The law has required that a child's name and identifying information be deleted from criminal justice records released to the public if the child was a victim of certain enumerated sexual offenses. The act removes the limitation that a child be a victim of an enumerated sexual offense for the child's name and identifying information to be deleted from a criminal justice record released to the public. The act also requires that the name and identifying information of a child who witnesses a criminal offense be deleted from criminal justice records released to the public. The act specifies that these deletion requirements do not apply to criminal justice records that solely involve traffic offenses.
The act establishes a good cause exception that allows a person to petition a district court for the disclosure of the name and identifying information of a child witness or child victim. The person seeking disclosure must establish good cause for disclosure at a hearing conducted after the child victim, child witness, or their respective legal guardian receives notice. Good cause means a finding that the person seeking disclosure has established that the public interest in accessing the child victim's or child witness's name and identifying information substantially outweighs the harm to the privacy interest of the child victim, child witness, or their respective legal guardian.
The law previously required a criminal justice agency to make the notation "CHILD VICTIM" on a criminal justice record involving a child victim when the child victim's name is disclosed during proceedings related to the criminal justice record or when the child victim or child victim's guardian requests the notation. The act requires that a criminal justice agency make the notation "CHILD WITNESS" on a criminal justice record involving a child witness under the same circumstances.
The act specifies that a victim's right-to-be-heard and notice requirements of the Victim Rights Act apply to a hearing for the disclosure of a child victim's or child witness's name and identifying information.
For the 2023-24 state fiscal year, $387,449 is appropriated from the general fund to the judicial department for trial court programs and capital outlay needed to implement the act.
APPROVED by Governor May 23, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)