The Crime Victims’ Rights Act creates several enforcement mechanisms for victims of crime. Either the crime victim or the Government may assert the victim’s rights in federal district court. If, after making a motion in the district court, a victim or the Government is not satisfied that the victim’s rights have been recognized, either may file a petition for a writ of mandamus with the court of appeals. The court of appeals must issue a decision within 72 hours of filing, and if it denies the relief sought, must state in a written opinion the reasons for the denial.
There are resources available to assist crime victims in criminal cases. The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) actively promotes balance and fairness in the justice system through crime victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing. NCVLI has several initiatives to ensure that victims’ rights are actively enforced.
Below are several victim legal clinics once funded under an OVC grant to NCVLI and currently providing or facilitating legal services to victims in the enforcement of their rights:
Arizona Voice for Crime Victims
Legal Information Network of Colorado
DC Crime Victims’ Resource Center
Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center
301-952-0063 (Washington, DC Metro area)
New Jersey Crime Victims’ Law Center, Inc.
Oregon Crime Victims Law Center
South Carolina Crime Victim Legal Network
Utah Crime Victim’s Legal Clinic
The National Crime Victim Bar Association provides technical support to attorneys representing crime victims in civil suits, refers crime victims to lawyers in their local area, and works to increase general awareness about the availability of civil remedies for victims of crime.