Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: H.B. No. 2817

H.D. 1

S.D. 1



Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii


Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 2817, H.D. 1, entitled:


begs leave to report as follows:

The purposes of this measure are to clarify and to narrow somewhat the physician-patient and psychologist-client privileges and to provide a hearsay exception for certified records in the Rules of Evidence.

Testimony in support of this measure was received from the Judiciary. Testimony in opposition to this measure was submitted by the Board of Psychology within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association, the Hawaii Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Hawaii Psychological Association. The Office of the Public Defender had concerns regarding this measure.

This measure's amendments were originally recommended by the Hawaii Supreme Court's Standing Committee on Rules of Evidence in its 2001 Report. Your Committee has reviewed that report and concurs with many of the amendments proposed therein.

Your Committee finds that the amendments contained in this measure that create an exception to a psychiatric evidentiary privilege when the treating psychiatrist has received information indicating that a third party is in physical danger are necessary to protect the public.

Based on concerns raised by practitioners within the psychiatric community, your Committee amended this measure so that communications between a patient and a psychiatrist remain privileged if the communications indicate potential harm to the property or financial interests of a third party.

In addition, your Committee also amended this measure to reinstate the current statutory definition of "psychologist" to apply that term to licensed persons only, as under existing law.

Finally, your Committee made several technical, nonsubstantive amendments to this measure.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2817, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2817, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,