PA 17-99—sHB 7198

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING COURT OPERATIONS, VICTIM SERVICES, FRAUDULENT FILINGS AND TRANSFERS OF AN INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY TO A TRUST

SUMMARY: This act makes unrelated changes to various laws, including those that deal with court operations, victim services, fraudulent filings, and the transfer of property held in trust.

For court operations, the act primarily establishes the appropriate venue for certain housing matters.

With regard to victim services, the act makes the following changes, among others:

1. expands the powers and duties of the Office of Victim Services (OVS);

2. creates a new process for victims seeking enforcement of financial restitution orders;

3. makes more victims eligible for victim compensation from OVS by expanding the types of injuries, crimes, and situations that are compensable;

4. allows up to an additional $5,000 above the maximum $15,000 personal injury award for certain child-victims; and

5. (A) allows OVS to waive consideration of available health insurance when determining victim compensation and (B) requires health care providers to suspend debt collection from victims in certain circumstances.

The act (1) makes it a crime, punishable as a class D felony (see Table on Penalties), to file a false record on a municipal land record or under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and (2) gives victims a cause of action to petition the court to invalidate such a record.

The act also makes changes to various unrelated statutes. It:

1. expands (a) the availability of civil protection orders to certain stalking victims and (b) victims' access to juvenile records;

2. excuses individuals who served as federal jurors during the three prior years from serving as state jurors; and

3. establishes the validity of any conveyance of interest in real property by, or to, trusts and trustees.

It additionally makes minor, technical, and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017, except (1) January 1, 2018 for the fraudulent reporting provisions and (2) upon passage for the provisions on family support magistrates, the Willimantic courthouse, housing matters moving to judicial district courts, and the publication of sentence review decisions.

1 — CIVIL PROTECTION ORDERS

By law, victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking are eligible for civil protection orders if they are not eligible for civil restraining orders (which are available only to family and household members).

The act makes two changes related to civil protection orders. It (1) creates a specific definition of “stalking” for the purpose of civil protection orders that expands their availability to additional stalking victims and (2) allows applicants to request that their location be kept confidential.

Stalking Definition

Under the act, stalking victims are eligible for civil protection orders if they reasonably fear for their safety because someone who is not a family or household member willfully harasses, follows, lies in wait for, surveils, monitors, or sends unwanted gifts or messages to such individuals directly, indirectly, or through a third person, by any method, device, or other means and does so more than once in a threatening, predatory, or disturbing manner. To be eligible for a civil protection order under prior law, a stalking victim had to be a victim of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree stalking as defined in the penal code (see BACKGROUND).

Confidential Applicant Location Information

By law, an applicant for a civil protection order must submit an affidavit stating, under oath, the specific facts of the case. The act allows the applicant to ask the court to keep his or her location information confidential by attesting that its disclosure would jeopardize the health, safety, or liberty of the applicant or his or her children. It requires the chief court administrator to prescribe the form for making such requests.

2 & 3 — VICTIM ACCESS TO JUVENILE RECORDS

The act expands victim access to juvenile records in delinquency matters. It (1) gives victims the right to access specified information without a court order, (2) creates a process by which a party may object to the release of such information, and (3) specifies other information that the court may release and factors it must consider before doing so.

Under the act, a “victim” is (1) a person who is the victim of a delinquent act; (2) his or her legal representative; (3) a parent or guardian, if the person is a minor; or (4) a victim advocate.

Victim's Right to Access Records

Under prior law, the victim of a child's delinquent act could request access to the child's related juvenile records, and such records had to be available to the same extent that a criminal defendant's records are available to a crime victim.

Under the act, whether a matter is disposed of in or outside of the courtroom, the victim of a child's delinquent act must have access to the following without the need for a court order:

1. the name and address of the child and the child's parents or guardian;

2. any charges pending against the child when the victim requests information related to the delinquent act;

3. information on the disposition of the matter related to the delinquent act; and

4. any court order pertaining to the victim, including any “no contact” order between the child and the victim.

The act allows the victim to use this information in a subsequent civil action for damages related to the child's delinquent act. However, as under existing law, the victim must not further disclose this information unless authorized by the court.

Objection to Disclosure Without a Court Order

The act allows a prosecutorial official or an attorney representing the child, including a public defender, to file an objection with the court requesting that the above information not be disclosed because its disclosure may jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or the safety of the child, a witness, or another person.

The act requires the court to state on the record the specific reason for sustaining any objection to the disclosure.

Records the Court May Disclose and Factors It Must Consider

The act allows the court, for good cause shown, to give victims access to other juvenile records, such as police reports, arrest warrants, search warrants, and related affidavits associated with the warrants that involve the victim. It prohibits the victim from further disclosing this information without a court order.

The act requires the court, in determining whether good cause exists, to consider:

1. the child's age,

2. the degree of victim injury or property damage caused by the child's delinquent act,

3. whether a compelling reason exists for disclosure or nondisclosure of the information in the records, and

4. whether the release of the information would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation.

When making a good cause determination, the court may not consider whether the victim has an alternate means of ascertaining the information.

4 & 20 — SCHOOL VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM

By law, the school violence prevention program is a pretrial diversionary program for students charged with an offense involving the use or threatened use of physical violence in or on school property or at a school-sponsored activity.

Under prior law, the program consisted of at least eight group counseling sessions in anger management and nonviolent conflict resolution. The act eliminates the eight-session minimum requirement and makes a conforming change.

5 — FAMILY SUPPORT MAGISTRATES

Starting January 1, 2017, the law required the governor to nominate and the legislature to appoint nine family support magistrates to serve five-year terms. Prior to that date, the governor appointed the nine magistrates to serve three-year terms without legislative approval.

The law requires family support magistrates serving on December 31, 2016 to continue to serve until their three-year terms expire unless they are removed from office. After their terms expire, they must continue to serve until (1) a successor is appointed or (2) the legislature disapproves their reappointment. (The law allows the governor to nominate family support magistrates for reappointment.)

Under the act, if a family support magistrate continues to serve after the expiration of the three-year term and is nominated by the governor for reappointment, the magistrate's five-year term must begin on the date that the legislature approves the nomination for reappointment. Prior law did not specify when a subsequent term commences.

COURT OPERATIONS

Venue for Housing Matters ( 6, 11-16, 51 & 52)

The act makes various changes to laws pertaining to the court venue for housing matters and makes conforming changes in related laws.

Transfer of Housing Cases ( 6). Under the act, a judge presiding over a housing case who determines that the case is not a housing matter may transfer the case only to the regular docket in a judicial district court. Under prior law, the judge could transfer such a case to either the geographic area court or the judicial district court.

Civil Actions for Windham and Ashford Residents ( 11). The act allows a plaintiff to file civil actions in either the Windham or Tolland judicial district court if the plaintiff or defendant is from either town. Previously such residents could only file their civil actions in the Windham judicial district court.

Housing Matters in Judicial District Courts ( 11). By law, with some exceptions, all civil process must be returned to specific judicial district courts. The act generally requires civil process for actions involving housing matters, except for those described below, to be returned to the judicial district where the property is located, except process must be returned to:

1. either the judicial district of Hartford or New Britain, at the plaintiff's option, if the premises are located in Avon, Canton, Farmington, Newington, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, or Wethersfield;

2. the judicial district of New Haven, if the premises are located in Milford, Orange, or West Haven (after filing the action, the plaintiff or defendant may request a change in venue to the New Haven or Waterbury judicial districts); and

3. the judicial district of Ansonia-Milford, if the premises are located in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, or Shelton.

Housing Matters in Geographic Area Courts ( 15 & 52). Under the act, in any judicial district in which housing matters are heard on a separate docket (as described below), the venue generally must be in the housing session for the judicial district for an action pertaining to one or more violations of (1) any state or municipal health, housing, building, electrical, plumbing, fire or sanitation code, including in commercial properties, or (2) any other statute, ordinance, or regulation regarding the health, safety, or welfare of any occupant of any housing. However, the New Haven judicial district court is the venue for any such action for premises located in Milford, Orange, or West Haven.

In all other judicial districts, when such actions are on the criminal docket, the venue must be the geographic area where the premises are located.

The act also repeals a law that establishes the geographic area courts where actions pertaining to landlord-tenant, summary process, and local health and building code violations are returnable.

Housing Matters on a Separate Docket in Judicial District Courts ( 16). Under existing law, housing matters must be heard on a separate docket in the Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Fairfield, Waterbury, and Stamford-Norwalk judicial districts. Under the act, the judge assigned to hear housing matters in the:

1. Hartford judicial district must hear them in New Britain,

2. New Haven judicial district must hear them in Waterbury, and

3. Fairfield judicial district must hear them in Stamford-Norwalk.

Under the act, the records, files, and other documents pertaining to housing matters must be maintained separately from other court records. Housing matters do not have to be heard in the courthouse to which the process is returned and where the pleadings are filed.

The Willimantic Courthouse ( 7 & 12-14)

The act removes statutory references to the Willimantic courthouse, which closed on October 31, 2016.

Jury Duty ( 10)

The act adds two circumstances under which a Connecticut resident may be excused from jury duty by disqualifying, for the jury year starting September 1, 2017, and each jury year after that, someone who served in federal court in Connecticut during the three prior jury years as a (1) federal juror on a matter that has been tried by a jury or (2) federal grand juror.

Anyone claiming disqualification based on such service must provide proof of federal jury service to the jury administrator.

Alternative Program for Certain Motor Vehicle Offenders ( 39)

By law, the court, at its discretion, may refer offenders charged with certain motor vehicle violations or certain alcohol-related offenses to an alternative incarceration program, which provides defendants with a forum to hear from victims of underage drinking, drunk driving, distracted driving, or other motor vehicle violations.

Under existing law, the court may do so on the motion of the defendant, state's attorney, or prosecuting attorney, if the defendant is under age 21 and has not participated in the program before. The act expands eligibility for the program, to include defendants who were under age 21 when the offense was committed but older than 21 when the motion was filed. (PA 17-79 makes this diversionary program unavailable to anyone (1) charged with using a handheld cellphone while driving or (2) who, at the time of the violation, holds a commercial driver's license or instruction permit or is operating a commercial motor vehicle.)

By law, this program is not available to defendants charged with (1) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; (2) a motor vehicle violation that caused serious injury or death; or (3) unless good cause is shown, a motor vehicle violation classified as a felony.

Obsolete Language, Functions, and Reports ( 8-9 & 51-52)

The act eliminates various obsolete or redundant requirements, replacing them in some cases with modernized or electronic alternatives.

Sentence Review Decisions. The act eliminates the requirement for the Reporter of Judicial Decisions to select sentence review decisions for publication in the Connecticut Law Journal or Connecticut Supplement. In practice, these sentence review decisions are available to the public as Superior Court decisions are.

Supreme Court Records and Briefs. The act eliminates the requirement for the Reporter of Judicial Decisions to get Supreme Court records and briefs, bind them, and send copies to the State Library and each law library. It instead requires the chief clerk of the Supreme Court to electronically provide the State Library with publicly available briefs of all Supreme and Appellate Court cases, in a format and on a schedule mutually agreed to by the chief clerk of the Supreme Court and the state librarian.

Serious Juvenile Offender Report. The act eliminates the requirement that the judicial branch report quarterly to the legislature on serious juvenile offenders. The Juvenile Justice Policy Oversight Committee now collects this data.

Volunteer Lawyer Program. The act eliminates this program, which was established to protect people injured by a civil wrong. OVS now serves in this role.

Tort Victims Prior to July 1, 1993. The act eliminates language specifying that such victims are not precluded from seeking victim compensation.

17-19 — VICTIM FINANCIAL RESTITUTION

The law allows a court, when imposing a sentence of probation or conditional release, to order an offender to make financial restitution to a victim. The act creates a process for victims to seek enforcement of such an order that is similar to the process for seeking enforcement of a judgment in a civil action.

The act also allows the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division (CSSD), if authorized by a judge, to set the restitution amount, specify the manner of payment, and notify the victim that the restitution order may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment in a civil action.

Statute of Limitations. Under prior law, a person could enforce a financial obligation order within 10 years after the (1) offender's release from confinement or (2) entry of the order and sentence, whichever is longer. Under the act, the enforcement period is within 10 years after the (1) offender's release from confinement or termination of probation or (2) entry of the order and sentence, whichever is longer.

Filing of Order and Affidavit. The act requires the party seeking enforcement of the financial obligation order to file a copy of the order of restitution and an affidavit with the Superior Court.

The agency or entity monitoring payment of the obligations must prepare the affidavit on a form prescribed by the chief court administrator. The affidavit must (1) attest to the terms of restitution and manner of performance fixed by the court or CSSD and (2) identify the amount of the obligation that has been paid and the amount that is owed.

Notice. Within 30 days after filing the judgment and the affidavit with the court, the act requires the party seeking enforcement of the order to notify the offender at his or her last known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.

Proceeds Distribution. The act prohibits the court from distributing the proceeds of an execution earlier than 30 days after proof of service has been filed. Under the act, the court may not collect a fee for the filing of an execution, and a marshal's fees for service of an execution must be the same as those in other civil actions.

21-38 & 40 — OVS COMPENSATION

Compensation Time Frames ( 28)

Under existing law, to be eligible for compensation, a victim must report the crime to the police within five days of the incident or within five days of when a report could reasonably be made. But a sexual assault victim may still be eligible for compensation if he or she instead (1) told a medical or mental health provider or an advocate about the assault or (2) went to a health care facility to have a sexual assault forensic exam done. The act increases, from 72 hours to 120 hours, the time within which a sexual assault victim must go to the facility to be eligible for compensation.

Under the act, a victim of sexual assault, prostitution, or trafficking may also be eligible for compensation if he or she fails to report the crime but disclosed the injury to one of the professionals specified in existing law and the act, such as a doctor, nurse, or domestic violence or sexual assault counselor.

By law, a victim generally must apply to OVS for compensation within two years of the date of the incident.

Qualifying Injuries, Crime Locations, and Situations ( 21 & 25-28)

The act expands the types of injuries, crimes, and situations that make a victim eligible for victim compensation from OVS.

Injuries. By law, homicide victims and victims who suffer personal injury are generally eligible for compensation. A deceased victim's dependents are considered victims for the purpose of the claim. The act further expands the group of individuals eligible for victim compensation by classifying aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews as relatives who may be considered the deceased victim's dependents. Under existing law, “relatives” include spouses, parents, grandparents, stepparents, and children. To be considered a dependent, the relative must have been at least partially dependent on the victim's income.

Under prior law, “personal injury” included (1) actual bodily harm and mental anguish that is a direct result of bodily injury or (2) injury to a disabled person's guide or assistance dog. The act broadens the compensation eligibility criteria by expanding the definition of personal injury and including as eligible victims those who:

1. suffered actual bodily harm;

2. experienced mental or emotional impairment that requires treatment through services and is directly attributable to a threat of physical injury or the direct victim's death (i.e., “emotional harm”); or

3. have a disability and whose service animal was injured or died.

Compensation Limits. Prior law generally limited crime victim compensation to a maximum of $15,000 for personal injuries. The act allows OVS or a victim compensation commissioner, under certain circumstances, to award up to an additional $5,000 above the $15,000 maximum award. Under the act, the additional amount is allowed if, when the application for compensation or financial restitution is filed, the victim is a minor who has additional medical or mental health counseling needs (see BACKGROUND).

The act additionally allows victims who sustain only emotional harm to be awarded a maximum of $5,000 in compensation for medical and mental health care.

Under existing law, unchanged by the act, (1) crime victim compensation is generally limited to $25,000 for death and (2) OVS or a victim compensation commissioner may award amounts above the statutory maximum for good cause shown and upon a finding of compelling equitable circumstances.

Circumstances and Location of Crime. Under existing law, a victim may be eligible for crime victim compensation if he or she sustained personal injury or died as a result of (1) a crime as defined in state law or (2) a crime involving international terrorism as defined in federal law. The act adds any crime that occurred outside of U.S. territory, if (1) it would be considered a crime in Connecticut, (2) the victim is a Connecticut resident, and (3) the country in which the crime occurred does not have a compensation program for which the victim is eligible.

Other Permissible Compensation Situations. The act adds the following to the grounds on which OVS or, on review, a victim compensation commissioner, may order compensation:

1. a personal injury or death that resulted from the operation of a water vessel, snow mobile, or all-terrain vehicle operated by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs (instead of just a motor vehicle as under prior law);

2. when (a) a victim discloses a personal injury from alleged violations of prostitution or trafficking in persons laws to a doctor; nurse; psychologist; police officer; mental health professional; emergency medical service provider; marriage or family therapist; domestic violence, sexual assault, alcohol and drugs, or professional counselor; clinical social worker; Department of Children and Families employee; or school principal, teacher, or guidance counselor and (b) OVS or the commissioner, as the case may be, reasonably concludes that the violation occurred;

3. when a victim discloses a personal injury from alleged violations of sexual assault laws to a school principal, teacher, or guidance counselor;

4. a personal injury suffered by a domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual assault, or stalking victim (a) as reported in an application granted by the court for a restraining order or civil protection order, the supporting affidavit, or in the court record or (b) as disclosed to a domestic violence or sexual assault counselor;

5. pecuniary loss an injured victim or relatives or dependents of an injured victim suffered from attending related criminal court proceedings, not only those pecuniary losses due to attending such a proceeding related to a deceased victim as under prior law;

6. pecuniary loss due to a crime scene cleanup; and

7. loss of up to one week's wages by a deceased victim's parent or guardian.

Insurance as a Collateral Source ( 25)

Under prior law, OVS, in determining victim compensation, was required to consider the amount a victim receives from other sources, including health insurance. The act expands this requirement by allowing OVS to consider all types of insurance.

And it simultaneously allows OVS to waive the consideration of health insurance as a collateral source in a domestic violence, sexual assault, or child abuse case in which the victim or the claimant believes that the dissemination of treatment information associated with a health insurance claim would cause undue harm.

Existing law, unchanged by the act, prohibits OVS from considering life insurance benefits.

Collection of Health Care Provider's Debt ( 38)

The act requires a health care provider; its attorney, employees, or agent; and any collection agency acting on the provider's behalf to promptly stop efforts to collect any debt that resulted from treatment of injuries associated with a pending victim compensation claim. They must do so as soon as they become aware of the collection efforts and receive notice from OVS that the debtor has a pending claim.

The collection efforts must be discontinued until (1) a compensation award is made, (2) the claim is approved without payment, or (3) the claim is determined to be not compensable. Any applicable statute of limitations for the collection of the debt must be tolled during the collection suspension period.

Under the act, a “health care provider” is any person or organization licensed or certified to provide health care services, including (1) institutions such as hospitals, hospice facilities, residential care homes, nursing homes, home health care agencies, and assisted living agencies, and (2) state-run health care institutions or facilities.

Attorneys' and Other Providers' Compensation ( 24)

By law, OVS or, on review, a victim compensation commissioner, may determine and allow reasonable attorney's fees of up to 15% of the compensation award.

The act requires the victim's attorney to (1) communicate with providers about outstanding balances after attorney's fees are deducted and (2) ensure payment to the providers as documented by OVS. (Presumably, payment is from the award balance.)

Office of Victim Services ( 22, 29, 34, 36 & 37)

Powers and Duties. The act makes the following changes to OVS's powers and duties:

1. authorizes OVS to direct each university or college health service center, community health center, or hospital to prominently display posters in a conspicuous location giving notice of the availability of victim compensation and assistance (under prior law, OVS had the authority to direct hospitals to display such posters in their emergency rooms);

2. requires OVS to develop a request form to obtain the data existing law requires the office to obtain from the state's attorney and police to review a compensation application;

3. eliminates the requirement that OVS direct medical examinations of victims in order for the victims to receive compensation;

4. removes the requirement that OVS consult with the Criminal Justice Division in assigning victim advocates;

5. requires OVS to (a) inform victims of their rights and available services and (b) maintain a victim notification system and a toll-free number for victims to access the information, replacing prior law's requirement that OVS provide victims with a notification clearinghouse;

6. allows OVS to email its decision to the applicant and deems the delivery complete upon sending the email, unless OVS or a compensation commissioner learns that the email was not delivered;

7. reduces, from six to four, the number of times per year that the state advisory council must meet to recommend legislation to improve OVS's program;

8. requires OVS to (a) maintain, within available appropriations, the existing sexual assault forensic examiners program to train examiners of sexual assault victims who are patients at participating health care facilities, rather than at acute care facilities, as under prior law, or (b) establish, within available appropriations, a training program for health care professionals in nonparticipating health care facilities on the care and collection of evidence from adolescent and adult sexual assault victims;

9. eliminates the requirement that OVS and the Department of Correction's Victim Services Unit use certified, rather than regular, mail to notify people who asked to be notified when an inmate applies for release, sentence reduction or review, or exemption or removal from sex offender registration; and

10. allows OVS to expedite the processing of a claim if it determines that the claimant would otherwise experience undue hardship, replacing prior law's “emergency award” process.

Victim Impact Statements and Advocates ( 35 & 40)

The act eliminates a requirement that a victim impact statement, prepared with a victim advocate's assistance, be placed in the court file.

Under the act, a victim advocate must receive, upon request, a copy of any police report that the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, municipal police departments, or any other law enforcement agency has that the victim advocate needs to perform his or her responsibilities and duties.

Prosecuting Authority ( 22 & 25)

By law, a victim has the right to submit to the prosecutor a statement about his or her injuries, financial losses, and loss of earnings directly resulting from the crime. The act requires the prosecutor to file the statement with the sentencing court, and the statement must be made a part of the record the court considers at sentencing.

The act also eliminates a provision under prior law that allowed a prosecutor to ask OVS to suspend acting on a claim on the grounds that a prosecution for an offense arising out of the claim had started or was imminent.

46-49 — FRAUDULENT FILING

Filing a False Record ( 46)

The act creates a new class D felony, filing a false record. A person commits the crime by filing a false record against real or personal property. Specifically, to be guilty, a person must, with intent to defraud, deceive, injure, or harass another person, file, or cause to be filed with a municipality, a record he or she knows, or reasonably should know, is false.

Under the act, a person is guilty of filing a false record under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) when, with intent to defraud, deceive, injure, or harass another, he or she files, or causes to be filed, with the secretary of the state or a municipality, a record he or she knows, or reasonably should know, is false. For the act's purposes, a “record” is information inscribed on a tangible medium or stored in an electronic or other medium and retrievable in perceivable form, including any record recorded in a town clerk's office.

Court Process for Victim of a Fraudulent Filing ( 47-49)

The act establishes identical court procedures for victims of a fraudulent UCC or municipal land record filing.

Petition. A victim of fraudulent filing may petition the Tax and Administrative Appeals Session of the Superior Court to invalidate a false filing or related amendment. Petitioners must (1) include as part of the petition a certified copy of the filing and any amendment that they seek to invalidate and (2) send a copy of the petition to all parties named in the filing. There are no court fees to petition for a hearing.

Court Review and Hearing. The court must review the petition and determine whether cause exists to doubt the validity of the filing or amendment (i.e., record). The court must, within 60 days after determining that cause exists, hold a hearing to determine whether to invalidate the record or grant other appropriate relief.

Good Cause Factors. In determining whether cause exists to doubt the validity of a record, the court may consider factors that include whether:

1. the record is related to either a valid existing or potential commercial, financial, or real estate transaction or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction;

2. the same individual is named as both debtor and creditor;

3. an individual is named as a transmitting utility (e.g., an electric company); and

4. the record has been filed with the intent to defraud, deceive, injure, or harass a person, business, or government entity.

Judgment. If the court determines after a hearing that the record identified in the petition is not valid, it must (1) render a judgment that the record is void in its entirety and (2) direct the record's custodian, when feasible, to note that the record is invalid. The court may grant any other relief it deems appropriate. The petitioner must provide a copy of the petition and the judgment to the record's custodian.

50 — TRUST PROPERTY

Conveyance by a Trust or Trustee

By law, when executed by a duly authorized trustee, any conveyance of real property made by a trust must be treated as if it were made by the trustee. The act specifies that the reverse is also true (i.e., any conveyance made and executed by a properly authorized trustee must be treated as if the transfer was made by the trust).

Recording of Trust Instruments

The act requires the town clerk to index an instrument by the name of the trust and trustee identified in the instrument if the grantor, grantee, releasor, releasee, assignor, assignee, transferor, or transferee is a trust.

Under the act, in the absence of evidence in the land records indicating otherwise, it must be presumed that the (1) person who executed the instrument on the trust's behalf was properly authorized to do so and (2) trust on whose behalf the person acted contained a provision giving the trustee or trustees the power to convey an interest in real property.

BACKGROUND

Stalking Crimes

By law, a person commits:

1. 3rd degree stalking, a class B misdemeanor, when he or she recklessly causes another person to reasonably fear for his or her physical safety by wilfully and repeatedly following or lying in wait for the other person;

2. 2nd degree stalking, a class A misdemeanor, by (a) knowingly engaging in certain conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his, her, or a third person's physical safety or (b) intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engaging in certain conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened; and

3. 1st degree stalking, a class D felony, when he or she commits 2nd degree stalking and (a) was previously convicted of 2nd degree stalking, (b) violates a court order in effect at the time of the offense, or (c) the victim is under age 16 (CGS 53a-181c et seq.).

Related Acts

PA 17-31 (1) expands the conduct that constitutes stalking by including conduct that causes “emotional distress” and (2) specifies that electronic or social media are among the methods, devices, or means by which conduct that constitutes stalking may occur.

PA 17-79 makes the diversionary program for certain motor vehicle offenders unavailable to anyone (1) charged with using a handheld cellphone while driving or (2) who, at the time of the violation, holds a commercial driver's license or instruction permit or is operating a commercial motor vehicle.

PA 17-87 extends by 10 years the period during which a victim can enforce and collect financial restitution.

OLR Tracking: MK

OTHER ACTS AMENDED:

INDEX SUGGESTIONS:

VICTIM SERVICES, OFFICE OF

VICTIM Compensation

HOUSING Matters

Protection Orders

False Records

CRIME VICTIMS

Juvenile Records

Family Support Magistrates

School violence Prevention Program

COURTS

Trusts