5139.56 Notice to victim of all release reviews, pending release hearings, supervised release revocation hearings, and discharge reviews.

(A) The victim of an act for which a child has been committed to the legal custody of the department of youth services may submit a written request to the release authority to notify the victim of all release reviews, pending release hearings, supervised release revocation hearings, and discharge reviews relating to the child, of the placement of the child on supervised release, and of the discharge of the child. If the victim is a minor, is incapacitated, incompetent, or chooses to be represented by another person, the victim may designate in writing a person to act on the victim's behalf as a victim's representative and to request and receive the notices. If the victim is deceased, the executor or administrator of the victim's estate or, if there is no executor or administrator of the victim's estate, a member of the victim's family may designate in writing a person to act on the victim's behalf as a victim's representative and to request and receive the notices. If more than one person seeks to act as the representative of the victim, the release authority shall designate one person to act as the victim's representative. If the victim chooses not to have a representative, the victim shall be the sole person accorded rights under this section. The release authority may give notice by any means reasonably calculated to provide prompt actual notice.

If a victim, an executor or administrator, or a member of a victim's family designates a person in writing pursuant to this division to act on the victim's behalf as a victim's representative, the victim, executor, administrator, or family member, or the victim's representative, shall notify the release authority that the victim's representative is to act for the victim. A victim, executor, administrator, or member of a victim's family who has designated a person in writing pursuant to this division to act on the victim's behalf as a victim's representative may revoke the authority of that person to act as the victim's representative. Upon the revocation, the victim, executor, administrator, or member of the victim's family shall notify the release authority in writing that the authority of the person to so act has been revoked. At any time after the revocation, the victim, executor, administrator, or member of the victim's family may designate in writing a different person to act on the victim's behalf as a victim's representative.

The victim or victim's representative shall provide the release authority an address or telephone number at which notice may be given and shall notify the release authority in writing of any changes in that information. If at any time the victim or victim's representative elects to waive notice and other rights afforded by this section, the victim or victim's representative may do so in a written statement to the release authority.

(B) If a victim or victim's representative has requested notice of release reviews, pending release hearings, supervised release revocation hearings, and discharge reviews related to a child, of the placement of the child on supervised release, and of the discharge of the child, the release authority shall give that person notice of a release review, release hearing, or discharge review at least thirty days prior to the date of the review or hearing. The notice shall specify the date, time, and place of the review or hearing, the right of the victim or victim's representative to make an oral or written statement addressing the impact of the offense or delinquent act upon the victim or oral or written comments regarding the possible release or discharge, and, if the notice pertains to a hearing, the right to attend, and make the statements or comments at the hearing. Upon receiving notice that a release hearing is scheduled, a victim or victim's representative who intends to attend the release hearing, at least two days prior to the hearing, shall notify the release authority of the victim's or representative's intention to be present at the release hearing so that the release authority may ensure appropriate accommodations and security. If the child is placed on supervised release or is discharged, the release authority shall provide notice of the release or discharge to the victim or victim's representative in accordance with division (F) of section 5139.51 of the Revised Code. If the child is on supervised release, if a court has scheduled a hearing pursuant to division (F) of section 5139.52 of the Revised Code to consider the revocation of the supervised release, and if the release authority has been informed of the hearing, the release authority promptly shall notify the victim or victim's representative of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(C) If a victim or victim's representative has requested notice of release reviews, pending release hearings, supervised release revocation hearings, and discharge reviews related to a child, of the placement of the child on supervised release, and of the discharge of the child, and if a release review, release hearing, or discharge review is scheduled or pending, the release authority shall give that person an opportunity to provide a written statement or communicate orally with a representative of the release authority regarding the possible release or discharge or to make oral or written comments regarding the possible release or discharge to a representative of the release authority, regardless of whether the victim or victim's representative is present at a hearing on the matter. If a victim or victim's representative is present at a release hearing, the authority shall give that person an opportunity to make the oral or written statement or comments at the hearing. The oral or written statement and comments may address the impact of the offense or delinquent act upon the victim, including the nature and extent of any harm suffered, the extent of any property damage or economic loss, any restitution ordered by the committing court and the progress the child has made toward fulfillment of that obligation, and the victim's recommendation for the outcome of the release hearing. A written statement or written comments submitted by a victim or a victim's representative under this section are confidential, are not a public record, and shall be returned to the release authority at the end of a release hearing by any person who receives a copy of them.

At a release hearing before the release authority, a victim or victim's representative may be accompanied by another person for support, but that person shall not act as a victim's representative. The release authority and other employees of the department of youth services shall make reasonable efforts to minimize contact between the child and the victim, victim's representative, or support person before, during, and after the hearing. The release authority shall use a separate waiting area for the victim, victim's representative, and support person if a separate area is available.

(D) At no time shall a victim or victim's representative be compelled to disclose the victim's address, place of employment, or similar identifying information to the child or the child's parent or legal guardian. Upon request of a victim or a victim's representative, the release authority shall keep in its files only the address or telephone number to which it shall send notice of a release review, pending release hearing, supervised release revocation hearing, discharge review, grant of supervised release, or discharge.

(E) No employer shall discharge, discipline, or otherwise retaliate against a victim or victim's representative for participating in a hearing before the release authority. This division generally does not require an employer to compensate an employee for time lost as a result of attendance at a hearing before the release authority.

(F) The release authority shall make reasonable, good faith efforts to comply with the provisions of this section. Failure of the release authority to comply with this section does not give rise to a claim for damages against the release authority and does not require modification of a final decision by the release authority.

(G) If a victim is in the legal custody of the department of youth services and resides in a secure facility or in another secure residential program, including a community corrections facility, or is incarcerated, the release authority may modify the victim's rights under this section to prevent a security risk, hardship, or undue burden upon a public official or agency with a duty under this section. If the victim resides in another state under similar circumstances, the release authority may make similar modifications of the victim's rights.

Cite as R.C. § 5139.56

History. Effective Date: 09-01-1998