Bill Text: TX HB1091 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the confidentiality of identifying information of certain crime victims.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-13 - Filed [HB1091 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1091-Introduced.html
  87R3362 AJZ-F
 
  By: Reynolds H.B. No. 1091
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the confidentiality of identifying information of
  certain crime victims.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 58, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Subchapter H to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H. CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF
  CERTAIN CRIME VICTIMS
         Art. 58.351.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Child" means a person who is younger than 18 years
  of age.
               (2)  "Victim" means a person who was the subject of:
                     (A)  an offense under Section 20A.02, 21.02,
  21.11, 22.01, 22.011, 22.02, 22.021, 43.02(a), 43.05, or 43.25,
  Penal Code;
                     (B)  an offense for which the court made an
  affirmative finding under Article 42.014; or
                     (C)  an offense that is part of the same criminal
  episode, as defined by Section 3.01, Penal Code, as an offense
  described by Paragraph (A) or (B).
         Art. 58.352.  CONFIDENTIALITY OF FILES AND RECORDS. (a) The
  office of the attorney general shall develop and distribute to all
  law enforcement agencies of the state a pseudonym form to record the
  name, address, date of birth, telephone number, and pseudonym of a
  victim.
         (b)  The law enforcement agency investigating the offense
  shall offer the victim a pseudonym to be used instead of the
  victim's name to designate the victim in all public files and
  records concerning the offense, including police summary reports,
  press releases, and records of judicial proceedings.  If the victim
  is a child, the agency shall offer the pseudonym to the victim's
  parent, conservator, or guardian on behalf of the victim, unless
  the victim's parent, conservator, or guardian is alleged to have
  committed the offense described by Article 58.351(2).  A victim or a
  victim's parent, conservator, or guardian, as applicable, who
  elects to receive a pseudonym provided under this article must
  complete the pseudonym form developed by the office of the attorney
  general and return the form to the law enforcement agency
  investigating the offense.
         (c)  A victim or other authorized person as described by
  Subsection (b) who completes and returns a pseudonym form to the law
  enforcement agency investigating the offense may not be required to
  disclose the victim's name, address, date of birth, and telephone
  number in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the
  offense.
         (d)  A completed and returned pseudonym form is confidential
  and may not be disclosed to any person other than a defendant in the
  case or the defendant's attorney, except on an order of a court of
  competent jurisdiction.  The court finding required by Subsection
  (g) is not required to disclose the confidential pseudonym form to
  the defendant in the case or to the defendant's attorney.
         (e)  If a victim or other authorized person as described by
  Subsection (b) completes and returns a pseudonym form to a law
  enforcement agency under this article, the law enforcement agency
  receiving the form shall:
               (1)  remove the victim's name and substitute the
  pseudonym for the name on all reports, files, and records in the
  agency's possession;
               (2)  notify the attorney for the state that the victim
  or other authorized person has elected to receive a pseudonym under
  this article and provide that pseudonym to the attorney; and
               (3)  maintain the form in a manner that protects the
  confidentiality of the information contained on the form.
         (f)  An attorney for the state who receives notice that a
  victim or other authorized person has elected to receive a
  pseudonym under this article shall ensure that the victim is
  designated by the pseudonym in all legal proceedings concerning the
  offense.
         (g)  A court of competent jurisdiction may order the
  disclosure of a victim's name, address, date of birth, and
  telephone number only if the court finds that the information is
  essential in the trial of the defendant for the offense or the
  identity of the victim is in issue.
         (h)  Except as required or permitted by other law or by court
  order, a public servant or other person who has access to or obtains
  the name, address, date of birth, telephone number, or other
  identifying information of a victim may not release or disclose the
  identifying information to any person who is not assisting in the
  investigation, prosecution, or defense of the case.  This
  subsection does not apply to the release or disclosure of a victim's
  identifying information by:
               (1)  the victim; or
               (2)  if the victim is a child, the victim's parent,
  conservator, or guardian, unless the victim's parent, conservator,
  or guardian is alleged to have committed the offense described by
  Article 58.351(2).
         Art. 58.353.  OFFENSE. (a) A public servant with access to
  the name, address, date of birth, or telephone number of a victim
  who has received a pseudonym under this chapter commits an offense
  if the public servant knowingly discloses the name, address, date
  of birth, or telephone number of the victim to any person who is not
  assisting in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or to
  any person other than the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or
  the person specified in the order of a court of competent
  jurisdiction.
         (b)  Unless the disclosure is required or permitted by other
  law, a public servant or other person commits an offense if the
  person:
               (1)  has access to or obtains the name, address, date of
  birth, or phone number of a victim; and
               (2)  knowingly discloses the name, address, date of
  birth, or telephone number of the victim to any person who is not
  assisting in the investigation or prosecution of the offense or to
  any person other than the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or a
  person specified in an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
         (c)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under
  Subsection (b) that the actor is:
               (1)  the victim; or
               (2)  if the victim is a child, the victim's parent,
  conservator, or guardian, unless the victim's parent, conservator,
  or guardian is alleged to have committed the offense described by
  Article 58.351(2).
         (d)  An offense under this article is a Class C misdemeanor.
         SECTION 2.  Not later than October 1, 2021, the office of the
  attorney general shall develop and distribute to all law
  enforcement agencies of the state a pseudonym form to record the
  name, address, date of birth, telephone number, and pseudonym of a
  victim as required by Article 58.352, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  as added by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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