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Court Facility Dog During Witness Testimony

Concerning allowing a court facility dog to accompany a witness during testimony.
2019 Regular Session
Courts & Judicial
Bill Summary

Court facility dog - requirements - jury instruction. The act allows a court, upon motion of a party or upon its own motion, to allow a witness to testify during criminal proceedings while a court facility dog is in the courtroom if certain conditions are satisfied.

The act requires a court facility dog to have graduated from training in providing support to witnesses testifying during proceedings without causing a distraction during proceedings. The training must be provided by a properly accredited organization.

The act allows the court discretion to instruct the jury, if a jury instruction is requested by a party who objected to the presence of the court facility dog or upon agreement of the parties, on the role of the court facility dog so that the presence of the court facility dog does not improperly influence the jury.

The act clarifies that nothing in the act precludes or interferes with the rights of a qualified individual with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal pursuant to state or federal law.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

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The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details