The bill allows a court, upon motion of a party or upon its own motion, to allow a witness to testify during criminal proceedings while a court facility dog is in the courtroom if certain conditions are satisfied.
The bill requires a court facility dog to have graduated from training in providing support to witnesses testifying during proceedings without causing a distraction during proceedings. The training must be provided by a properly accredited organization.
The bill allows the court discretion to instruct the jury, if a jury instruction is requested by a party who objected to the presence of the court facility dog or upon agreement of the parties, on the role of the court facility dog so that the presence of the court facility dog does not improperly influence the jury.
The bill clarifies that nothing in the bill precludes or interferes with the rights of a qualified individual with a disability who is accompanied by a service animal pursuant to state or federal law.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)