Text: S.1629 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-118 (01/28/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 118]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 130 STAT. 9]]

Public Law 114-118
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To revise certain authorities of the District of Columbia courts, the 
   Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of 
Columbia, and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, 
      and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Jan. 28, 2016 -  [S. 1629]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: District of 
Columbia Courts, Public Defender Service, and Court Services and 
Offender Supervision Agency Act of 2015.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``District of Columbia Courts, Public 
Defender Service, and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency Act 
of 2015''.
SEC. 2. AUTHORITIES OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURTS.

    (a) Authorization To Collect Debts and Erroneous Payments From 
Employees.--
            (1) In general.--Subchapter II of chapter 17 of title 11, 
        District of Columbia Official Code, is amended by adding at the 
        end the following:
``Sec. 11-1733. Collection, compromise, and waiver of employee 
                      debts and erroneous payments

    ``(a) Collection of Debts and Erroneous Payments Made to 
Employees.--
            ``(1) Authority to collect.--If the Executive Officer 
        determines that an employee or former employee of the District 
        of Columbia Courts is indebted to the District of Columbia 
        Courts because of an erroneous payment made to or on behalf of 
        the employee or former employee, or any other debt, the 
        Executive Officer may collect the amount of the debt in 
        accordance with this subsection.
            ``(2) Timing of collection.--The Executive Officer may 
        collect a debt from an employee under this subsection in monthly 
        installments or at officially established regular pay period 
        intervals, by deduction in reasonable amounts from the current 
        pay of the employee.
            ``(3) Source of deductions.--The Executive Officer may make 
        a deduction under paragraph (2) from any wages, salary, 
        compensation, remuneration for services, or other authorized 
        pay, including incentive pay, back pay, and lump sum leave 
        payments, but not including retirement pay.
            ``(4) Limit on amount.--In making deductions under paragraph 
        (2) with respect to an employee, the Executive Officer--
                    ``(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), may 
                not deduct more than 20 percent of the disposable pay of 
                the employee for any period; and

[[Page 130 STAT. 10]]

                    ``(B) upon consent of the employee, may deduct more 
                than 20 percent of the disposable pay of the employee 
                for any period.
            ``(5) Collections after employment.--If the employment of an 
        employee ends before the Executive Officer completes the 
        collection of the amount of the employee's debt under this 
        subsection, deductions may be made--
                    ``(A) from later non-periodic government payments of 
                any nature due the former employee, except retirement 
                pay; and
                    ``(B) without regard to the limit under paragraph 
                (4)(A).

    ``(b) Notice and Hearing Required.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (3), 
        prior to initiating any proceeding under subsection (a) to 
        collect any debt from an individual, the Executive Officer shall 
        provide the individual with--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  written notice, not later 
                than 30 days before the date on which the Executive 
                Officer initiates the proceeding, that informs the 
                individual of--
                          ``(i) the nature and amount of the debt 
                      determined by the District of Columbia Courts to 
                      be due;
                          ``(ii) the intention of the Courts to initiate 
                      a proceeding to collect the debt through 
                      deductions from pay; and
                          ``(iii) an explanation of the rights of the 
                      individual under this section;
                    ``(B) an opportunity to inspect and copy Court 
                records relating to the debt;
                    ``(C) an opportunity to enter into a written 
                agreement with the Courts, under terms agreeable to the 
                Executive Officer, to establish a schedule for the 
                repayment of the debt; and
                    ``(D) an opportunity for a hearing in accordance 
                with paragraph (2) on the determination of the Courts--
                          ``(i) concerning the existence or amount of 
                      the debt; and
                          ``(ii) in the case of an individual whose 
                      repayment schedule is established other than by a 
                      written agreement under subparagraph (C), 
                      concerning the terms of the repayment schedule.
            ``(2) Procedures for hearings.--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Availability of hearing 
                upon request.--Except as provided in paragraph (3), the 
                Executive Officer shall provide a hearing under this 
                paragraph if an individual, not later than 15 days after 
                the date on which the individual receives a notice under 
                paragraph (1)(A), and in accordance with any procedures 
                that the Executive Officer prescribes, files a petition 
                requesting the hearing.
                    ``(B) Basis for hearing.--A hearing under this 
                paragraph shall be on the written submissions unless the 
                hearing officer determines that the existence or amount 
                of the debt--
                          ``(i) turns on an issue of credibility or 
                      veracity; or
                          ``(ii) cannot be resolved by a review of the 
                      documentary evidence.

[[Page 130 STAT. 11]]

                    ``(C) Stay of collection proceedings.--The timely 
                filing of a petition for a hearing under subparagraph 
                (A) shall stay the commencement of collection 
                proceedings under this section.
                    ``(D) Independent officer.--An independent hearing 
                officer appointed in accordance with regulations 
                promulgated under subsection (e) shall conduct a hearing 
                under this paragraph.
                    ``(E) Deadline for decision.--The hearing officer 
                shall issue a final decision regarding the questions 
                covered by the hearing at the earliest practicable date, 
                and not later than 60 days after the date of the 
                hearing.
            ``(3) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  Exception.--Paragraphs (1) and 
        (2) shall not apply to a routine intra-Courts adjustment of pay 
        that is attributable to a clerical or administrative error or 
        delay in processing pay documents that occurred within the 4 pay 
        periods preceding the adjustment or to any adjustment that 
        amounts to not more than $50, if at the time of the adjustment, 
        or as soon thereafter as practical, the Executive Officer 
        provides the individual--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Notice.>>  written notice of the 
                nature and amount of the adjustment; and
                    ``(B) a point of contact for contesting the 
                adjustment.

    ``(c) Compromise.--
            ``(1) Authority to compromise claims.--The Executive Officer 
        may--
                    ``(A) compromise a claim to collect a debt under 
                this section if the amount involved is not more than 
                $100,000; and
                    ``(B) suspend or end collection action on a claim 
                described in subparagraph (A) if the Executive Officer 
                determines that--
                          ``(i) no person liable on the claim has the 
                      present or prospective ability to pay a 
                      significant amount of the claim; or
                          ``(ii) the cost of collecting the claim is 
                      likely to be more than the amount recovered.
            ``(2) Effect of compromise.--A compromise under this 
        subsection shall be final and conclusive unless obtained by 
        fraud, misrepresentation, presenting a false claim, or mutual 
        mistake of fact.
            ``(3) No liability of official responsible for compromise.--
        An accountable official shall not be liable for an amount paid 
        or for the value of property lost or damaged if the amount or 
        value is not recovered because of a compromise under this 
        subsection.

    ``(d) Waiver of Claim.--
            ``(1) Authority to waive claims.--Upon application from a 
        person liable on a claim to collect a debt under this section, 
        the Executive Officer may, with written justification, waive the 
        claim if collection would be--
                    ``(A) against equity;
                    ``(B) against good conscience; and
                    ``(C) not in the best interests of the District of 
                Columbia Courts.

[[Page 130 STAT. 12]]

            ``(2) Limitations on authority.--The Executive Officer may 
        not waive a claim under this subsection if the Executive 
        Officer--
                    ``(A) determines that there exists, in connection 
                with the claim, an indication of fraud, 
                misrepresentation, fault, or lack of good faith on the 
                part of the employee, the former employee, or any other 
                person that has an interest in obtaining a waiver of the 
                claim; or
                    ``(B) <<NOTE: Time period.>>  receives the 
                application for waiver later than 3 years after the 
                later of the date on which the erroneous payment was 
                discovered or the date of enactment of this section, 
                unless the claim involves money owed for Federal health 
                benefits, Federal life insurance, or Federal retirement 
                benefits.
            ``(3) Denial of application for waiver.--A decision by the 
        Executive Officer to deny an application for a waiver under this 
        subsection shall be the final administrative decision of the 
        District government.
            ``(4) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  Refund of amounts already 
        collected against claim subsequently waived.--If the Executive 
        Officer waives a claim against an employee or former employee 
        under this section after the District of Columbia Courts have 
        been reimbursed for the claim in whole or in part, the Executive 
        Officer shall provide the employee or former employee a refund 
        of the amount of the reimbursement upon application for the 
        refund, if the Executive Officer receives the application not 
        later than 2 years after the effective date of the waiver.
            ``(5) Effect on accounts of courts.--In the audit and 
        settlement of accounts of any accountable official, full credit 
        shall be given for any amounts with respect to which collection 
        by the District of Columbia Courts is waived under this 
        subsection.
            ``(6) Validity of payments.--An erroneous payment or debt, 
        the collection of which is waived under this subsection, shall 
        be a valid payment for all purposes.
            ``(7) No effect on other authorities.--Nothing in this 
        subsection shall be construed to affect the authority of the 
        District of Columbia under any other statute to litigate, 
        settle, compromise, or waive any claim of the District of 
        Columbia.

    ``(e) Regulations.--The authority of the Executive Officer under 
this section shall be subject to regulations promulgated by the Joint 
Committee.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections for 
        subchapter II of chapter 17 of title 11, District of Columbia 
        Official Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``11-1733. Collection, compromise, and waiver of employee debts and 
           erroneous payments.''.

            (3) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
        shall apply with respect to any erroneous payment made or debt 
        incurred before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (b) Authorization To Purchase Uniforms for Personnel.--Section 11-
1742(b), District of Columbia Official Code, is amended by adding at the 
end the following: ``In carrying out the authority under the preceding 
sentence, the Executive Officer may purchase uniforms to be worn by 
nonjudicial employees of the District of

[[Page 130 STAT. 13]]

Columbia Courts whose responsibilities warrant the wearing of uniforms 
if the cost of furnishing a uniform to an employee during a year does 
not exceed the amount applicable for the year under section 5901(a)(1) 
of title 5, United States Code (relating to the uniform allowance for 
employees of the Government of the United States).''.
SEC. 3. AUTHORITIES OF COURT SERVICES AND OFFENDER SUPERVISION 
                    AGENCY.

    (a) Authority To Develop and Operate Programmatic Incentives for 
Sentenced Offenders.--Section 11233(b)(2)(F) of the National Capital 
Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 (sec. 24-
133(b)(2)(F), D.C. Official Code) is amended by striking ``sanctions'' 
and inserting ``sanctions and incentives''.
    (b) Permanent Authority To Accept Gifts.--Section 11233(b)(3)(A) of 
the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act 
of 1997 (sec. 24-133(b)(3)(A), D.C. Official Code) is amended to read as 
follows:
                    ``(A) Authority to accept gifts.--The Director may 
                accept, solicit, and use on behalf of the Agency any 
                monetary or nonmonetary gift, donation, bequest, or use 
                of facilities, property, or services for the purpose of 
                aiding or facilitating the work of the Agency.''.

    (c) Permanent Authority To Accept and Use Reimbursements From 
District Government.--Section 11233(b)(4) of such Act (sec. 24-
133(b)(4)) is amended by striking ``During fiscal years 2006 through 
2008, the Director'' and inserting ``The Director''.
SEC. 4. AUTHORITIES OF PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICE.

    (a) Acceptance and Use of Services of Volunteers.--Section 307(b) of 
the District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970 
(sec. 2-1607(b), D.C. Official Code) is amended by striking ``the 
Service may accept public grants and private contributions made to 
assist it'' and inserting ``the Service may accept and use public 
grants, private contributions, and voluntary and uncompensated 
(gratuitous) services to assist it''.
    (b) Treatment of Members of Board of Trustees as Employees of 
Service for Purposes of Liability.--
            (1) In general.--Section 303(d) of the District of Columbia 
        Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970 (sec. 2-1603(d), 
        D.C. Official Code) is amended by striking ``employees of the 
        District of Columbia'' and inserting ``employees of the 
        Service''.
            (2) Effective date.--The amendment made by paragraph (1) 
        shall take effect as if included in the enactment of the

[[Page 130 STAT. 14]]

        District of Columbia Courts and Justice Technical Corrections 
        Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-274; 112 Stat. 2419).

    Approved January 28, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1629:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 114-368 (Comm. on Oversight and Government Reform).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 114-110 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 161 (2015):
                                    Sept. 10, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.
                                                        Vol. 162 (2016):
                                    Jan. 11, considered and passed 
                                        House.

                                  <all>