Summary: H.R.4249 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (05/22/1984)

(Measure passed House, amended, roll call #159 (376-41))

United States Marshals Service and Witness Security Reform Act of 1984 - Title I: Protection of Government Witnesses - Amends the Federal criminal code to authorize the Attorney General to relocate and protect witnesses and their families involved in Federal or State trials of violent offenses. Authorizes the Attorney General to take action to protect the person from bodily injury or otherwise to assure the health, safety, and welfare of that person. States that the Attorney General shall not protect any person where the risk of danger to the public in the proposed community of relocation outweighs the need for that person's testimony or where such protection would infringe on the relationship between a child who would be relocated and a non-relocated parent.

Requires the Attorney General to establish guidelines defining the types of cases which constitute "violent offenses."

Requires any person protected under this Act to enter into a memorandum with the Attorney General. Requires the memorandum to set forth such person's responsibilities, including agreement: (1) if an actual or potential witness, to provide information to all appropriate law enforcement officials and to testify in all proceedings; (2) to refrain from committing any act punishable by a prison term; (3) to take all necessary steps to avoid detection by others of the facts concerning the protection provided; (4) to cooperate with all reasonable requests of Government employees; (5) to comply with civil judgments; (6) to designate another person to act as an agent for the service of process; (7) to make a sworn statement of all outstanding legal obligations imposed by court order, and (8) to disclose any probation or parole responsibilities.

Establishes a procedure for the termination of protection upon substantive breach of such agreement. Allows an individual to file a grievance within the Department of Justice independent of the program providing protection.

Authorizes a probation officer to supervise any person provided protection under this Act who is on probation or parole under State law, provided the State involved consents to such supervision.

Provides for service of process on a protected person and compliance with a judgment in a civil proceeding.

Prohibits the relocation of a child if a party other than the protected witness has custody of the child. Requires the Department of Justice to comply with any court orders with respect to child custody and visitation. Allows for modification of such order in certain cases. Sets forth mediation and arbitration procedures with respect to child custody or visitation arrangements where a protected person is a party to a disputed order. Allows the Attorney General to seek relief from custody or visitation orders when compliance would be "substantially impossible."

Allows the Attorney General to pay restitution to, or in the case of death compensation for the death of, any victim of a crime committed by any person provided with protection. Authorizes appropriations. Directs the Attorney General to establish guidelines and procedures for making such payments.

Requires all Federal agencies to cooperate with the Attorney General in carrying out this Act. Allows the Attorney General to agree with a State government to provide protection for a person.

Title II: United States Marshals Service and Service of Process - Revises the United States Marshals Service System. Authorizes the Attorney General to appoint a director and other officials. Specifies the powers and duties of the Service. Grants an official of the Service the same powers that a State sheriff may exercise. Prescribes the schedule of fees that the Service may collect.