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House | May 18, 2016 | Chamber | House Session Judiciary

Full MP3 Audio File

I'd like to call to order the judiciary one committee. I'd like to recognize our pages. If you don't mind stand. David Cox tell us where you go to high school High school and where you live. >> I'm David Cox I live in Harley and was home schooled. >> You're home schooled Sheena Diane. >> My name is Sheena Diane. I'm from Rowley. And I go to the [INAUDIBLE] Academy BLANK_AUDIO] Benson Kim. >> My name is Benson Kim I'm from [INAUDIBLE] and I go to [INAUDIBLE] high school. >> Eric Wiley. >> I'm Eric Wiley and I'm from [INAUDIBLE] . >> Thank you. Thank you all for being here We have some protection. We have some very fine sergeant in arms David Lithcom, Jonas Cherry, Bill Riley and Barry Moore,. I know you feel safe now. We also have with us today some very special guest. I wanna introduce Is first the governor's legal counsel his name is Bob Stevens all you know him. And then we have Gerry Salamina I believe is the president of Chamber of Commerce is that correct ? >> That's correct, I do the government affairs >> Okay excuse me. And you have with you a great friend of mine and a great And a great judge. Judge James L. Gale. What has he done, tell us about it. >> I think Mr. Chairman the governor has now made Judge Gale the [INAUDIBLE] chief justice of North Carolina business forum. 14 years of experience [INAUDIBLE]And we're very privileged and we're here.[INAUDIBLE] >> Judge Gale would you like to say a few words about yourself >> I still wanna be respectful of time, Mr. Chairman I appreciate just being here. I came to visit [INAUDIBLE] after 35 years of practicing litigation. I recognize the importance Of this court. We started some things to improve upon its inefficiencies and my term as chief Judge, there is a lot going on, [INAUDIBLE] also to represent the court outside the state to maintain it's national reputation. There is a lot of things going. I'd be happy to answer a question for you but I'm certainly I would like the opportunity to continue [INAUDIBLE] >> One thing I'd like to say about the Business Court, and particularly Judge Gale, I have not appeared before him myself but people in my firm have and they are very impressed with him. He is the kind of judge we call a lawyer's judge and he knows what he's doing, he gets Out of court and he settles cases and one of the things in my district we have one company from Spain that has a corporation here. One from Germany and they are always concerned about if you get sued in the United States in North Carolina will we be treated fairly? and the business court is a real commerce boost for our state. Thank you for being here Judge Gale. >> Thank you sir. >> Our first bill is Representative Cleveland and Ruddel, the bill is entitled state control criminal requisite. >> thank you Mr. Chairman, we discovered a few months back that the Controller did not have ability to run criminal records checks on any of their employees, which I've really found interesting, seeing that they deal with the amounts of money that they deal with, and other things. And this bill will authorize the State Controller to require a criminal records check for any current or prospective employees, volunteers or contractors. The records check will be run by the SPI, they'll use the normal forms that are required for the records checks and they'll do a thorough record check The criminal history will not be a public record, will be kept confidential and [COUGH] the SPI I'm sure will charge and can charge for the records check. >> Does controller support the bill? >> It definitely the controller supports the bill, she's the one that came to me and said I can't do this do this >> Any questions? Representative Hudster. >> I'll be happy to make a motion at the perfect time. >> Do you have a question? >> Now it's a good time to make the motion. >> Mr. Chair I move that the committee give a favorable report to House Bill 970. >> Do you have a question? Comment [COUGH] all in favor,

the motion let be known by saying aye, >> Aye >> There is no, no and the aye have it >> Thank you Mr. chairman [SOUND] >> Second bill is a PCS, veterans post traumatic stress mitigating fight. Representative Martin Have a motion before us by Representative Mart/g that we had here that PCS unfavorable as to the original. All in favor of that let be known by saying aye >> aye >> The floor is yours >> Thank you Mr. chairman, and thank you my members of J1. I am an office lawyer and a Pretty crummy criminal lawyer. I practiced with Bob Stevens he'll vouch for me that I'm a crappy criminal lawyer, so I've brought in to help me on this criminal law bill representatives Zachary, Reeves and Richardson all of whom have actually seen the inside of a criminal courtroom to help guide me. Of course none of them are here right now so thank goodness we've got Good stuff for a while there. But I am told that in our current criminal law regime that when you are convicted of a crime and the Judge goes to sentence you, the Judge sentences you within a certain range based on Statutory Guidelines. The Judge is allowed to deviate from those Guidelines based on the presence of aggravating and/or mitigating factors. So we've got in statutes several aggravating or mitigating factors. I learned that in the state of Oklahoma they passed legislation that allows the judge to consider sentencing convicted person, as a mitigating factor, if that person is a veteran who served in the combat zone and is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as a result Of their military service. This would not allow the judge to set the person free necessarily but it allows, not requires. But allows the judge to consider that as a mitigating factor that could perhaps reduce the sentence a little bit lower. That's the lay man or at least near to a layman Layman that a lawyer can be explanation Mr. Chair, I know staff could talk a little bit more detail , I'm happy to answer any questions. >> Lady is recognised. >> Mr. Chair, the bill itself does allow a defendant to ask the judge for mitigating factors. The fact that the defendant is Post traumatic stress disorder, the defendant would need to show that they are having served in the army of The United States, have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of a service in the armed forces of the United States in a combat area and would need to show the court that they Undergoing professional treatment for that post traumatic stress disorder. >> One comment I'd like to make, I talked to DA's about this bill and they are highly in favour of it. Any questions? Representative Stone. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman, I got a question on lines 19 and 20 Which is proof of service that consists of a certification by the secretary, military and veteran affairs. I don't understand that, what do they have to do? >> Good question, they're actually already performing a similar function for a lot of our veterans and military related licence plates so in order to determine that you are That you are eligible say for an Afghanistan veteran or a Vietnam veteran licence plate you actually have to get a certification from the secretary's office on that. So one approach that we could have taken but to kinda take would be to actually specify in the statute what documentation required whether it is a DD214, campaign ribbon etc. This is a variety of different types of proof, we thought it better to leave it up to the experts and state government and let them sign off on it, they would know, they would be able to see Colonel's DD14 that said he [INAUDIBLE] >> Follow up? >> Follow up. >> So then how would the work and reality, I mean Applying for a licence plate I can sit around all day and wait for that to be approved or denied. But if I'm going to court, I mean, how's the timeline work? How's that process work when, and don't use me as an example cuz I don't have any current work, but how would that work in practice? >> Right. I'll give you my speculation then probably turn over to staff to confirm or deny what I've said. But if the Defendant themselves is free, which would be in doubt, they could apply to the Secretary, request it from the Secretary himself. Their Counsel could do it. I don't think anything would prohibit a family member from doing it also. >> [BLANK_AUDIO] Representative Fath/g? >> Following along the sames lines, the way I read this is that there's no other certification but the Secretary of Military and Veteran Affairs. Is that the correct reading? >> That's the way I read it. >> Staff's nodding their heads also. >> Follow up? >> Follow up. >> Is that a overly narrow restriction? In effect I'm trying to find out. Find out in this situation, why? >> Good question.

This is where I would like to have my criminal law practitioners with me, but imagine you're in a court room where the judge has not served in the military, doesn't know all the acronyms, all the terminology, and representative Reeves, my criminal law partner here has shown up so he can tell me if what I'm saying doesn't reflect what goes on in the court room. The Judge may never have served in the military. The defendant could present the judge with something he says is a defense department form that purports to say something but without the expertise of essentially Department of Defense bureaucracy and paperwork. The judge might not be qualified to actually make a determination as to whether or not that paperwork indicates that the person served in a combat zone, for example. >> I think that's a good question, it's a matter of striking the balance. This is the approach that Oklahoma essentially took and it seems to work pretty well for a license plates. >> Dr Brady/g you would like to say anything to the committee about the bill >> I told them you my criminal law adult supervision >> I'd like to say hello and we appreciate your vote [LAUGH] >> Representative Gravas/g >> Mr. chairman at the appropriate time I'd like to >> You're recognized for I do have one other question here. In Section Two, the appropriation for approximately $5,000 to state veterans treatment court. Are they asking for that? What's the history behind this? >> The history behind that is it's not in the budget, it's not gonna be in the budget. If anything moves forward in the Bill it's gonna be just what's in Section One Well, >> I'm gonna follow up, I'm not sure I understand that answer so shall we just that in $1? >> It's a short session eligibility issue. We're gonna pass the Budget today and tomorrow and. I certainly and no else has any intent to offer an amendment but anywhere >> from $1 to $25,000 in the budget. >> Representative Robinson >> Mr. Chairman I move that house bill 1104 be given a favorable report >> Favorable to the PCS and unfavorable to the original That's your Motion. All in favor say let be known by saying aye. >> Aye >> The ayes have it and say hello to Judge Gale on your way out. [BLANK AUDIO]