Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center attorney Richard Hoffman successfully argued that the Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) could not shortchange a victim’s state authorized compensation because they were eligible for compensation from Montgomery County. In 2019, his client, Stephanie Frazier, received $2,500 from Montgomery County for the funeral expenses to bury her murdered son Stephen and applied for to the Maryland Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) for the state authorized amount to cover the remaining $5,000 in burial expenses.
The CICB denied the application, arguing that it was required to reduce any support it provided to Stephen Frazier’s family by the amount they received from Montgomery County’s VASAP Fund. The Frazier family sought help from victims’ right attorney Richard Hoffman. He argued that the VASAP Fund was established to supplement awards to crime victims by the CICB and to provide funds expeditiously to needy victims. To impose a reduction of the CICB award based on a VASAP award would frustrate the entire purpose and effect of VASAP and leave a victim in the same position as if VASAP did not exist. Circuit Court of Montgomery County Judge Cheryl A, McCally agreed, holding that “…the CICB should coordinate with VASAP when determining Petitioner’s award, rather than shortchanging the victim based on an erroneous application of the Maryland Code that calls for a reduction of CICB funds in the amount of any funds received from other sources.”
MCVRC is a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that the rights of victims of crime are fully implemented and that crime victims are treated with dignity and compassion. MCVRC (www.mdcrimevictims.org/help) offers free legal representation, grief counseling, and other assistance. Its attorneys represent crime victims from each of the Maryland Counties and Baltimore City. MCVRC can be reached, toll free, at 1-877-VICTIM-