By Naishtat H.B. No. 3633
Line and page numbers may not match official copy.
Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E.
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to confidentiality of information regarding a victim of
1-3 sexual assault or family violence.
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 SECTION 1. The subtitle heading of Subtitle C, Title 4,
1-6 Family Code, is amended to read as follows:
1-7 SUBTITLE C. [
REPORTING] FAMILY VIOLENCE REPORTING AND SERVICES
1-8 SECTION 2. Subtitle C, Title 4, Family Code, is amended by
1-9 adding Chapter 93 to read as follows:
1-10 CHAPTER 93. CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS, RECORDS, AND INFORMATION
1-11 Sec. 93.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
1-12 (1) "Advocate" means a person who provides advocacy
1-13 services as an employee or volunteer of a family violence program.
1-14 (2) "Victim" means a person who is a victim of family
1-15 violence, regardless of whether a report is made of or a conviction
1-16 is obtained for the incident.
1-17 Sec. 93.002. CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS, RECORDS, AND
1-18 INFORMATION. (a) A communication between an advocate and a victim
1-19 made in the course of providing family violence advocacy services
1-20 to the victim is confidential and may not be disclosed.
1-21 (b) A record of the identity, personal history, or
2-1 background of a victim, or information concerning the facts of the
2-2 family violence suffered by the victim, created by or provided to
2-3 an advocate or maintained by a family violence program is
2-4 confidential and may not be disclosed.
2-5 (c) Information regarding a facility, including the name,
2-6 address, location, and telephone number of a safe house, abuse
2-7 shelter, or other facility, that is operated by a family violence
2-8 program and that provides emergency shelter to a victim of family
2-9 violence is confidential and may not be disclosed.
2-10 Sec. 93.003. EXCEPTIONS. (a) A confidential communication,
2-11 record, or information described by Section 93.002 may be disclosed
2-12 in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding only if the
2-13 proceeding is brought by the victim against an advocate or a family
2-14 violence program.
2-15 (b) A confidential communication, record, or information
2-16 described by Section 93.002(a) or (b) may be disclosed in a
2-17 criminal proceeding if the victim partially discloses the
2-18 confidential communication, record, or information while testifying
2-19 and the court rules that:
2-20 (1) the evidence is relevant to a claim or defense of
2-21 the defendant; and
2-22 (2) justice requires that the confidentiality be
2-23 waived as to that communication, record, or information.
2-24 Sec. 93.004. APPLICATION OF CHAPTER. This chapter does not
2-25 affect a duty to report child abuse under Chapter 261.
3-1 SECTION 3. The subchapter heading of Subchapter D, Chapter
3-2 44, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
3-3 SUBCHAPTER D. CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS, RECORDS, AND
3-5 SECTION 4. Section 44.071, Health and Safety Code, is
3-6 amended to read as follows:
3-7 Sec. 44.071. CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS, RECORDS, AND
3-8 INFORMATION. (a) A communication between an advocate and a
3-9 survivor, or a person claiming to be a survivor, that is made in
3-10 the course of providing sexual assault advocacy services to the
3-11 survivor is confidential and may not be disclosed except as
3-12 provided by this subchapter.
3-13 (b) A record of the identity, personal history, or
3-14 background information of a survivor or information concerning the
3-15 victimization of a survivor that is created by or provided to an
3-16 advocate or maintained by a sexual assault program is confidential
3-17 and may not be disclosed except as provided by this subchapter.
3-18 (c) Information regarding a facility, including the name,
3-19 address, location, and telephone number of a safe house, shelter,
3-20 or other facility, that is operated by a sexual assault program and
3-21 that provides emergency shelter to a survivor is confidential and
3-22 may not be disclosed except as provided by this subchapter.
3-23 (d) A person who receives information that is [ from a]
3-24 confidential under [ communication or record as described by] this
3-25 subchapter may not disclose the information except to the extent
4-1 that disclosure is consistent with the authorized purposes for
4-2 which the information was obtained.
4-3 (e) [ (d)] This subchapter governs a confidential
4-4 communication, [ or] record, or information concerning a survivor
4-5 or confidential information concerning a sexual assault program
4-6 facility regardless of when the survivor received the services of
4-7 an advocate or sexual assault program.
4-8 SECTION 5. Section 44.072, Health and Safety Code, is
4-9 amended to read as follows:
4-10 Sec. 44.072. EXCEPTIONS. (a) A communication, [ or] record,
4-11 or information that is confidential under this subchapter may be
4-12 disclosed in court or in an administrative proceeding if:
4-13 (1) the proceeding is brought by the survivor against
4-14 an advocate or a sexual assault program or is a criminal proceeding
4-15 or a certification revocation proceeding in which disclosure is
4-16 relevant to the claims or defense of the advocate or sexual assault
4-17 program; or
4-18 (2) the survivor or a person authorized to act on
4-19 behalf of the survivor consents in writing to the release of a
4-20 [ the] confidential communication, record, or information described
4-21 by Section 44.071(a) or (b) [ as provided by Section 44.073].
4-22 (b) In addition to the requirements of Subsection (a), a
4-23 confidential communication, record, or information described by
4-24 Section 44.071(a) or (b) may be disclosed in a criminal proceeding
4-25 if the survivor partially discloses the confidential communication,
5-1 record, or information while testifying and the court rules that:
5-2 (1) the evidence is relevant to a claim or defense of
5-3 the defendant; and
5-4 (2) justice requires that the confidentiality be
5-5 waived as to that communication, record, or information.
5-6 (c) A communication, [ or] record, or information that is
5-7 confidential under this subchapter may be disclosed only to[ :]
5-8 [ (1) medical or law enforcement personnel if the
5-9 advocate determines that there is a probability of imminent
5-10 physical danger to any person for whom the communication or record
5-11 is relevant or if there is a probability of immediate mental or
5-12 emotional injury to the survivor;]
5-13 [ (2) a governmental agency if the disclosure is
5-14 required or authorized by law;]
5-15 [ (3) a qualified person to the extent necessary for a
5-16 management audit, financial audit, program evaluation, or research,
5-17 except that a report of the research, audit, or evaluation may not
5-18 directly or indirectly identify a survivor;]
5-19 [ (4)] a person who has the written consent of the
5-20 survivor or of a person authorized to act on the survivor's behalf
5-21 [ as provided by Section 44.073; or]
5-22 [ (5) an advocate or a person under the supervision of
5-23 a counseling supervisor who is participating in the evaluation or
5-24 counseling of or advocacy for the survivor].
5-25 [ (c) A communication or record that is confidential under
6-1 this subchapter may not be disclosed to a parent or legal guardian
6-2 of a survivor who is a minor if an advocate or a sexual assault
6-3 program knows or has reason to believe that the parent or legal
6-4 guardian of the survivor is a suspect in the sexual assault of the
6-6 SECTION 6. Sections 44.073, 44.074, and 44.075, Health and
6-7 Safety Code, are repealed.
6-8 SECTION 7. This Act takes effect September 1, 1999, and
6-9 applies to a communication, record, or information relating to an
6-10 act of family violence or sexual assault regardless of the date the
6-11 family violence or sexual assault occurred.
6-12 SECTION 8. The importance of this legislation and the
6-13 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
6-14 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
6-15 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
6-16 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.