Substitute Senate Bill No. 1048

Public Act No. 01-129

AN ACT CONCERNING COSTS OF INCARCERATION.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (a) In the case of causes of action of any person obligated to pay the costs of such person's incarceration under section 18-85a of the general statutes and regulations adopted in accordance with said section, the claim of the state shall be a lien against the proceeds therefrom in the amount of the costs of incarceration or fifty per cent of the proceeds received by such person after payment of all expenses connected with the cause of action, whichever is less, for repayment under said section, and shall have priority over all other claims including any lien of the state for repayment of public assistance except (1) attorney's fees for said causes, (2) expenses of suit, (3) costs of hospitalization connected with the cause of action by whomever paid over and above hospital insurance or other such benefits, and, for such period of hospitalization as was not paid for by the state, physicians' fees for services during any such period as are connected with the cause of action over and above medical insurance or other such benefits, (4) child support obligations pursuant to subsection (d) of section 17b-93 of the general statutes, (5) restitution or payment of compensation to a crime victim ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, and (6) payment of a civil judgment rendered in favor of a crime victim by a court of competent jurisdiction; and such claim shall consist of the total amount of the costs of incarceration under section 18-85a of the general statutes. The proceeds of such causes of action shall be assignable to the state for payment of the amount due under section 18-85a of the general statutes, irrespective of any other provision of law. The state's lien shall constitute an irrevocable direction to the attorney for the inmate to pay the Commissioner of Correction or the commissioner's designee in accordance with its terms, except if, after written notice from the attorney for the inmate informing the commissioner or the commissioner's designee of the settlement of the cause of action or judgment thereon and requesting the amount of the lien to be paid to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee does not inform such attorney of the amount of the state's lien within forty-five days of receipt of the written request of such attorney for such information, such attorney may distribute such proceeds to such inmate and shall not be liable for any loss the state may sustain thereby.

(b) In the case of an inheritance of an estate by any person who is obligated to pay the costs of such person's incarceration in accordance with section 18-85a of the general statutes and the regulations adopted under said section, the claim of the state shall be a lien against such inheritance in the amount of the costs of incarceration or fifty per cent of the assets of the estate payable to the inmate, whichever is less. The Court of Probate shall accept any such lien notice filed by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee with the court prior to the distribution of such inheritance, and to the extent of such inheritance not already distributed, the court shall order distribution in accordance therewith.

Sec. 2. (NEW) Upon the death of any person obligated to pay the costs of such person's incarceration under section 18-85a of the general statutes and regulations adopted in accordance with said section, the state shall have a claim against such person's estate for all costs of incarceration under the provisions of said section and regulations for which the state has not been reimbursed, to the extent that the amount which the surviving spouse, parent or dependent children of the decedent would otherwise take from such estate is not needed for their support. Such claim shall have priority over all other unsecured claims against such estate, including any lien of the state for repayment of public assistance, except (1) expenses of last sickness not to exceed three hundred seventy-five dollars, (2) funeral and burial expenses in accordance with that allowed under section 17b-84 of the general statutes upon the death of a beneficiary of aid, (3) child support obligations pursuant to subsection (d) of section 17b-93 of the general statutes, (4) restitution or payment of compensation to a crime victim ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, (5) payment of a civil judgment rendered in favor of a crime victim by a court of competent jurisdiction, and (6) administrative expenses, including probate fees and taxes, and including fiduciary fees not exceeding the following commissions on the value of the whole estates accounted for by such fiduciaries: On the first two thousand dollars or portion thereof, five per cent; on the next eight thousand dollars or portion thereof, four per cent; on the excess over ten thousand dollars, three per cent. Upon petition by any fiduciary, the Court of Probate, after a hearing thereon, may authorize compensation in excess of the above schedule for extraordinary services. Notice of any such petition and hearing shall be given to the Commissioner of Correction at least ten days in advance of such hearing. The allowable funeral and burial payment authorized by this section shall be reduced by the amount of any prepaid funeral arrangement. Any amount paid from the estate under this section to any person that exceeds the limits provided in this section shall be repaid to the estate by such person, and such amount may be recovered in a civil action with interest at the legal rate from the date of demand.

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved June 28, 2001