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House Bill No. 6432

Public Act No. 03-189

AN ACT CONCERNING VICTIM SERVICES.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 54-205 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Upon application made under the provisions of this chapter, the Office of Victim Services shall [review] evaluate such application, make an appropriate determination in writing, and provide notice to the applicant of such determination. In order to make a determination on an application, the Office of Victim Services may administer oaths or affirmations, may subpoena any witness to appear or may issue a subpoena duces tecum, provided no subpoena shall be issued except under the signature of a victim compensation commissioner. Any application to any court for aid in enforcing such subpoena may be made in the name of the Office of Victim Services only by a victim compensation commissioner. Subpoenas shall be served by any person designated by a victim compensation commissioner.

Sec. 2. Section 54-206 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

[(a) A] The Office of Victim Services or, on review, a victim compensation commissioner may, as part of any order entered under this chapter, determine and allow reasonable attorney's fees, which shall not exceed fifteen per cent of the amount awarded as compensation under section 54-208, to be paid out of but not in addition to the amount of such compensation. No such attorney shall ask for, contract for or receive any larger sum than the amount so allowed.

[(b) A victim compensation commissioner may, as part of any order entered under this chapter, determine and allow payment of health care providers, as defined in subdivision (2) of section 20-7f, for health care services rendered to the victim, to be paid directly to the health care provider out of, but not in addition to, the amount of compensation under section 54-208. ]

Sec. 3. Section 54-215 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) The Office of Victim Services shall establish a Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund [,] for the purpose of funding the compensation and restitution services provided for by this chapter. The fund may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the fund and shall be held by the Treasurer separate and apart from all other moneys, funds and accounts. The interest derived from the investment of the fund shall be credited to the fund. Amounts in the fund may be expended only pursuant to appropriation by the General Assembly. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in the fund for the fiscal year next succeeding.

(b) The cost paid into court under section 54-143 shall be deposited in the General Fund and shall be credited to and become a part of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Any restitution collected by the Court Support Services Division pursuant to section 46b-140, 53a-30 [and] or 54-56e which is not disbursed within five years after the date such restitution is collected, because the victim could not be located, shall be deposited in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Any restitution collected pursuant to section 46b-140 or 54-56e on or before May 8, 1997, that has not been disbursed as of the effective date of this section shall be deposited in the fund. If payment is awarded under section 54-210 and thereafter the court orders the defendant in the criminal case from which such injury or death resulted to make restitution, any money collected as restitution shall be paid to the fund unless the court directs otherwise. The Office of Victim Services may apply for and receive moneys for the fund from any federal, state or private source.

(c) Any administrative costs related to the operation of the [fund] Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, including credits to and payments of compensation therefrom, shall be paid from the fund. Administrative costs of providing direct services, the proportionate share of any fixed costs associated with such services, the costs of providing direct services to victims and witnesses of crimes in accordance with subdivision (6) of subsection (b) of section 54-203, and any services offered by the Office of Victim Services to witnesses and victims of crime may be budgeted for payment from the fund. [The Office of Victim Services may also apply for and receive moneys for the fund from any federal, state or private source. ]

Sec. 4. Section 54-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

Notwithstanding the provisions of [section] sections 54-204 and [section] 54-205, as amended by this act, if it appears to the Office of Victim Services, prior to taking action upon [such] a claim, that [(a)] such claim is one with respect to which an award probably will be made [,] and [(b)] undue hardship will result to the claimant if immediate payment is not made, the Office of Victim Services may make an emergency award to the claimant pending a final determination on the claimant's application, provided (1) the amount of such emergency award shall not exceed [one] two thousand dollars, (2) the amount of such emergency award shall be deducted from any final award made to the claimant, and (3) the excess of the amount of such emergency award over the final award, or the full amount of the emergency award if no final award is made, shall be repaid by the claimant to the Office of Victim Services.

Approved June 26, 2003