[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 3-26-1985 by L.L. No. 5-1985 (Ch. 481 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
All existing courthouses in Suffolk County within which criminal proceedings are held shall provide, where physically possible, a secure waiting area that ensures that any victim of a crime, or other witness for the people, who is at a court to testify in any criminal proceeding will not be in contact with defendants or the families and friends of such defendants.
When major renovations are undertaken or new facilities are built which house courts handling criminal proceedings in Suffolk County, a secure waiting area that ensures that any victim of a crime, or other witness for the people, who is at court to testify in any criminal action will not be in contact with defendants or the families and friends of such defendants shall be provided when such renovation or construction is undertaken.
Whenever a victim shall give information in person to a police officer or to a District Attorney or an employee of a District Attorney concerning a crime of which he is a victim, such officer, District Attorney or employee shall inquire as to whether the victim has received a victim notice form and, where the victim indicates that he has not received such form, shall issue or shall make arrangement to issue to the victim a victim notice form and a copy of the provisions of this chapter. In the event that the victim is deceased, is under the age of 18 or is unable by reason of mental or physical disability to fill out a victim notice form, the form and a copy of this chapter shall be issued to any family member who appears to represent the interest of the victim.
At the time a victim notice is issued as provided in Subsection A of this section, the person issuing said notice shall indicate thereon his own name and:
If no criminal action has yet been commenced, the place where the record of the report of the crime will be maintained; or
The person issuing a victim notice form shall, also at the time of issuance, inform the victim or family member of the manner and place where such form must be filed if an election to file is made.
A person to whom a victim notice has been issued, pursuant to this section, may, if he so elects, file, by mail or in person, within 90 days of receipt of the victim notice, the victim notice at the place indicated in Subsection B(1)(a) or (b) of this section. Where the notice has been filed at the place set forth in Subsection B(1)(a) of this section, it shall be the duty of the employee of the District Attorney who appears at the arraignment on the first accusatory instrument filed in any criminal action based upon the crime to submit the victim notice to the Clerk of the court. Where a victim notice has been so submitted or where a victim notice is filed with the court indicated in Subsection B(1)(b) of this section, it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the court or the Clerk of the part to attach the notice to the accusatory instruments.
A victim notice filed with an accusatory instrument must be transmitted to any court that subsequently acquires jurisdiction of the criminal action and must be attached to the accusatory instrument filed therein. It also shall be attached to all superseding accusatory instruments.
If a sentence is imposed or other court order issued requiring custodial placement, the Clerk of the court of the part shall transmit a victim notice to any custodial institution located within Suffolk County where placement is to occur. If at any time such original custodial institution transfers an individual to any other custodial institution, a victim notice shall accompany such transfer.
Notwithstanding the absence of filing a victim notice, whenever a victim shall give information to a police officer or to a District Attorney or an employee of a District Attorney concerning a crime of which he is a victim, such officer, District Attorney or employee shall, to the best of his or her ability, provide the victim with information about financial and social service assistance available to crime victims. This information shall include, but is not limited to, information about available rape crisis centers; victim/witness assistance programs; elderly victim projects; the Crime Victims Compensation Board; victim assistance hotlines; and domestic violence shelters and programs.