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4.0803 Duties of the division of the court.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 4.0803 ]

(a) Reference to division of the court.

The division of the court to which this chapter refers is the division established under section 4.0809 of this chapter.

(b) Appointment and jurisdiction of Independent Prosecutor.

(1) Authority. Upon receipt of an application under section 4.0802(c), the division of the court shall appoint an appropriate independent prosecutor and shall define that independent prosecutor’s prosecutorial jurisdiction.

(2) Qualifications of independent prosecutor. The division of the court shall appoint as independent prosecutor an individual who has appropriate experience and who will conduct the investigation and any prosecution in a prompt, responsible, and cost-effective manner. The division of the court shall seek to appoint as independent prosecutor an individual who will serve to the extent necessary to complete the investigation and any prosecution without undue delay.

(3) Scope of prosecutorial jurisdiction. In defining the independent prosecutor’s prosecutorial jurisdiction, the division of the court shall assure that the independent prosecutor has adequate authority to fully investigate and prosecute the subject matter with respect to which the Attorney General has requested the appointment of the independent prosecutor, and all matters related to that subject matter. Such jurisdiction shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute Territorial crimes other than those classified as Class B or C misdemeanors or infractions, that may arise out of the investigation or prosecution of the matter with respect to which the Attorney General’s request was made, including perjury obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.

(4) Disclosure of identity and prosecutorial jurisdiction. An independent prosecutor’s identity and prosecutorial jurisdiction (including any expansion under subsection (c) may not be made public except upon the request of the Attorney General or upon a determination of the division of the court that disclosure of the identity and prosecutorial jurisdiction of such independent prosecutor would be in the best interests of justice. In any event, the identity and prosecutorial jurisdiction of such independent prosecutor shall be made public when any criminal complaint or information is filed pursuant to the independent prosecutor’s investigation.

(c) Expansion of jurisdiction.

(1) In general. The division of the court, upon the request of the Attorney General, may expand the prosecutorial jurisdiction of an independent prosecutor, and such expansion, may be in lieu of the appointment of another independent prosecutor.

(2) Procedure for request by independent prosecutor.

(A) If the independent prosecutor discovers or receives information about possible violation of criminal law by persons as provided in section 4.0801 who are not covered by the prosecutorial jurisdiction of the independent prosecutor, the independent prosecutor may submit such information to the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall then conduct a preliminary investigation of the information in accordance with the provisions of section 4.0802, except that such preliminary investigation shall not exceed 30 days from the date such information is received. In making the determinations required by section 4.0802 the Attorney General shall give great weight to any recommendations of the independent prosecutor.

(B) If the Attorney General determines, after according great weight to the recommendations of the independent prosecutor, that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation is warranted, the Attorney General shall promptly so notify the division of the court and the division of the court shall have no power to expand the jurisdiction of the independent prosecutor or to appoint another independent prosecutor with respect to the matters involved.

(C) If:

(i) the Attorney General determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation is warranted; or

(ii) the 30-day period referred to in subparagraph (A) elapses without a notification to the division of the court that no further investigation is warranted, the division of the court shall expand the jurisdiction of the appropriate independent prosecutor to include the matters involved or shall appoint another independent prosecutor to investigate such matters.

(d) Return for further explanation. Upon receipt of a notification under section 4.0807 or section (b)(d)(2) of this section from the Attorney General that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation is warranted with respect to information received under this chapter, the division of the court shall have no authority to overrule this determination but may return the matter to the Attorney General for further explanation of the reasons for such determination.

(e) Vacancies. If a vacancy in office arises by reason of the resignation, death, or removal of an independent prosecutor, the division of the court shall appoint an independent prosecutor to complete the work of the independent prosecutor whose resignation, death, or removal caused the vacancy, except that in the case of a vacancy arising by reason of the removal of an independent prosecutor, the division of the court may appoint an acting independent prosecutor to serve until any judicial review of such removal is completed.

(f) Attorneys’ fees.

(1) Award of fees. Upon the request of an individual who is the subject of an investigation conducted by an independent prosecutor pursuant to this chapter, the division of the court may if no criminal complaint or information is brought against such individual pursuant to that investigation, award reimbursement for those reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by that individual during that investigation which would not have been incurred but for the requirements of this chapter. The division of the court shall notify the independent prosecutor who conducted the investigation and the Attorney General of any request for attorneys’ fees under this subsection.

(2) Evaluation of fees. The division of the court shall direct such independent prosecutor and the Attorney General to file a written evaluation of any request for attorneys’ fees under this subsection, addressing:

(A) the sufficiency of the documentation;

(B) the need or justification for the underlying item;

(C) whether the underlying item would have been incurred but for the requirements of this chapter; and

(D) the reasonableness of the amount of money requested.

(g) Disclosure of information. The division of the court may, subject to section 4.0804(h)(2), allow the disclosure of any notification, application, or any other document, material, or memorandum supplied to the division of the court under this chapter.

(h) Amicus Curiae Briefs. When presented with significant legal issues, the division of the court may disclose sufficient information about the issues to permit the filing of timely amicus curiae briefs.

History: 2000, PL 26-30.