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Introduced Version House Bill 2167 History

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hb2167 intr
H. B. 2167


(By Delegates Ellem, Anderson, Azinger)

[Introduced February 10, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §49-7-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to releasing the name and identification of an adjudicated or convicted juvenile to the victim of the offense.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §49-7-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 7. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

§49-7-1. Confidentiality of records.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or by order of the court, all records and information concerning a child or juvenile which are maintained by the division of juvenile services, the department of health and human resources, a child agency or facility, court or law-enforcement agency shall may be kept confidential released to a victim of a juvenile who has been adjudicated or convicted of a criminal offense against the victim and shall may not be released or disclosed to anyone any other person or organization or the public at large, including any federal or state agency, except as may be provided elsewhere in this section and otherwise as required by law.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or any other provision of this code to the contrary, records concerning a child or juvenile, except adoption records, juvenile court records and records disclosing the identity of a person making a complaint of child abuse or neglect shall be made available:
(1) Where otherwise authorized by this chapter;
(2) To:
(A) The child;
(B) A parent whose parental rights have not been terminated; or
(C) The attorney of the child or parent;
(3) With the written consent of the child or of someone authorized to act on the child's behalf; or
(4) Pursuant to an order of a court of record: Provided, That the court shall review such record or records for relevancy and materiality to the issues in the proceeding, and may issue an order to limit the examination and use of the records or any part thereof.
(c) In addition to those persons or entities to whom information may be disclosed under subsection (b) of this section, information related to child abuse or neglect proceedings, except information relating to the identity of the person reporting or making a complaint of child abuse or neglect, shall be made available, upon request, to:
(1) Federal, state or local government entities, or any agent of such entities, including law-enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys, having a need for such information in order to carry out its responsibilities under law to protect children from abuse and neglect;
(2) The child fatality review team;
(3) Child abuse citizen review panels;
(4) Multidisciplinary investigative and treatment teams; or
(5) A grand jury, circuit court or family law master, upon a finding that information in the records is necessary for the determination of an issue before the grand jury, circuit court or family law master.
(d) In the event of a child fatality or near fatality due to child abuse and neglect, information relating to such fatality or near fatality shall be made public by the department of health and human resources and to the entities described in subsection (c) of this section, all under the circumstances described in that subsection: Provided, That information released by the department of health and human resources pursuant to this subsection shall not include the identity of a person reporting or making a complaint of child abuse or neglect. For purposes of this subsection, "near fatality" means any medical condition of the child which is certified by the attending physician to be life-threatening.
(e) Except in juvenile proceedings which are transferred to criminal proceedings, law-enforcement records and files concerning a child or juvenile shall be kept separate from the records and files of adults and not included within the court files. Law-enforcement records and files concerning a child or juvenile shall only be open to inspection pursuant to the provisions of sections seventeen and eighteen, article five of this chapter.
(f) Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for not more than six months, or be both fined and confined. A person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall also be liable for damages in the amount of three hundred dollars or actual damages, whichever is greater.
(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, or any other provision of this code to the contrary, the name and identity of any juvenile adjudicated or convicted of a violent or felonious crime shall be made available to the public.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for the release of the identity of juveniles adjudicated or convicted of a crime to the victim of the juvenile offense.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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