Report Title:

Crime Stopper Organizations; Confidentiality; Repayment


Prohibits the disclosure of communications to a crime stoppers organization, except by in camera inspection by a court where exculpatory to the defendant. Deems communications confidential and privileged. Provides for the payment of by defendants of amounts equal to rewards paid by crime stoppers organizations. Exempts from Uniform Information Practices Act.


S.B. NO.









relating to crime stopperS organizations.



SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



-1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

"Crime stoppers organization" means a private, nonprofit organization or a government agency, or a program operated by either, that accepts and expends donations for rewards to persons who report to the organization information concerning criminal activity and that forwards the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

-2 Crime stoppers organizations; in camera review of records. (a) A crime stopper organization may not be compelled to produce records concerning a report of criminal activity before a court or other tribunal except on the motion of a criminal defendant to the court in which the offense is being tried that the records or report contain impeachment evidence or evidence that is exculpatory to the defendant in the trial of that offense.

(b) On motion of a defendant pursuant to subsection (a), the court may subpoena the records or report. The court shall conduct an ex parte in camera inspection of materials produced under subpoena to determine whether the materials contain impeachment evidence or evidence that is exculpatory to the defendant.

(c) If the court determines that the materials produced contain certain impeachment evidence or evidence that is exculpatory to the defendant, the court shall present the evidence to the defendant. If the materials contain information which would identify the person who was the source of the evidence, the court shall ensure that the identity of that person is not disclosed, unless the state or federal constitution requires the disclosure of that person's identity. The court shall execute an affidavit accompanying the disclosed materials swearing that, in the opinion of the court, the materials disclosed represent the impeachment or exculpatory evidence the defendant is entitled to receive under this section.

(d) The court shall return to the crime stoppers organization all materials produced under subsection (a) which are not disclosed to the defendant. The crime stoppers organization shall retain those materials until the conclusion of the criminal trial and the expiration of the time for all direct appeals in the case.

-3 Crime stoppers organizations; confidentiality of records and information; criminal penalty. (a) Records and information of a crime stoppers organization concerning criminal acts are confidential and no person shall disclose those records or information. A crime stoppers organization shall only be compelled to produce those records or information before a court or other tribunal pursuant to court order for an in camera review as provided in section    -2. Any such review shall be limited to an inspection of records and information which are relevant to the specific case pending before the court.

(b) Any person who knowingly or intentionally discloses confidential records or information in violation of subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor. Any criminal prosecution brought pursuant to this subsection shall be brought within five years after the date the violation occurred.

-4 Repayment of rewards paid by crime stoppers organizations; disbursement of moneys collected. (a) After a defendant has been convicted of a criminal offense, and subject to the requirements of this section, the court may order the defendant to pay to the crime stoppers organization an amount equal to all or part of any reward paid by the crime stoppers organization. In determining whether the defendant must pay the amount or portion thereof, the court shall consider:

(1) The ability of the defendant to make the payments, including any financial hardship that payment may cause to the defendant's dependents; and

(2) Whether the information that was reported to the crime stoppers organization substantially contributed to the defendant being charged with the offense. To the extent allowed by law, the court shall respect the confidentiality of the records of the crime stoppers organization.

(c) Prior to the authorization of payments to a crime stoppers organization under this section, the attorney general shall approve the crime stoppers organization to receive payment of reward amounts. Approval shall not be granted unless the attorney general:

(1) After considering the organization, continuity, leadership, community support, and general conduct of the program, determines that the payments will be spent to further the crime prevention purposes of the program; and

(2) Determines that the crime stoppers organization:

(A) Has a record of providing rewards to persons who report information concerning criminal activity; and

(B) The information reported substantially leads to defendants being charged with felonies.

(d) If the court determines that a defendant is capable of paying all or any part of an amount equal to a reward paid by a crime stoppers organization, the judgment shall include a statement of the amount owed, the identity of the crime stoppers organization, and a schedule, if any, of payments to be made by the defendant. The clerk of court may establish an account within which to deposit payments and at least quarterly shall pay over to each crime stoppers organization the sums that have been collected for the benefit of that program.

(e) A judgment that includes payment of reward amounts to a crime stoppers organization may be docketed and thereafter shall constitute a lien upon real property owned by the defendant, in the same manner as a judgment for money rendered in a civil action."

SECTION 2. Section 626-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new rule to article V to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Rule Privileged communications to crime stoppers organizations. (a) As used in this section:

"Crime stoppers organization" has the same meaning as defined in section    -1.

"Privileged communication" means a statement by any person, in any manner, to a crime stoppers organization for the purpose of reporting alleged criminal activity.

(b) No person shall be required to disclose, by way of testimony or otherwise, a privileged communication between a person who submits a report of alleged criminal activity to a crime stoppers organization and the person who accepts the report on behalf of a crime stoppers organization, or to produce, under subpoena, any records, documentary evidence, opinions, or decisions relating to that privileged communication:

(1) In connection with any criminal case or proceeding; or

(2) By way of any discovery procedure.

(c) Any person arrested and charged with a criminal offense may petition the court for any in camera inspection of the records of a privileged communication concerning that person made to a crime stoppers organization pursuant to section    -2. The petition shall allege facts showing that the records would provide evidence favorable to the defendant and relevant to the issue of guilt or punishment. If the court determines that the person is entitled to all or any part of these records, it may order production and disclosure as it deems appropriate pursuant to section    -2."

SECTION 3. Section 92F-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"92F-13 Government records; exceptions to general rule. This part shall not require disclosure of:

(1) Government records which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(2) Government records pertaining to the prosecution or defense of any judicial or quasi-judicial action to which the State or any county is or may be a party, to the extent that such records would not be discoverable;

(3) Government records that, by their nature, must be confidential in order for the government to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function;

(4) Government records which, pursuant to state or federal law including an order of any state or federal court, are protected from disclosure; [and]

(5) Inchoate and draft working papers of legislative committees including budget worksheets and unfiled committee reports; work product; records or transcripts of an investigating committee of the legislature which are closed by rules adopted pursuant to section 21-4 and the personal files of members of the legislature[.]; and

(6) Government records of a communication between a person submitting a report of criminal activity to a crime stopper program, as defined in section    -1, that is administered by a police department, sheriff's department, prosecuting or county attorney's office, or other government agency, and the person who accepted the report on behalf of the crime stopper program."

SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.