OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

SB-650

AN ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS.

AMENDMENT

LCO No.: 7208

File Copy No.: 754

Senate Calendar No.: 444


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 16 $

FY 17 $

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

GF - Cost

See Below

See Below

Judicial Dept.

GF - Savings

Approximately 12,000

Approximately 12,000

Correction, Dept.; Judicial Dept. (Probation)

GF - Potential Cost

See Below

See Below

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 16 $

FY 17 $

Various Municipalities

STATE MANDATE - Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The amendment eliminates the original bill and the associated fiscal impact.

Section 1 of the amendment allows state marshals access to the Judicial Department's service tracking system. This provision conforms statute to current practice and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 2 requires State Marshall Commission (SMC) to adopt rules for (1) the provision of consistent and reliable access to a state marshal for persons applying for a restraining order under section 46b-15; (2) the provision of services to persons with limited English proficiency; (3) the provision of services to persons who are deaf or hearing impaired; and (4) service of process that is a photographic copy, micrographic copy or other electronic image of an original document that clearly and accurately copies such original document. It is anticipated that the SMC will be able to comply with these provisions without additional resources.

Section 3 results in a potential cost to both towns and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and also a potential savings to the Judicial Department. It requires presiding law enforcement agencies to deliver ex parte orders whenever the application indicates that the respondent possesses firearms, ammunition, or a permit to do so. The amendment specifies that the Judicial Department is not required to reimburse the police officer for the cost of service, as is done when service is completed by a state marshal. Approximately 300 ex parte civil restraining orders served in FY 14 involved respondents with a firearm. It is anticipated that police departments will incur travel and administrative expenses to serve these orders. The level of such costs is dependent upon the number of orders delivered and the travel time and mileage required to do so. The amendment results in savings of approximately $12,000 to the Judicial Department (300 orders with a reimbursement of $40/order). The amendment also makes various changes to civil restraining order application forms and hearing dates and does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 4 specifies that police officers will not be reimbursed by the Judicial Department for the cost of service.

Section 5 requires the chief court administrator, where feasible, to allocate space for a meeting between a state marshal and a restraining order applicant. Currently, state marshals meet with applicants in the Court Service Centers, found in most courthouses. To the extent that this area of the courthouse is sufficient to meet this provision of the amendment, this section does not result in a fiscal impact.

Section 6 requires the Judicial Department to collect data on civil restraining and protection orders. It is anticipated that the agency can accommodate these changes without additional resources.

Section 7-9 expands the crime of criminal possession of a firearm, ammunition, electronic defense weapon, pistol, or revolver, which carries with it a mandatory minimum two year sentence. There are currently 288 offenders incarcerated for criminal possession. In FY 14, there were a total of 875 violations and 504 resulted in conviction or plea bargain. To the extent that offenders are prosecuted for new or expanded offenses under this amendment, potential costs for probation and supervision in the community or incarceration would result.  On average, it costs the agency $6,050 (including benefits) to supervise an inmate in the community as opposed to $50,690 (including benefits) to incarcerate an offender. Criminal possession also carries with it a mandatory fine of $5,000, which the court can reduce if it finds sufficient reason. In FY 14, a total of $5,985 in fine revenue was collected. To the extent that the expanded offenses result in additional fines collected, the amendment also results in potential revenue gain.

Sections 10-14 do not result in a fiscal impact to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or the municipalities.

Sources:

Department of Correction Summary of Offenders by Controling Offense, as of 1/1/2015

 

Judicial Department Offenses and Revenue Database

The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.