H. R. 6472

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for video teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings, and for other purposes.

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117 HR 6472 IH: Courtroom Videoconferencing Act of 2022

U.S. House of Representatives

2022-01-21

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EN

Pursuant to Title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code, this file is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain.

I

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6472

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 21, 2022

Mr. Morelle

(for himself,

Mrs. Fischbach

, and

Mr. Bacon

) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for video teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the

Courtroom Videoconferencing Act of 2022

.

2.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

it is important to modernize Federal courts to allow for videoconferencing in certain criminal proceedings, which flexibility Congress authorized under the CARES Act, which provided for such an option at the discretion of the chief judge of a district court during the national emergency associated with the COVID–19 pandemic;

(2)

the efficiency and expediency gained from the flexibility authorized under the CARES Act should be made permanent; and

(3)

such an option should not impede constitutional rights, but expand and protect them during times when meeting together may be difficult and inefficient.

3.

Video teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings

(a)

In general

Chapter 201

of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after

section 3014

the following new section:

3015.

Video teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings

(a)

In general

The chief judge of a district court may authorize the use of video teleconferencing, or telephone conferencing if video teleconferencing is not reasonably available, for the following events:

(1)

Detention hearings under section 3142 of title 18, United States Code.

(2)

Initial appearances under Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(3)

Preliminary hearings under Rule 5.1 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(4)

Waivers of indictment under Rule 7(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(5)

Arraignments under Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(6)

Probation and supervised release revocation proceedings under Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(7)

Pretrial release revocation proceedings under section 3148.

(8)

Appearances under Rule 40 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(9)

Misdemeanor pleas and sentencings as described in Rule 43(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(10)

Proceedings under chapter 403 (commonly known as the

Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act

), except for contested transfer hearings and juvenile delinquency adjudication or trial proceedings.

(b)

Consent

Video conferencing or telephone conferencing authorized under subsection (a) may only take place with the consent of the defendant, or the juvenile, after consultation with counsel.

(c)

Access to counsel

Video teleconferencing or telephone teleconferencing authorized under subsection (a) shall provide the defendant the ability to privately consult with counsel if requested.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for

chapter 201

of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to 3014 the following new item:

3015. Video teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings.

.

4.

Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall obviate a defendant’s right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, any Federal statute, or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.