Nov. 04, 2022
- Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) announced that his legislation, which focuses on the rights of crime victims and the blatant inequities between offenders and their victims, has been signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.
“While offenders have access to relevant criminal history investigative information due to their status in the criminal case, the crime victim had no legal right to access that very same information about the crime,’ Kaufer said. “At a time in our nation and state history where crime is up, it’s high time that the scales of justice balance to the rights of crime victims.”
The new law, Act 134 of 2022
, makes it easier for crime victims to obtain relevant information learned by law enforcement during the investigation of a crime to possibly use that information in subsequent civil legal actions to recover damages for their injuries. It creates a simple process by which crime victims can request dissemination of criminal history investigative information which is relevant to a civil action arising out of the crime, provided the victim swears under penalty of law that the information is material and necessary to the civil action. The information can then only be used for the civil lawsuit; any harassing, intimidating or threatening use of the information would be punishable as a crime.
The law takes effect in 180 days.