Friday, June 12, 2009

Rep. Hintz Applauds Governor Doyle for Signing “John Doe” Legislation into Law Today

Madison – In a private ceremony held at Waupun Correctional Institution today, Governor Jim Doyle signed Senate Bill 51 into law, a bipartisan bill that would reform the flaws of the current John Doe process and provide greater protections for corrections employees from frivolous, costly, and time consuming lawsuits.

"I am pleased that Governor Doyle met with our dedicated state employees today as this important bill was signed into law,” said Rep. Hintz. “John Doe reform has been a priority of mine since I was first elected to the State Assembly. This law allows corrections officer to properly do their job protecting our communities without having the constant threat of being sued for unfounded reasons hanging over them. This legislation carefully balances inmate rights while allowing judges to use their discretion to prevent unnecessary and wasteful legal proceedings.”

Under the previous state law, an inmate who believes that a crime has been committed against them by a corrections officer could report this claim directly to a judge, who was required to examine the alleged offender under oath and determine whether or not a crime was committed. This resulted in many frivolous and unfounded claims being filed as harassment against corrections officers. The legislation signed by the Governor today allows judges to consider law enforcement reports, records and case files of the district attorney, and any other written records that the judge finds relevant when determining whether to convene a hearing or issue a complaint. In addition, the bill provides for legal counsel and reimbursement of legal fees for state employees in the event they are charged under a John Doe petition and ultimately exonerated.

“This bill being signed into law today is the result of hard work and bipartisan support,” said Rep. Hintz. “I thank Governor Doyle for taking action and signing this bill into law today.”

For more information, please contact Representative Gordon Hintz at 888-534-0054.


Post a Comment

<< Home