What is Marsy’s Law?
Marsy’s Law, or the Victim’s Rights law, was enacted in 2016. The language can be found in North Dakota’s Constitution, Article I Section 25.
All victims of crime are given a Marsy’s Card by law enforcement. This card explains the rights that crime victims have, so a victim knows their rights at their first contact with police, or as soon as possible after.
What is a Marsy’s Card?
A Marsy’s Card is a physical card that contains a general explanation of crime victim rights, as protected in North Dakota. The card should be given to the victim by law enforcement at the time of the first contact or shortly after.
Who does Marsy’s Law Protect?
Marsy’s Law protects victims of crime. A victim is someone who has suffered harm as a result of a prosecuted crime. The harm may not always be physical. Harm can also be psychological or financial.
If a victim is a child, Marsy’s Law rights may be asserted by a parent or guardian. If a victim is deceased or incapacitated, rights may be asserted by a spouse, parent, guardian, or close family member.
What are my rights?
You have a right…
…to prevent revealing information or records that could be used to locate or harass you or your family.
…to prevent revealing confidential information about you, and be notified of any request for information.
…to receive reasonable notice of, and to be present at, all court proceedings of the case from when you were a named victim.
…to refuse an interview or request made by the defendant, their attorney, or anyone acting on behalf of the defendant for purposes of any court proceedings.
…to set reasonable conditions if you do agree to an interview.
…to be heard in any court proceeding involving release from jail or prison, plea deals, sentencing, parole, or any court hearings where your rights are impacted.
…to provide information regarding the impact of the defendant’s conduct in any way before the sentencing investigation or recommendation, and also to receive a copy of a pre-sentencing report when it is made available.
…to receive a copy of any non-confidential record relevant to the exercise of your rights.
…to prompt return of your property when it is no longer needed for evidence.
…to restitution, or money, for all losses suffered as a result of the criminal act.
…to be informed of the defendant’s progress in the court trial, where and for how long they will be incarcerated, their release date, or an escape from custody.
How do I assert my rights?
As a victim, you will be informed of what your rights are, but it is your responsibility to assert the rights.
This means that you must communicate that you want to use your rights to law enforcement officers or the attorney prosecuting your case. You can also inform the victim witness coordinator at the State’s Attorney office.
Once you have informed one of the parties listed above, it will be your responsibility to provide updated contact information to the prosecuting attorney’s office, so they can keep you updated with the case.
Register for free automated notifications through ND SAVIN, either online or through their toll-free number, 1-866-631-8463, then press 1-1-0, to speak to a live operator.
What if my rights were violated?
Contact the prosecuting attorney who handled the crime in question. If they cannot be of assistance, contact an attorney either in private practice or through LSND.
Who Do I Contact With Additional Questions?
Seniors 60 and over Call:
Legal Services of North Dakota
Bismarck Law Office
418 E Broadway #25
Bismarck, ND 58501
You may apply for legal services by completing our online website application.