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H. Grand jury testimony by public employees

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  • Alaska

    Grand jury proceedings are secret while they are going on, except that no requirement of secrecy can be imposed on a witness with respect to that witness's testimony. See Alaska Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(f); and see In re: Hanson, 532 P.2d 303 (Alaska 1975). The Supreme Court has also upheld court rules restricting or delaying disclosure of certain portions of investigative grand jury reports when no indictment is issued to protect due process and privacy interests of individuals named in the report. See O'Leary v. Superior Court, 816 P.2d 163 (Alaska 1991); AK.R.Cr.P. 6.1.

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  • Arizona

    All grand jury proceedings are closed to the general public.  Ariz. R. Crim. P. 12.4.  Disclosure of information presented to the grand jury is a criminal offense.  A.R.S. § 13-2812.

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  • Arkansas

    Grand juries are expressly excluded from the list of bodies subject to the FOIA’s open meetings requirement. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-106(a). There is no exception to this provision that would require a grand jury to meet in public when hearing testimony by or against a public employee.

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  • California

    The Brown Act is not to be construed to prohibit members of the legislative body of a local agency from giving testimony in private before a grand jury, either as individuals or as a body. Cal. Gov't Code § 54953.1. However, Penal Code Section 939 prohibits the attendance of the public at grand jury proceedings, except when the foreman of the grand jury, acting through the attorney general or district attorney, makes a joint written request for public sessions and the court finds that the subject matter of the investigation affects the general public welfare, involving the alleged corruption, misfeasance or malfeasance in office or dereliction of duty of public officials or employees, and makes an order directing the grand jury to conduct its investigation in public sessions. Cal. Penal Code § 939.1. Notwithstanding the foregoing, deliberations of the grand jury and its voting shall be in private session. Id.

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  • Colorado

    Closed. Colo. R. Crim. P. 6.2; see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 16-5-204.

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  • Connecticut

    The judiciary is not subject to FOIA except in its administrative capacity. Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-200(1).
    Investigatory grand jury proceedings are also conducted in private unless the judicial panel designated by statute votes to hold the proceedings in public in the public interest. Conn. Gen. Stat. §54-47e.

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  • Delaware

    Meetings involving grand jury testimony of public employees are closed. See 29 Del. C. § 10004(h)(1).

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    The Act exempts grand jury meetings. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(3).

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  • Hawaii

    No. Chapter 92 does not apply to the judicial branch. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-6(a)(1).

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  • Idaho

    Not specified.

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  • Illinois

    This is a matter of constitutional law. Grand jury testimony is secret.

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  • Indiana

    The statute does not apply to courts. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-2(a) (defining a “public agency” subject to the act as an entity that “exercises a portion of the executive, administrative, or legislative power of the state” — but not judicial power). Grand jury proceedings are confidential under Ind. Code § 35-34-2-10. However, if a governing body met to discuss grand jury testimony that had already been given, the meeting would have to be open unless it could be classified under the general executive session categories in Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-6.1(b).

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  • Iowa

    Grand jury proceedings are confidential. Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.3(4)(d).

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  • Kansas

    Closed unless directed otherwise by the court. K.S.A. 22-3012.

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  • Kentucky

    Grand and petit jury sessions may be closed. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.810(1)(d).

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  • Louisiana

    Closed. Judicial proceedings are not covered by the Open Meeting Law. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17(B).

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  • Maine

    In general, grand jury proceedings are secret.  M. R. Crim. P. 6(e). However, a witness before the grand jury may not be placed under any obligation of secrecy.  Id (Advisory Comm. Note – 1997).  Further, grand jury secrecy rules do not apply to material obtained or created independently of the grand jury as long as the disclosure of such material does not reveal what transpired before the grand jury.  Id.

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  • Maryland

    The provisions of the Act are not applicable to judicial functions which include, by the Act's definition, the function of a grand jury. See § 3-101(e), (h)(3).

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  • Michigan

    Not addressed, but presumably closed.

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  • Montana

    Not a basis for closing a meeting.

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  • Nebraska

    No specific exemption. However, a closed session is allowed generally by majority vote of members of public body, "if a closed session is clearly necessary for the protection of the public interest or for the prevention of needless injury to the reputation of an individual and if such individual has not requested a public meeting." Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1410(1).

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  • New Hampshire

    Grand jury proceedings are not within the Statute. RSA 91-A:5, I.

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  • New Jersey

    The judicial branch of government is specifically excluded from coverage by the OPMA, N.J.S.A. 10:4-8a, and Grand Jury proceedings are confidential. N.J. Court Rule 3:6-7.

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  • New Mexico

    Grand jury proceedings in New Mexico are closed pursuant to NMSA 1978 §31-6-4(B).

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  • North Carolina

    All grand jury proceedings are exempt from the Open Meetings Law. G.S. § 143-318.18(1). In addition, G.S. § 15A-623 provides that during grand jury proceedings, no one shall be admitted to the grand jury room except (1) members of the grand jury; (2) the witness being examined; (3) an interpreter, if needed; and (4) a law enforcement officer holding a witness in custody. All persons admitted to the grand jury room, other than a witness, must first take an oath to keep the proceedings secret; breach of the oath is punishable as contempt.

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  • North Dakota

    State and county grand jury sessions are generally closed. N.D.C.C. §§ 29-10.1-28, 29-10.2-04(l).

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  • Ohio

    Grand juries are exempt from the open meetings statute. Ohio Rev. Code § 121.22(D)(1); Ohio R. Crim. P. 6(E).

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  • Oklahoma

    This issue has not been addressed under the act. However, it is a criminal offense for a person involved in the process to disclose evidence presented to a grand jury and how a grand jury may have voted. 21 O.S. § 583. It is also a criminal offense for anyone to record or listen to a grand jury's deliberations or voting. 21 O.S. § 588.

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  • Oregon

    The Public Meetings Law does not apply to judicial proceedings.

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  • Rhode Island

    Closed pursuant to exemption (4), which includes all investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct.

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  • South Carolina

    Grand jury testimony is confidential no matter what the employment status of the witness. State v. Whitted, 305 S.E.2d 245 (S.C. 1983).

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  • South Dakota

    Presumably closed. See SDCL §23A-5-16 for secrecy of grand jury proceedings generally.Presumably open.

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  • Tennessee

    Closed. Tenn. R. Crim. P. 6(k)(1).

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  • Texas

    Although the Act previously specified that grand jury testimony by a public employee need not be open, the recent amendments no longer contain any such provision.

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  • Utah

    Although the Open Meetings Act contains no specific exemption for grand jury testimony by public employees, grand jury proceedings are secret. See Utah Code § 77-10a-13.

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  • Vermont

    Closed to the extent grand jury proceeding is closed. See 1 V.S.A. § 312(e) (“nor shall anything in this section be construed to require the making public of any proceedings, records, or acts which are specifically made confidential by the laws of the United States of America or of this State”); Vt. Pub. Acc. Ct. Rec. Rule 6(b)(3) (“The public shall not have access to the following judicial branch records: . . . [r]ecords of a grand jury and any indictment of a grand jury.”).

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  • Virginia

    Grand juries are not subject to the Act. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3703.A.2.

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  • Washington

    Grand jury testimony is not covered by OPMA. However, such testimony is not generally open to the public. RCW 10.27.080, .090, .150.

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  • West Virginia

    The statute authorizes closed sessions for the discussion of "[a]ny official investigation or matters relating to crime prevention or law enforcement." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(7). Moreover, Rule 6 of the West Virginia Rules of Criminal Procedure mandates the confidentiality of all grand jury testimony — regardless of whether the witness is a public employee.

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  • Wyoming

    There is no statute specifically addressing the testimony of public employees in a grand jury proceeding. The Wyoming Rules of Criminal Procedure provide that, in a county grand jury proceeding, only the Attorney for the State may disclose matters occurring before the grand jury. Wyo. R. Crim. P. 6(a)(14). In a state grand jury proceeding, no obligation of secrecy may be imposed upon any person except the Attorney General, District Attorney, law enforcement agencies, a juror, attorney, interpreter, stenographer, operator of a recording device or transcribing typist. Wyo. R. Crim. P. 6(b)(8)(D).

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