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State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Missouri > T38 > C595 > 595_209

Rights of victims and witnesses–written notification, requirements.

595.209. 1. The following rights shall automatically be afforded tovictims of dangerous felonies, as defined in section 556.061, RSMo, victimsof murder in the first degree, as defined in section 565.020, RSMo, victimsof voluntary manslaughter, as defined in section 565.023, RSMo, and victimsof an attempt to commit one of the preceding crimes, as defined in section564.011, RSMo; and, upon written request, the following rights shall beafforded to victims of all other crimes and witnesses of crimes:

(1) For victims, the right to be present at all criminal justiceproceedings at which the defendant has such right, including juvenileproceedings where the offense would have been a felony if committed by anadult, even if the victim is called to testify or may be called to testifyas a witness in the case;

(2) For victims, the right to information about the crime, asprovided for in subdivision (5) of this subsection;

(3) For victims and witnesses, to be informed, in a timely manner, bythe prosecutor's office of the filing of charges, preliminary hearingdates, trial dates, continuances and the final disposition of the case.Final disposition information shall be provided within five days;

(4) For victims, the right to confer with and to be informed by theprosecutor regarding bail hearings, guilty pleas, pleas under chapter 552,RSMo, or its successors, hearings, sentencing and probation revocationhearings and the right to be heard at such hearings, including juvenileproceedings, unless in the determination of the court the interests ofjustice require otherwise;

(5) The right to be informed by local law enforcement agencies, theappropriate juvenile authorities or the custodial authority of thefollowing:

(a) The status of any case concerning a crime against the victim,including juvenile offenses;

(b) The right to be informed by local law enforcement agencies or theappropriate juvenile authorities of the availability of victim compensationassistance, assistance in obtaining documentation of the victim's losses,including, but not limited to and subject to existing law concerningprotected information or closed records, access to copies of complete,unaltered, unedited investigation reports of motor vehicle, pedestrian, andother similar accidents upon request to the appropriate law enforcementagency by the victim or the victim's representative, and emergency crisisintervention services available in the community;

(c) Any release of such person on bond or for any other reason;

(d) Within twenty-four hours, any escape by such person from amunicipal detention facility, county jail, a correctional facility operatedby the department of corrections, mental health facility, or the divisionof youth services or any agency thereof, and any subsequent recapture ofsuch person;

(6) For victims, the right to be informed by appropriate juvenileauthorities of probation revocation hearings initiated by the juvenileauthority and the right to be heard at such hearings or to offer a writtenstatement, video or audio tape, counsel or a representative designated bythe victim in lieu of a personal appearance, the right to be informed bythe board of probation and parole of probation revocation hearingsinitiated by the board and of parole hearings, the right to be present ateach and every phase of parole hearings, the right to be heard at probationrevocation and parole hearings or to offer a written statement, video oraudio tape, counsel or a representative designated by the victim in lieu ofa personal appearance, and the right to have, upon written request of thevictim, a partition set up in the probation or parole hearing room in sucha way that the victim is shielded from the view of the probationer orparolee, and the right to be informed by the custodial mental healthfacility or agency thereof of any hearings for the release of a personcommitted pursuant to the provisions of chapter 552, RSMo, the right to bepresent at such hearings, the right to be heard at such hearings or tooffer a written statement, video or audio tape, counsel or a representativedesignated by the victim in lieu of personal appearance;

(7) For victims and witnesses, upon their written request, the rightto be informed by the appropriate custodial authority, including anymunicipal detention facility, juvenile detention facility, county jail,correctional facility operated by the department of corrections, mentalhealth facility, division of youth services or agency thereof if theoffense would have been a felony if committed by an adult, postconvictionor commitment pursuant to the provisions of chapter 552, RSMo, of thefollowing:

(a) The projected date of such person's release from confinement;

(b) Any release of such person on bond;

(c) Any release of such person on furlough, work release, trialrelease, electronic monitoring program, or to a community correctionalfacility or program or release for any other reason, in advance of suchrelease;

(d) Any scheduled parole or release hearings, including hearingsunder section 217.362, RSMo, regarding such person and any changes in thescheduling of such hearings. No such hearing shall be conducted withoutthirty days' advance notice;

(e) Within twenty-four hours, any escape by such person from amunicipal detention facility, county jail, a correctional facility operatedby the department of corrections, mental health facility, or the divisionof youth services or any agency thereof, and any subsequent recapture ofsuch person;

(f) Any decision by a parole board, by a juvenile releasing authorityor by a circuit court presiding over releases pursuant to the provisions ofchapter 552, RSMo, or by a circuit court presiding over releases undersection 217.362, RSMo, to release such person or any decision by thegovernor to commute the sentence of such person or pardon such person;

(g) Notification within thirty days of the death of such person;

(8) For witnesses who have been summoned by the prosecuting attorneyand for victims, to be notified by the prosecuting attorney in a timelymanner when a court proceeding will not go on as scheduled;

(9) For victims and witnesses, the right to reasonable protectionfrom the defendant or any person acting on behalf of the defendant fromharm and threats of harm arising out of their cooperation with lawenforcement and prosecution efforts;

(10) For victims and witnesses, on charged cases or submitted caseswhere no charge decision has yet been made, to be informed by theprosecuting attorney of the status of the case and of the availability ofvictim compensation assistance and of financial assistance and emergencyand crisis intervention services available within the community andinformation relative to applying for such assistance or services, and ofany final decision by the prosecuting attorney not to file charges;

(11) For victims, to be informed by the prosecuting attorney of theright to restitution which shall be enforceable in the same manner as anyother cause of action as otherwise provided by law;

(12) For victims and witnesses, to be informed by the court and theprosecuting attorney of procedures to be followed in order to apply for andreceive any witness fee to which they are entitled;

(13) When a victim's property is no longer needed for evidentiaryreasons or needs to be retained pending an appeal, the prosecuting attorneyor any law enforcement agency having possession of the property shall, uponrequest of the victim, return such property to the victim within fiveworking days unless the property is contraband or subject to forfeitureproceedings, or provide written explanation of the reason why such propertyshall not be returned;

(14) An employer may not discharge or discipline any witness, victimor member of a victim's immediate family for honoring a subpoena to testifyin a criminal proceeding, attending a criminal proceeding, or forparticipating in the preparation of a criminal proceeding, or require anywitness, victim, or member of a victim's immediate family to use vacationtime, personal time, or sick leave for honoring a subpoena to testify in acriminal proceeding, attending a criminal proceeding, or participating inthe preparation of a criminal proceeding;

(15) For victims, to be provided with creditor intercession servicesby the prosecuting attorney if the victim is unable, as a result of thecrime, temporarily to meet financial obligations;

(16) For victims and witnesses, the right to speedy disposition oftheir cases, and for victims, the right to speedy appellate review of theircases, provided that nothing in this subdivision shall prevent thedefendant from having sufficient time to prepare such defendant's defense.The attorney general shall provide victims, upon their written request,case status information throughout the appellate process of their cases.The provisions of this subdivision shall apply only to proceedingsinvolving the particular case to which the person is a victim or witness;

(17) For victims and witnesses, to be provided by the court, a securewaiting area during court proceedings and to receive notification of thedate, time and location of any hearing conducted by the court forreconsideration of any sentence imposed, modification of such sentence orrecall and release of any defendant from incarceration;

(18) For victims, the right to receive upon request from thedepartment of corrections a photograph taken of the defendant prior torelease from incarceration.

2. The provisions of subsection 1 of this section shall not beconstrued to imply any victim who is incarcerated by the department ofcorrections or any local law enforcement agency has a right to be releasedto attend any hearing or that the department of corrections or the locallaw enforcement agency has any duty to transport such incarcerated victimto any hearing.

3. Those persons entitled to notice of events pursuant to theprovisions of subsection 1 of this section shall provide the appropriateperson or agency with their current addresses and telephone numbers or theaddresses or telephone numbers at which they wish notification to be given.

4. Notification by the appropriate person or agency utilizing thestatewide automated crime victim notification system as established insection 650.310, RSMo, shall constitute compliance with the victimnotification requirement of this section. If notification utilizing thestatewide automated crime victim notification system cannot be used, thenwritten notification shall be sent by certified mail to the most currentaddress provided by the victim.

5. Victims' rights as established in section 32 of article I of theMissouri Constitution or the laws of this state pertaining to the rights ofvictims of crime shall be granted and enforced regardless of the desires ofa defendant and no privileges of confidentiality shall exist in favor ofthe defendant to exclude victims or prevent their full participation ineach and every phase of parole hearings or probation revocation hearings.The rights of the victims granted in this section are absolute and thepolicy of this state is that the victim's rights are paramount to thedefendant's rights. The victim has an absolute right to be present at anyhearing in which the defendant is present before a probation and parolehearing officer.

(L. 1986 H.B. 873 & 874 § 15, A.L. 1992 S.B. 638, A.L. 1993 S.B. 19 § 595.209 subsecs. 1, 3, 4, A.L. 1994 S.B. 554 § 595.209 subsecs. 1, 2, 3, A.L. 1996 S.B. 884 & 841, A.L. 2003 S.B. 5, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353, A.L. 2007 H.B. 583, A.L. 2009 S.B. 338)

CROSS REFERENCE:

Offenders, photograph to be taken prior to release and provided to victim, RSMo 217.439