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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Victim Participation in Justice

September 16, 2020

Victims have the right to actively participate in the criminal justice process.  In a recent case (L.T. v State), an attorney for a child-victim of sexual assault sought to protect her rights victim by filing a Notice of Appearance and other protective motions. In 2018, Florida voters had adopted Marsy’s Law to expand and clarify the scope of constitutional rights for crime victims. The child-victim was simply seeking to exercise the rights through counsel. Despite this the lower court struck the attorney’s motions, leaving the victim with no rights protections. The victim’s attorney sought appellate review, but that court too failed to protect the victim’s rights.

After finding the child-victim had rights to receive reasonable notice of, be present at, and be heard at the first appearance and initial detention hearing, and that these rights were violated,the court denied the request for a remedy. This is when NCVLI jumped in and joined the victim’s attorney in seeking further appellate review. Rights without a remedy are not rights! We will keep you posted.

Are you a legal professional seeking technical assistance on a victims’ rights case?  Learn more about how NCVLI can assist you.