Bill Text: TX HB1814 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the confidentiality of and discovery procedures relating to certain material regarding the protection or security of a witness; creating a criminal offense.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-04-12 - Left pending in committee [HB1814 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1814-Introduced.html
  87R1297 TSS-F
 
  By: González of Dallas H.B. No. 1814
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the confidentiality of and discovery procedures
  relating to certain material regarding the protection or security
  of a witness; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  This Act may be cited as the Tyrek Jenkins Act.
         SECTION 2.  Article 39.14(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Subject to the restrictions provided by Section
  264.408, Family Code, and Articles [Article] 39.15 and 39.16 of
  this code, as soon as practicable after receiving a timely request
  from the defendant the state shall produce and permit the
  inspection and the electronic duplication, copying, and
  photographing, by or on behalf of the defendant, of any offense
  reports, any designated documents, papers, written or recorded
  statements of the defendant or a witness, including witness
  statements of law enforcement officers but not including the work
  product of counsel for the state in the case and their investigators
  and their notes or report, or any designated books, accounts,
  letters, photographs, or objects or other tangible things not
  otherwise privileged that constitute or contain evidence material
  to any matter involved in the action and that are in the possession,
  custody, or control of the state or any person under contract with
  the state. The state may provide to the defendant electronic
  duplicates of any documents or other information described by this
  article. The rights granted to the defendant under this article do
  not extend to written communications between the state and an
  agent, representative, or employee of the state. This article does
  not authorize the removal of the documents, items, or information
  from the possession of the state, and any inspection shall be in the
  presence of a representative of the state.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 39, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 39.16 to read as follows:
         Art. 39.16.  MATERIAL RELATED TO WITNESS PROTECTION OR
  SECURITY. (a) This article applies to any record, claim, writing,
  document, information, or other material:
               (1)  received, made, or kept by an agency or program
  with the primary purpose of protecting, securing, or relocating
  witnesses; or
               (2)  in the possession of the state and relating to the
  protecting, securing, or relocating of a witness by an agency or
  program described by Subdivision (1).
         (b)  Notwithstanding Article 39.14, the state may not
  produce for the defendant or permit the inspection by the defendant
  of material described by Subsection (a) before the material has
  been submitted to the court for an in camera review and the court
  has determined that the production or inspection of the material
  is:
               (1)  required under the United States Constitution; or
               (2)  otherwise necessary for a matter before the court.
         (c)  To preserve material for appellate review, the court
  shall place any material reviewed in camera under this article
  under seal of the court.
         (d)  A prosecutor or other attorney representing an agency or
  program with the primary purpose of protecting, securing, or
  relocating witnesses has standing in any criminal action to oppose
  the disclosure of material under this article.
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 30, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
  amended by adding Section 30.0065 to read as follows:
         Sec. 30.0065.  MATERIAL RELATED TO WITNESS PROTECTION OR
  SECURITY. (a) This section applies to any record, claim, writing,
  document, information, or other material:
               (1)  received, made, or kept by an agency or program
  with the primary purpose of protecting, securing, or relocating
  witnesses; or
               (2)  in the possession of the state and relating to the
  protecting, securing, or relocating of a witness by an agency or
  program described by Subdivision (1).
         (b)  A party in a civil case may not produce or release
  material described by Subsection (a) before the material has been
  submitted to the court for an in camera review and the court has
  determined that the production or release of the material is
  necessary for a matter before the court.
         (c)  To preserve material for appellate review, the court
  shall place any material reviewed in camera under this section
  under seal of the court.
         (d)  A prosecutor or other attorney representing an agency or
  program with the primary purpose of protecting, securing, or
  relocating witnesses has standing in any civil action to oppose the
  disclosure of material under this section.
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter C, Chapter 552, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 552.1082 to read as follows:
         Sec. 552.1082.  EXCEPTION: CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN
  INFORMATION REGARDING WITNESS PROTECTION OR SECURITY. Information
  is confidential and excepted from the requirements of Section
  552.021 if the information is:
               (1)  received, made, or kept by an agency or program
  with the primary purpose of protecting, securing, or relocating
  witnesses; or
               (2)  in the possession of the state and relating to the
  protecting, securing, or relocating of a witness by an agency or
  program described by Subdivision (1).
         SECTION 6.  Chapter 38, Penal Code, is amended by adding
  Section 38.20 to read as follows:
         Sec. 38.20.  UNLAWFUL DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL RELATED TO
  WITNESS PROTECTION OR SECURITY. (a) A person commits an offense if
  the person knowingly discloses any record, claim, writing,
  document, information, or other material:
               (1)  in violation of Article 39.16, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, or Section 30.0065, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or
               (2)  in response to a request under Chapter 552,
  Government Code, when the record, claim, writing, document,
  information, or other material is confidential and excepted from
  disclosure under Section 552.1082, Government Code.
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
         SECTION 7.  (a) Article 39.14, Code of Criminal Procedure,
  as amended by this Act, and Article 39.16, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, as added by this Act, apply only to the prosecution of an
  offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. The
  prosecution of an offense committed before the effective date of
  this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the offense was
  committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense is committed
  before the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense
  occurs before the effective date.
         (b)  Section 30.0065, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, as
  added by this Act, applies only to an action commenced on or after
  the effective date of this Act.
         (c)  Section 552.1082, Government Code, as added by this Act,
  applies only to a request for public information received on or
  after the effective date of this Act. A request for public
  information received before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect on the date the request was received,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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