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General Laws

Section 9. (a) Within thirty days of the date of mailing of the notice of award or denial by the program director, the claimant may petition for judicial review in the district court within the judicial district in which the claimant resides or, in the case of a nonresident claimant, in the Boston municipal court. Where the claimant requests reconsideration of the decision of the program director, the petition for judicial review shall be filed within 30 days from the date of mailing of the decision of reconsideration. If no petition is filed within the time specified, the decision of the program director shall be final.

(b) The program director shall, in response to the aforesaid, within thirty days, file in such court a copy of his official decision.

(c) The district court shall schedule the matter for hearing and shall notify the parties of the date and time thereof.

(d) The review shall be conducted by the district court without a jury.

(e) For the purpose of determining the amount of compensation payable pursuant to this chapter, the chief justice of the trial court shall formulate standards for the uniform application of this chapter. The court shall take into consideration the provisions of this chapter, the rates and amounts of compensation payable for injuries and death under other laws of the commonwealth and of the United States, excluding pain and suffering. All decisions of the court on claims heard under this chapter shall be in writing, setting forth the name of the claimant, the amount of compensation and the reasons for the decision. The clerk of the court shall immediately notify the claimant in writing of the decision and shall forward to the department of the attorney general a certified copy of the decision. the department of the attorney general without further authorization shall, subject to appropriation, pay the claimant the amount determined by the court.

In determining the amount of compensation payable, the court shall determine whether because of his conduct the victim contributed to the infliction of his injury; and the court shall reduce the amount of the compensation or deny the claim altogether, in accordance with such determination; provided, however, that the court may disregard the responsibility of the victim for his own injury where such responsibility was attributable to efforts by the victim to aid a victim, or to prevent a crime or an attempted crime from occurring in his presence or to apprehend a person who had committed a crime in his presence or had in fact committed a felony.

(f) Judicial review of the finding and decisions of the program director shall be a de novo hearing of the claim.

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