Bill Text: TX HB1374 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to the confidential and privileged communications and records of victims of certain sexual assault offenses.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-1)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2021-05-04 - Laid on the table subject to call [HB1374 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1374-Comm_Sub.html
  87R16672 MEW-F
 
  By: Minjarez, Guillen H.B. No. 1374
 
  Substitute the following for H.B. No. 1374:
 
  By:  Krause C.S.H.B. No. 1374
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the confidential and privileged communications and
  records of victims of certain sexual assault offenses.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Subchapter D, Chapter 420,
  Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER D.  CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND RECORDS
         SECTION 2.  The heading to Section 420.071, Government Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 420.071.  CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND RECORDS;
  PRIVILEGE.
         SECTION 3.  Section 420.071, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (b), and (c) and adding Subsection (c-1)
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Any [A] communication, including an oral or written
  communication, between an advocate and a survivor [, or a person
  claiming to be a survivor,] that is made in the course of advising,
  counseling, or assisting [providing sexual assault advocacy
  services to] the survivor is confidential [and may not be disclosed
  except as provided by this subchapter].
         (b)  Any [A] record created by, provided to, or maintained by
  an advocate is confidential if the record relates to the services
  provided to a survivor or contains [of] the identity, personal
  history, or background information of the [a] survivor or
  information concerning the victimization of the [a] survivor [that
  is created by or provided to an advocate or maintained by a sexual
  assault program is confidential and may not be disclosed except as
  provided by this subchapter].
         (c)  In any civil, criminal, administrative, or legislative
  proceeding, subject to Section 420.072, a survivor has a privilege
  to refuse to disclose and to prevent another from disclosing, for
  any purpose, a communication or record that is confidential under
  this section.  [A person who receives information from a
  confidential communication or record as described by this
  subchapter may not disclose the information except to the extent
  that disclosure is consistent with the authorized purposes for
  which the information was obtained.]
         (c-1)  Except as provided by this subsection, the
  unauthorized disclosure of a portion of a confidential
  communication or record does not constitute a waiver of the
  privilege provided by Subsection (c). If a portion of a
  confidential communication or record is disclosed, a party to the
  relevant court or administrative proceeding may make a motion
  requesting that the privilege be waived with respect to the
  disclosed portion. The court or administrative hearing officer, as
  applicable, may determine that the privilege has been waived only
  if:
               (1)  the disclosed portion is relevant to a disputed
  matter at the proceeding; and
               (2)  waiver is necessary for a witness to be able to
  respond to questioning concerning the disclosed portion. 
         SECTION 4.  Section 420.072, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 420.072.  DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION OR
  RECORD [EXCEPTIONS]. (a) A communication or [, a] record [, or
  evidence] that is confidential under Section 420.071 [this
  subchapter] may only be disclosed [in court or in an administrative
  proceeding] if:
               (1)  the communication or record [proceeding is brought
  by the survivor against an advocate or a sexual assault program or
  is a criminal proceeding or a certification revocation proceeding
  in which disclosure] is relevant to the claims or defense of an
  [the] advocate or sexual assault program in a proceeding brought by
  the survivor against the advocate or program; [or]
               (2)  the survivor has waived the privilege established
  under Section 420.071(c) with respect to the communication or
  record;
               (3)  the survivor or other appropriate person consents
  in writing to the disclosure as provided by Section 420.073;
               (4)  an [or 420.0735, as applicable.
         [(b)  A communication, a record, or evidence that is
  confidential under this subchapter may be disclosed only to:
               [(1) medical or law enforcement personnel if the]
  advocate determines that, unless the disclosure is made, there is a
  probability of:
                     (A)  imminent physical danger to any person; or
                     (B)  [for whom the communication, record, or
  evidence is relevant or if there is a probability of] immediate
  mental or emotional injury to the survivor;
               (5)  [(2) a governmental agency if] the disclosure is
  necessary:
                     (A)  to comply with:
                           (i)  Chapter 261, Family Code; or
                           (ii)  Chapter 48, Human Resources Code; or
                     (B)  [required or authorized by law;
               [(3)  a qualified person to the extent necessary] for a
  management audit, a financial audit, a program evaluation, or
  research, except that a report of the [research,] audit, [or]
  evaluation, or research may not directly or indirectly identify a
  survivor;
               [(4)  a person authorized to receive the disclosure as
  a result of written consent obtained under Section 420.073 or
  420.0735;] or
               (6)  the disclosure is made to an employee or volunteer
  of the sexual assault program after [(5)] an advocate or a person
  under the supervision of a counseling supervisor who is
  participating in the evaluation or counseling of or the provision
  of services to [advocacy for] the survivor determines that the
  disclosure is necessary to facilitate the provision of services to
  the survivor.
         (b)  Regardless of whether written consent has been given by
  a parent or legal guardian under Section 420.073(a), a person may
  not disclose a [(c) A] communication or [, a] record [, or evidence]
  that is confidential under Section 420.071 [this subchapter may not
  be disclosed] to a parent or legal guardian of a survivor who is a
  minor or to a guardian appointed under Title 3, Estates Code, of an
  adult survivor, if applicable, if the person [an advocate or a
  sexual assault program] knows or has reason to believe that the
  parent or guardian of the survivor is a suspect or accomplice in the
  sexual assault of the survivor.
         (c)  Notwithstanding Subsections (a) and (b), the Texas
  Rules of Evidence govern the disclosure of a communication or
  record that is confidential under Section 420.071 in a criminal or
  civil proceeding by an expert witness who relies on facts or data
  from the communication or record to form the basis of the expert's
  opinion.
         SECTION 5.  Section 420.074, Government Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 6.  The change in law made by this Act applies to any
  communication or record described by Section 420.071, Government
  Code, as amended by this Act, regardless of the date the
  communication is made or the record is created.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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