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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Access to Justice: Making it Real

April 05, 2013

During the trial of a man convicted of a number of crimes, including residential burglary, one of his victims, an individual with developmental disabilities, was afforded a facility dog, Ellie.  On appeal defendant argued that affording the victim the aid of a facility dog was so prejudicial as to amount to a violation of his constitutional right to a fair trial.  The intermediate court of appeals rejected defendant’s argument but defendant has sought further review in the Washington Supreme Court.  In April, along with the Courthouse Dogs Foundation, submitted an amicus curiae brief arguing that affording the victim the aid of the facility dog was a proper means of protecting the victim’s constitutional rights to access justice and to protection.

In September the court issued its decision - a victory for victims!  Click here to read a summary of the opinion. 


Join NAVRA to see this and other amicus briefs filed by NCVLI.