Current Status Bill Number:
1296Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19960327Primary Sponsor: ThomasAll Sponsors: ThomasDrafted Document Number: pt\2302cm.96Companion Bill Number: 4657Residing Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Corrections and Penology Committee 03 SCPSubject: Crime victims incident report, restitution provisions
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19960327 Introduced, read first time, 03 SCP referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-3-1535 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES SHALL PROVIDE CRIME VICTIMS WITH A COPY OF THE CRIME INCIDENT REPORT RELATING TO THEIR CASE AND CERTAIN OTHER INFORMATION; TO ADD SECTION 16-3-1537 SO AS TO REQUIRE A CRIMINAL SENTENCING JUDGE TO APPLY AMOUNTS FORFEITED TO THE COURT BY A PERSON PURSUANT TO SECTION 17-15-90 TOWARD THE PAYMENT OF RESTITUTION THE COURT ORDERS THE PERSON TO PAY; TO ADD SECTION 17-1-18 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE STATE SUPREME COURT TO PROMULGATE RULES TO ALLOW AN APPEAL OF CERTAIN COURT ORDERS IF A VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT WAS NOT CONSIDERED BY THE COURT OR IF A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF RESTITUTION WAS NOT ORDERED; TO ADD SECTION 24-21-490 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION, PAROLE, AND PARDON SERVICES SHALL COLLECT AND DISTRIBUTE RESTITUTION, THE PROCEDURE FOR COLLECTING AND DISTRIBUTING RESTITUTION, THE MAINTENANCE OF A MINIMUM NUMBER OF RESTITUTION BEDS AND PUBLISHING OF AN ANNUAL REPORT CONCERNING THE STATE'S EFFORTS TO COLLECT RESTITUTION AND OTHER FEES; TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-1110, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS CONTAINED IN CERTAIN PROVISIONS REGARDING THE COMPENSATION OF VICTIMS OF CRIME, SO AS TO PROVIDE A DEFINITION OF "RESTITUTION"; AND TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-1530, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE RIGHTS OF VICTIMS AND WITNESSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THE AMOUNT OF RESTITUTION A JUDGE MUST ORDER AN OFFENDER TO PAY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-3-1535. All law enforcement agencies shall provide crime victims, free of charge, a copy of the crime incident report relating to their case and a document which describes the statutory rights the State grants crime victims in criminal cases and list the local crime victim assistance providers. The statutory rights contained in this document shall include the right to:
(1) receive restitution;
(2) be informed about the criminal justice process;
(3) due process in a criminal court proceeding;
(4) be treated with dignity and compassion; and
(5) protection from intimidation and harm."
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 16-3-1537. A sentencing judge must use any security which was given or pledged for a person's release and forfeited pursuant to Section 17-15-90 as a portion of any restitution the person is ordered to pay pursuant to Section 16-3-1530(D)(3)."
SECTION 3. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 17-1-18. The Supreme Court shall promulgate rules that allow a solicitor, the Attorney General, or a crime victim's legal representative the right to appeal a sentence on behalf of a crime victim if the victim's victim impact statement was not considered by the court or if a reasonable amount of restitution was not ordered."
SECTION 4. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 24-21-490. (A) The Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services shall have the responsibility for collecting and distributing restitution.
(B) The department must deposit five-sixths of any restitution collected from persons assigned to general probation supervision, intensive probation supervision, or community supervision in a restitution fund. These funds must be distributed to the appropriate crime victims on a monthly basis.
(C) The department must deposit one-sixth of any restitution collected from persons contained in subsection (A) in a special collections unit fund.
(D) The department shall use the resources contained in subsection (C) and other funds to establish a special collections unit to work with offenders who are not able to fully meet their restitution obligations. The special collections unit may initiate civil actions against an offender which may include:
(1) wage garnishment;
(2) garnishment of state income tax refunds; or
(3) the suspension of a state benefit.
(E) The special collections unit may recover an outstanding balance of community reparations and offender rehabilitation and supervision fees.
(F) The department shall use seventy-five percent of the funds deposited in the special collections unit fund to finance the development and operation of the special collections unit. The remaining twenty-five percent of the funds must be given on a pro rata basis to the probation agents who collected the restitution.
(G) The special collections unit may hire private collection agencies to collect delinquent restitution, fines, and fees owed by community supervision offenders. These agencies may add a service charge of not more than twenty percent to the delinquent amount.
(H) The department shall require a person assigned to general probation supervision, and community supervision to remit ten dollars a month to the department to be placed in an offender restitution and work fund.
(I) The department may hire indigent probation and community supervision offenders who have restitution obligations to perform public service work to earn money to meet these obligations. As these offenders accumulate public service work hours, their restitution obligations are to be paid out of the offender restitution and work fund. The compensation rate shall not exceed the current federal minimum wage. If the offender is serving community service hours pursuant to a court order, he shall complete those hours before being allowed to have his restitution obligations paid from the offender restitution and work fund.
(J) The department may establish the wage rate to be paid from the offender restitution and work fund and establish payment ceilings for individual crimes to maintain the solvency of the fund.
(K) The department shall develop a comprehensive, computerized accounting, billing, and collection system to record all financial obligations owed by probation and community supervision offenders. The department annually may use not more than twenty percent of the funds deposited in the offender restitution and work fund to develop and operate this system.
(L) All funds in the restitution fund that remain unclaimed by a crime victim for more than eighteen months must be transferred to the South Carolina Victim's Compensation Fund.
(M) The department must maintain a minimum of five restitution center beds for every one thousand offenders supervised by the department.
(N) The department shall publish an annual report that provides detailed statistical information concerning the State's efforts to collect restitution and fees from probationary and community supervision offenders."
SECTION 5. Section 16-3-1110 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 181 of 1993, is further amended by adding at the end:
"(12) `Restitution' means payment for all injuries, losses, and expenses sustained by a crime victim resulting from an offender's criminal conduct. It includes, but is not limited to:
(a) medical and counseling expenses;
(b) damages or economic losses;
(c) funeral expenses and related costs;
(d) vehicle impoundment fees;
(e) child care costs; and
(f) transportation related to a victim's participation in the criminal justice process.
Secondary victims and third-party payees, excluding an offender's insurer, may receive restitution.
Restitution does not include:
(a) awards for pain and suffering;
(b) wrongful death;
(c) emotional distress; or
(d) loss of consortium.
Restitution orders do not limit additional civil claims a crime victim may file."
SECTION 6. Section 16-3-1530(D)(3) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Sections 14 and 15 of Act 83 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"(3) A victim has the right to receive restitution for expenses or property loss incurred as the result of the crime. The judge shall order restitution at every sentencing for a crime against person or property or as a condition of probation, unless the court finds a substantial and compelling reason not to order restitution. The court shall diligently, fairly, and in a timely manner enforce all orders of restitution. The restitution ordered must be an amount equal to one hundred twenty percent of the victim's losses. The order shall specify a monthly payment schedule that will result in full payment to a victim by the end of eighty percent of an offender's sentence."
SECTION 7. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.