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A03695
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
502
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BARTOLOTTA, HUGHES, HAYWOOD, SCHWANK, LEACH,
BAKER, COLLETT, KILLION, A. WILLIAMS, FARNESE, COSTA, STREET,
PHILLIPS-HILL, TARTAGLIONE, STEFANO, YUDICHAK, BREWSTER AND
J. WARD, MARCH 25, 2019
SENATOR BAKER, JUDICIARY, AS AMENDED, MAY 1, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111),
entitled "An act providing for victims' rights; imposing
penalties; establishing remedies; establishing the Office of
Victim Advocate, the Bureau of Victims' Services, the
Victims' Services Advisory Committee, the State Offender
Supervision Fund and other funds; and making repeals," in
preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions; in
crime victims, further providing for rights, for
responsibilities of victims of crime under basic bill of
rights, for responsibilities of State and local law
enforcement agencies and for responsibilities of prosecutor's
office; in administration, further providing for office, for
powers and duties of victim advocate and for powers and
duties of Office of Victims' Services; in parole advocacy,
further providing for preparole notification to victim and
for petitions to deny parole upon expiration of minimum
sentence; in compensation, further providing for persons
eligible for compensation, for filing of claims for
compensation, for minimum allowable claim, for determination
of claims, for emergency awards, for awards and for
confidentiality of records; in services, further providing
for eligibility of victims; in financial matters, further
providing for costs and for costs for offender supervision
programs; and, in enforcement, further providing for
subrogation.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "crime," "family,"
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"intervenor," "local law enforcement agency," "loss of
earnings," "out-of-pocket loss" and "personal injury crime" in
section 103 of the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111),
known as the Crime Victims Act, are amended and the section is
amended by adding definitions to read:
Section 103. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Campus police." As defined in section 302 of the act of
November 29, 2004 (P.L.1383, No.180), known as the Uniform Crime
Reporting Act.
* * *
"Crime." An act which was committed:
(1) In this Commonwealth by a person, including a
juvenile, without regard to legal exemption or defense which
would constitute a crime under the following:
(i) The act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64),
known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and
Cosmetic Act.
(ii) 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses).
30 Pa.C.S. § 5502 (relating to operating
watercraft under influence of alcohol or controlled
substance).
30 Pa.C.S. § 5502.1 (relating to homicide by
watercraft while operating under influence).
The former 75 Pa.C.S. § 3731 (relating to driving
under influence of alcohol or controlled substance).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3732 (relating to homicide by
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vehicle).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3732.1 (relating to aggravated
assault by vehicle).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3733 (relating to fleeing or
attempting to elude police officer).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3734 (relating to driving without
lights to avoid identification or arrest).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3735 (relating to homicide by
vehicle while driving under influence).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3735.1 (relating to aggravated
assault by vehicle while driving under the
influence).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3742 (relating to accidents
involving death or personal injury).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3742.1 (relating to accidents
involving death or personal injury while not properly
licensed) if the nature and circumstances of the
offense committed are substantially similar to an
offense under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742.
75 Pa.C.S. Ch. 38 (relating to driving after
imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs).
(iii) The laws of the United States.
(2) Against a resident of this Commonwealth which would
be a crime under paragraph (1) but for its occurrence in a
location other than this Commonwealth.
(3) Against a resident of this Commonwealth which is an
act of international terrorism.
* * *
"Family." When used in reference to an individual:
(1) anyone related to that individual within the third
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degree of consanguinity or affinity;
(2) anyone maintaining a common-law relationship prior
to January 2, 2005, with that individual; or
(3) anyone residing in the same household with that
individual.
"Financial support." Includes the loss of court-ordered
child or spousal support payments if the victim is deprived of
money as a direct result of a crime.
* * *
"Intervenor." An individual who goes to the aid of another
and suffers physical or mental injury or death as a direct
result of acting not recklessly to prevent the commission of a
crime, to lawfully apprehend a person reasonably suspected of
having committed such crime or to aid the victim of such crime.
The term does not include an enforcement officer or investigator
injured in the performance of his or her duties, eligible for
benefits under the act of June 28, 1935 (P.L.477, No.193),
referred to as the Enforcement Officer Disability Benefits Law,
or under the act of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736, No.338), known as the
Workers' Compensation Act.
* * *
"Local law enforcement agency." A police department of a
city, borough, incorporated town or township or campus police.
"Loss of earnings." [Includes] An economic loss resulting
from an injury or death to a victim of a crime that has not been
and will not be reimbursed from any other source. The term
includes the loss of the cash equivalent of one month's worth of
Social Security, railroad retirement, pension plan, retirement
plan, disability, veteran's retirement, [court-ordered child
support or court-ordered spousal] loss of support payments if
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the payments are the primary source of the victim's income or
other similar benefit, and the victim is deprived of money as a
direct result of a crime.
"Loss of support." The loss of verifiable financial support
the direct victim would have contributed to surviving dependents
that is lost due to the death of the direct victim as a direct
result of a crime.
* * *
"Out-of-pocket loss." The term includes the following losses
which shall be reimbursed at a rate set by the Office of
Victims' Services:
(1) expenses for unreimbursed and unreimbursable
expenses or indebtedness incurred for medical care,
nonmedical remedial care and treatment as approved by the
Office of Victims' Services or other services;
(2) expenses for counseling, prosthetic devices,
wheelchairs, canes, walkers, hearing aids, eyeglasses or
other corrective lenses or dental devices reasonably
necessary as a result of the crime upon which the claim is
based and for which the claimant either has paid or is
liable;
(3) expenses related to the reasonable and necessary
costs of cleaning the crime scene of a private residence or
privately owned motor vehicle. "Cleaning" means to remove or
attempt to remove stains or blood caused by the crime or
other dirt or debris caused by the processing of the crime
scene;
(4) expenses resulting from the temporary or permanent
relocation of a direct victim and individuals residing in the
household of the direct victim due to the incident forming
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the basis of the victim's claim when there is an immediate
need to protect the safety and health of the victim and
individuals residing in the household, as verified by a
medical provider, human services provider or law enforcement;
(5) expenses for physical examinations and materials
used to obtain evidence; or
(6) other reasonable expenses which are deemed necessary
as a direct result of the criminal incident.
Except as otherwise provided, the term does not include property
damage or pain and suffering.
"Personal injury crime." An act, attempt [or threat],
solic itation or conspiracy to commit an act which would
constitute a misdemeanor or felony under the following:
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 25 (relating to criminal homicide).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 27 (relating to assault).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 28 (relating to antihazing).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 29 (relating to kidnapping).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 30 (relating to human traf ficking).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 (relating to sexual offenses).
18 Pa.C.S. § 3301 (relating to arson and related
offenses).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 37 (relating to robbery).
18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 49 Subch. B (relating to victim and
witness intimidation).
18 Pa.C.S. § 5131 (relating to recruiting criminal gang
members).
18 Pa.C.S. § 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).
18 Pa.C.S. § 6318 (relating to unlawful contact with
minor).
18 Pa.C.S. § 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of
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children).
30 Pa.C.S. § 5502.1 (relating to homicide by watercraft
while operating under influence).
The former 75 Pa.C.S. § 3731 (relating to driving under
influence of alcohol or controlled substance) in cases
involving bodily injury.
75 Pa.C.S. § 3732 (relating to homicide by vehicle).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3732.1 (relating to aggravated assault by
vehicle).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3733 (relating to fleeing or attempting to
elude police officer).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3734 (relating to driving without lights to
avoid identification or arrest).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3735 (relating to homicide by vehicle while
driving under influence).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3735.1 (relating to aggravated assault by
vehicle while driving under the influence).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3742 (relating to accidents involving death
or personal injury).
75 Pa.C.S. § 3742.1 (relating to accidents involving
death or personal injury while not properly licensed) if the
nature and circumstances of the offense committed are
substantially similar to an offense under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742.
75 Pa.C.S. Ch. 38 (relating to driving after imbibing
alcohol or utilizing drugs) in cases involving bodily injury.
The term includes violations of any protective order issued as a
result of an act related to domestic violence. THE TERM INCLUDES
A CRIME OF VIOLENCE AS DEFINED IN 42 PA.C.S. § 9714(G) (RELATING
TO SENTENCES FOR SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES).
* * *
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Section 2. Section 201(11) of the act is amended and the
section is amended by adding a paragraph to read:
Section 201. Rights.
Victims of crime have the following rights:
* * *
(1.1) If eligible to apply, to be notified of the
Address Confidentiality Program under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 67
(relating to domestic and sexual violence victim address
confidentiality).
* * *
(11) To have assistance in the preparation of,
submission of and follow-up on financial assistance claims to
the [bureau] Office of Victims' Services.
* * *
Section 3. Sections 211, 212(b), (c) and (e) and 213(a), (d)
and (g) of the act are amended to read:
Section 211. Responsibilities of victims of crime under basic
bill of rights.
[A] Except as provided for victims enrolled in the Address
Confidentiality Program under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 67 (relating to
domestic and sexual violence victim address confidentiality), a
victim shall provide a valid address and telephone number and
any other required information to all agencies responsible for
providing information and notice to the victim. The victim shall
be responsible for providing timely notice of any changes in the
status of the information. The information provided shall not be
disclosed to any person other than a law enforcement agency,
corrections agency or prosecutor's office without the prior
written consent of the victim.
Section 212. Responsibilities of State and local law
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enforcement agencies.
* * *
(b) Notice.--
(1) [Law enforcement agencies shall within 48 hours of
reporting give notice to the direct victim or, if
appropriate, a member of the direct victim's family of the
availability of crime victims' compensation. The notice
required under this subsection shall be in writing and in a
manner and form developed by the Office of Victims'
Services.] The law enforcement officer responding to or
investigating an incident shall provide basic information on
the rights and services available for crime victims and the
availability of crime victims' compensation to the direct
victim or, if appropriate, a member of the direct victim's
family. The information shall be provided when the officer
has first contact with the victim or as soon as reasonably
possible. The information required under this subsection
shall be in a written notice in a manner or form developed by
the Office of Victims' Services.
(2) [Law enforcement agencies shall provide basic
information on the rights and services available for crime
victims. The information shall be in writing and shall be
provided to the victim within 24 hours of the law enforcement
agency's first contact with the victim in a manner and form
to be developed by the Office of Victims' Services.] Law
enforcement agencies shall be responsible for ensuring that
officers provide the notification required under paragraph
(1).
(c) Application.--[The written notification provided for in
subsection (b)(1) shall be accompanied by one copy of the
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application form for crime victims' compensation. Application
forms shall be supplied by the Office of Victims' Services to
law enforcement agencies. A record of the date of notification
shall be maintained by the law enforcement agency.] The Office
of Victims' Services shall maintain a mailing list of all local
law enforcement agencies and provide law enforcement agencies
with forms by which they can order [additional] claim forms. The
Office of Victims' Services shall also provide updates to law
enforcement agencies on changes which affect their
responsibilities under this act.
(e) [Forms.--The form developed by the Office of Victims'
Services shall be attached to the police report and shall
include a victim checkoff signifying that the information has
been provided to the crime victim.] Confirmation.--The law
enforcement officer responding to or investigating an incident
shall indicate on the police report that the information
required under subsection (b) was provided to the victim.
* * *
Section 213. Responsibilities of prosecutor's office.
(a) Forms.--The prosecutor's office shall provide the victim
of a personal injury crime with all forms developed pursuant to
sections 214 and 215 with exception to State cases whereupon the
victim advocate shall provide all necessary forms.
* * *
(d) Release.--[In a personal injury crime, the prosecutor's
office shall provide notice of the opportunity to submit input
into State correctional release decisions, to receive notice of
any release of an adult from a State or local correctional
facility and to receive notice of the commitment to a mental
health institution from a State or local correctional
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institution.] The following shall apply:
(1) In a personal injury crime, the prosecutor's office
shall provide the victim advocate with victim information on
all personal injury cases when a State sentence is imposed:
(i) so the victim advocate may provide notice of
opportunity to submit input into State correctional
release decisions;
(ii) to provide notice of any release of an adult
from a State correctional institution; and
(iii) to provide notice of the commitment to a
mental health institution from a State correctional
institution.
(2) In a personal injury crime, the prosecutor's office
shall provide notice of any release of an adult from a local
correctional institution and provide notice of the commitment
to a mental health institution from a local correctional
institution.
* * *
(g) Assistance.--The prosecutor's office shall provide
assistance to the victim in all of the following:
(1) Preparation of statements under section 201(5).
(2) Preparation of, submission of and follow-up on
financial assistance claims filed with the [bureau] Office of
Victims' Services.
(3) Notification to the victim advocate on behalf of the
victim for personal injury crimes if the offender is
sentenced to a State correctional institution.
* * *
Section 4. Section 301(c) 301(a) and (c) of the act is are
amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection
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subsections to read:
Section 301. Office.
(a) Establishment.--There is established within the [board]
department the Office of Victim Advocate to represent the
interests of crime victims before the board or department. The
office shall operate under the direction of the victim advocate
as provided in this section. The office shall function
independently of the department regarding all of the office's
decision-making functions, as well as any other powers and
duties specified in law.
* * *
(c) Service and employees.--The victim advocate shall
operate from [the central office of the board] office space
provided by the department with such clerical, technical and
professional staff as may be [available within the budget of the
board. The compensation of employees of the office shall be set
by the Executive Board.] The home address of an employee of the
office may not be considered a public record under the act of
February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
(d) Disclosure and confidentiality.--
furnished by the department. Legal counsel for the office
shall be appointed in accordance with the act of October 15,
1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act.
The home address of an employee of the office shall not be
considered a public record under the act of February 14, 2008
(P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
(d) Procedure for removal.--
(1) The victim advocate may be removed for cause by the
Governor, by and with the advice and consent of a majority of
the members of the Senate.
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(2) During a recess of the Senate, the Governor may
suspend the victim advocate for cause, and before suspension,
the Governor shall furnish to the victim advocate a statement
in writing of the reasons for the proposed suspension. The
suspension shall operate and be effective only until the
adjournment of the next session of the Senate following the
suspension.
(e) Disclosure and confidentiality.--
(1) Each record pertaining to the victim in the
possession of or maintained by the office, including
information regarding a victim's current contact information
and any other information or record relating to the victim,
shall be private, confidential and privileged and the
property of the office and shall not be subject to the Right-
to-Know Law. A record of the office may not be subject to
subpoena or discovery, introduced into evidence in a judicial
or administrative proceeding or released to the inmate,
parolee or probationer.
(2) Unless a victim waives the privilege in a signed
writing prior to testimony or disclosure, an employee of the
office may not be competent nor permitted to testify or to
otherwise disclose confidential communications made to or by
the employee of the office. The privilege shall terminate
upon the death of the victim. Neither the employee of the
office nor the victim shall waive the privilege of
confidential communications by reporting facts of physical or
sexual assault under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to child
protective services), a Federal or State mandatory reporting
statute or a local mandatory reporting ordinance.
Section 5. Section 302(5) of the act is amended and the
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section is amended by adding paragraphs to read:
Section 302. Powers and duties of victim advocate.
The victim advocate has the following powers and duties:
* * *
(5) [To act as a liaison with the victim notification
program director in the department to coordinate victim
notification and services for the department and the board.]
The victim advocate is authorized to address the interests of
all victims before the board, department or hearing examiner
concerning any issues determined appropriate by the victim
advocate.
(6) To ensure eligible victims are informed of the
Address Confidentiality Program under 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 67
(relating to domestic and sexual violence victim address
confidentiality).
(7) To advocate for the interests of crime victims
generally, including the victims of crimes committed by
juveniles.
Section 6. Section 312(3) of the act is amended to read:
Section 312. Powers and duties of Office of Victims' Services.
The Office of Victims' Services, subject to approval of the
commission, has the following powers and duties:
* * *
(3) [To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind suitable
rules and regulations to carry out the provisions and
purposes of Chapter 7. These regulations shall provide for
the approval of attorney fees for representation before the
Office of Victims' Services, a hearing examiner or before the
Commonwealth Court upon judicial review under section 705.
Awards of the attorney fees shall be in addition to awards
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made to direct victims. Awards of attorney fees shall in no
case exceed 15% of the award to the direct victim or victims.
It shall be unlawful for an attorney to contract for or
receive any sum larger than the amount allowed. Regulations
under this paragraph shall include policies, procedures and
standards of review regarding claims for compensation;
approval or denial of claims, including contributory conduct
by direct victims; verification of information and documents;
prioritization of review; and all other matters related to
the processing.] To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind
suitable regulations to carry out the provisions and purposes
of Chapter 7. The regulations shall provide for the
following:
(i) The approval of attorney fees for representation
before the Office of Victims' Services, a hearing
examiner or before Commonwealth Court upon judicial
review under section 705. Awards of the attorney fees
shall be in addition to awards made to direct victims or
claimants. Awards of attorney fees may not exceed 15% of
the award to the direct victim or claimants. It shall be
unlawful for an attorney to contract for or receive a sum
larger than the amount allowed under this subparagraph.
(ii) Policies, procedures and standards of review
regarding claims for compensation.
(iii) Approval or denial of claims, including
contributory conduct by direct victims.
(iv) Verification of information and documents.
(v) Prioritization of review.
(vi) All other matters related to the processing of
claims.
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* * *
Section 6.1. Sections 501(a) and (b) and 502(b) of the act
are amended to read:
Section 501. Preparole notification to victim.
(a) Persons to be notified.--No later than 90 days prior to
the parole date of an offender, the victim advocate shall notify
the victim of the offense for which the offender was sentenced,
the [parent or] parents and any legal guardian of a victim who
is a minor or a member of the family if the victim is incapable
of communicating or has died and shall provide the appropriate
person or persons with an opportunity each to submit a preparole
statement expressing concerns or recommendations regarding the
parole or parole supervision of the offender.
(b) Enrollment.--A victim [or] and any member of the family
who intends to submit a preparole statement regarding the parole
or parole supervision of the offender is responsible for
notifying the victim advocate of the victim's or family member's
intent [to submit a preparole statement regarding the parole or
parole supervision of the offender]. The notice shall include a
mailing address or change of address notification.
* * *
Section 502. Petitions to deny parole upon expiration of
minimum sentence.
* * *
(b) Appearance.--The victim [or] and the victim's
representative shall be permitted to appear in person and
provide testimony before the panel or the majority of those
board members charged with making the parole release decision
or, in the alternative, the victim's [or] and victim's
representative's testimony may be presented by electronic means
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as provided by the board. The testimony of a victim [or] and
victim's representative shall be confidential. Records
maintained by the department and the board pertaining to victims
shall be kept separate from other records, and these victim
records, including current address, telephone number and any
other personal information of the victim and family members,
shall be deemed confidential.
* * *
Section 7. Section 701(a) of the act is amended by adding
paragraphs to read:
Section 701. Persons eligible for compensation.
(a) General rule.--Except as otherwise provided in this act,
the following persons shall be eligible for compensation:
* * *
(7) Hospitals or other licensed health care providers
under section 707(h).
(8) A person eligible for counseling under this chapter.
* * *
Section 8. Sections 702(b), (b.1) and (c), 703, 704(b)(1)
and (e) and 706(a)(1) and (b) of the act are amended to read:
Section 702. Filing of claims for compensation.
* * *
(b) Time.--
(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a claim must
be filed not later than [two] three years after the discovery
of the occurrence of the crime upon which the claim is based
or not later than [two] three years after the death of the
direct victim or intervenor as a result of the crime or the
discovery and identification of the body of a murder victim.
(2) Exceptions shall be as follows:
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(ii) If a direct victim is under 18 years of age at
the time of the occurrence of the crime and the alleged
offender is the direct victim's parent or a person
responsible for the direct victim's welfare, an
individual residing in the same home as the direct victim
or a paramour of the direct victim's parent, all of the
following shall apply:
(A) The limitation period under this subsection
is tolled until the direct victim reaches 21 years of
age.
(B) The limitation period shall run until the
later of:
(I) the end of the limitation period for the
offense as set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55 Subch.
C (relating to criminal proceedings); or
(II) the end of the limitation period under
paragraph (1).
(ii.1) If a direct victim is under 18 years of age
at the time of the occurrence of the crime and the direct
victim is seeking reimbursement for counseling services
only, all of the following shall apply:
(A) The limitation period under this subsection
is tolled until the direct victim reaches 21 years of
age.
(B) The limitation period shall run until the
later of:
(I) the end of the limitation period for the
offense as set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55 Subch.
C; or
(II) the end of the limitation period under
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paragraph (1).
(iii) The Office of Victims ' Services may find good
cause to accept a claim beyond the limitation period
under paragraph (1) if one of the following circumstances
existed at the time of the occurrence of the crime or the
discovery of the occurrence of the crime:
(A) The direct victim, intervenor or claimant
was mentally or physically incapacitated.
(B) The victim was a minor.
(C) There was a fear of retaliation.
(D) The occurrence of the crime was not readily
apparent.
(E) Other circumstances when good cause is shown
by the claimant.
(b.1) Returned claims.--If a claim has been filed but
subsequently returned to the claimant for correction or for
additional verification or information, the date the claim was
first received by the [bureau] Office of Victims' Services shall
be the permanent filing date for purposes of subsection (b). The
correction or additional verification or information must be
filed within a period of time established by the Office of
Victims' Services.
(c) Manner.--Claims must be filed with the [bureau] Office
of Victims' Services in person, by mail or by any electronic
means authorized by the Office of Victims' Services.
Section 703. Minimum allowable claim.
(a) General rule.--Except as set forth in subsection (b), no
award shall be made on a claim unless the claimant has incurred
an aggregate minimum out-of-pocket loss, loss of earnings or
loss of support of [$100] $50.
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(b) Exception.--Subsection (a) shall not apply if the direct
victim or claimant was 60 years of age or older at the time the
crime occurred.
Section 704. Determination of claims.
* * *
(b) Review.--
(1) The Office of Victims' Services shall review the
claim and all supporting documents and investigate the
validity of the claim. The investigation shall include an
examination of police, court and official records and reports
concerning the crime and may include an examination of
medical and hospital reports relating to the injury upon
which the claim is based. The Office of Victims' Services may
not request or review counseling notes of mental health
service providers. The Office of Victims' Services shall
request an assessment from the mental health service provider
as to the extent the service provided is needed as a direct
result of the crime.
* * *
(e) Records.--The Office of Victims' Services shall maintain
complete records and histories on all claims filed, supplemental
awards paid to claimants, claims status and third-party
entitlements and recoveries in accordance with the commission's
established records retention schedule.
Section 706. Emergency awards.
(a) Authorization.--Notwithstanding the provisions of
sections 704 and 707, if it appears to the Office of Victims'
Services that the claim is one with respect to which an award
probably will be made and that undue hardship will result to the
claimant if immediate payment is not made, the Office of
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Victims' Services may make an emergency award to the claimant
pending a final decision in the case. The following shall apply:
(1) The total amount of the emergency award shall not
exceed [$1,500 per claim or at] a rate set by the Office of
Victims' Services.
* * *
(b) Reconsideration.--The Office of Victims' Services may
reconsider an emergency award at any time prior to the final
decision in the case and increase previous orders for emergency
compensation up to the overall limit of [$1,500 per claim or at]
a rate set by the Office of Victims' Services.
* * *
Section 9. Section 707(a)(3), (a.1)(2) (a.1), (b)(1), (2),
(4) and (4.1), (f)(1) and (3) and (g) of the act are amended and
the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 707. Awards.
(a) Requirements.--No award shall be made unless it is
determined by a preponderance of the evidence that:
* * *
(3) The crime was promptly reported to the proper
authorities. In no case may an award be made if the record
shows that the report was made more than 72 hours after the
discovery of the occurrence of the crime unless:
(i) the victim is under 18 years of age at the time
of the occurrence of the crime and the alleged offender
is the victim's parent or a person responsible for the
victim's welfare, an individual residing in the same home
as the victim or a paramour of the victim's parent; or
(ii) the Office of Victims' Services finds the delay
to have been justified, consistent with bureau
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regulations.
* * *
(a.1) Protection from abuse.--A claimant who satisfies the
eligibility requirements of subsection (a)(1), (2) and (4) may
satisfy the eligibility requirement under subsection (a)(3) for
reporting a crime to the proper authorities by commencing an
action brought in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 61 (relating to
protection from abuse) and as provided for in the Pennsylvania
Rules of Civil Procedure. In no case may an award be made if the
record shows that the petition was:
* * *
(1) Withdrawn, unless the Office of [Victim] Victims'
Services finds the withdrawal to have been justified,
consistent with regulations of the Office of [Victim]
Victims' Services.
(2) Filed more than 72 hours after the discovery of the
occurrence of the criminal conduct leading to the
commencement of the action, unless:
(i) the victim is under 18 years of age at the time
of the occurrence of the criminal conduct and the alleged
offender is the victim's parent or a person responsible
for the victim's welfare, an individual residing in the
same home as the victim or a paramour of the victim's
parent; or
(ii) the Office of [Victim] Victims' Services finds
the delay to have been justified, consistent with
regulations of the Office of [Victim] Victims' Services.
(a.2) Sexual violence and intimidation orders.--A claimant
who satisfies the eligibility requirements of subsection (a)(1),
(2) and (4) may satisfy the eligibility requirement under
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subsection (a)(3) for reporting a crime to the proper
authorities by commencing an action brought in accordance with
42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 62A (relating to protection of victims of sexual
violence or intimidation) . An award may not and as provided for
in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. In no case may an
award be made if the record shows that the petition was:
(1) Withdrawn, unless the Office of Victims' Services
finds the withdrawal to have been justified, consistent with
regulations of the Office of Victims' Services.
(2) Filed more than 72 hours after the discovery of the
occurrence of the criminal conduct leading to the
commencement of the action, except if:
(i) the victim is under 18 years of age at the time
of the occurrence of the criminal conduct and the alleged
offender is the victim's parent or a person responsible
for the victim's welfare, an individual residing in the
same home as the victim or a paramour of the victim's
parent; or
(ii) the Office of Victims' Services finds the delay
to have been justified, consistent with regulations of
the Office of Victims' Services.
(b) Amount.--
(1) Any award made under this chapter shall be
contingent upon funds being available and be in an amount not
exceeding out-of-pocket loss, together with loss of past,
present or future earnings or support resulting from such
injury. In no case shall the total amount of an award exceed
$35,000 except for payment of the following:
(i) counseling, the maximum amount of which shall be
in accordance with paragraph (4.1);
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(ii) forensic rape examination and medications
directly related to the sexual assault or rape, the
amount of which shall not exceed $1,000; or
(iii) reasonable and necessary costs of cleaning the
crime scene of a private residence or privately owned
motor vehicle, the amount of which shall not exceed $500.
(2) An award made for loss of earnings or loss of
support shall, unless reduced pursuant to other provisions of
this chapter, be in an amount equal to the actual loss
sustained. The following shall apply:
(i) No such award shall exceed the average weekly
wage for all persons covered by the act of December 5,
1936 (2nd Sp.Sess., 1937 P.L.2897, No.1), known as the
Unemployment Compensation Law, in this Commonwealth as
determined annually by the Department of Labor and
Industry for each week of lost earnings or support.
(ii) Except as set forth in subparagraph (iii), the
aggregate award for the loss shall not exceed $15,000.
(iii) In the case of death of a direct victim or
intervenor, the aggregate award shall not exceed $20,000.
* * *
(4) An award for counseling performed by or under the
supervision of a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed
professional counselor or licensed social worker and
reimbursement of associated transportation costs, subject to
the provisions of paragraph (4.1), may be made to:
(i) a direct victim;
(ii) an individual responsible for the direct
victim's welfare;
(iii) an intervenor or individual who is physically
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present at the crime scene and witnesses a violent crime;
(iv) in the case of a homicide, an individual who
discovers the body;
(v) anyone related to the direct victim within the
second degree of consanguinity or affinity;
(vi) anyone maintaining a common-law relationship
prior to January 2, 2005, with the direct victim;
(vii) anyone residing in the same household with the
direct victim; or
(viii) anyone engaged to be married to the direct
victim.
(4.1) In the case of an award made pursuant to paragraph
(4), the following shall apply:
(i) The amount of an award under paragraph (4)(i)
shall not exceed $5,000 where the direct victim is an
adult and shall not exceed $10,000 where the direct
victim is a minor. A minor who is a direct victim of a
sexual offense may request that the minor's primary
insurance carrier not be billed for counseling services
if the policy is held or administered by either the
alleged perpetrator of the crime against the direct
victim or an individual responsible for the minor's
welfare that is not supportive of counseling services.
(ii) The amount of an award under paragraph (4)(ii),
(v), (vi), (vii) or (viii) shall not exceed $2,500 except
in the case of a homicide whereby the amount of this
award shall not exceed $5,000.
(iii) The amount of an award under paragraph (4)
(iii) or (iv) shall not exceed $1,500.
* * *
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(f) Direct victim responsibility.--
(1) Except as set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3), in
determining the amount of an award, the Office of Victims'
Services shall determine whether the direct victim or
intervenor, because of conduct, contributed to the infliction
of the injury. The Office of Victims' Services [shall] may
reduce the amount or deny the claim altogether in accordance
with the determination.
* * *
(3) If the crime involved is a homicide, the conduct of
the direct victim shall not be considered for claims by
eligible claimants for counseling[.] and funeral expenses.
Funeral expenses eligibility, if the conduct of the direct
victim is a factor, shall be dependent upon the availability
of funding.
(g) Intervenor responsibility.--In determining the amount of
an award to an intervenor, the Office of Victims' Services [may]
shall consider whether the intervenor, because of conduct,
contributed to the infliction of the injury. The Office of
Victims' Services [shall] may reduce the amount or deny the
claim altogether in accordance with the determination.
* * *
Section 10. Sections 709(a) and, 901 and 1101(b) of the act
are amended to read:
Section 709. Confidentiality of records.
(a) General rule.--All reports, records or other information
obtained or produced by the [bureau] Office of Victims' Services
during the processing or investigation of a claim shall be
confidential and privileged, shall not be subject to subpoena or
discovery, shall be used for no purpose other than the
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processing of a claim and, except as otherwise provided by law
or as provided in this section, shall not be introduced into
evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding.
* * *
Section 901. Eligibility of victims.
A victim has the rights and is eligible for the services
under sections 201 and 902 only if the victim reported the crime
to law enforcement authorities without unreasonable delay after
[its] the occurrence of the crime or the discovery of the
occurrence of the crime, unless the victim had a reasonable
excuse not to do so.
Section 11. Section 1101(b) of the act is amended by adding
a paragraph to read:
Section 1101. Costs.
* * *
(b) Disposition.--
* * *
(3) Beginning July 1, 2018 2019 , the special nonlapsing
funds established under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be
merged into a single special nonlapsing fund, known as the
Crime Victim Services and Compensation Fund. The fund shall
be used by the Office of Victims' Services for payment to
claimants, victim-witness services and technical assistance.
Costs imposed under subsection (a) shall be paid into the
fund.
[(1) There is established a special nonlapsing fund,
known as the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund. This fund
shall be used by the Office of Victims' Services for payment
to claimants and technical assistance. Thirty-five dollars of
the costs imposed under subsection (a)(1) and (2) plus 30% of
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the costs imposed under subsection (a)(1) which exceed $60
shall be paid into this fund. All costs imposed under
subsection (a)(3) shall be paid into this fund.
(2) There is established a special nonlapsing fund,
known as the Victim Witness Services Fund. This fund shall be
used by the commission for victim-witness services and
technical assistance in nonvictim compensation-related areas
in accordance with this section. Twenty-five dollars of the
costs imposed under subsection (a)(1) and (2) plus 70% of the
costs imposed under subsection (a)(1) and (2) which exceed
$60 shall be paid into this fund.]
(3) The Crime Victim Services and Compensation Fund is
established as a special nonlapsing fund. The fund shall be
used by the Office of Victims' Services for payment to
claimants, victim-witness services and technical assistance.
(4) Costs imposed under subsection (a) shall be paid
into the Crime Victim Services and Compensation Fund except
that 70% of any costs which exceed $60 shall be paid into a
local victim services fund, established and administered by
the county treasurer of each county. The county treasurer
shall disperse money from a local victim services fund at the
discretion of the county district attorney. The money in the
local victim services fund shall be used only for victim
services. Each county treasurer shall by August 31 of each
year provide the commission with an annual statement which
fully reflects all collections deposited into and
expenditures from the local victim services fund for the
preceding fiscal year. The commission, as advised by the
Victim Services Advisory Committee, shall develop guidelines
for the administration of the local victim services funds.
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* * *
Section 12 11. Sections 1102(a), (b), (c) and (d) and
1301(b) of the act are amended to read:
Section 1102. Costs for offender supervision programs.
(a) County fund.--The county treasurer of each county shall
establish and administer a [county offender supervision fund]
County Supervision Fee Restricted Receipts Account consisting of
the fees collected under this section. The county treasurer
shall disperse money from this [fund] account only at the
discretion of the president judge of the court of common pleas.
The money in this [fund] account shall be used to pay the
salaries and employee benefits of all probation and parole
personnel employed by the county probation and parole department
and the operational expenses of that department. Money from this
[fund] account shall be used to supplement Federal, State or
county appropriations for the county adult probation and parole
department. The president judge shall by August 31 provide the
[board] commission with an annual statement [which] that fully
reflects all collections deposited into and expenditures from
the [offender supervision fund] County Supervision Fee
Restricted Receipts Account for the preceding fiscal year. The
[board] commission shall promulgate regulations to provide for
the permanent administration of this program, as advised by the
County Adult Probation and Parole Advisory Committee.
(b) State fund.--There is established a State Offender
Supervision Fund to be administered by the board and comprised
of the supervision fees collected by the board under [this
section] subsection (d). The money in this fund shall be used to
supplement the Federal or State funds appropriated for the
improvement of [adult probation services] State parole
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supervision.
(c) Court.--The court shall impose as a condition of
supervision a monthly supervision fee of at least $25 on any
offender placed on probation, parole, accelerated rehabilitative
disposition, probation without verdict or intermediate
punishment unless the court finds that the fee should be
reduced, waived or deferred based on the offender's present
inability to pay. [Of the fee collected, 50%] All of the fees
shall be deposited into the County [Offender Supervision Fund]
Supervision Fee Restricted Receipts Account established in each
county pursuant to this section[, and the remaining 50% shall be
deposited into the State Offender Supervision Fund established
pursuant to this section]. All funds within the account shall be
accounted for consistent with the budget, accounting,
contracting, procurement, audit, salary board and other relevant
provisions of the act of August 9, 1955 (P.L.323, No.130), known
as The County Code, and may be subject to audit by the Auditor
General under section 401(d) of the act of April 9, 1929
(P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal Code.
(d) Board.--The board shall impose as a condition of
supervision a monthly supervision fee of at least $25 on any
offender under the board's supervision unless the board finds
that such fee should be reduced, waived or deferred based on the
offender's present inability to pay. All fees collected shall be
deposited into the State Offender Supervision Fund [established
under subsection (b)].
* * *
Section 1301. Subrogation.
* * *
(b) Excess.--If an amount greater than that paid under
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Chapter 7 is recovered and collected in such an action, the
Commonwealth shall pay the balance to the claimant. The Attorney
General shall enforce any subrogation. A claimant who fails to
notify the Office of Victims' Services of the receipt of funds
from any other claim or award arising out of the crime shall
forfeit and pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to all
awards paid by the [bureau] Office of Victims' Services to the
claimant or on the claimant's behalf.
Section 13. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
Section 12. All money in the Crime Victim's Compensation
Fund and the Victim Witness Services Fund shall be transferred
to the Crime Victim Services and Compensation Fund.
Section 13. This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) The following shall take effect on July 1, 2020:
(i) The addition of section 1011(b)(3) and (4) of
the act.
(ii) The repeal of section 1011(b)(1) and (2) of the
act.
(iii) Section 12 of this act.
(2) The remainder of the act shall take effect in 60
days.
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