(a) (1) Notwithstanding Section 977 or any other law, if a defendant is currently incarcerated in a state prison with two-way audiovideo communication capability, the Department of Corrections, at the request of the California Victim Compensation Board, may collaborate with a court in any county to arrange for a hearing to impose or amend a restitution order, if the victim has received assistance pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 13959) of Chapter 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to be conducted by two-way electronic audiovideo communication between the defendant and the courtroom in lieu of the defendant’s physical presence in the courtroom, provided the county has agreed to make the necessary equipment available.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to eliminate the authority of the court to issue an order requiring the defendant to be physically present in the courtroom in those cases where the court finds circumstances that require the physical presence of the defendant in the courtroom.
(3) In lieu of the physical presence of the defendant’s counsel at the institution with the defendant, the court and the Department of Corrections shall establish a confidential telephone and facsimile transmission line between the court and the institution for communication between the defendant’s counsel in court and the defendant at the institution. In this case, counsel for the defendant shall not be required to be physically present at the institution during the hearing via electronic audiovideo communication. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the physical presence of the defense counsel with the defendant at the state prison.
(b) If an inmate who is not incarcerated in a state prison with two-way audiovideo communication capability or ward does not waive his or her right to attend a restitution hearing for the amendment of a restitution order, the California Victim Compensation Board shall determine if the cost of holding the hearing is justified. If the board determines that the cost of holding the hearing is not justified, the amendment of the restitution order affecting that inmate or ward shall not be pursued at that time.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an individual or district attorney’s office from independently pursuing the imposition or amendment of a restitution order that may result in a hearing, regardless of whether the victim has received assistance pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 13959) of Chapter 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 241. (SB 836) Effective June 27, 2016.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018