Page 1 of 8 Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossed 2/22/2009 http://www ...

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Page 1 of 8 Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossed 2/22/2009 http://www ...

Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossedhttp://www.telicon.com/htbin/web_dtext.com?TX80RSB00966.ENGPage 1 of 82/22/2009Bill Number: TX80RSB 966 Date: 05-01-2007ENGROSSEDA BILL TO BE ENTITLED1 AN ACT2 relating to a qualified privilege of a journalist not to testify.3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:4 SECTION 1. Chapter 22, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is5 amended by adding Subchapter C to read as follows:6 SUBCHAPTER C. JOURNALIST'S QUALIFIED TESTIMONIAL PRIVILEGE7 Sec. 22.021. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:8 (1) "Communication service provider" means a person or9 the parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of a person who10 transmits information chosen by a customer by electronic means,11 including:12 (A) a telecommunications carrier, as defined by13 Section 3, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 153);14 (B) a provider of information service, as defined15 by Section 3, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 153);16 (C) a provider of interactive computer service,17 as defined by Section 230, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C.18 Section 230); and19 (D) an information content provider, as defined20 by Section 230, Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. Section 230).21 (2) "Journalist" means a person, including a parent,22 subsidiary, division, or affiliate of a person, that for a23 substantial portion of the person's livelihood or for substantial24 financial gain, gathers, compiles, prepares, collects,1


Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossedhttp://www.telicon.com/htbin/web_dtext.com?TX80RSB00966.ENGPage 4 of 82/22/20091 Penal Code.2 Sec. 22.022. PURPOSE. The purpose of this subchapter is to3 increase the free flow of information and preserve a free and active4 press and, at the same time, protect the right of the public to5 effective law enforcement and the fair administration of justice.6 Sec. 22.023. PRIVILEGE. (a) Except as otherwise provided7 by this subchapter, a judicial, legislative, administrative, or8 other body with the authority to issue a subpoena or other9 compulsory process may not compel a journalist to testify, produce,10 or disclose in an official proceeding:11 (1) any confidential or nonconfidential information,12 document, or item obtained or prepared while acting as a13 journalist; or14 (2) the source of any information, document, or item15 described by Subdivision (1).16 (b) A subpoena or other compulsory process may not compel17 the parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of a communication18 service provider or news medium to disclose the information,19 documents, or items or the source of any information, documents, or20 items that are privileged from disclosure under Subsection (a).21 Sec. 22.024. LIMITED DISCLOSURE: DISCLOSURE OTHER THAN IN22 CERTAIN CRIMINAL CIRCUMSTANCES. After notice and an opportunity to23 be heard, a court may compel a journalist, a journalist's employer,24 or a person with an independent contract with a journalist to25 testify, produce, or disclose any information, document, or item or26 the source of any information, document, or item obtained while27 acting as a journalist, other than as described by Section 22.025,4


Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossedhttp://www.telicon.com/htbin/web_dtext.com?TX80RSB00966.ENGPage 5 of 82/22/20091 if the person seeking the information, document, or item or the2 source of any information, document, or item makes a clear and3 specific showing that:4 (1) all reasonable efforts have been exhausted to5 obtain the information from an alternative source;6 (2) the subpoena is not overbroad, unreasonable or7 oppressive and, where appropriate, will be limited to the8 verification of published information and the surrounding9 circumstances relating to the accuracy of the published10 information;11 (3) reasonable and timely notice was given of the12 demand for the information, document, or item;13 (4) in this instance, the interest of the party14 subpoenaing the information outweighs the public interest in15 gathering and dissemination of news, including the concerns of the16 journalist;17 (5) the subpoena or compulsory process is not being18 used to obtain peripheral, nonessential, or speculative19 information; and20 (6) the information, document, or item:21 (A) is relevant and material to the proper22 administration of the official proceeding for which the testimony,23 production, or disclosure is sought and is essential to the24 maintenance of a claim or defense of the person seeking the25 testimony, production, or disclosure; or26 (B) is central to the investigation or27 prosecution of a criminal case regarding the establishment of guilt5


Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossedhttp://www.telicon.com/htbin/web_dtext.com?TX80RSB00966.ENGPage 6 of 82/22/20091 or innocence and, based on an independent source, reasonable2 grounds exist to believe that a crime has occurred.3 Sec. 22.025. LIMITED DISCLOSURE: DISCLOSURE IN CERTAIN4 CRIMINAL CIRCUMSTANCES. (a) A journalist may be compelled to5 testify, produce, or disclose any information, document, or item or6 the source of any information, document, or item obtained while7 acting as a journalist if the person seeking the testimony,8 production, or disclosure makes a clear and specific showing that9 the information, document, or item or the source of any10 information, document, or item:11 (1) was obtained as the result of an eyewitness12 observation of criminal conduct by the journalist and a court13 determines by clear and specific evidence that the person14 requesting the testimony, production, or disclosure has exhausted15 reasonable efforts to obtain the information, document, or item16 from alternative sources;17 (2) was obtained from any person who has confessed or18 admitted to the commission of a violent offense or to a crime19 against a child victim younger than 14 years of age at the time the20 offense was committed and a court determines by clear and specific21 evidence that the person requesting the testimony, production, or22 disclosure has exhausted reasonable efforts to obtain the23 information, document, or item from alternative sources;24 (3) was obtained from any person for whom25 probable cause exists that the person has participated in a violent26 offense or in a crime against a child victim younger than 14 years27 of age at the time the offense was committed and a court determines6


Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossedhttp://www.telicon.com/htbin/web_dtext.com?TX80RSB00966.ENGPage 7 of 82/22/20091 by clear and specific evidence that the person requesting the2 testimony, production, or disclosure has exhausted reasonable3 efforts to obtain the information, document, or item from4 alternative sources; or5 (4) is reasonably necessary to stop or prevent6 reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.7 (b) If the alleged criminal conduct is the act of8 communicating, receiving, or possessing the information, document,9 or item and the information does not relate to conduct contained in10 Section 22.021(6), this section does not apply, and Section 22.02411 governs the act.12 Sec. 22.026. NOTICE. An order to compel testimony,13 production, or disclosure to which a journalist has asserted a14 privilege under this subchapter may be issued only after timely15 notice to the journalist, the journalist's employer, or a person16 who has an independent contract with a journalist and a hearing.17 The order must include clear and specific findings as to the showing18 made by the person seeking the testimony, production, or disclosure19 and the clear and specific evidence on which the court relied in20 issuing the court's order.21 Sec. 22.027. PUBLICATION OF PRIVILEGED INFORMATION.22 Publication or dissemination by a news medium or communication23 service provider of information, documents, or items privileged24 under this subchapter is not a waiver of the journalist's25 privilege.26 SECTION 2. Chapter 38, Code of Criminal Procedure, is27 amended by adding Article 38.11 to read as follows:7


Read Bill - SB 966 - Engrossedhttp://www.telicon.com/htbin/web_dtext.com?TX80RSB00966.ENGPage 8 of 82/22/20091 Art. 38.11. JOURNALIST'S TESTIMONIAL PRIVILEGE.2 Subchapter C, Chapter 22, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, applies3 to a criminal proceeding.4 SECTION 3. This Act applies only to information, documents,5 or items or the source of any information, document, or item6 obtained or prepared for publication in a news medium or7 communication service provider on or after the effective date of8 this Act.9 SECTION 4. This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.8

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