70.123.070  <<  70.123.075 >>   70.123.076

Client records.

(1) Client records maintained by domestic violence programs shall not be subject to discovery in any judicial proceeding unless:
(a) A written pretrial motion is made to a court stating that discovery is requested of the client's domestic violence records;
(b) The written motion is accompanied by an affidavit or affidavits setting forth specifically the reasons why discovery is requested of the domestic violence program's records;
(c) The court reviews the domestic violence program's records in camera to determine whether the domestic violence program's records are relevant and whether the probative value of the records is outweighed by the victim's privacy interest in the confidentiality of such records, taking into account the further trauma that may be inflicted upon the victim or the victim's children by the disclosure of the records; and
(d) The court enters an order stating whether the records or any part of the records are discoverable and setting forth the basis for the court's findings. The court shall further order that the parties are prohibited from further dissemination of the records or parts of the records that are discoverable, and that any portion of any domestic violence program records included in the court file be sealed.
(2) For purposes of this section, "domestic violence program" means a program that provides shelter, advocacy, or counseling services for domestic violence victims.
(3) Disclosure of domestic violence program records is not a waiver of the victim's rights or privileges under statutes, rules of evidence, or common law.
(4) If disclosure of a victim's records is required by court order, the domestic violence program shall make reasonable attempts to provide notice to the recipient affected by the disclosure, and shall take steps necessary to protect the privacy and safety of the persons affected by the disclosure of the information.


Effective date1994 c 233: "This act shall take effect July 1, 1994." [ 1994 c 233 § 3.]
Finding1991 c 301: See note following RCW 10.99.020.
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