Status: HOUSE: REPORT FILED (Details)
Length: 1041 words.
Revisions of this bill in our system:
|Public hearing:||2009-02-04 14:00:00 LOB 208||(unscheduled)|
|Executive session:||2009-10-28 00:00:00||(unscheduled)|
|Floor vote:||2009-03-04 00:00:00||(unscheduled)|
HB 682-FN – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 682-FN
This bill clarifies that the state is required to provide and maintain court security, under conditions deemed appropriate by the supreme court, through the county sheriffs. The bill replaces references to “bailiff” with “court security officer” and establishes the duties and powers of court security officers and the training requirements for court security officers. The bill also increases the amount reimbursed to county sheriffs for persons employed as court security officers.
This bill was requested by the supreme court.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine
AN ACT relative to court security and court security officers.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
490-F:1 Statement of Purpose. It is the intent of the legislature and the purpose of this chapter to improve the administration of justice and the efficient operation of all courts in this state by providing for improved protection of court staff, members of the public, and officers of the court while conducting their affairs and business in all the state’s courts.
490-F:2 Definition. In this chapter, “court security officer” means any person providing security for a court building or a courtroom including, but not limited to, sheriffs, sheriffs’ deputies, and sheriffs’ bailiffs
490-F:3 Responsibilities. The state, through the county sheriffs, shall provide and maintain suitable court security for the court buildings and courtrooms in which all court sessions are held, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Each county sheriff shall be responsible for court security for all court buildings and all court sessions held within that sheriff’s county. Court security shall be provided for the conduct of court business at times and under conditions deemed appropriate by the supreme court.
490-F:4 Duties of Court Security Officers. Court security officers shall:
I Perform the duties of crier of the court.
II. Provide adequate security in all state courts and for such other judicial functions as requested by the supreme court.
III. Be responsible for the conduct and control of detained defendants and prisoners during the time period that such defendants and prisoners are in all state courts.
490-F:5 Power of Arrest. Court security officers shall have the powers of arrest provided in RSA 594 when performing their duties relating to court security.
490-F:6 Control of the Courtroom. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to be in derogation of the responsibility of the judicial officer presiding in the courtroom to control courtroom functions and to ensure the fair adjudication of controversies.
490-F:7 Court Security Officer Training. The police standards and training council shall establish minimum education, training, and performance standards for employment as a court security officer, including such background investigation checks and physical and mental standards as it deems appropriate. The council shall carry out such initial and in-service training programs as are needed to meet the minimum educational, training, and performance standards. Upon completion of initial and in-service training, the council shall certify persons as being qualified as court security officers. The council shall consult with the New Hampshire Sheriffs Association and the supreme court in performing its duties pursuant to this section.
490-F:8 Reimbursement to County Sheriffs. The state shall reimburse each county sheriff, within available funds appropriated by the legislature, up to $150 for each full day and up to $75 for each half day, for any person certified as a court security officer pursuant to RSA 490-F:7 and employed as a court security officer by the sheriffs office. For the purpose of this section, a half day shall be defined as a day in which a court security officer works 4 hours or less. The state shall reimburse the counties, within available funds appropriated by the legislature, for all costs associated with employing court security officers, including administration, training, and the cost of uniforms and equipment, if those costs are the result of job requirements imposed by federal and state governments.
490-F:9 Budget Requests for Court Security. The county sheriffs shall submit their requests for reimbursement for court security prior to each biennium to the commissioner of the department of administrative services in accordance with the deadlines and the format provided in RSA 9:4. The commissioner shall include in the budget for the department of administrative services a sum sufficient to provide reimbursement to the county sheriffs for the cost of providing court security pursuant to this chapter.
490-F:10 Court Security Recommendations. By July 1 of each year, the supreme court, with the assistance of the court accreditation commission, shall make recommendations to the county sheriffs and to the commissioner of the department of administrative services as to suitable court security.
2 Reference Change. Amend RSA 30-B:4, III(b) to read as follows:
(b) Whenever a person in the custody of the superintendent under subparagraph (a) is transported to a state court, the sheriff through the [
sheriff’s deputies and bailiffs] court security officers provided for in RSA 490-F shall be responsible for custody and control of such person during the time period such person is in the courthouse.
3 Reference Change. Amend RSA 159:5 to read as follows:
159:5 Exceptions. The provisions of RSA 159:3 and 4 shall not apply to marshals, sheriffs, policemen or other duly appointed peace and other law enforcement officers, or [
bailiffs and] court security officers [ responsible for court security]; nor to the regular and ordinary transportation of pistols or revolvers as merchandise, nor to members of the armed services of the United States when on duty; nor to the national guard when on duty; nor to organizations by law authorized to purchase or receive such weapons; nor to duly authorized military or civil organizations when parading, or the members thereof when at, or going to or from, their customary places of assembly.
4 Reference Change. Amend RSA 623:1-a to read as follows:
623:1-a Court Appearances. Any person confined in a county department of corrections facility, state prison, or other place of detention may, under necessary precautions and upon approval of the administrator of the institution in which said person is confined, be taken by some regular or specially authorized officer from such place of detention to a state or federal court within the state of New Hampshire to appear in a proceeding before that court. During the time period such person is in a state courthouse, the sheriff, through the [
sheriff’s deputies and bailiffs] court security officers provided for in RSA 490-F, shall be responsible for such person’s custody and control.
5 Repeal. The following are repealed:
I. RSA 104:5, II-IV, relative to duties of the sheriff and the sheriff’s deputies and bailiffs.
II. RSA 104:31, X, relative to reimbursement of sheriffs’ offices for persons employed as bailiffs.
III. RSA 594:1-a, relative to bailiffs and court security officers.
6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009.
HB 682-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to court security and court security officers.
The Judicial Branch, the Department of Administrative Services, the Police Standards & Training Council, and the New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill will increase state and county revenue and expenditures by indeterminable amounts in FY 2010 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local revenue or expenditures.
The Judicial Branch states this bill would establish a new system of court security to be provided in all courts by the county sheriffs who would be reimbursed for their services by the state. The budget for court security would be supervised by the Department of Administrative Services and the newly established performance standards and training program would be the responsibility of the Police Standards & Training Council. The Branch gathered its information from the report of the Commission Relative to Security Issues, and based all of its calculations on assumptions contained in that report. The Branch categorized the fiscal impact into two components: training and startup costs in the program’s first year (appendix D in the Commission’s report) and ongoing operations costs in the second and subsequent years (appendix E in the Commission’s report). For the first component, the Branch assumed 348 court security officers (CSO) would be needed to cover all courts statewide, and that each of the 348 officers would require 25 days (20 with the Police Standards & Training Council, and 5 in a field training officer program) of training. This translates to 8,700 days (348 CSO x 25 days) for which the state would be responsible for at the rate of $100, up from $65 under current law, per day (as discussed in the commission report) per CSO, for a grand total of $870,000 for wages. In addition to wages, the Branch assumed the following initial year costs: those calculated as a percentage of wages, specifically payroll fringe for $110,055 (12.65% x $870,000) and an administration fee paid to counties for $26,100 (3% x $870,000); and those calculated per unit of measure, specifically hiring, screening, and testing for $226,200 ($650 x 348 CSO), uniform and equipment for $870,000 ($2,500 x 348 CSO), and mileage for $141,300 ( $0.45 x 314,000 miles). The Branch estimates the total first year cost would be $2,243,655. For the second component, the Branch assumed the number of CSO days necessary to staff the courts for a year would be 64,835. The Branch also included in the wage calculation assumptions that each CSO would require 2 additional days of service training per year and that the program would encounter, based on history, an annual 10% (35 CSO) turnover rate. These assumptions would require per diem payments above and beyond the 64,835 CSO days estimated to staff the courts, specifically 696 CSO days (2 days training x 348 CSO) and 875 (25 days training x 35 CSO), for a total annual wage cost of $6,640,600 ( [64,835 + 696 + 875] CSO days x $100). For each year of operations, the payroll fringe for $840,036 (12.65% x $6,640,655) and the administrative fee for $199,218 (3% x $6,640,655) would also apply, as would the hiring, screening, and testing for $22,750 ($650 x 35 new hires due to turnover), the uniform and equipment costs for $28,000 (reduced uniform and equipment allowance of $800 x 35 new hires), and the mileage for $22,464 ($0.45 x 49,920 miles). The Branch estimates the total annual cost of operations for the program would be $7,753,068. The Branch states the current plan entails starting the program in FY 2010, with half of the initial startup costs occurring in FY 2010, representing entirely new costs to the state in the amount of $1,121,828 ($2,243,655 / 2). The other half of those startup costs would occur in FY 2011, along with $3,876,534 for half of a year of operations cost. However, these operations costs would be somewhat offset by the cost of the court security program currently in existence, which would be discontinued once the proposed program began operations, presumably in the second half of FY 2011. So assuming that half of the current program’s costs would be saved, the net fiscal impact to state expenditures in FY 2011 is $2,640,482 ($1,121,828 + 3,876,534 - $2,357,880). The Branch estimates for FY 2012 and each year thereafter, the net fiscal impact on state expenditures would be the annual operating cost of the proposed program ($7,753,068) offset by the annual cost of the current program ($4,715,759), or $3,037,309. The Branch states that these amounts do not consider potential increases in the per diem rate or inflation. See the net fiscal impact below:
2010 2011 2012 2013
Startup costs $1,121,828 $1,121,828 $0 $0
Ongoing operations costs $0 $3,876,534 $7,753,068 $7,753,068
Current program (offset) $0 $(2,357,880) $(4,715,759) $(4,715,759)
State expenditure increase $1,121,828 $2,640,482 $3,037,309 $3,037,309
The Department of Administrative Services uses the same methodology as the Judicial Branch, however some of the assumptions it uses are different. For instance, the Department assumes a per diem rate for court security officers of $150, the maximum allowed in the proposed bill, a mileage rate of $0.585 per mile, and a slightly different number of miles eligible for reimbursement. Also, despite the using the same percentage rates for payroll fringe and the administrative fee, because the Department assumes a different wage base ($150 per CSO day as opposed to $100) the dollar calculations for those amounts do not coincide with the Judicial Branch. The Department also assumes the proposed program will commence at the beginning of FY 2010, with startup cost occurring only in that year and operations costs for the full year in FY 2011, without the overlap estimated by the Judicial Branch. The Department also estimated cost growth of 2% annually after FY 2011. See the net fiscal impact below:
2010 2011 2012 2013
Startup costs $2,789,059 $0 $0 $0
Ongoing operations costs $0 $11,601,489 $11,833,519 $12,070,189
Current program (offset) $0 $ (4,715,759) $ (4,810,074) $ (4,906,276)
State expenditure increase $2,789,059 $ 6,885,730 $ 7,023,445 $ 7,163,913
The Police Standards & Training Council states this bill mandates a new certification program for a category of persons that have not previously been certified by the Council. The Council anticipates the training will include physical training, firearms, defensive tactics, and academics, but states nothing definitive has yet been developed in reference to this bill. While both the Judicial Branch and the Department of Administrative Services estimated the cost of paying the court security officer trainees during training, neither included the cost of the training itself in their analysis. The Council is only estimating the cost of this training, representing an increase in state expenditures and a corresponding rise in state restricted revenue. The Council calculated a per student hour training rate of $16.81 by dividing total training costs in FY 2008 by the number of hours of training given in FY 2008 ($2,972,336 / 176,826 hours). The Council made assumptions slightly different from those used above, using a different number of officers requiring training, and categorizing training candidates into two types: inexperienced, who would require the full 4 weeks of training (135.5 hours), and experienced, who would only need approximately one half of the training time (70 hours) due to previous experience in law enforcement. The Council estimated that training would start in FY 2010, and for the first two years it would provide full training for 70 candidates for $159,443 per year (70 candidates x 135.5 hours x $16.81 per hour) and half training for 30 candidates for $35,301 per year (30 candidates x 70 hours x $16.81 per hour). The Council also assumed that the training volume would lessen in the third and subsequent years of the program, with 35 candidates receiving full training per year for $79,722 (35 candidates x 135.5 hours x $16.81 per hour) and 20 candidates for half training per year for $23,534 (20 candidates x 70 hours x $16.81). The Council did not factor in any possible inflation of costs. See cost by fiscal year:
2010 2011 2012 2013
Inexperienced $159,443 $159,443 $79,722 $79,722
Experienced $35,301 $35,301 $23,534 $23,534
Total $194,744 $194,744 $103,256 $103,256
The Council assumed that the county would initially pay for the cost of the training, but was unsure of where final funding responsibility would lie (i.e. counties or state general fund), given its uncertainty regarding the reimbursement to the counties due to the availability of general funds.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill may result in increased county expenditures. To the extent the costs related to the increased level of service called for in the bill are not reimbursed fully by the state, whether because sufficient funds are not appropriated by the legislature or such funds are simply not available, county expenditures will increase. The Association also states some counties supplement the daily rate paid to these officers in order to attract personnel in certain areas, but the reimbursement increase in the bill should help to bring county revenue close to covering costs for these officers.