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2014 Florida Statutes

SECTION 5036
Domestic violence advocate-victim privilege.
F.S. 90.5036
90.5036 Domestic violence advocate-victim privilege.
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) A “domestic violence center” is any public or private agency that offers assistance to victims of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and their families.
(b) A “domestic violence advocate” means any employee or volunteer who has 30 hours of training in assisting victims of domestic violence and is an employee of or volunteer for a program for victims of domestic violence whose primary purpose is the rendering of advice, counseling, or assistance to victims of domestic violence.
(c) A “victim” is a person who consults a domestic violence advocate for the purpose of securing advice, counseling, or assistance concerning a mental, physical, or emotional condition caused by an act of domestic violence, an alleged act of domestic violence, or an attempted act of domestic violence.
(d) A communication between a domestic violence advocate and a victim is “confidential” if it relates to the incident of domestic violence for which the victim is seeking assistance and if it is not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than:
1. Those persons present to further the interest of the victim in the consultation, assessment, or interview.
2. Those persons to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the domestic violence advocate is consulted.
(2) A victim has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, a confidential communication made by the victim to a domestic violence advocate or any record made in the course of advising, counseling, or assisting the victim. The privilege applies to confidential communications made between the victim and the domestic violence advocate and to records of those communications only if the advocate is registered under s. 39.905 at the time the communication is made. This privilege includes any advice given by the domestic violence advocate in the course of that relationship.
(3) The privilege may be claimed by:
(a) The victim or the victim’s attorney on behalf of the victim.
(b) A guardian or conservator of the victim.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased victim.
(d) The domestic violence advocate, but only on behalf of the victim. The authority of a domestic violence advocate to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.
History.s. 7, ch. 95-187; s. 127, ch. 98-403.