TITLE I
THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 21-M
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Section 21-M:8-h

    21-M:8-h Claimant Eligibility; Compensation. –
I. (a) Victims eligible for compensation are:
(1) Any person who sustains personal injury as a result of a felony or misdemeanor;
(2) Any person who sustains personal injury caused by a person driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances;
(3) Any person who is a victim of sexual abuse and is under the age of 18 at the time the claim is filed;

[Paragraph I(a)(4) effective until July 1, 2023; see also paragraph I(a)(4) set out below.]


(4) Any person who is a victim of human trafficking and has been tattooed with an identifying mark of human trafficking by a person who has forced him or her into trafficking.

[Paragraph I(a)(4) effective July 1, 2023; see also paragraph I(a)(4) set out above.]


(4) Any person who is a victim of human trafficking and has been tattooed with an identifying mark of human trafficking by a person who has forced him or her into trafficking;

[Paragraph I(a)(5) effective July 1, 2023.]


(5) Victims of the FRM fraud.
(b) In the case of a child victim, the claimant, guardian ad litem, advocate or parent may claim compensation in the victim's stead. If the victim is incompetent or in the case of a victim's death as a direct result of the crime, the immediate family of the victim is eligible to claim compensation. In this section, immediate family of the victim shall include the surviving partner in a civil union. In the case of a victim's disability as a direct result of the crime, the victim's legal representative may claim compensation in the victim's stead.
(c) A family member of a law enforcement officer, an inmate at a state or county correctional facility, and an individual who is not a citizen of the United States or who is not a legal alien shall be considered victims eligible for compensation under this section.
II. The claimant, guardian ad litem or child advocate, or parent may file a claim for compensation within 2 years of the crime, unless good cause is shown.
III. A claimant shall not be deemed ineligible for compensation based solely upon failure to apprehend the offender, or based solely upon failure of the state to obtain a conviction against the offender, providing there is reasonable evidence to sustain the claim that a crime had been committed which resulted in injury to the victim.
IV. The commission may consider the finding of innocence or guilt of the alleged offender in arriving at their determination of eligibility of the claimant. In determining eligibility and the amount of compensation to be awarded, the commission shall consider the contributory fault of the victim in causing his injury. If compensation is paid to members of the accused's immediate family, or persons who reside with or who have maintained a continuous relationship with the accused, the accused shall receive no benefit or enrichment as a result of payment of such compensation.
V. The claimant may be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, medical expenses, funeral expenses, counseling expenses, rehabilitative expenses, expenses associated with the victim's participation in post-conviction proceedings and victim-offender dialogue programs or other restorative justice programs, and lost wages directly resulting from the crime. Claimants eligible under subparagraph I(a)(4) may be reimbursed for the costs of removing the tattoo with an identifying mark. No reimbursement shall be paid unless the claimant has incurred reimbursable expenses of at least $100. There shall be a $40,000 maximum recovery per claimant per incident. If expenses paid through the victims' assistance program fund are later covered by insurance settlements, civil suit settlements, or restitution, or through any other source, the claimant shall reimburse the fund for the amount of expenses recovered.
V-a. Notwithstanding any right by a victim to claim restitution or a court order for restitution under RSA 651:62-67, a victim shall be eligible for compensation under this section.
VI, VII. [Repealed.]
VIII. Any person who was a victim of a crime under investigation by the cold case homicide unit as established in RSA 21-M:8-m shall be eligible for victim's compensation regardless of the date of the crime.
IX. Notwithstanding paragraph II, any person who was a victim of a crime for which the person convicted of the crime has filed a petition for post-conviction DNA testing under RSA 651-D shall be eligible for victim's compensation regardless of the date of the crime. Compensation under this paragraph shall be limited to qualified expenses incurred after the post-conviction DNA testing petition is filed.
X. (a) No person that has received notice of a claim filed pursuant to this section shall collect a debt or attempt to collect a debt resulting from a crime-related expense against a claimant under this section until an award is made to the claimant or the claim is determined to be noncompensable. The statute of limitations for the collection of such debts shall be tolled during the period of this prohibition.
(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be liable to the claimant pursuant to the provisions of RSA 358-C:4.
(c) In this paragraph, "person" shall have the same meaning as in RSA 358-C:1, X.
XI. With the approval of the fiscal committee of the general court and the governor and council, the attorney general may request additional funds to pay claims for compensation to victims pursuant to RSA 21-M:8-h, on the warrant of the governor, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
XII. Notwithstanding paragraph II, any person who was a child victim of physical or sexual abuse, or any person who was a child when a parent or sibling was a victim of homicide, shall be eligible for victim's compensation regardless of the date of the crime. Compensation under this paragraph shall be limited to counseling expenses and expenses associated with the victim's participation in pre- and post-conviction proceedings incurred after the effective date of this paragraph.

Source. 1989, 417:2, 8. 1992, 220:6, I. 1993, 131:1. 1994, 394:1. 1996, 286:1-3. 2009, 240:1, 2. 2010, 154:1, eff. Aug. 13, 2010; 299:5, eff. Sept. 11, 2010. 2014, 257:6, 7, eff. Oct. 23, 2014. 2015, 201:1, 2, eff. Sept. 4, 2015. 2016, 293:4, eff. July 1, 2023. 2020, 24:3-5, eff. Sept. 18, 2020.