Victim/Witness

Victim/Witness Coordinator

The victim/witness coordinator provides assistance to victims and witnesses involved in either adult or juvenile court processes. Vanessa Eng can be reached by calling: 507-332-6103 or by email at: veng@co.rice.mn.us

Victim Services

Victim assistance efforts include advocacy and support throughout the criminal proceedings.  Minnesota law grants numerous rights to victims of crime, including:

  • The right to be notified of plea negotiations, changes in scheduling of court appearances, including date, time and place of sentencing.
  • The right to be notified of a decision not to prosecute a domestic assault or harassment case.
  • The right to be present at sentencing and to object orally or in writing to a proposed plea agreement or sentence.
  • The right to be notified of the final disposition of the case.
  • The right to request that law enforcement keep your identity confidential from the public. The agency may comply if you are a victim of sexual assault or your personal safety or property is threatened.

A victim impact statement is also an important component of victim's rights.  It provides the victim with an opportunity to give information to the judge to consider at sentencing and allows the victim to express the pain, anguish and devastation caused by the crime.  These statements can be in writing or presented orally in court by the victim, the victim/witness coordinator or the prosecutor.  For additional help on preparing the statement please view the Victim Impact Statement brochure:

Victim Impact Statement – English
 
Victim Impact Statement – Spanish
Form
 
A more complete listing of victims' rights is included in the following Crime Victim's Rights brochure:
 

Financial Assistance

Restitution for both juvenile and adult offenders is paid on a schedule arranged by the supervising probation officer.  You may speak to the probation officer by calling (507) 332-6106 and asking to speak with the person who is supervising the offender.  You also have the right to request that a review hearing be scheduled if you are not satisfied with the rate of payment.  This will not guarantee payment or any change.  It will simply be a request for the court to review the defendant's efforts at complying with the Court's order.

 
For victims of violent crimes, financial assistance is available throught the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board.  For more information, please click on the following brochure:
 
 
You may also request a Civil Judgment be docketed against the offender by filing an Affidavit of Identification of Judgment Debtor.  A civil judgment is a final court decision requiring one party to pay a specific sum of money to another party.  In certain situations, the Court can order a civil judgment when restitution is ordered as part of the defendant's criminal sentence.
 
Crime victims do not need to file a separate civil lawsuit to get a civil judgment for the amount of restitution owed to them. The criminal or juvenile delinquency court order for restitution can be changed into a civil judgment.  The filing fee for victims of crimes is waived.
 
The judgment is enforceable for 10 years and can be renewed.  For more information about how to docket and collect a civil judgment, see the County Attorney's Civil Judgment Brochure.
 
The Office of Justice Program has provided certain agencies with small amounts of funds that are available to victims of crimes.  Funds may be available for:
 
- Replacement of necessary property that was lost, damaged or stolen, as a result of the crime
- Purchase and installation of necessary home security devices
- Transportation to locations related to the victim's needs
- Cleanup of the crime scene
 
To apply for emergency assistance please call the Victim/Witness Coordinator at the Rice County Attorney's Office. Emergency funds will not be provided to victims who were engaged in criminal behavior at the time of their victimization.
 

Victim Assistance Links

Numerous websites provide information that may be useful if you have been a victim of a crime.  These Victim Assistance Links range from state agency notification services to advocacy organizations.

Witness Services

If you are a witness in a proceeding and have questions, either the prosecutor assigned to the case or the Victim/Witness Coordinator should be able to answer questions.  You may also find helpful tips in the following brochure:

 
When You Receive a Subpoena:
A subpoena is an order of the court and serious penalties can attach for your failure to appear.
 
1. If you have been issued a subpoena, read it carefully.  A subpoena always gives directions on when and where you are to appear.  The subpoena may also be a "duces tecum" which requests you to bring something with you.  The item(s) you are to bring will be listed on the subpoena underneath the box marked "duces tecum".
 
2. Call the Victim/Witness Coordinator at (507) 332-5934 to ensure we have the correct contact information for you in case the trial is cancelled or rescheduled.
 
3. Should you have any questions, change your name or address during the course of a case, or should any exceptional circumstances arise, please call the Victim/Witness Coordinator and inform of any changes or circumstances.
 
4. Bring your subpoena with you to court.  It must be signed by a representative of the County Attorney's Office and returned to Court Administration.  You may be eligible for some expense reimbursements; please read the back of the subpoena. Collect receipts for expenses such as child care, loss of wages, meals or mileage.  Reimbursements should be mailed to you within a few weeks of the court hearing.
 

Communities Against Senior Exploitation (CASE)

Since 2005, the Rice County Attorney's Office has been providing the Rice County community with information on how to protect themselves from scams, frauds and identity theft.  Each month, the Rice County Attorney's Office sends Consumer Advisories or Fraud Alerts which includes information that is currently occurring in the County, State or Nationwide.  Our office will also conduct presentations on Frauds, Scams and Identity Theft at your request.  To be added to the mailing list of our Monthly Advisory or to schedule a presentation, please contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator.

Victim/Witness Program Survey

The Rice County Victim/Witness Program would like to get your input on the services you have received. Please take this quick 10 question survey to let us know how we are doing.

Volunteering

Volunteers work with the Victim/Witness Assistance Coordinator in some specific ways.  Those who would like to volunteer to support the program may help with updating materials, presenting educational programs and/or planning special events. Other volunteers provide direct support to crime victims and their loved ones.  This is accomplished primarily through court advocacy, such as attending court proceedings with victims.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator.

24 Hour Crisis Referral Services:  Dial 211 (or) 651-297-2100

 

Rice County Youth Calendar Contest

We want to invite your child to particiapte in the 2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) calendar art contest for Rice County children.  It is our goal to provide a positive and fun learning activity for your child.  This can be a wonderful way to encourage and inspire your child to see him or herself as a part of the solution in the fight against crime.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions