PA 17-87—sSB 1003
AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO VARIOUS STATUTES CONCERNING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
SUMMARY: This act makes the following unrelated changes to criminal laws and procedures:
1. adds alcohol sales or delivery to minors to those activities that may be the basis for a state action to abate a public nuisance (§ 1);
2. allows certain drug or alcohol analysis test reports to be signed electronically (§ 2);
3. expands the types of law enforcement officers who must be indemnified by their employers (§ 3);
4. extends how long a person may enforce a court order that an offender provide financial restitution to a victim (§ 4);
5. makes it 2nd degree larceny for someone to take property from a conserved person by embezzlement, false pretenses, or false promise (§ 5);
6. extends to victims of the crime of sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship two protections regarding keeping their names and other identifying information confidential (§§ 6 & 7);
7. reconstitutes the Eyewitness Identification Task Force and expands its scope to include the use of emerging technologies in law enforcement (§ 8); and
8. repeals a duplicative reporting requirement concerning Medicaid fraud recoveries (§ 9).
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017, except upon passage for the task force provisions (§ 8) and July 1, 2017 for the repeal of the Medicaid fraud reporting requirement (§ 9).
§ 1 — STATE ACTION TO ABATE A PUBLIC NUISANCE
By law, the state can bring an action to abate a public nuisance on any real property on which, within the previous 365 days, there have been three or more (1) arrests for certain crimes; (2) arrest warrants issued for certain crimes that are not isolated incidents, indicating a pattern of criminal activity; or (3) municipal citations issued for certain violations. Examples of crimes that subject a property to a nuisance abatement action include various prostitution-, drug-, and firearm-related crimes and the unauthorized sale of alcohol.
The act adds the following to those crimes that can be the basis for a nuisance abatement action: (1) sale or delivery of alcohol to a minor by an alcohol permit holder or his or her employee or agent and (2) unauthorized sale, delivery, or giving of alcohol to a minor, including through the internet (CGS § 30-86(b)(1) and (2)).
The law authorizes various types of relief to abate a public nuisance, such as allowing a court to (1) appoint a receiver to manage the property while a nuisance action is pending, (2) order the closing of the property or some part of it, and (3) impose civil fines or imprisonment for certain intentional violations of nuisance abatement orders (CGS § 19a-343 et seq.).
§ 2 — ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE ON TEST REPORTS
Existing law requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection's (DESPP) Division of Scientific Services analytical personnel or U.S. Bureau of Narcotics qualified toxicologists, pathologists, and chemists to sign and date original reports, for use in criminal cases, of tests on controlled drugs or bodily fluids believed to contain alcohol. The act specifies that the reports may be signed electronically or in writing.
§ 3 — INDEMNIFICATION
The act expands the types of law enforcement officers entitled to indemnification from their employers if they are prosecuted for a crime allegedly committed in the course of their duty and who are found not guilty or have the charges dismissed.
Prior law provided that the State Police, local police, Capitol Police, and certain other appointed special policemen for the Capitol complex were entitled to this indemnification. The act expands the law to also include the following:
1. Division of Criminal Justice inspectors;
2. Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes' police officers; and
3. officers of any other state, municipal, or other government entity with a primary function that includes enforcing criminal or traffic laws; preserving public order; protecting life and property; or preventing, detecting, or investigating crime (such as Department of Motor Vehicles inspectors).
§ 4 — ENFORCING RESTITUTION ORDERS
The act extends by 10 years the period in which someone can enforce and collect a court order that an offender pay financial restitution to a victim. Under the act, such order is enforceable for 20 years from the date of the order's entry or offender's release from prison, whichever is longer. Under prior law, such orders were enforceable for 10 years from either of these dates, whichever was longer.
§ 5 — LARCENY FROM A CONSERVED PERSON
By law, there are six degrees of larceny. The penalties vary from a class C misdemeanor to a class B felony, generally based on the value of the property taken illegally.
Under existing law, one way to commit 2nd degree larceny is to take property (regardless of its value) by embezzlement, false pretenses, or false promise from someone who is age 60 or over or someone who is blind or has a physical disability. The act extends this to taking property in the same manner from a conserved person, defined as someone for whom a probate court has appointed a conservator because the person is incapable of managing his or her own affairs or caring for himself or herself.
By law, 2nd degree larceny is a class C felony (see Table on Penalties).
§§ 6 & 7 — NAMES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS
The act extends to victims of the crime of sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship two protections that existing law gives to certain sexual assault and other victims regarding their names and other personal information.
First, the act prohibits requiring such a victim to divulge his or her address or phone number during a trial or pretrial evidentiary hearing arising from the crime if the judge finds the (1) information is not material, (2) victim's identity is satisfactorily established, and (3) victim's current address will be given to the defense in the same way it is in cases involving other offenses.
Second, the act generally makes confidential the victim's name, address, and other information the court determines is identifying, but it allows the following:
1. a court to order disclosure;
2. the accused to have access to the information in the same way as for cases involving other criminal offenses; and
3. the victim's name, address, and information concerning the order to be entered in the protective order registry (which makes the information available to certain officials and others but otherwise limits disclosure) if a protective order is issued during the prosecution.
By law, these two protections already apply to the names, addresses, and information of victims of other specified sexual assault crimes; voyeurism; risk of injury to a minor; and family violence crimes.
§ 8 — EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TASK FORCE
A 2011 law established the Eyewitness Identification Task Force to study and report on issues concerning eyewitness identification in criminal investigations and the use of sequential live and photo lineups. Subsequent acts expanded the task force's functions and allowed it to continue until June 30, 2016.
This act reconstitutes the task force as the Eyewitness Identification and Emerging Technologies Task Force. It requires the task force to assist the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) and the State Police in developing policies and guidelines for law enforcement agencies on:
1. eyewitness identification procedures (the prior task force had a similar function),
2. the use of other emerging technologies to promote effective law enforcement and how to prevent the criminal use of these technologies, and
3. other related topics the task force deems appropriate.
The act requires the task force to report its findings and recommendations to the Judiciary Committee as the task force deems appropriate. As with the prior task force, the reconstituted task force can solicit and accept gifts, donations, grants, or funds from public or private sources to help perform its duties.
The act also eliminates obsolete reporting requirements.
The act maintains the same appointment categories as under prior law and adds the director of DESPP's Division of Scientific Services. Thus, the task force must consist of the following members or their designees:
1. the Judiciary Committee chairpersons and ranking members;
2. the chief state's attorney;
3. the chief public defender;
4. the victim advocate;
5. an active or retired judge appointed by the Supreme Court chief justice;
6. a municipal police chief appointed by the Connecticut Police Chief Association's president;
7. the director of DESPP's Division of Scientific Services;
8. a POST representative;
9. a State Police Training School representative appointed by the DESPP commissioner;
10. a representative of the criminal defense bar appointed by the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association's president;
11. a Connecticut Innocence Project representative; and
12. six members of the public, each appointed by one of the six legislative leaders. (These appointments must include a dean from a Connecticut law school and a social scientist.)
§ 9 — REPEAL OF DUPLICATIVE MEDICAID FRAUD LEGISLATIVE REPORT
The act repeals a statute that required the chief state's attorney to annually report to the Appropriations Committee on the Division of Criminal Justice's monetary recoveries resulting from its investigations of fraud related to the Department of Social Services' (DSS) medical assistance programs (CGS § 51-279e).
Another law, unchanged by the act, requires the chief state's attorney to report similar information on Medicaid fraud recoveries as part of a report the DSS commissioner must annually submit together with the chief state's attorney and the attorney general (CGS § 17b-99b).
PA 17-99, § 18, allows enforcement of a financial restitution order up to 10 years after the termination of the offender's probation.