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House | June 22, 2016 | Chamber | House Judiciary

Full MP3 Audio File

[BLANK_AUDIO] [SOUND] I would like to call judiciary one to order we have a number of sergeant at arms for our protection David Leftum, Jonas Cherry, Bill Reilly and Barry Moore, thank you very much for being here. We also have two pages with us, if you could please stand and identify yourselves, and state where you're from and what grade you were in at school. >> I'm [INAUDIBLE] and from [INAUDIBLE] North Carolina and I will be [INAUDIBLE] Thank you all very much for being here with us. I think Representative Martin you all can sit down has someone with him he'd like to introduce this time. >> Thank you Mr Chair I got [INAUDIBLE] but she is gonna be a sophomore and at State Mary/g school in Raleigh [INAUDIBLE]. >> We're delighted to have you here also. The first bill we're gonna take up today is LLC clarifications senate bill 482 Representative Bishop is recognized to explain the bill. [SOUND] Representative Clark moves to make a motion. That we have the committee substitute before us unfavorable to the original. >> Thank you Mr.Chairman. This bill makes, one technical change, one clarifying change to the LLC Act, which was restated in 2013, and then the third item in it is to codify the result of the North Carolina Supreme Court opinion that came down just earlier this month on the issue of the hired [UNKNOWN] I will be glad to do a section by section review if anybody believes they need it, but I also will be glad to take questions, if when proceeding that way. >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> Motion to favorable report unfavorable as to original any other discussion If not, all in favor of the motion made by representative Arp let it be known by saying aye >> Aye opposed no and the ayes have it [INAUDIBLE]. >> Thank you Mr Chairman. >> The next bill is the expansion/g bill bill 570. As you may recall last week we had a expansion/g bill and in the process of trying to get that bill in the correct condition I learned that AOC was not ready at this time with the computer services to allow us to notify the prosecutor about the expungement/g. So we are gonna wait and take out the expungement/g maybe next year but I hate to loose the bill 570 so there's another bill that representative Faircloth has been pushing for some time is called certificate of relief. This is not a new bill Representative [INAUDIBLE] was here passed. I think it passed again last year, and so this is a third shot at it Representative Faircloth is recognized to explain the bill. Representative [INAUDIBLE] the clerk moves that we have the PCS before as favorable to the original all in favor of that motion. Thank you Chairman Daughtry. I certainly appreciate your being willing to work with us on getting this back before the committee. Certificate of Relief overview, North Carolina Certificate of Relief Act currently allows an individual convicted of two misdemeanor or low level felony offenses in a single session of court to petition a court in which his or her convictions occurred, for what's called a Certificate of Relief. The original bill was sponsored by former Representative Gais/g, now Commissioner Gais/g supports expanding eligibility for Certificate of Reliefs as a way to reduce recidivism/g and enhance community safety, and we're all certainly in favor of that change. Benefits of a Certificate of Relief, Certificates of Relief restore opportunities for certificate holders to be productive law abiding Citizens in several ways. Transform certain automatic civil disqualifications into discretion

every civil disqualifications. There are certain things in many regulatory agencies, and what have it that if you have a conviction you are automatically disqualified. This allows a little more flexibility to that. Provides employer and landlords and other decision makers evidence of due care that shields them from negligence liability. And provides employers and landlords and other decision makers additional information and context in determining an applicant's suitability for a specific position or resource. Things that certificates of relief do not do, they don't erase change or obscure an individual's criminal record for any purpose, they don't allow a certificate holder to deny the conviction occurred, they don't force employers, landlords and d officials or licensing agencies to hire, house, admit or licence certificate holders. They don't limit the discretion of the presiding judge to deny relief to an eligible individual, if the court determines granting relief is not appropriate. And they do not change the exceptions to relief identified in GS158173.3 which includes sex offense registration, possession to a firearm by a person with a felony conviction, motor vehicle licence verification or ineligibility, various law enforcement probation and criminal justice job positions and any disability imposed by a federal law of the North Carolina constitution. So it don't let people off the hook so to speak they still have to pay a price for their own doing. It's just that we believe that people ought to have a chance to become productive citizens if they are inclined to do that. The PCS expands eligibility to two individuals with multiple misdemeanor and little level felony convictions. Current eligibility single misdemeanor or low level felony convictions if occurred in the same session of court/g and PCS eligibility multiple misdemeanor or little level felony convictions same session court not required. Increase wait time for individuals decided that they need to wait a little longer if we will give it a little more flexibility, current eligibility 12 month wait period before sentence completion. The PCS eligibility 12 months wait period after sentence completion for individuals with five or less convictions and 36 months wait period after senate's completion for individuals with more than five convictions. And it also establishes a filing fee with $50 which doesn't exist now. This is a good move, it's not soft on crime, it still requires people to pay the price, they've got to serve their sentences, they've got to show some remorse. So we as citizens are satisfied but it does get them back into the mainstream where possible, makes them tax paying citizens again, taking care of families and that's what we're in favor of. >> There's an amendment to this bill, is that correct? >> Yes [INAUDIBLE]. >> Send forth an amendment. The amendment reads that the individual has more than one conviction in the same class of offence as the most serious offence, and the convictions are more than one court. The individual shall petition the court of the most recent conviction, would you explain that please. >> Right now individual [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] of the most recent conviction [INAUDIBLE]. >> It's more or less technical. Do I hear a motion to adapt the amendment? Representative Steinburg all in favor of the motion let me know by saying aye. >> Aye >> Opposed no and the ayes have it. Is there anyone in the audience who would like to speak about this bill either for or against it? Audience who would like to speak about this bill either for or against it? >> [INAUDIBLE] [BLANK_AUDIO] Thank you sir. My name is Daniel Bose/g I'm an attorney with the North Carolina Justice Center. As a son of a former [UNKNOWN] I'm also a member of a second chance alliance. The second chance alliance is the state wide alliance of individuals who have been incarcerated who have criminal convictions. Their family members and service providers, who think communities can be more prosperous and safer by restoring opportunity to productive citizenship, and I wanna thank Chairman Daughtry, Representative Faircloth,

Commissioner Gais for introducing certificate relief provision in this PCS. Representative Faircloth provided a pretty extensive overview of it, and so what I'd like to do is provide some background. People are moving around North Carolina trying to do better and trying to move past their criminal convictions. Really striving to build a life and be a productive citizen, and what we see in our electronic ages because people have this records they are not allowed to get jobs. And their not allowed to get housing and it really makes it hard to reintegrate with society,. and so what this bill does and I think the easiest thing is they compare to expunsions/g. Where expunsion/g wipes away the record in that person can say that it didn't occur and so it keeps employers blind to that issue and landlords, really everybody, and so what this does though is that it doesn't hide anything as representative Faircloth said it doesn't obscure somebody's criminal record, the employer when they are looking at that individual understands your criminal record. It just provides context to it they go back to the court that convicted them, and showing that court that they've done what they can to rehabilitate themselves, and they deserve a second chance. And what it also does is with employers what we hear is I would hire somebody, but I'm worried that, that would open up a negligence liability for just hiring somebody with a criminal record. And though those occasions in North Carolina are few and far between if employers believe that and they're operating on that belief and they're not hiring individuals then when you respond to that and this bill responds to that by saying that if an individual has a certificate of release then their employer knows about it. If their landlord knows about it then they can't be held liable for negligent hiring, and negligent leasing. Now if that individual engages in some behavior that the employer is aware of, of course there is some negligence there but just a fact that they hired somebody with a criminal record doesn't mean that they are open to liability, if the individual has a certificate of release. In by just pointing out that this is about providing individual discretion's to do the right thing, is an individual eligible, the judge doesn't have to grant the release. The individual has to prove by [INAUDIBLE] to the evidence that they have been rehabilitated, by showing the court that they completed, showing that they're trying to engage in work and that they currently have a job. It also doesn't require as representative Faircloth said an employer or landlord to hire somebody or lease somebody is just more context for that the individual and make that decision and protects them if they do. We actually have a [INAUDIBLE] by the North Carolina second chance fund to work at the community success initiative and helps people find jobs. If I can pass the [INAUDIBLE]. >> If you'll identify himself and happy to hear from him. >> Thank you sir. >> Good afternoon my name is William [INAUDIBLE] I am the director for Adult Case Management for Community Success .org which is community success initiative founded by Mr Dennis [INAUDIBLE] It seems like 100 years ago, when I was 21 years old I had a dubious distinction of embezzling money from equitable savings and loan. In the North west from coaching from a [INAUDIBLE] and a lady who I will always love from the reorganized church of [INAUDIBLE] saints of which I'm not a member, embraced me. I didn't know that this lady worked for the governor, at the time in California she walked me into the governors office, and criminal justice and got me a job as a consultant for the criminal justice system from there. I went on to become an outpatient chief facilitator for HIV and epidemiology at highland hospital, and then I became an AIDS councilor at UC medical center and when I left, got ready to leave the hospital to my shock they offered to double my salary if I would stay there when I got ready top move to North Carolina and seeing all this to say that I've been able to have a protective life, because some people forgave me and embraced me. And just gave me the opportunity, I've done workshops in prisons across the United States including San Quentin and I just left the Herman road doing a motivational workshop before I got here. So giving me that chance allows me to truly give back and help others. And I really appreciate what you're doing here and I think that this is moving in the right direction, thank you. >> Thank you very much, anyone else in the audience like to speak for or against the bill? [BLANK-AUDIO] Representative Faircloth you wanna explain the expansion part for this bill. >> If you would [INAUDIBLE]. >> Representative Harrison would you like to explain this expansion

part of the bill? >> Sure. >> You certainly were interested in having it passed. >> Yes sir this is something that this committee discussed in fact actually last year and I in [INAUDIBLE] disabled combat veterans who is also currently a police officer, and a single father who is involved in a messy marriage split up where the ex wife is charged a couple of times with child custody violation and so he uses one expansion not guilty charge but he had subsequent taken out against him by his ex-wife and he is not able to get that office record and he's found difficult [INAUDIBLE] expired in November so difficult to find a job in [INAUDIBLE] so we talked about this last year that if the court had found that he was not guilty did it made sense to allow someone to have another opportunity for expungesion/g and I would just ask for your support in that division, I don't know. >> So if you're found not guilty by the court. >> Only. >> Only of you're found not guilty. >> We had talked about adding this [INAUDIBLE] but we didn't include that it's just if you're found not it's very narrow but it's something fair to the affected individual. So I'd appreciate your support. >> Representative McNeal. >> Thank you and I just wanna make a comment, I do have a question. The comments on the certificate of relief I'm very much approve of that it is great, it's wonderful and I'm glad to see it being done, actually expanded cuz I know the certificate relief has been there for a couple of years but my question was about the expansion part of it, and it's not a general question but I was wondering what the question, December 1st, 1999, how that played into that. That kind of confused me just a little bit, as far as what this is, so maybe it's just a technical question. >> [INAUDIBLE] the offensive date of the change that 18v as three of you are which is being targeted for the existing statute of what that first encroachment for finding of this this mental finding he's not guilty, finding he's not responsible, and this is the criteria for that. This will be a new subsection and I think one of the same criteria for eligibility but only upon a bonding of not guilty or not responsible could you get that [INAUDIBLE] >> Follow up. >> Follow up. >> So are we trading people that were convicted differently, that were convicted before this date than we are now after that date, I mean are we treating them differently? >> I don't believe so. I can definitely do a little more digging, I believe the house committee if I will wok with you, but I believe that is the effective date of that particular section in the statute that allows for this function. >> Any other questions? Do I hear a motion? Representative Darren Jackson. >> I move that we [INAUDIBLE] >> It's a $50 balling fee we gotta [INAUDIBLE] you've heard the motion now all in favor let it be know by saying aye? >> Aye. >> Opposed no, and the ayes have it, thank you and this meeting is adjourned. [BLANK_AUDIO]