Revision: Jan. 4, 2018, 9:35 a.m.
SB 249 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
SENATE BILL 249
SPONSORS: Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3
This bill requires a determination of whether information in a police officer's personnel file constitutes exculpatory evidence and allows a police officer who has information determined to be exculpatory evidence in his or her personnel file to have an opportunity to challenge the disciplinary finding.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
3Jan2018... 2393h 17-1001
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
Disclosure of Exculpatory Evidence
105:13-d Disclosure of Exculpatory Evidence.
I. In this subdivision:
(a) "Exculpatory evidence" means any information required to be disclosed to the defendant in a criminal case under the federal constitution or the state constitution.
(b) "Personnel file" includes all employment records and any related internal affairs investigations.
II. The prosecutor shall have access to the complete personnel file of any police officer who may be a witness for either party in any criminal case for the purpose of determining the existence of potentially exculpatory evidence. If the prosecutor cannot determine whether such evidence is exculpatory, he or she shall petition the court for an in camera review of the evidence. No prosecutor who reviews a police officer's personnel file shall disclose any information obtained as a result of the review, except as required in this paragraph or to the extent necessary to comply with the federal constitution or state constitution. The personnel file shall remain confidential unless otherwise provided by law.
III. When the head of a law enforcement agency determines that a police officer's personnel file may contain potentially exculpatory evidence, he or she shall notify the police officer of that determination. The police officer shall have the opportunity to challenge the disciplinary finding or other administrative action resulting from the potentially exculpatory evidence through available contractual, administrative, and legal means. However, the pendency of such challenge shall not prevent the disclosure of the potentially exculpatory evidence in a criminal proceeding in which an officer is a potential witness.
IV. The duty to disclose exculpatory evidence that should have been disclosed prior to trial shall be an ongoing duty that extends beyond a finding of guilt.
105:13-e Termination Prohibited. No police officer shall have his or her employment terminated based solely on a determination that the officer has potentially exculpatory evidence in his or her personnel file which may need to be disclosed to a criminal defendant. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the employing authority from terminating a police officer's employment based on conduct that is the subject of the exculpatory evidence.