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7. Victims

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  • Alaska

    The portion of the records of a court or law enforcement agency that contains the name of the victim of an offense under AS 11.41.300(a)(1)(c) or 11.41.410-11.41.460 must be withheld from public inspection, except with the consent of the court in which the case is or would be prosecuted; and is not a public record under AS 40.25.110 et seq., the Public Records Act. 12.61.140(a).  The offenses covered in these criminal code sections are, in general, sexual assaults, sexual abuse of a minor, incest, online enticement or unlawful exploitation of a minor, indecent exposure, and kidnapping in which the kidnapper restrains the victim with the intent to inflict physical injury upon or sexually assault the restrained person or place the restrained person or a third person in apprehension that any person will be subjected to serious physical injury or sexual assault. In all written court records open to public inspection, the name of the victim of an offense under these specific criminal code sections may not appear. Instead, the victim's initials shall be used. However, a sealed record containing the victim's name shall be kept by the court in order to ensure that a defendant is not charged twice for the same offense. AS 12.61.140(b). The residence and business addresses and telephone numbers of a victim of a crime (or witness to a crime) are confidential. A report, paper, picture, photograph, court file, or other document that relates to a crime and contains the residence or business address or telephone number of a victim or witness, and that is in the custody or possession of a public officer or employee, may not be made available for public inspection unless the residence and business addresses and telephone numbers of all victims and witnesses have been deleted. AS 12.61.110.

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  • Arizona

    A crime victim or immediate family member is entitled to one free copy of the police report and any applicable minute entry and transcript.  A.R.S. § 39-127(A).

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  • Arkansas

    The address and telephone number for victims and their immediate families are not subject to disclosure. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-1110. The identities of victims of sex crimes are exempt from the FOIA. Ark. Code Ann. § 12-12-913(e)(2).

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  • California

    The name and age of the victim shall be made public, unless the disclosure of a particular item of information would endanger the safety of a person involved in an investigation or would endanger the successful completion of the investigation or a related investigation. However, the name of any victim of certain crimes defined by various provisions of the Penal Code relating to sex offenses may be withheld at the victim’s request, or at the request of the victim’s parent or guardian if the victim is a minor. Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(f)(2). Furthermore, pursuant to Penal Code 293, a law enforcement agency is required to advise victims of their right to request that their names not be released. Cal. Penal Code § 293.
    Address information of victims must also be disclosed where the requester declares under penalty of perjury that the request is made for a scholarly, journalistic, political, or governmental purpose, or that the request is made for investigation purposes by a duly licensed investigator, except that the address of a victim of any crime defined by certain enumerated provisions of the Penal Code shall remain confidential. The requester must also declare under penalty of perjury that the address information obtained shall not be used to sell a product or service to any individual or group of individuals. Cal. Gov’t Code § 6254(f)(3).

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  • Colorado

    Victims' identities, insofar as they are part of police records, are public records subject to inspection. The only exception for adults is the name of victims of sexual assault. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-304(4).

    With respect to child victims, the name and any other information that would identify any child victim of the offenses listed below must be deleted from any criminal justice record prior to the release of such record to any individual or agency other than a criminal justice agency or the named victim or victim' designee, when such record bears the notation "CHILD VICTIM":

    1. Internet sexual exploitation
    2. Enticement of a child

    iii.  Internet luring of a child

    1. Soliciting for child prostitution
    2. Pandering of a child
    3. Procurement of a child

    vii.  Keeping a place of child prostitution

    viii.  Pimping of a child

    1. Inducement of child prostitution
    2. Patronizing a prostituted child
    3. Human trafficking of a minor for involuntary servitude

    xii.  Human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude

    Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-72-304(4.5) (2016).

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  • Connecticut

    See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-210(b)(3) (law enforcement exemption) in Records Outline at II.A.2.c.

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  • Delaware

    Not specified.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    Victim information is not exempt from the Act’s disclosure requirement.

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  • Hawaii

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • Idaho

    Department of Corrections records related to the identity of victims are exempt from disclosure. Idaho Code § 74-105(4)(a)(ii).

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  • Illinois

    Depends; closed if the victim’s life or physical safety would be endangered, if the victim acts as a confidential source whose identity would unavoidably be disclosed, or if release of the victim’s information would disclose unique or specialized investigative techniques and would result in demonstrable harm to the public body that is the recipient of the request.  5 ILCS 140/7(1)(d).  Certain private information pertaining to victims (especially child victims) may also be exempt under 5 ILCS 140.7(1)(c).

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  • Indiana

    Ind. Code Section 5-14-3-5(c)(3)(B) requires law enforcement agencies to provide the name and age of victims of crimes or infractions, unless the person is a victim of the sex crimes enumerated in Indiana Code Section 35-42-4-1 et seq.including rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, child seduction, child solicitation, and sexual battery or a victim of human and sexual trafficking under 35-42-3.5 et seq.

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  • Iowa

    See generally Iowa Code § 22.7(5).

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  • Kansas

    The name, address, phone number or any other information which would specifically identify the victim of a sexual offense may not be revealed. K.S.A. 45-221(a)(10)(F). Information concerning other victims is not specifically addressed and is presumably open for inspection unless part of a criminal investigation. K.S.A. 45-221(a)(10). (Records compiled in contested case under the Crime Victims Reparations Board are open. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1982-28); (Child abuse records are not open for public inspection. 1977-308). In police records pertaining to a sexual assault, any victim specific or identifying information can be deleted from the record prior to any disclosure to prevent an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, pursuant to K.S.A. 45-221(a)(30). Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1992-149.

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  • Kentucky

    Generally open, except for the names and identifying information of victims of sexual offenses in certain cases. In Cape Publications v. City of Louisville, the Kentucky Court of Appeals held that “the Division may not withhold the identities of all crime victims as a matter of policy… .” 147 S.W. 3d 731, 732 (Ky. Ct. App. 2004). The Court went on to exclude the victims of sex crimes from the general policy of openness, because of the personal nature of the crime. Id. at 732-733. However, the Court noted that: “[W]e believe that in rare instances, such as where the victim of a sexual offense has "gone public," or other circumstances in which the victim has evidenced a waiver of privacy, that victim's privacy interests may be subordinate to the public's interest in disclosure.” Id.

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  • Louisiana

    The act does not require that victims be identified in the initial investigation report. Nor does it prohibit disclosure in that report of the identity of victims except for victims of sexual crimes. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44:3(A)(4)(b). Records and reports concerning all matters and proceedings before a juvenile court are confidential and docketing of juvenile cases are kept separately from the civil and criminal cases. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44:4.1(B)(35); Op. Att'y Gen. 03-0026.

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  • Maine

    The identity of a victim generally receives no special treatment, although victim information in intelligence and investigative records may be withheld on privacy grounds under 16 M.R.S.A. § 804.  The identity of minor victims of sexual offenses is confidential and prosecutors must refrain from unnecessary pre-trial publicity that might reveal the minor's identity. 30-A M.R.S.A. § 288. Additionally, if the victim requested assistance by calling 911, the identity of the victim cannot be obtained by accessing the 911 tape or transcript. 25 M.R.S.A. § 2929.

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  • Maryland

    A custodian has discretion to disclose an investigatory record containing the name and address of a crime victim and will consider both the public interest and the privacy interests of the victim. For example, the Court of Appeals held that it would be contrary to the public interest to disclose a report of an internal investigation of a police officer because it could discourage witnesses or other persons with information from cooperating. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Maryland Committee Against the Gun Ban, 329 Md. 78 (1993); see also 77 Op. Att'y Gen. 183 (1992) (custodian of an investigatory record containing the name and address of a crime victim would be required under the PIA to consider the assertions of the public interest made by the requester, as well as the privacy interests of the victim); see also Howard v. Alexanderson, Nos. C-13-063914, C-13-063484 (Cir. Ct. Carroll Cty., Jan. 16, 2014) (considering that a requester's intended use may be relevant in an action for a protective order under § 4-358.

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  • Michigan

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Montana

    The name of a victim in an initial offense report is public unless the crime is a sex crime. Other victim information cannot be released if “no release” is requested by the victim. If the victim does not request privacy, the information is public. See Mont. Code Ann. § 2-3-201. Victim information under this section is information regarding victim and victim’s family members’ address, telephone number and place of employment.

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  • Nebraska

    There is no law on point. To the extent victim information is part of an investigative record it may be withheld.

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  • Nevada

    See Donrey of Nevada, Inc. v. Bradshaw, 106 Nev. 630 (1990).

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  • New Hampshire

    Neither the Statute nor case law addresses this issue.

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  • New Jersey

    Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, victims’ records are not government records, except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim’s own records.

    N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 contains the following definitions:

    "Victim's record" means an individually-identifiable file or document held by a victims' rights agency which pertains directly to a victim of a crime except that a victim of a crime shall have access to the victim's own records.
    "Victim of a crime" means a person who has suffered personal or psychological injury or death or incurs loss of or injury to personal or real property as a result of a crime, or if such a person is deceased or incapacitated, a member of that person's immediate family.

    “Victims’ rights agency” means a public agency, or part thereof, the primary responsibility of which is providing services, including but not limited to food, shelter, or clothing, medical, psychiatric, psychological or legal services or referrals, information and referral services, counseling and support services, or financial services to victims of crimes, including victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, violent crime, child endangerment, child abuse or child neglect, and the Victims of Crime Compensation Board, established pursuant to P.L.1971, c. 317 (C.52:4B-1 et seq.) and continued as the Victims of Crime Compensation Office pursuant to P.L.2007, c. 95 (C.52:4B-3.2 et al.) and Reorganization Plan No. 001-2008.

    N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2 provides:

    1. Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1963, c. 73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) or the provisions of any other law to the contrary, where it shall appear that a person who is convicted of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States is seeking government records containing personal information pertaining to the person’s victim or the victim’s family, including but not limited to a victim’s home address, home telephone number, work or school address, work telephone number, social security account number, medical history or any other identifying information, the right of access provided for in P.L.1963, c. 73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented shall be denied.
    2. A government record containing personal identifying information which is protected under the provisions of this section may be released only if the information is necessary to assist in the defense of the requestor. A determination that the information is necessary to assist in the requestor’s defense shall be made by the court upon motion by the requestor or his representative.
    3. Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1963, c. 73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented, or any other law to the contrary, a custodian shall not comply with an anonymous request for a government record which is protected under the provisions of this section.

    Additionally, N.J.A.C. 10A:22-2.1 provides:

    (a) Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2 , a person convicted of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States shall be denied access to a government record if the record contains personal information pertaining to the person's victim(s) or family member(s) of a victim(s).

    (b) An exception to (a) above may be made only if a court, upon motion by the requester or his or her representative, has determined that the information is necessary to assist in the defense of the requester. The inmate or representative thereof shall submit the determination by the court to the custodian of records for review and release authorization determination.

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  • New Mexico

    Insofar as victims constitute evidence in connection with a criminal investigation, their identities should not be public if they reveal confidential information.  See NMSA 1978 § 14-2-1(A)(4).

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  • North Carolina

    North Carolina has no statute that categorically would exempt from disclosure any information about victims of crime. Law enforcement may temporarily “withhold the name or address of a complaining witness if release of the information is reasonably likely to pose a threat to the mental health, physical health, or personal safety of the complaining witness or materially compromise a continuing or future criminal investigation or criminal intelligence operation.” G.S. § 132-1.4(d).

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  • North Dakota

    If children or victims of domestic violence, generally closed. Please see the discussion of statutory exemptions.

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  • Ohio

    A victim’s statement reporting an office to a law enforcement officer is a public record which must be disclosed where the person seeking the statement is not a defendant in a criminal prosecution. Pinkava v. Corrigan, 64 Ohio App.3d 499, 581 N.W.2d 1181 (Ohio App. 8th Dist. 1990)(victim's statement reporting an offense to a police officer is a public record). But see State v. Daniel, 97 Ohio App.3d 548, 647 N.W.2d 174 (Ohio Ct. App. 1994) (victim’s statements that were compiled solely for initiating prosecution of defendant were exempt as trial preparation records).

    If the safety of a victim would be endangered then the record is exempt as a confidential law enforcement investigatory record.  Ohio Rev. Code §§ 149.43(A)(1)(h), 149.43(A)(2)(d).

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  • Oklahoma

    Police incident reports are public record. 51 O.S. § 24A.8.A.

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  • Oregon

    Under ORS 192.345 (formerly 192.501(3)), the need to protect “the complaining party or victim,” may underpin a “clear need to delay disclosure” of arrest records and reports of crimes. See also ORS 147.115 concerning crime victim compensation records.

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  • Rhode Island

    There is no statutory or case law addressing this issue.

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  • South Carolina

    Records or other information compiled for law enforcement purposes are public but may be withheld from disclosure if production of the information would “endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.” S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-40(a)(3)(f).

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  • South Dakota

    Falls under UJS rules. SDCL §1-27-1.12. Generally open, but victim in sex-crime can suppress name until arraignment. SDCL §23A-6-22. Victim compensation hearings open. SDCL §23A-28B-37). Victim identification information confidential under sex offender registration law. SDCL §22-24B-15.

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  • Tennessee

    Some are closed. T.C.A. §§ 16-20-103; 40-28-504; 40-38-110

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  • Texas

    “As a rule, . . . the names of complainants are public information. . . . Only in unusual instances, such as where the complainant was the victim of a sexual assault may the identity of a complainant be withheld.” Tex. Att’y Gen. ORD-482 (1987) (citations omitted); see Houston Chronicle Pub. Co., 531 S.W.2d at 186-87 (finding a constitutionally protected right of the press to the front page of offense reports, including, among other things, the identity and description of the complainant); see also Tex. Att’y Gen. Nos. ORD-611 (1992) (advising that documents relating to a police department’s investigation of

    adult victims of family violence are likewise not per se excepted from disclosure), ORD-440 (1986) (advising that the investigation file on alleged child abuse at a state school for the deaf is excepted), ORD-422 (1984) (advising that the identity of a shooting victim is not per se excepted by common law privacy), ORD-409 (1984) (advising that the names of burglary victims are not ordinarily excepted from disclosure), ORD-393 (1983) (advising that the identity of a child who may have been sexually abused is excepted by common law privacy), ORD-339 (1982) (opining that “common law privacy permits the withholding of the name of every victim of a serious sexual offense”); see also In re Westwood Affiliates, L.L.C., 263 S.W.3d 176 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.)  (Mother of shooting victim who brought premises liability action against owner of the retail establishment outside of which the shooting occurred not entitled to police department’s murder investigation records because such records are exempted by the law-enforcement privilege).

    Article 57.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows victims of sex crimes to use pseudonyms in all public records concerning the offense, including in police reports and during testimony in court. Under this law, law enforcement officials cannot disclose the victim’s name, address or telephone number unless ordered to do so by a court. Tex. Crim. Proc. Code. art. 57.02.

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  • Utah

    a. Victims’ names are presumed public, although access may be restricted if release would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. See Utah Code §§ 63G-2-103(14)(a)(ii), -302(2)(d).

    b. Information given to a sexual assault counselor by a victim and reports prepared by the counselor are confidential and may be disclosed only to authorized persons or as required by law to report child abuse or neglect. Id. § 77-38-204.

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  • Vermont

    “[A] public agency shall not reveal . . . the identity of a private individual who is a witness to or victim of a crime, unless withholding the identity or information would conceal government wrongdoing.”  1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(5)(D).  However, the statute prohibits an agency from withholding a document in its entirety because it contains such identifying information; instead the identifying information must be redacted.  Id.

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  • Virginia

    The identity of any victim is subject to discretionary disclosure unless disclosure is prohibited under § 19.2-11.2, the victim-witness protection statute. Va. Code. Ann. §2.2-3706.B.10.

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  • Washington

    The identity of witnesses, victims and people who file criminal or quasi-criminal complaints with agencies other than the Public Disclosure Commission is exempt if disclosure would endanger a person's life, property or physical safety, or if the complainant indicates at the time of filing the complaint that the complainant desires it to be confidential. RCW 42.56.240(2).

    The CRPA restricts access to pre-conviction and nonconviction records generally but not post-conviction records. Records of entry are accessible on a chronological basis, and records of those currently in the criminal justice system are not exempt. RCW 10.97.

    Coroner records that identify the deceased may be withheld for 48 hours or until the next of kin is notified, although the official may exercise discretion to release the records earlier to aid in identifying the deceased. RCW 68.50.300.

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    In sexual assault cases, public employees shall not release the name of the victim or information reasonably likely to identify the victim.

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