Law:Title 3. Juvenile Justice Code from Chapter 57. Rights Of Victims (Texas)

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Contents

Chapter 57. Rights Of Victims

Section  57.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Close relative of a deceased victim" means a person who was the spouse of a deceased victim at the time of the victim's death or who is a parent or adult brother, sister, or child of the deceased victim.

(2)  "Guardian of a victim" means a person who is the legal guardian of the victim, whether or not the legal relationship between the guardian and victim exists because of the age of the victim or the physical or mental incompetency of the victim.

(3)  "Victim" means a person who as the result of the delinquent conduct of a child suffers a pecuniary loss or personal injury or harm.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 49, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 368, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  57.002.  Victim's Rights.

(a) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is entitled to the following rights within the juvenile justice system:

(1)  the right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;

(2)  the right to have the court or person appointed by the court take the safety of the victim or the victim's family into consideration as an element in determining whether the child should be detained before the child's conduct is adjudicated;

(3)  the right, if requested, to be informed of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, and to be informed in a timely manner if those court proceedings have been canceled or rescheduled;

(4)  the right to be informed, when requested, by the court or a person appointed by the court concerning the procedures in the juvenile justice system, including general procedures relating to:

(A)  the preliminary investigation and deferred prosecution of a case; and

(B)  the appeal of the case;

(5)  the right to provide pertinent information to a juvenile court conducting a disposition hearing concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim's family by testimony, written statement, or any other manner before the court renders its disposition;

(6)  the right to receive information regarding compensation to victims as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure, including information related to the costs that may be compensated under that subchapter and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation under that subchapter, the payment of medical expenses under Section 56.06, Code of Criminal Procedure, for a victim of a sexual assault, and when requested, to referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;

(7)  the right to be informed, upon request, of procedures for release under supervision or transfer of the person to the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for parole, to participate in the release or transfer for parole process, to be notified, if requested, of the person's release, escape, or transfer for parole proceedings concerning the person, to provide to the Texas Youth Commission for inclusion in the person's file information to be considered by the commission before the release under supervision or transfer for parole of the person, and to be notified, if requested, of the person's release or transfer for parole;

(8)  the right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from other witnesses, including the child alleged to have committed the conduct and relatives of the child, before testifying in any proceeding concerning the child, or, if a separate waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize the victim's contact with the child and the child's relatives and witnesses, before and during court proceedings;

(9)  the right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the property is no longer required for that purpose;

(10)  the right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and testimony in a proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause;

(11)  the right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the conduct of the child as provided by Section 54.08, subject to that section; and

(12)  any other right appropriate to the victim that a victim of criminal conduct has under Article 56.02, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  In notifying a victim of the release or escape of a person, the Texas Youth Commission shall use the same procedure established for the notification of the release or escape of an adult offender under Article 56.11, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(110), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 50, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 25.060, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 57.003.  Duties Of Juvenile Board And Victim Assistance Coordinator.

(a) The juvenile board shall ensure to the extent practicable that a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is afforded the rights granted by Section 57.002 and, on request, an explanation of those rights.

(b)  The juvenile board may designate a person to serve as victim assistance coordinator in the juvenile board's jurisdiction for victims of juvenile offenders.

(c)  The victim assistance coordinator shall ensure that a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim, is afforded the rights granted victims, guardians, and relatives by Section 57.002 and, on request, an explanation of those rights. The victim assistance coordinator shall work closely with appropriate law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and the Texas Youth Commission in carrying out that duty.

(d)  The victim assistance coordinator shall ensure that at a minimum, a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim receives:

(1)  a written notice of the rights outlined in Section 57.002;

(2)  an application for compensation under the Crime Victims' Compensation Act (Subchapter B, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure); and

(3)  a victim impact statement with information explaining the possible use and consideration of the victim impact statement at detention, adjudication, and release proceedings involving the juvenile.

(e)  The victim assistance coordinator shall, on request, offer to assist a person receiving a form under Subsection (d) to complete the form.

(f)  The victim assistance coordinator shall send a copy of the victim impact statement to the court conducting a disposition hearing involving the juvenile.

(g)  The juvenile board, with the approval of the commissioners court of the county, may approve a program in which the victim assistance coordinator may offer not more than 10 hours of posttrial psychological counseling for a person who serves as a juror or an alternate juror in an adjudication hearing involving graphic evidence or testimony and who requests the posttrial psychological counseling not later than the 180th day after the date on which the jury in the adjudication hearing is dismissed.  The victim assistance coordinator may provide the counseling using a provider that assists local juvenile justice agencies in providing similar services to victims.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 51, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 93, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 93, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  57.0031.  Notification Of Rights Of Victims Of Juveniles.

At the initial contact or at the earliest possible time after the initial contact between the victim of a reported crime and the juvenile probation office having the responsibility for the disposition of the juvenile, the office shall provide the victim a written notice:

(1)  containing information about the availability of emergency and medical services, if applicable;

(2)  stating that the victim has the right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of crime as provided by the Crime Victims' Compensation Act (Subchapter B, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure), including information about:

(A)  the costs that may be compensated and the amount of compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application for compensation;

(B)  the payment for a medical examination for a victim of a sexual assault; and

(C)  referral to available social service agencies that may offer additional assistance;

(3)  stating the name, address, and phone number of the victim assistance coordinator for victims of juveniles;

(4)  containing the following statement: "You may call the crime victim assistance coordinator for the status of the case and information about victims' rights.";

(5)  stating the rights of victims of crime under Section 57.002;

(6)  summarizing each procedural stage in the processing of a juvenile case, including preliminary investigation, detention, informal adjustment of a case, disposition hearings, release proceedings, restitution, and appeals;

(7)  suggesting steps the victim may take if the victim is subjected to threats or intimidation;

(8)  stating the case number and assigned court for the case; and

(9)  stating that the victim has the right to file a victim impact statement and to have it considered in juvenile proceedings.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 51, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.



Section  57.004.  Notification.

A court, a person appointed by the court, or the Texas Youth Commission is responsible for notifying a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim of a proceeding under this chapter only if the victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim requests the notification in writing and provides a current address to which the notification is to be sent.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989.



Section  57.005.  Liability.

The Texas Youth Commission, a juvenile board, a court, a person appointed by a court, an attorney for the state, a peace officer, or a law enforcement agency is not liable for a failure or inability to provide a right listed under Section 57.002 of this code.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989.



Section  57.006.  Appeal.

The failure or inability of any person to provide a right or service listed under Section 57.002 of this code may not be used by a child as a ground for appeal or for a post conviction writ of habeas corpus.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989.



Section  57.007.  Standing.

A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a victim does not have standing to participate as a party in a juvenile proceeding or to contest the disposition of any case.

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 633, Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 1989.



Section  57.008.  Court Order For Protection From Juveniles.

(a) A court may issue an order for protection from juveniles directed against a child to protect a victim of the child's conduct who, because of the victim's participation in the juvenile justice system, risks further harm by the child.

(b)  In the order, the court may prohibit the child from doing specified acts or require the child to do specified acts necessary or appropriate to prevent or reduce the likelihood of further harm to the victim by the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 262, Sec. 52, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.


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