Substitute Senate Bill No. 1418

Public Act No. 01-72

AN ACT AUTHORIZING JUDGE TRIAL REFEREES TO ISSUE WARRANTS AND OTHER CRIMINAL PROCESS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 54-2a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In all criminal cases the Superior Court, or any judge thereof, or any judge trial referee specifically designated by the Chief Justice to exercise the authority conferred by this section may issue (1) bench warrants of arrest upon application by a prosecutorial official if the court or judge determines that the affidavit accompanying the application shows that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the person complained against committed it, (2) subpoenas for witnesses, (3) capias for witnesses and for defendants who violate an order of the court regarding any court appearance, and (4) all other criminal process; and may administer justice in all criminal matters.

(b) The court, [or] judge or judge trial referee issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of the person or persons complained against shall, in cases punishable by death or life imprisonment, set the conditions of release or indicate that the person or persons named in the warrant shall not be entitled to bail and may, in all other cases, set the conditions of release. The conditions of release, if included in the warrant, shall fix the first of the following conditions which the court, [or] judge or judge trial referee finds necessary to assure such person's appearance in court: (1) Written promise to appear; (2) execution of a bond without surety in no greater amount than necessary; or (3) execution of a bond with surety in no greater amount than necessary.

(c) In lieu of a warrant for the rearrest of any defendant who fails to appear for trial at the place and time specified or on any court date thereafter the court, [or] judge or judge trial referee may issue a capias.

(d) All process issued by said court or any judge thereof, or any judge trial referee shall be served by any proper officer, or an indifferent person when specially directed to do so, and shall be obeyed by any and all persons and officers to whom the same is directed or whom it may concern.

(e) Whenever a rearrest warrant is issued under this section, the court, [or] judge or judge trial referee may cause such warrant to be entered into a central computer system. Existence of the warrant in the computer system shall constitute prima facie evidence of the issuance of the warrant. Any person named in the warrant may be arrested based on the existence of the warrant in the computer system and shall, upon any such arrest, be given a copy of the warrant.

Sec. 2. Section 54-33a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) As used in sections 54-33a to 54-33g, inclusive, "property" includes, without limitation, documents, books, papers, films, recordings and any other tangible thing.

(b) Upon complaint on oath by any state's attorney or assistant state's attorney or by any two credible persons, to any judge of the Superior Court or judge trial referee, that such state's attorney or assistant state's attorney or such persons have probable cause to believe that any property (1) possessed, controlled, designed or intended for use or which is or has been used or which may be used as the means of committing any criminal offense; or (2) which was stolen or embezzled; or (3) which constitutes evidence of an offense, or that a particular person participated in the commission of an offense, is within or upon any place, thing or person, such judge or judge trial referee, except as provided in section 54-33j, may issue a warrant commanding a proper officer to enter into or upon such place or thing, search the same or the person and take into such officer's custody all such property named in the warrant.

(c) A warrant may issue only on affidavit sworn to by the complainant or complainants before the judge or judge trial referee and establishing the grounds for issuing the warrant, which affidavit shall be part of the arrest file. If the judge or judge trial referee is satisfied that grounds for the application exist or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist, the judge or judge trial referee shall issue a warrant identifying the property and naming or describing the person, place or thing to be searched. The warrant shall be directed to any police officer of a regularly organized police department or any state policeman or to a conservation officer, special conservation officer or patrolman acting pursuant to section 26-6. The warrant shall state the date and time of its issuance and the grounds or probable cause for its issuance and shall command the officer to search within a reasonable time the person, place or thing named, for the property specified. The inadvertent failure of the issuing judge or judge trial referee to state on the warrant the time of its issuance shall not in and of itself invalidate the warrant.

Sec. 3. Section 36a-44 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

No provision of sections 36a-41 to 36a-45, inclusive, shall be construed to prohibit: (1) The preparation, examination, handling or maintenance of any financial records by any officer, employee or agent of a financial institution having custody of such records or the examination of such records by a certified public accountant engaged by the financial institution to perform an independent audit; (2) the examination of any financial records by, or the furnishing of financial records by a financial institution to any official, employee or agent of a supervisory agency solely for use in the exercise of the duties of such official, employee or agent; (3) the publication of data furnished from financial records relating to customers where such data does not contain information identifying any particular customer or account; (4) the making of reports or returns required under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, or under section 12-382; (5) disclosure of information permitted under the Uniform Commercial Code concerning the dishonor of any negotiable instrument; (6) the exchange, in the regular course of business, of credit information between a financial institution and other financial institutions or commercial enterprises, directly or through a consumer reporting agency; (7) disclosures to appropriate officials of federal, state or local governments upon suspected violations of the criminal law; (8) disclosures pursuant to a search warrant issued by a judge of the Superior Court or a judge trial referee under the provisions of section 54-33a; (9) disclosures concerning lawyers' clients' funds accounts made to the state-wide grievance committee pursuant to any rule adopted by the judges of the Superior Court; (10) disclosures to the purported payee or to any purported holder of a check, draft, money order or other item, whether or not such check, draft, money order or other item has been accepted by such payee or holder as payment, or to any financial institution purportedly involved in the collection process of a check, draft, money order or other item whether such check, draft, money order or other item would be paid if presented at the time of such disclosure; (11) any disclosure made in connection with a financial institution's attempts to preserve its rights or determine its liabilities with regard to any funds transfer or any check, draft, money order or other item drawn by or upon it or handled by it for collection or otherwise; (12) the transfer of information from a Connecticut credit union to a shared service center and the personnel of such shared service center which takes place when a member of such Connecticut credit union uses a shared service center to effect a transaction with such Connecticut credit union; (13) any other disclosure required under applicable state or federal law or authorized to be made to any regulatory or law enforcement agency under applicable state or federal law.

Sec. 4. Section 54-33b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The officer serving a search warrant may, if [he] such officer has reason to believe that any of the property described in the warrant is concealed in the garments of any person in or upon the place or thing to be searched, search the person for the purpose of seizing the same. When the person to be searched is a woman, the search shall be made by a policewoman or other woman assisting in the service of the warrant, or by a woman designated by the judge or judge trial referee issuing the warrant.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 54-33c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The applicant for the search warrant shall file the application for the warrant and all affidavits upon which the warrant is based with the clerk of the court for the geographical area within which any person who may be arrested in connection with or subsequent to the execution of the search warrant would be presented with the return of the warrant. The warrant shall be executed within ten days and returned with reasonable promptness consistent with due process of law and shall be accompanied by a written inventory of all property seized. A copy of such warrant shall be given to the owner or occupant of the dwelling, structure, motor vehicle or place designated therein, or the person named therein. Within forty-eight hours of such search, a copy of the application for the warrant and a copy of all affidavits upon which the warrant is based shall be given to such owner, occupant or person. The judge or judge trial referee may, by order, dispense with the requirement of giving a copy of the affidavits to such owner, occupant or person at such time if the applicant for the warrant files a detailed affidavit with the judge or judge trial referee which demonstrates to the judge or judge trial referee that (1) the personal safety of a confidential informant would be jeopardized by the giving of a copy of the affidavits at such time, or (2) the search is part of a continuing investigation which would be adversely affected by the giving of a copy of the affidavits at such time, or (3) the giving of such affidavits at such time would require disclosure of information or material prohibited from being disclosed by chapter 959a. If the judge or judge trial referee dispenses with the requirement of giving a copy of the affidavits at such time, such order shall not affect the right of such owner, occupant or person to obtain such copy at any subsequent time. No such order shall limit the disclosure of such affidavits to the attorney for a person arrested in connection with or subsequent to the execution of a search warrant unless, upon motion of the prosecuting authority within two weeks of such person's arraignment, the court finds that the state's interest in continuing nondisclosure substantially outweighs the defendant's right to disclosure.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 54-33f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) A person aggrieved by search and seizure may move the court which has jurisdiction of [his] such person's case or, if such jurisdiction has not yet been invoked, then the court which issued the warrant, or the court in which [his] such person's case is pending, for the return of the property and to suppress for use as evidence anything so obtained on the ground that: (1) The property was seized without a warrant, or (2) the warrant is insufficient on its face, or (3) the property seized is not that described in the warrant, or (4) there was not probable cause for believing the existence of the grounds on which the warrant was issued, or (5) the warrant was illegally executed. In no case may the judge or judge trial referee who signed the warrant preside at the hearing on the motion.

Sec. 7. Section 54-154 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

In any case in which the statutes provide for a search warrant and seizure, the court, [or] judge or judge trial referee issuing such warrant may tax for the officer's services thereon the same fees for service, travel, copies and endorsements as are taxed in civil cases, and such sum for securing, care and destruction of property as such court, [or] judge or judge trial referee, under the circumstances, deems reasonable, such fees and sum to be paid from the appropriation for the Division of Criminal Justice.

Approved June 6, 2001