SB 513 - This act modifies provisions relating to the competence of certain persons to testify at trial, and the testimony on which court findings will be made at preliminary hearings.
The act expands the circumstances in which statements made by children or vulnerable persons, which would otherwise be inadmissible to prove the truth of the matter asserted by the statements, may be so admitted. The act also adds certain persons receiving care for mental health to the list of vulnerable persons, and adds vulnerable persons to certain exceptions relating to witness testimony.
The act requires that criminal courts issue certain orders, which had previously been issued on a discretionary basis, relating to witness intimidation. These orders are required, rather than discretionary, in every case involving a child victim or offenses under certain chapters. The courts retain the discretion to issue such orders in cases in which they are not required to, and to place additional conditions on such orders including, but not limited, to those conditions listed in the act.
The act creates new provisions relating to the disclosure of certain personal information relating to alleged victims of crime and to witnesses which the state intends to call in the course of criminal prosecutions.
The act makes victims and witnesses eligible for participation in the Address Confidentiality Program, which is a program by which certain persons may use a designated address rather than their actual living address for mailing purposes.
The act is similar to provisions of HCB 9 (2017) and is substantially similar to HB 1155 (2017).