN ACT relative to the payment and education of bail commissioners, relative to criteria for determining an offender's indigence, and establishing a committee to study providing remote access to a bail commissioner's services.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Rep. Alexander Jr., Hills. 6; Rep. Meuse, Rock. 29; Rep. P. Schmidt, Straf. 19

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a procedure to determine an offender's indigence for the purpose of financial ability to pay the bail commissioner's fee; requires the court to develop criteria for determining whether an offender is indigent; requires identification cards be issued to bail commissioners; requires the court to develop an education program for bail commissioners; and establishes a committee to study the feasibility of providing remote access to a bail commissioner's services.

 

This bill is a result of the committee established in 2019, 87 (SB 112).

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-3114

04/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to the payment and education of bail commissioners, relative to criteria for determining an offender's indigence, and establishing a committee to study providing remote access to a bail commissioner's services.

 

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

 

1  New Section; Bail and Recognizances; Determination of Indigence and Payment of Bail Commissioner Fee.  Amend RSA 597 by inserting after section 2-a the following new section:

597:2-b  Determination of Indigence and Payment of Bail Commissioner Fee.

I.  The arresting officer, at the point of arrest, shall inform the offender of the availability of the services of the bail commissioner.  If the offender elects to utilize the bail commissioner's services and is not indigent, the offender shall pay the bail commissioner's fee directly to the bail commissioner.  If the offender elects to utilize the services of the bail commissioner, but claims indigence, the court shall, to the extent of available funding, utilize all possible means to pay the bail commissioner's fee, and shall include written evidence of fee payment in the offender's case file.

II.  The court shall develop uniform criteria to evaluate and determine whether an offender is indigent or not indigent for the purpose of the offender's ability to pay the bail commissioner's fee.  Based on the criteria, the court shall render a finding of indigent or not indigent for the purpose of the offender's ability to pay the bail commissioner's fee.

III.  If the court finds that the offender is not indigent for the purpose of paying the bail commissioner's fee, the offender shall reimburse the court for payment of the bail commissioner's fee.

IV.  If the court finds that the offender is indigent for the purpose of paying the bail commissioner's fee, the offender shall not be liable to pay the fee.  

2  Bail and Recognizances; Term.  Amend RSA 597:17 to read as follows:

597:17  Term and Identification Card.  

I.  Bail commissioners shall be commissioned for 5 years and continue in office until their successors shall have qualified.

II.  The administrative judge of the superior court or the circuit court shall issue an identification card to each qualified bail commissioner in the state.

3  Bail Commissioners; Educational Requirements for Bail Commissioners.  Amend RSA 597:18-a to read as follows:

597:18-a  Educational Requirements for Bail Commissioners.  

I.  During September or October of each year [beginning in 1995], a justice of [each district or municipal] the superior court, under the direction of the administrative judge of the [district and municipal courts] superior court, and a justice from the circuit court, under the direction of the administrative judge of the circuit court, shall hold a meeting with all bail commissioners under the jurisdiction of such [court] courts.  This meeting shall be for the purpose of educating bail commissioners on the laws concerning their powers and duties.

II.  The administrative judges of the superior and circuit courts shall jointly develop an education program to ensure that bail commissioners have current information regarding the status of the laws affecting bail commissioners and the powers and duties of bail commissioners.

III.  A copy of all laws concerning bail commissioners and a copy of the latest edition of the Bail Commissioner's Handbook shall be provided to each bail commissioner at this annual meeting.

4  Study Committee; Establishing a Pilot Program for Remote Access to Bail Commissioner's Services.

I.  There is established a committee to study establishing a pilot program for remote access to bail commissioner's services.

II.  The members of the committee shall be as follows:

(a)  Three members of the house of representatives, 2 of whom shall be from the judiciary committee, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(b)  Two members of the senate, one of whom shall be from the judiciary committee, appointed by the president of the senate.

III.  Members of the committee shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the committee.

IV.  The committee shall study the feasibility of establishing a pilot program to allow remote access to a bail commissioner's services.

V.  The members of the study committee shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the committee shall be called by the first-named house member.  The first meeting of the committee shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  Three members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.

VI.  The committee shall report 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 on or before November 1, 2020.

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Links

SB722 at GenCourtMobile
SB722 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 11, 2020 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB722 Revision: 8035 Date: Jan. 16, 2020, 9:11 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 2
Feb. 11, 2020 Hearing: 02/11/2020, Room 100, SH, 10:45 am; SC 6