The Model Veterans Court Act Drafting Committee held its fourth and final meeting in Chicago on March 3-4, 2017. The agenda was to review in detail the policy decisions made in earlier meetings and to refine the draft for the final reading at the Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA in July, 2017. Several stylistic and re-ordering changes of the act were made, but no substantive changes were made. We had several observers from groups that work to train individuals or work to promote veterans courts in our country. Near the end of the meeting, all observers indicated full support for our act. One change made at our last meeting was to have the act presented in a form for both enactment by legislation or by court rule.
This has been a remarkable drafting committee and has been unanimous in its support for veterans courts and the effort to draft the very best act possible. Our observers were of immense help in having the draft reflect the best thinking and practices of these courts. We await the Executive Committee’s decision to rename the act as the Model Veterans Treatment Court Act.
Harry L Tindall, Chair, Model Veterans Court Act Drafting Committee
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