Code of the District of Columbia

§ 4–1301.52. Confidentiality of information and records of the Children’s Advocacy Center.

(a)(1) Except as permitted by paragraph (2) of this subsection, all information and records in the possession of Safe Shores, the District of Columbia’s Children’s Advocacy Center, relating to victims or witnesses of alleged child abuse, neglect, or any alleged crime committed against a child shall not be subject to subpoena, discovery, inspection, or disclosure in any court proceeding.

(2) A party may obtain information and records in the possession of the CAC that are covered by paragraph (1) of this subsection, and use such materials in a court proceeding, only upon making a particularized showing that:

(A) The outcome of the proceeding probably would be different if the requested information and records were not disclosed;

(B) The CAC is the only source of the requested information and records;

(C) The requested information and records would be subject to disclosure in the proceeding if they were in the possession of the government; and

(D) Disclosure of the requested information and records would not violate any other applicable law, rule, or regulation.

(3)(A) No subpoenas shall be served upon the CAC. The particularized showing required by paragraph (2) of this subsection may be made only by formal, written motion submitted to the court, supported by an affidavit based upon personal knowledge, demonstrating strong prima facie evidence that the moving party has satisfied the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(B) If, after conducting an initial review of the motion and the supporting evidence, the court determines that the requisite prima facie showing has not been made, the court shall deny the motion.

(C) If the court determines that the requisite prima facie showing has been made, the court shall notify the CAC of the preliminary ruling and afford the CAC an opportunity to oppose the motion within 10 days after the CAC’s receipt of the notice, or, for good cause shown, a longer period of time to be determined by the court.

(4) If a party seeking access to information and records protected by paragraph (1) of this subsection prevails on its motion, the CAC shall submit the requested information and records to the court for an in camera review. The court shall permit disclosure only with respect to factual information for which the moving party has requested access and made a particularized showing of need pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection. All other information shall be redacted or otherwise protected from disclosure. Under no circumstances shall mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or theories contained in protected CAC records be subject to disclosure.

(5) The limitations imposed by this subsection do not apply to disclosures of protected CAC information and records to representatives of a multidisciplinary investigation team established under § 4-1301.51, or their respective agents, for use in the performance of their official duties.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the CAC is not an “agency,” as that term is defined in § 2-539, and its records are not subject to the disclosure requirements of § 2-532.


(Sept. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 2-22, title I-A, § 152; as added Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-341, § 2(f), 52 DCR 2315.)