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§ 11.312. Powers and duties of Office of Victims' Services

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 18 P.S. Crimes and OffensesEffective: September 9, 2022

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 18 P.S. Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 2. Crime Victims Act (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 3. Administration
Subchapter B. Bureau of Victims' Services
Effective: September 9, 2022
18 P.S. § 11.312
§ 11.312. Powers and duties of Office of Victims' Services
<Section 16 of Act 2022, July 11, P.L. 775, No. 77, provides that the amendment of this section by that Act shall apply to claims where the crime occurred after April 7, 2023.>
The Office of Victims' Services, subject to approval of the commission, has the following powers and duties:
(1) To establish and maintain a principal office in or near Harrisburg and such other offices within this Commonwealth as it may deem necessary.
(2) To appoint counsel, clerks, claims verifiers, hearing officers and other employees and agents as it may deem necessary, to fix their compensation within the limits provided by law and to prescribe their duties.
(3) To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind suitable regulations to carry out the provisions and purposes of Chapter 7.1 The regulations shall provide for the following:
(i) The approval of attorney fees for representation before the Office of Victims' Services, a hearing examiner or before Commonwealth Court upon judicial review under section 705.2 Awards of the attorney fees shall be in addition to awards made to direct victims or claimants. Awards of attorney fees may not exceed 15% of the award to the direct victim or claimants. It shall be unlawful for an attorney to contract for or receive a sum larger than the amount allowed under this subparagraph.
(ii) Policies, procedures and standards of review regarding claims for compensation.
(iii) Approval or denial of claims, including contributory conduct by direct victims.
(iv) Verification of information and documents.
(v) Prioritization of review.
(vi) All other matters related to the processing of claims.
(4) To request and review from law enforcement agencies and from any other state or municipal department, agency or public authority assistance and data as will enable the Office of Victims' Services to carry out its powers and duties.
(5) To determine all claims for awards filed with the Office of Victims' Services under Chapter 7 and to reinvestigate or reopen cases as the Office of Victims' Services deems necessary.
(6) To direct medical examinations of direct victims.
(7) To appoint hearing officers authorized to administer oaths or affirmations, to examine any person under oath or affirmation and to issue subpoenas requiring attendance of witnesses, testimony of witnesses and production of evidence. Except where a claim is determined to be frivolous, claimants shall receive reimbursement at a rate to be determined by the Office of Victims' Services for attending hearings, regardless of the disposition of the claim.
(8) To take or cause to be taken affidavits or depositions in or outside of this Commonwealth.
(9) To render each year to the Governor and to the General Assembly a written report of its activities.
(10) To arrange with the heads of other Commonwealth agencies for the performance of any of its functions under this act with or without reimbursement and with the approval of the Governor to delegate and authorize the redelegation of any of its powers under this act.
(11) To establish a program to assure extensive and continuing publicity of information regarding the compensation provisions under Chapter 7. This information shall include the right to file a claim, the scope of coverage and procedures to be utilized incident thereto.
(12) To administer the funds under section 1101(b)3 for the payment of claims filed under Chapter 7 and for all reasonable and necessary administrative expenses.
(13) To establish compensation limits and reimbursement rates for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of Chapter 7. The Office of Victims' Services shall publish a schedule of these compensation limits and reimbursement rates in the Pennsylvania Bulletin provided that the Office of Victims' Services shall, within two years of such publication, promulgate a regulation setting forth the schedule of compensation limits and reimbursement.

Credits

1998, Nov. 24, P.L. 882, No. 111, § 312, imd. effective. Amended 2002, June 28, P.L. 496, No. 85, § 2, effective in 60 days; 2022, July 11, P.L. 775, No. 77, § 7, effective in 60 days [Sept. 9, 2022].

Footnotes

18 P.S. § 11.701 et seq.
18 P.S. § 11.705.
18 P.S. § 11.1101.
18 P.S. § 11.312, PA ST 18 P.S. § 11.312
Current through 2022 Regular Session Act 166. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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