H1008: Sex Offender/Probation/Victims Changes. Latest Version


House
Passed 1st Reading
Committee
Rules
Senate
Passed 1st Reading
Committee
Rules
Passed 3rd Reading



AN ACT to make clarifying changes to the sex offender registration process, to allow judges to delegate to probation officers a limited amount of authority to reduce terms of supervised probation, to allow for warrantless searches of individuals on post‑release supervision, to EXPAND RENTAL PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF CERTAIN CRIMES, TO CREATE A PRIVILEGE FOR CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS WITH VICTIM ASSISTANCE CENTERS, TO REMOVE RESTRICTIONS FOR CERTAIN SHERIFF'S CONTRACTS, TO AMEND THE EFFECTIVE DATE FOR S.L. 2015‑186, TO EXTEND a LIMITED DRIVING PRIVILEGE UNTIL REINSTATEMENT DETERMINATION, AND TO PROHIBIT THE IMPERSONATION OF TAXICAB DRIVERS.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

CLARIFYING CHANGES TO THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION PROCESS

SECTION 1.(a)  G.S. 14‑208.9A(a) reads as rewritten:

(a)      The information in the county registry shall be verified semiannually for each registrant as follows:

(1)        Every year on the anniversary of a person's initial registration date, and again six months after that date, the Department of Public Safety shall mail a nonforwardable verification form to the last reported address of the person. If the person is serving a sentence of more than 24 months in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction, the Department of Public Safety may deliver the verification form to the Division of Adult Correction in lieu of nonforwardable mail.

….

SECTION 1.(b)  G.S. 14‑208.12A(a) reads as rewritten:

(a)      Ten years from the date of initial county registration, a person required to register under this Part may petition the superior court to terminate the 30‑year registration requirement if the person has not been convicted of a subsequent offense requiring registration under this Article.

If the reportable conviction is for an offense that occurred in North Carolina, the petition shall be filed in the district where the person was convicted of the offense.offense, regardless of the petitioner's current county or state of residence.

If the reportable conviction is for an offense that occurred in another state, the petition shall be filed in the district where the person resides. A person who petitions to terminate the registration requirement for a reportable conviction that is an out‑of‑state offense shall also do the following: (i) provide written notice to the sheriff of the county where the person was convicted that the person is petitioning the court to terminate the registration requirement and (ii) include with the petition at the time of its filing, an affidavit, signed by the petitioner, that verifies that the petitioner has notified the sheriff of the county where the person was convicted of the petition and that provides the mailing address and contact information for that sheriff.

Regardless of where the offense occurred, if the defendant was convicted of a reportable offense in any federal court, the conviction will be treated as an out‑of‑state offense for the purposes of this section.

SECTION 1.(c)  This section becomes effective August 1, 2022, and applies to verification forms sent and petitions filed on or after that date.

 

COURTS MAY DELEGATE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF AUTHORITY TO PROBATION OFFICERS TO REDUCE AN OFFENDER'S TERM OF SUPERVISED PROBATION

SECTION 2.(a)  Article 82 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 15A‑1344.2.  Delegation of authority to reduce a term of supervised probation.

(a)        In any instance under this Article that the court may reduce a term of supervised probation, the court may delegate, by written order filed with the clerk of superior court, the court's authority to reduce a term of supervised probation when a probation officer finds that an offender (i) is currently in compliance with the terms of the offender's probation and (ii) has made diligent progress regarding the offender's probation. The delegation of the court's authority may be revoked by the court at any time by a written order filed with the clerk of superior court as soon as practicable following the revocation. The clerk of superior court shall notify the probation officer of this revocation of delegated authority as soon as practicably possible. Any order entered pursuant to this section shall require that no term of supervision be reduced unless all restitution ordered as part of the sentence has been paid in full.

(b)        For the purpose of this section, proof of any one or more of the following, demonstrated to the satisfaction of the probation officer, shall constitute diligent progress:

(1)        The successful completion of a validated drug or mental health treatment program, evidenced‑based program, or any other vocational, or life skills program.

(2)        The successful completion of at least six months of active enrollment in an education program in which the offender is seeking a trade certification, high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED) degree, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or graduate degree.

(3)        The successful completion of at least six months of employment, demonstrated by proof of wages.

(c)        A reduction of a term of supervision pursuant to this section does not become effective until all of the following occur:

(1)        The probation officer files a written affidavit with the clerk of superior court seeking a final order of the court confirming the probation officer's decision to reduce the offender's term.

(2)        Notification is given to the district attorney and the victim pursuant to G.S. 15A‑837, and if requested by either the district attorney or the victim, a hearing and an opportunity to be heard is granted.

(3)        The court approves the reduction.

(d)       A probation officer may not reduce an offender's term of supervised probation pursuant to this section by more than one‑fourth the amount of time the offender was originally required to serve on supervised probation. If a probation officer reduces an offender's term of supervised probation pursuant to this section on more than one occasion, the total reduction of the offender's term of supervised probation may not exceed one‑fourth the amount of time the offender was originally required to serve on supervised probation.

SECTION 2.(b)  This section becomes effective December 1, 2022, and applies to delegations of court authority entered on or after that date.

 

ALLOW WARRANTLESS SEARCHES OF INDIVIDUALS ON POST‑RELEASE SUPERVISION

SECTION 3.(a)  G.S. 15A‑1368.4(e), as amended by S.L. 2021‑180, reads as rewritten:

(e)      Controlling Conditions. – Appropriate controlling conditions, violation of which may result in revocation of post‑release supervision, are:



(10)      Submit at reasonable times to warrantless searches of the supervisee's person by a post‑release supervision officer of the supervisee's person and of the supervisee's vehicle and premises while the supervisee is present for purposes reasonably related to the post‑release supervision. The Commission shall not require as a condition of post‑release supervision that the supervisee submit to any other searches that would otherwise be unlawful. Whenever the search consists of testing for the presence of illegal drugs, the supervisee may also be required to reimburse the Division of Community Supervision and Reentry of the Department of Adult Correction for the actual cost of drug testing and drug screening, if the results are positive.

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SECTION 3.(b)  This section is effective when it becomes law and applies to searches on or after that date.

 

EXPAND RENTAL PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF CERTAIN CRIMES

SECTION 4.(a)  G.S. 42‑40 reads as rewritten:

§ 42‑40.  Definitions.

For the purpose of this Article, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)        Action Action. – The term includes recoupment, counterclaim, defense, setoff, and any other proceeding including an action for possession.

(2)        Premises means a Premises. – A dwelling unit, including mobile homes or mobile home spaces, and the structure of which it is a part and facilities and appurtenances therein and grounds, areas, and facilities normally held out for the use of residential tenants.

(3)        Landlord means any Landlord. – Any owner and any rental management company, rental agency, or any other person having the actual or apparent authority of an agent to perform the duties imposed by this Article.

(4)        Protected tenant means a Protected tenant. – A tenant or household member who is a any of the following:

a.         A victim of domestic violence under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes or sexual assault or stalking under Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

b.         A victim of attempted homicide or household member of a victim of homicide under G.S. 14‑17, 14‑18, 14‑18.4, 14‑23.2, 14‑23.3, or 14‑23.4, where the premises was the location of the crime.

SECTION 4.(b)  G.S. 42‑45.1 reads as rewritten:

§ 42‑45.1.  Early termination of rental agreement by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.protected tenants.

(a)        Any protected tenant may terminate his or her the protected tenant's rental agreement for a dwelling unit by providing the landlord with a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated in the notice that is at least 30 days after the landlord's receipt of the notice. The notice to the landlord shall be accompanied by either: any of the following: (i) a copy of a valid order of protection issued by a court pursuant to Chapter 50B or 50C of the General Statutes, other than an ex parte order, (ii) a criminal order that restrains a person from contact with a protected tenant, or (iii) a valid Address Confidentiality Program card issued pursuant to G.S. 15C‑4 to the victim or a minor member of the tenant's household. household, or (iv) documentation from a law enforcement, court, or federal agency indicating that the protected tenant is a victim of an attempted homicide or a household member of a victim of a homicide. A victim of domestic violence or sexual assault must submit a copy of a safety plan with the notice to terminate. The safety plan, dated during the term of the tenancy to be terminated, must be provided by a domestic violence or sexual assault program which substantially complies with the requirements set forth in G.S. 50B‑9 and must recommend relocation of the protected tenant.

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SECTION 4.(c)  This section becomes effective August 1, 2022, and applies to rental agreements entered into, amended, or renewed on or after that date.

 

CREATE A PRIVILEGE FOR CERTAIN COMMUNICATIONS WITH VICTIM ASSISTANCE CENTERS

SECTION 5.(a)  Article 7 of Chapter 8 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

§ 8‑53.12A.  Communications with homicide victim advocates privileged.

(a)        Definitions. – The following definitions apply in this section:

(1)        Agent. – An employee of a victim assistance center who has completed a minimum of 30 hours of training as required by the center or a volunteer under the direct supervision of the center who has completed a minimum of 30 hours of training as required by the center.

(2)        Family member. – A spouse, child, parent, guardian, legal custodian, sibling, or grandparent of a person.

(3)        Homicide. – A violation of any of the following: G.S. 14‑17, 14‑18, 14‑18.4, 14‑23.2, 14‑23.3, and 14‑23.4.

(4)        Services. – The term includes assessment and intake, individual counseling, court accompaniment, homicide support groups, outreach, and family support services.

(5)        Victim. – A person who does both of the following:

a.         Alleges a homicide has been attempted against them or committed against a family member or someone with whom they have a significant relationship.

b.         Consults an agent of a victim assistance center for the purpose of obtaining for themselves services concerning mental, physical, or emotional injuries suffered because of the homicide.

(6)        Victim assistance center. – A nonprofit organization registered in this State whose primary purpose is to provide support and services to surviving victims.

(b)        Privileged Communications. – No agent of a victim assistance center shall be required to disclose any information that the agent acquired during the provision of services to a victim and that was necessary to enable the agent to render the services, unless the victim waives the privilege conferred. The privilege afforded under this subsection terminates upon the death of the victim.

(c)        Required Disclosure. – The court shall compel disclosure, either at the trial or prior to the trial, if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, a good‑faith, specific, and reasonable basis for all of the following:

(1)        The records or testimony sought contain information that is relevant and material to factual issues to be determined in a civil proceeding or that is relevant, material, and exculpatory upon the issue of guilt, degree of guilt, or sentencing in a criminal proceeding for the offense charged or any lesser included offense.

(2)        The evidence is not sought merely for character impeachment purposes.

(3)        The evidence sought is not merely cumulative of other evidence or information available or already obtained by the party seeking the disclosure.

(d)       Duties of the Court Regarding Disclosure. – Before requiring production of records, the court shall find that the party seeking disclosure has made a sufficient showing that the records are likely to contain information subject to disclosure under this subsection. If the court finds a sufficient showing has been made, the court shall (i) order that the records be produced for the court under seal and (ii) examine the records in camera. The court shall allow disclosure only of those portions of the records that the court finds contain information subject to disclosure under this subsection. After all appeals in the action have been exhausted, any records received by the court under seal shall be returned to the victim assistance center, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(e)        Duty in Case of Abuse or Neglect. – Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve any person of any duty pertaining to abuse or neglect of a child or disabled adult as required by law.

SECTION 5.(b)  This section is effective when it becomes law and applies to communications and proceedings commenced on or after that date.

 

REMOVE RESTRICTIONS FOR CERTAIN SHERIFF'S CONTRACTS

SECTION 6.  G.S. 143‑131.1 reads as rewritten:

§ 143‑131.1.  Exception for contracts for the purchase of food and supplies for county detention facilities by the sheriffs of certain counties.sheriffs.

(a)        A county sheriff's office may contract for the purchase of food and food services supplies for that county's detention facility without being subject to the requirements of G.S. 143‑129 and G.S. 143‑131(a).

(b)        This section applies only to the following counties: Alamance, Anson, Beaufort, Caswell, Catawba, Cherokee, Chowan, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Duplin, Gaston, Granville, Guilford, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jones, Lincoln, Madison, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Randolph, Rockingham, Sampson, Stanly, Transylvania, Wake, Washington, and Yancey.

 

AMEND EFFECTIVE DATE FOR S.L. 2015‑186

SECTION 7.(a)  Section 7 of S.L. 2015‑186, as amended by Section 86 of S.L. 2015‑264, reads as rewritten:

SECTION 7.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2015, and applies to offenses committed on on, before, or after that date. Prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of this act are not abated or affected by this act, and the statutes that would be applicable but for this act remain applicable to those prosecutions.

SECTION 7.(b)  This section is effective when it becomes law.

 

EXTEND LIMITED DRIVING PRIVILEGE UNTIL REINSTATEMENT DETERMINATION

SECTION 8.(a)  G.S. 20‑20.1(j) reads as rewritten:

(j)       Term and Reinstatement. – The term of a limited driving privilege issued under this section is the shorter of one year or the length of time remaining in the revocation period imposed under G.S. 20‑28(a) or G.S. 20‑28.1. When the term of the limited driving privilege expires, the Division must reinstate the person's license if the person meets all of the conditions listed in this subsection. The term of the limited driving privilege may be extended until the date set by the Division to determine whether the person meets conditions for reinstatement. The Division may impose restrictions or conditions on the new license in accordance with G.S. 20‑7(e). The conditions are:

(1)        Payment of the restoration fee as required under G.S. 20‑7(i1).

(2)        Providing proof of financial responsibility as required under G.S. 20‑7(c1).

(3)        Providing the proof required for reinstatement of a license under G.S. 20‑28(c1).

SECTION 8.(b)  This section becomes effective December 1, 2022.

 

PROHIBIT THE IMPERSONATION OF TAXICAB DRIVERS

SECTION 9.(a)  G.S. 14‑401.27 reads as rewritten:

§ 14‑401.27.  Impersonation of a transportation network company driver.driver or taxicab driver.

It shall be unlawful for any person to impersonate a transportation network company (TNC) driver, as defined in G.S. 20‑280.1, or a taxicab driver by a false statement, false display of distinctive signage or emblems known as a trade dress, trademark, branding, or logo of the TNC, TNC or a taxicab operator, or any other act which falsely represents that the person has a current connection with a transportation network company or taxicab operator or falsely represents that the person is responding to a passenger ride request for a transportation network company. company or taxicab operator. A violation of this section is a Class H felony if the person impersonates a TNC driver or taxicab driver during the commission of a separate felony offense. Any other violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

SECTION 9.(b)  This section becomes effective December 1, 2022, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

SECTION 10.  Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law.