Title 78B - Judicial Code - Chapter 1 - Juries and Witnesses - Part 1 - Jury and Witness Act - Section 137 - Witnesses -- Privileged communications.


Published: 2019-05-14

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Utah Code

Page 1

Effective 5/14/2019 78B-1-137 Witnesses -- Privileged communications.

There are particular relations in which it is the policy of the law to encourage confidence and to preserve it inviolate. Therefore, a person cannot be examined as a witness in the following cases: (1)

(a) Neither a wife nor a husband may either during the marriage or afterwards be, without the consent of the other, examined as to any communication made by one to the other during the marriage.

(b) This exception does not apply: (i) to a civil action or proceeding by one spouse against the other; (ii) to a criminal action or proceeding for a crime committed by one spouse against the other; (iii) to the crime of deserting or neglecting to support a spouse or child; (iv) to any civil or criminal proceeding for abuse or neglect committed against the child of either

spouse; or (v) if otherwise specifically provided by law.

(2) An attorney cannot, without the consent of the client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to the attorney or any advice given regarding the communication in the course of the professional employment. An attorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk cannot be examined, without the consent of the attorney, concerning any fact, the knowledge of which has been acquired as an employee.

(3) A member of the clergy or priest cannot, without the consent of the person making the confession, be examined as to any confession made to either of them in their professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which they belong.

(4) A physician, surgeon, or physician assistant cannot, without the consent of the patient, be examined in a civil action as to any information acquired in attending the patient which was necessary to enable the physician, surgeon, or physician assistant to prescribe or act for the patient. However, this privilege shall be waived by the patient in an action in which the patient places the patient's medical condition at issue as an element or factor of the claim or defense. Under those circumstances, a physician, surgeon, or physician assistant who has prescribed for or treated that patient for the medical condition at issue may provide information, interviews, reports, records, statements, memoranda, or other data relating to the patient's medical condition and treatment which are placed at issue.

(5) A public officer cannot be examined as to communications made in official confidence when the public interests would suffer by the disclosure.

(6) (a) A sexual assault counselor as defined in Section 77-38-203 cannot, without the consent of the

victim, be examined in a civil or criminal proceeding as to any confidential communication as defined in Section 77-38-203 made by the victim.

(b) A victim advocate as defined in Section 77-38-403 may not, without the written consent of the victim, or the victim's guardian or conservator if the guardian or conservator is not the accused, be examined in a civil or criminal proceeding as to a confidential communication, as defined in Section 77-38-403, unless the victim advocate is a criminal justice system victim advocate, as defined in Section 77-38-403, and is examined in camera by a court to determine whether the confidential communication is privileged.

Amended by Chapter 349, 2019 General Session Amended by Chapter 361, 2019 General Session