HB1794: Crime victims or witnesses; nondisclosure of personal and identifying information.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1794

Offered January 9, 2013
Prefiled January 8, 2013
A BILL to amend and reenact 19.2-11.2 and 19.2-267 of the Code of Virginia, relating to crime victim's and witness's right to nondisclosure of certain information.
Patron-- Miller

Committee Referral Pending

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That 19.2-11.2 and 19.2-267 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

19.2-11.2. Crime victim's or witness's right to nondisclosure of certain information; exceptions; testimonial privilege.

Upon request of any witness in a criminal prosecution under 18.2-46.2 or, 18.2-46.3, or 18.2-248, or any violent felony as defined in subsection C of 17.1-805, or any crime victim, neither a law-enforcement agency, the attorney for the Commonwealth, the counsel for a defendant, a court nor the Department of Corrections, nor any employee of any of them, may disclose, except among themselves, the residential address, telephone number, or place of employment of the witness or victim or a member of the witness' or victim's family, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) of the site of the crime, (ii) required by law or Rules of the Supreme Court, (iii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes or preparation for court proceedings, or (iv) permitted by the court for good cause.

Except with the written consent of the victim, a law-enforcement agency may not disclose to the public information which directly or indirectly identifies the victim of a crime involving any sexual assault, sexual abuse or family abuse, except to the extent that disclosure is (i) of the site of the crime, (ii) required by law, (iii) necessary for law-enforcement purposes, or (iv) permitted by the court for good cause. In addition, at the request of the victim to the Court of Appeals of Virginia or the Supreme Court of Virginia hearing, on or after July 1, 2007, the case of a crime involving any sexual assault or sexual abuse, no appellate decision shall contain the first or last name of the victim.

Nothing herein shall limit the right to examine witnesses in a court of law or otherwise affect the conduct of any criminal proceeding.

19.2-267. Provisions applicable to witnesses in criminal as well as civil cases; obligation to attend; summons.

Sections 8.01-396.1, 8.01-402, 8.01-405, 8.01-407, and 8.01-408 to 8.01-410, inclusive, shall apply to a criminal as well as a civil case in all respects, except that a witness in a criminal case shall be obliged to attend, and may be proceeded against for failing to do so, although there may not previously have been any payment, or tender to him of anything for attendance, mileage, or tolls. In a criminal case a summons for a witness may be issued by the attorney for the Commonwealth or other attorney charged with the responsibility for the prosecution of a violation of any ordinance or by the attorney for the defendant; however, any attorney who issues such a summons shall, at the time of the issuance, file with the clerk of the court the names and addresses of such witnesses except as provided in 19.2-11.2.