Rule 39. Victims' rights

a. Definitions.

Victim. As used in this rule, a "victim" is defined as a person against whom a criminal offense as defined by 13-4401(6) has allegedly been committed, or the spouse, parent, lawful representative, or child of someone killed or incapacitated by the alleged criminal offense, except where the spouse, parent, lawful representative, or child is also the accused. With regard to the rights to be notified and to be heard pursuant to this rule, a person ceases to be a victim upon the acquittal of the defendant or upon the dismissal of the charges against the defendant as a final disposition. If a victim is in custody for an offense, the victim's right to be heard pursuant to this rule is satisfied through affording the victim the opportunity to submit a written statement, where legally permissible and in the discretion of the court. A victim not in custody may exercise his or her right to be heard pursuant to this rule by appearing personally, or where legally permissible and in the discretion of the court, by submitting a written statement, an audiotape or videotape. The victims' rights of any corporation, partnership, association, or other similar legal entity shall be limited as provided by statute.

Criminal Proceeding. As used in this rule, a "criminal proceeding" is defined as a trial, hearing, (including hearing before trial), oral argument, or other matter scheduled and held before a trial court at which the defendant has the right to be present, or any post-conviction proceeding.

b. Victims' Rights. These rules shall be construed to preserve and protect a victim's rights to justice and due process. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other rule in these Rules of Criminal Procedure, a victim shall have and be entitled to assert each of the following rights:

The right to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process.

The right to be provided with written notice regarding those rights available to the victim under this rule and under any other provision of law.

Upon request, the right to be given reasonable notice of the date, time and place of any criminal proceeding.

The right to be present at all criminal proceedings.

The right to be notified of any escape of the defendant.

Upon request, the right to be informed of any release or proposed release of the defendant, whether that release be before expiration of the sentence or by expiration of the sentence, and whether it be permanent or temporary in nature.

Upon request, the right to confer with the prosecution, prior to trial when applicable, in connection with any decision involving the preconviction release of the defendant, a plea bargain, a decision not to proceed with a criminal prosecution, dismissal of charges, plea or sentence negotiation, a pretrial diversion program, or other disposition prior to trial; the rights to be heard at any such proceeding and at sentencing.

The right to be accompanied at any interview, deposition, or judicial proceeding by a parent or other relative, except persons whose testimony is required in the case. If the court finds, under this sub§ 8 or sub§ 9 below, that a party's claim that a person is a prospective witness is not made in good faith, it may impose any sanction it finds just, including holding counsel in contempt.

The right to name an appropriate support person, including a victim's caseworker, to accompany the victim at any interview, deposition, or court proceeding, except where such support person's testimony is required in the case.

The right to require the prosecutor to withhold, during discovery and other proceedings, the home address and telephone number of the victim, the address and telephone number of the victim's place of employment, and the name of the victim's employer, providing, however, that for good cause shown by the defendant, the court may order that such information be disclosed to defense counsel and may impose such further restrictions as are appropriate, including a provision that the information shall not be disclosed by counsel to any person other than counsel's staff and designated investigator and shall not be conveyed to the defendant.

The right to refuse an interview, deposition, or other discovery request by the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or other person acting on behalf of the defendant. After charges are filed, defense initiated requests to interview the victim shall be communicated to the victim through the prosecutor. The victim's response to such requests shall also be communicated through the prosecutor. If there is any comment or evidence at trial regarding the victim's refusal to be interviewed, the court shall instruct the jury that the victim has the right to refuse an interview under the Arizona Constitution. For purposes of a pretrial interview, a peace officer shall not be considered a victim if the act that would have made him or her a victim occurs while the peace officer is acting in the scope of his or her official duties.

At any interview or deposition to be conducted by defense counsel, the right to condition the interview or deposition on any of the following:

i. Specification of a reasonable date, time, duration, and location of the interview or deposition, including a requirement that the interview or deposition be held at the victim's home, at the prosecutor's office, or in an appropriate location in the courthouse.

ii. The right to terminate the interview or deposition if it is not conducted in a dignified and professional matter.

The right to a copy of any pre-sentence report provided the defendant except those parts excised by the court or made confidential by the law.

The right to be informed of the disposition of the case.

The right to a speedy trial or disposition and prompt and final conclusion of the case after conviction and sentence.

The right to be informed of a victim's right to restitution upon conviction of the defendant, of the items of loss included thereunder, and of the procedures for invoking the right.

c. Assistance and Representation.

The victim shall also have the right to the assistance of the prosecutor in the assertion of the rights enumerated in this rule or otherwise provided for by law. The prosecutor shall have the responsibility to inform the victim, as defined by these rules, of the rights provided by these rules and by law, and to provide the victim with notices and information which the victim is entitled by these rules and by law to receive from the prosecutor.

The prosecutor shall have standing in any judicial proceeding, upon the victim's request, to assert any of the rights to which the victim is entitled by this rule or by any other provision of law.

In any event of any conflict of interest between the state or any other prosecutorial entity and the wishes of the victim, the prosecutor shall have the responsibility to direct the victim to the appropriate legal referral, legal assistance, or legal aid agency.

In asserting any of the rights enumerated in this rule or provided for in any other provision of the law, the victim shall also have the right to engage and be represented by personal counsel of his or her choice.

d. Victims Duty to Implement Rights. Any victim desiring to claim the notification rights and privileges provided by this rule must provide his or her full name, address and telephone number to the entity prosecuting the case and to any other entity from which notice is requested by the victim. If the victim is a corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity and has requested notice of the hearings to which it is entitled by law, that legal entity shall promptly designate a representative by giving notice thereof, including such representative's address and telephone number, to the prosecutor and to any other entity from which notice is requested by the victim. Upon receipt of such notice, the prosecutor shall notify the defendant and the court thereof. Thereafter, only such a designated representative shall be entitled to assert a claim to victims' rights on behalf of that legal entity. Any change in designation must be provided in writing to the prosecutor and to any other entity from which notice is requested by the victim.

e. Waiver. The rights and privileges enumerated in this rule may be waived by any victim. Failure to keep the address and telephone number current or to designate such representative of a legal entity shall be considered as a waiver of notification rights under this rule.

f. Court Enforcement of Victim Notice Requirements. At the commencement of any proceeding which takes place more than seven days after the filing of charges by the prosecutor and at which the victim has a right to be heard, the court shall inquire of the prosecutor or otherwise ascertain whether the victim has requested notice and been notified of the proceeding. If the victim has not been notified as requested, the court should not proceed unless public policy, the specific provisions of a statute, or the interests of due process otherwise require. In the absence of such considerations the court shall have discretion to reconsider any ruling made at a proceeding of which the victim did not receive notice as requested.

g. Appointment of Victim's Representative. Upon request, the court shall appoint a representative for a minor victim or a representative for an incapacitated victim, as provided by ARS § 13-4403. Notice of appointment of such representative shall be given by the court to the parties.