PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE
CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN VICTIMS AND COUNSELORS
173-C:5 Limitation on the Privilege; Criminal Proceedings.
In criminal proceedings when a defendant seeks information privileged under this chapter in discovery or at trial, the procedure below shall be followed:
I. A written pretrial motion shall be made by the defendant to the court stating that the defendant seeks discovery of records of a rape crisis center or domestic violence center or testimony of a sexual assault counselor or domestic violence counselor. The written motion shall be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth specific grounds as to why discovery is requested and showing that there is a substantial likelihood that favorable and admissible information would be obtained through discovery or testimony. No discovery or hearing shall occur pursuant to the information sought to be disclosed for at least 3 business days after the filing of a motion for disclosure.
II. The only information subject to discovery from the records of a rape crisis center or a domestic violence center or which may be elicited during the testimony of a sexual assault or domestic violence counselor are those statements of the victim which relate to the alleged crime being prosecuted in the instant trial.
III. Prior to admission of information at deposition, trial, or other legal proceeding, when a claim of privilege has been asserted and whether or not the information was obtained through discovery, the burden of proof shall be upon the defendant to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(a) The probative value of the information, in the context of the particular case, outweighs its prejudicial effect on the victim's emotional or physical recovery, privacy, or relationship with the counselor or the rape crisis or domestic violence center.
(b) That the information sought is unavailable from any other source.
(c) That there is a substantial probability that the failure to disclose that information will interfere with the defendant's right to confront the witnesses against him and his right to a fair trial.
IV. The trial court shall review each motion for disclosure of information on a case by case basis and determine on the totality of the circumstances that the information sought is or is not subject to the privilege established in RSA 173-C:2. In finding that the privilege shall not apply in a particular case, the trial court shall make written findings as to its reasons therefor.
V. The records and testimony of a rape crisis center or domestic violence center shall be disclosed solely to the trial judge to determine, as a matter of law, whether the information contained in the records or testimony is admissible under this chapter.
VI. That portion of any record and testimony of a rape crisis center or domestic violence center which is not disclosed to the defendant shall be preserved by the court under seal for appeal. For the purpose of preservation, a copy of the record shall be retained with the original released to the center. Costs of duplication shall be borne by the defendant.
VII. If, after disclosure of privileged information, the court upholds the privilege claim, the court shall impose a protective order against revealing any of the information without the consent of the person authorized to permit disclosure.
Source. 1985, 98:1, eff. May 10, 1985.