Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 37.2. Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Chapter 9. Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators

§ 37.2-907. Right to assistance of experts; compensation.

A. Upon a finding of probable cause the judge shall ascertain if the respondent is requesting expert assistance. If the respondent requests expert assistance and has not employed an expert at his own expense, the judge shall appoint such experts as he deems necessary. However, if the respondent refused to cooperate with the mental health examination required pursuant to § 37.2-904 or failed or refused to cooperate with a mental health examination following rescission of a refusal pursuant to § 37.2-906, any expert appointed to assist the respondent shall not be permitted to testify at trial nor shall any report of any such expert be admissible. Any expert employed or appointed pursuant to this section shall be a licensed psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist who is skilled in the diagnosis and risk assessment of sex offenders and knowledgeable about the treatment of sex offenders, and who is not a member of the CRC. Any expert employed or appointed pursuant to this section shall have reasonable access to all relevant medical and psychological records and reports pertaining to the respondent. No such expert shall be permitted to testify as a witness on behalf of the respondent unless that expert has prepared a written report detailing his findings and conclusions and has submitted his report, along with all supporting data, to the court, the Attorney General, and counsel for the respondent. Such report shall be submitted no less than 45 days prior to the trial of the matter unless a different time period is agreed to by the parties.

B. Each psychiatrist, psychologist, or other expert appointed by the court to render professional service pursuant to this chapter who is not regularly employed by the Commonwealth, except by the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, shall receive a reasonable fee for such service. The fee shall be determined in each instance by the court that appointed the expert, in accordance with guidelines established by the Supreme Court after consultation with the Department. The fee shall not exceed $5,000. However, in addition, if any such expert is required to appear as a witness in any hearing held pursuant to this chapter, he shall receive mileage and a fee of $750 for each day during which he is required to serve. An itemized account of expenses, duly sworn to, shall be presented to the court, and, when allowed, shall be certified to the Supreme Court for payment out of the state treasury, and shall be charged against the appropriations made to pay criminal charges. Allowance for the fee and for the per diem authorized shall also be made by order of the court, duly certified to the Supreme Court, for payment out of the appropriation to pay criminal charges.

1999, cc. 946, 985, § 37.1-70.8; 2001, c. 776; 2004, c. 764; 2005, c. 716; 2006, cc. 863, 914; 2007, c. 876; 2009, c. 740; 2011, cc. 42, 446, 448.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.