53-9-104. (Temporary) Powers and duties of office. (1) The office shall:
(a) adopt rules to implement this part;
(b) prescribe forms for applications for compensation;
(c) determine all matters relating to claims for compensation; and
(d) require any person contracting directly or indirectly with an individual convicted of a qualifying crime for any book, photograph, movie, television production, or play prepared for a commercial purpose that is based directly upon the crime or for the sale of an item owned or obtained by an individual convicted of a qualifying crime or obtained, produced, or gained directly through unique knowledge about the crime or preparation for the crime to deposit any proceeds paid or owed to the individual under the terms of the contract into an escrow fund for the benefit of any victims of the qualifying crime and any dependents of a deceased victim, to be held for a period of time that the office may determine is reasonably necessary to perfect the claims of the victims or dependents. Deposited proceeds may also be used to reimburse the office of state public defender, provided for in 2-15-1029, for costs associated with providing assigned counsel for the charged person. Each victim and dependent of a deceased victim is entitled to actual and unreimbursed damages of all kinds or $5,000, whichever is greater. Proceeds remaining after payments to victims, dependents of deceased victims, and the state for any public defender or any attorney assigned for the charged person must be paid to the crime victims compensation and assistance program in the department of justice for deposit in the account provided for in 53-9-113.
(2) The office may:
(a) request and obtain from prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement officers investigations and data to enable the office to determine whether and the extent to which a claimant qualifies for compensation. A statute providing confidentiality for a claimant's juvenile court records does not apply to proceedings under this part.
(b) request and obtain from a health care provider medical reports that are relevant to the physical condition of a claimant or from an insurance carrier, agent, or claims adjuster insurance payment information that is relevant to expenses claimed by a claimant if the office has made reasonable efforts to obtain from the claimant a release of the records or information. No civil or criminal liability arises from the release of information requested under this subsection (2)(b).
(c) subpoena witnesses and other prospective evidence, administer oaths or affirmations, conduct hearings, and receive relevant, nonprivileged evidence;
(d) take notice of judicially cognizable facts and general, technical, and scientific facts within its specialized knowledge;
(e) require that law enforcement agencies and officials take reasonable care that victims be informed about the existence of this part and the procedure for applying for compensation under this part; and
(f) establish a victims assistance coordinating and planning program. (Terminates June 30, 2021--sec. 27, Ch. 285, L. 2015; sec. 1, Ch. 292, L. 2015.)