The Model Veterans’ Court Act Drafting Committee met for a third time on October 14th and 15th, 2016, in Washington, DC. The drafting committee focused on addressing concerns that were raised this past summer at the ULC Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vermont. Two of the biggest issues that the drafting committee is currently working through are who is eligible to be admitted into a veterans’ treatment court and prosecutorial discretion of individuals admitted into a veterans’ treatment court. The drafting committee made further progress in drafting language that will properly balance how these issues are treated. The act itself will not create a veterans’ treatment court, but rather enables local jurisdictions to create a veterans’ treatment court docket. The drafting committee will seek the permission of the Uniform Law Commission Executive Committee to have the name of the model act revised to be named the “Model Veterans’ Treatment Court Act” to further reflect the act’s focus on the treatment court model, similar to drug treatment courts. The drafting committee continues to work with stakeholders in the domestic violence community to refine the drafted language in order to appropriately address crimes of domestic violence.
The meeting was attended by Justice for Vets and the National Center for State Courts whom have been instrumental in helping the drafting committee craft the model act. The drafting committee expects to meet again this coming spring before the model act undergoes a final reading at the Annual Meeting this summer in San Diego, California. In the interim, the drafting committee plans to hold one or more conference calls in order to fine-tune the act language. Drafting committee members are working cohesively in making important policy decisions in the draft act and the draft is rounding into good shape as it wraps up its final year of drafting.
Harry L. Tindall, Chair, Model Veterans’ Court Act