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      CHC 811.1     

  

CHAPTER 3-A.  RIGHTS OF THE VICTIM

Art. 811.1.  Rights of the victim of alleged delinquent act

A.  The juvenile court, district attorneys, and law enforcement agencies shall provide the following services to victims of alleged delinquent acts, providing the victim reported the act to law enforcement authorities within seventy-two hours of its occurrence or discovery, unless extenuating circumstances exist for later reporting:

(1)  The district attorney shall, whenever practical, inform the victim or his legal representative of judicial proceedings relating to their case including:

(a)  The taking into custody of the alleged delinquent.

(b)  Adjudication hearings and disposition hearings relating to the alleged delinquent.

(c)  The release pending adjudication after a continued custody hearing whenever an alleged delinquent is accused of a violent offense, such as attempted murder, rape, or a crime against another child.

(2)  The district attorney shall, whenever practical, notify the victim or his legal representative if a court proceeding to which he has been subpoenaed will not go on as scheduled, in order to save the person an unnecessary trip to court.

(3)  The district attorney shall notify the victim or his legal representative whenever he is notified that a child accused of a violent offense such as attempted murder, rape, or a crime against another child, has escaped from lawful confinement or has been released in accordance with Chapter 6 of this Title, and whenever a child committed to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections has escaped or has been released from a secure institution.  The district attorney shall also inform the victim that the sheriff shall provide information relative to victim assistance.

(4)  The sheriff shall inform the victim or his legal representative of financial assistance, fees, or other social services available as a result of being a victim of a crime, including information on how to apply for the financial assistance and services.

(5)  The court should provide, whenever possible, a secure waiting area during court proceedings that does not require victims and their legal representatives to be in close proximity to accused children and their families and friends.  The juvenile court shall provide a secure waiting area in cases involving violent crime.

(6)  All judicial and law enforcement agencies shall expeditiously return any stolen or other personal property to victims when no longer needed as evidence.

(7)  The appropriate law enforcement agency shall ensure that the victim receives emergency, social, and medical services as soon as possible.  The appropriate law enforcement agency shall also distribute to the victim, or to the family of a homicide victim, a crime victim's brochure prepared by the Crime Victims Reparations Board as provided in R.S. 46:1844(T), and supplemented as necessary by the district attorney with victim information specific to the parish in which the delinquent act is alleged to have occurred, as provided in R.S. 46:1844(A).

(8)  All law enforcement agencies shall provide a private setting for all interviewing of victims of crime.  "Private setting" shall mean an enclosed room from which the occupants are not visible or otherwise identifiable and whose conversations cannot be heard from outside such room.  Only those persons directly and immediately related to the interviewing of the victim, specifically the victim, a social worker, psychologist, or other professional, the victim advocate designated by the sheriff's office, or a representative from a not-for-profit victim service organization, including but not limited to rape crisis centers, domestic violence advocacy groups, and alcohol abuse or substance abuse groups providing emotional support to the victim, shall be present, unless the victim requests the exclusion of such person from the interview, and, where appropriate, the parent or parents of the victim.

(9)  The victim or the family of the victim shall have the right to retain counsel to confer with law enforcement and judicial  agencies on the disposition of the victim's case.  The prosecutor, in accordance with the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure Article 63, may confer with the counsel retained by the victim or victim's family in the prosecution of the case.

(10)  If requested, the victim of a violent felony-grade offense and the designated member of the victim's family in the case of homicide or injury to a minor shall be consulted by the prosecutor in order to obtain their view regarding:

(a)  The disposition of the delinquency case by dismissal, plea bargaining, or adjudication hearing.

(b)  The use of available disposition alternatives such as placement in secure detention, probation, community service, and the payment of restitution to the victim.

(11)  The victim or a member of the victim's family may file a victim notice form as provided in R.S. 46:1842(8).  Upon filing of a victim notice form by a victim or a family member, it shall be the duty of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to notify the victim or family member by certified mail of appeal or release at the time of such appeal, discharge, or parole of a delinquent named in that form.  Such form shall be included in the delinquent's commitment documents to be delivered to the state training facility where such delinquent has been confined or transferred.

(12)  The victim or witness who so requests shall be assisted by judicial and law enforcement agencies in informing employers that the need for victim and witness cooperation in the prosecution of the case may necessitate absence of the victim or witness from work.

B.  The family members of all homicide victims shall be afforded all of the rights under this Article accruing to victims.  Communication with the appropriate law enforcement or judicial agencies concerning the rights of the victim's family members shall be made through a designated family member.  A designated family member is a member of the victim's family designated by a majority of the victim's family members to make such communications.

C.  No order or disposition shall be invalidated because of failure to comply with the provisions of this Article.

D.  The juvenile court, the district attorney, the sheriff, and law enforcement agencies are exempt from the requirements of this Section in any case in which either:

(1)  The victim has failed to provide a current address.

(2)  The victim refuses the services offered.

E.  Nothing in this Article shall be construed as creating a right of appeal on behalf of any person nor as creating a cause of action on behalf of any person against any public employee, office, or department responsible for the provision of services set forth in this Article.

F.  Any information about the status of the case in juvenile court which is received by the victim or his legal representative shall remain subject to the confidentiality restrictions of Article 412 and shall not be further disclosed by him.

G.(1)  In order to protect the identity and provide for the safety and welfare of juvenile crime victims under the age of seventeen years, all public officials and officers and public agencies, including but not limited to all law enforcement agencies, sheriffs, district attorneys, judicial officers, clerks of court, and the Department of Children and Family Services or any division thereof, shall not publicly disclose the name, address, or identity of a juvenile victim of crime who at the time of the commission of the offense is under seventeen years of age.  The public disclosure of the name of the juvenile crime victim by any public official or officer or public agency is not prohibited by this Subparagraph when the crime resulted in the death of the victim.

(2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, all public officials, officers, and public agencies, including but not limited to all law enforcement agencies, sheriffs, district attorneys, judicial officers, clerks of court, and the Department of Children and Family Services or any division thereof, charged with the responsibility of knowing the name, address and identity of juvenile crime victims as a necessary part of their duties shall have full and complete access to this information regarding a juvenile crime victim and they may lawfully utilize initials, abbreviations, or other forms of indefinite descriptions on all public documents used in the performance of their duties to whatever extent they deem necessary, to prevent the public disclosure of the name, address, or identity of a juvenile victim of crime under the age of seventeen years.

(3)  Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, all information regarding juvenile crime victims that is required by a child abduction alert system which assists law enforcement in the successful resolution of child abduction cases, such as the AMBER Alert network, shall be made available to said network as quickly as possible.

Acts 1993, No. 634, §1, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 1995, No. 522, §1; Acts 1995, No. 835, §1; Acts 1997, No. 732, §2; Acts 2003, No. 5, §2; Acts 2005, No. 74, §1.



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