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8-384 Inability to exercise rights

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The state bar of arizona
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A. If a victim is physically or emotionally unable to exercise any right but is able to designate a lawful representative who is not a bona fide witness, the designated person may exercise the same rights that the victim is entitled to exercise. The victim may revoke this designation at any time and exercise the victim’s rights.

B. If a victim is incompetent, deceased or otherwise incapable of designating another person to act in the victim’s place, the court may appoint a lawful representative who is not a witness. If at any time the victim is no longer incompetent, incapacitated or otherwise incapable of acting, the victim may personally exercise the victim’s rights.

C. If the victim is a minor or vulnerable adult the victim’s parent or other immediate family member may exercise all of the victim’s rights on behalf of the victim. If the delinquent act is alleged against a member of the minor’s or vulnerable adult’s immediate family, these rights may not be exercised by that person but may be exercised by another member of the immediate family unless the court, after considering the guidelines in subsection D of this section, finds that another person would better represent the interests of the minor or vulnerable adult for purposes of this chapter.

D. The court shall consider the following guidelines in appointing a representative for a minor or vulnerable adult victim:

1. Whether the minor or vulnerable adult has a relative who would not be so substantially affected or adversely impacted by the conflict resulting from the allegation of a delinquent act against a member of the immediate family of the minor or vulnerable adult that the representative could not represent the victim.

2. The representative’s willingness and ability to do all of the following:

(a) Undertake working with and accompanying the minor or vulnerable adult victim through all proceedings, including delinquency, civil and dependency proceedings.

(b) Communicate with the minor or vulnerable adult victim.

(c) Express the concerns of the minor or vulnerable adult to those authorized to come in contact with the minor or vulnerable adult as a result of the proceedings.

3. The representative’s training, if any, to serve as a minor or vulnerable adult victim’s representative.

4. The likelihood of the representative being called as a witness in the case.

E. The minor or vulnerable adult victim’s representative shall accompany the minor or vulnerable adult victim through all proceedings, including delinquency, criminal, dependency and civil proceedings, and, before the minor’s or vulnerable adult’s courtroom appearance, shall explain to the minor or vulnerable adult the nature of the proceedings and what the minor or vulnerable adult will be asked to do, including telling the minor or vulnerable adult that the minor or vulnerable adult is expected to tell the truth. The representative shall be available to observe the minor or vulnerable adult in all aspects of the case in order to consult with the court as to any special needs of the minor or vulnerable adult. Those consultations shall take place before the minor or vulnerable adult testifies. The court may recognize the minor or vulnerable adult victim’s representative when the representative indicates a need to address the court. A minor or vulnerable adult victim’s representative shall not discuss the facts and circumstances of the case with the minor or vulnerable adult witness, unless the court orders otherwise on a showing that it is in the best interests of the minor or vulnerable adult.

F. Any notices that are to be provided to a victim pursuant to this article shall be sent only to the victim or the victim’s lawful representative.

G. For the purposes of this section, “vulnerable adult” has the same meaning prescribed in section 13-3623.

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