Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 4056Ratification Number: 505Act Number: 433Primary Sponsor: RogersType of Legislation: GBSubject: Crime Victims AdvocateDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 19940518Computer Document Number: DKA/4216AL.93Governor's Action: VDate of Governor's Action: 19940531Introduced Date: 19930414Date of Last Amendment: 19940511Last History Body: ------Last History Date: 19940602Last History Type: Act No. 433Action on Governor's Veto: OScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Rogers G. Bailey Hallman Wofford Fulmer Barber Simrill Baxley Harvin McAbee Waldrop Snow Rudnick Waites J. Bailey Wells H. Brown MeachamType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- ------------ 4056 ------ 19940602 Act No. 433 4056 Senate 19940602 Veto overridden 4056 House 19940602 Veto overridden 4056 House 19940601 Debate adjourned upon the veto 4056 House 19940531 Debate adjourned on Governors veto until Wednesday, June 1, 1994 4056 ------ 19940530 Vetoed by Governor 4056 ------ 19940524 Ratified R 505 4056 Senate 19940518 Concurred in House amendment, enrolled for ratification 4056 House 19940511 Senate amendments amended, returned to Senate 4056 House 19940510 Debate adjourned on Senate amendments 4056 Senate 19940405 Read third time, returned to House with amendment 4056 Senate 19940331 Amended, read second time 4056 Senate 19940330 Committee Report: Favorable 11 with amendment 4056 Senate 19940224 Introduced, read first time, 11 referred to Committee 4056 House 19940223 Read third time, sent to Senate 4056 House 19940222 Amended, read second time 4056 House 19940209 Committee Report: Favorable 25 with amendment 4056 House 19930414 Introduced, read first time, 25 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A433, R505, H4056)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 3, TITLE 16, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 16 SO AS TO CREATE THE CRIME VICTIMS' OMBUDSMAN OF THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR AND PROVIDE FOR THE OMBUDSMAN'S POWERS AND DUTIES, TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS AND THREE FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT POSITIONS FROM THE DIVISION OF VICTIMS' ASSISTANCE TO THE CRIME VICTIMS' OMBUDSMAN'S OFFICE AND PROVIDE FOR THESE TRANSFERS IN THE CURRENT AND SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEARS, AND TO CREATE AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON FAMILY VIOLENCE TO THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND TO PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP, POWERS, AND DUTIES, INCLUDING ITS TERMINATION JULY 1, 1997, UNLESS EXTENDED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY JOINT RESOLUTION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Crime victims' ombudsman created
SECTION 1. Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 16-3-1610. As used in this article:
(1) `Criminal and juvenile justice system' means circuit solicitors and members of their staffs; the Attorney General and his staff; law enforcement agencies and officers; adult and juvenile probation, parole, and correctional agencies and officers; officials responsible for victims' compensation and other services which benefit victims of crime, and state, county, and municipal victim advocacy and victim assistance personnel.
(2) `Victim assistance program' means an entity, whether governmental, corporate, nonprofit, partnership, or individual, which provides, is required by law to provide, or claims to provide services or assistance, or both to victims on an ongoing basis.
(3) `Victim' means a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, or financial harm as the result of an act by someone else, which is a crime. The term includes immediate family members of a homicide victim or of any other victim who is either incompetent or a minor and includes an intervenor.
Section 16-3-1620. (A) The Crime Victims' Ombudsman of the Office of the Governor is created. The Crime Victims' Ombudsman is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.
(B) The Crime Victims' Ombudsman of the Office of the Governor shall:
(1) refer crime victims to the appropriate element of the criminal and juvenile justice systems or victim assistance programs, or both when services are requested by crime victims or are necessary as determined by the ombudsman;
(2) act as a liaison between elements of the criminal and juvenile justice systems, victim assistance programs, and victims when the need for liaison services is recognized by the ombudsman; and
(3) review and attempt to resolve complaints against elements of the criminal and juvenile justice systems or victim assistance programs, or both made to the ombudsman by victims of criminal activity within the state's jurisdiction.
Section 16-3-1630. Upon receipt of a written complaint that contains specific allegations and is signed by a victim of criminal activity within the state's jurisdiction, the ombudsman shall forward copies of the complaint to the person, program, and agency against whom it makes allegations, and conduct an inquiry into the allegations stated in the complaint.
In carrying out the inquiry, the ombudsman is authorized to request and receive information and documents from the complainant, elements of the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and victim assistance programs that are pertinent to the inquiry. Following each inquiry, the ombudsman shall issue a report verbally or in writing to the complainant and the persons or agencies that are the object of the complaint and recommendations that in the ombudsman's opinion will assist all parties. The persons or agencies that are the subject of the complaint shall respond, within a reasonable time, to the ombudsman regarding actions taken, if any, as a result of the ombudsman's report and recommendations.
The ombudsman shall prepare a public annual report, not identifying individual agencies or individuals, summarizing his activity. The annual report must be submitted directly to the Governor, General Assembly, elements of the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and victim assistance programs.
Section 16-3-1640. Information and files requested and received by the ombudsman are confidential and retain their confidential status at all times. Juvenile records obtained under this section may be released only in accordance with provisions of the Children's Code.
Section 16-3-1650. All elements of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and victim assistance programs shall cooperate with the ombudsman in carrying out the duties described in Sections 16-3-1620 and 16-3-1630.
Section 16-3-1660. A victim's exercise of rights granted by this article is not grounds for dismissing a criminal proceeding or setting aside a conviction or sentence.
Section 16-3-1670. This article does not create a cause of action on behalf of a person against an element of the criminal and juvenile justice systems, victim assistance programs, the State, or any agency or person responsible for the enforcement of rights and provision of services set forth in this chapter."
Funds, positions transferred
SECTION 2. Upon the effective date of this act, there is transferred from the Division of Victim's Assistance of the Office of the Governor $125,000 and three full-time equivalent positions to the Crime Victims' Ombudsman of the Office of the Governor. The transfer shall apply for the current and succeeding fiscal years.
Advisory committee on family violence
SECTION 3. (A) There is created an advisory committee on family violence to the Joint Legislative Committee on Children and Families. The seven member advisory committee is comprised of the following members who must be appointed by the chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Children and Families:
(1) one representative from the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault;
(2) a family court judge;
(3) a magistrate;
(4) a representative from law enforcement;
(5) a representative from the University of South Carolina's Center on Family and Society;
(6) a representative from the field of public health; and
(7) a representative from a batterer's program.
(B) Organizations specified as members of the advisory committee may submit a list of nominees from their respective organizations from which the chairman may select an appointee.
(C) At its first meeting, the advisory committee shall elect a chairman from among its members.
(D) Vacancies occurring on the advisory committee must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
SECTION 4. The advisory committee shall:
(1) examine and study the problem of family violence in this State;
(2) develop a long-term plan for comprehensive intervention services in this State by January 1, 1995;
(3) recommend statutory changes to improve and strengthen the state's statutes on family and domestic violence;
(4) recommend programs and policies as it considers appropriate to address and eliminate the problems associated with family violence;
(5) conduct surveys and research as may be necessary.
SECTION 5. (A) The advisory committee may request information and assistance from an officer or agency of the State or a subdivision. Upon request the officer or agency shall provide the advisory committee all relevant information and reasonable assistance on matters of research within their knowledge and control.
(B) The expenses, resources, and staffing of the advisory committee must be shared by the membership of the advisory committee and there may be no new appropriated state funds for use by the advisory committee.
(C) The members of the advisory committee shall serve without compensation, per diem, subsistence, or mileage reimbursement.
(D) The advisory committee formally shall report its findings and recommendations to the Joint Legislative Committee on Children and Families at least once during the legislative session at a full meeting of the joint committee.
(E) The advisory committee terminates July 1, 1997, unless the General Assembly by joint resolution continues the advisory committee for a specified period of time.
SECTION 6. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Vetoed by the Governor - 5/30/94
Veto overridden by House - 6/2/94
Veto overridden by Senate - 6/2/94