Senate Study Bill 3013 - Introduced SENATE FILE _____ BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY BILL BY CHAIRPERSON ZAUN) A BILL FOR An Act relating to spousal privilege and confidential 1 communication between spouses. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 5277XC (1) 89 cm/jh
S.F. _____ Section 1. Section 232.74, Code 2022, is amended to read as 1 follows: 2 232.74 Evidence not privileged or excluded. 3 Sections 622.9 and 622.10 and any other statute or rule of 4 evidence which excludes or makes privileged the testimony of 5 a husband or wife spouse against the other or the testimony 6 of a health practitioner or mental health professional as to 7 confidential communications, do not apply to evidence regarding 8 a child’s injuries or the cause of the injuries in any judicial 9 proceeding, civil or criminal, resulting from a report pursuant 10 to this chapter or relating to the subject matter of such a 11 report. 12 Sec. 2. Section 622.8, Code 2022, is amended to read as 13 follows: 14 622.8 Witness for each other. 15 In all civil and criminal cases the husband and wife spouses 16 may be witnesses for each other. 17 Sec. 3. Section 622.9, Code 2022, is amended to read as 18 follows: 19 622.9 Communications between husband and wife spouses . 20 1. Neither husband nor wife spouse can be examined in any 21 case as to any communication made by the one to the other while 22 married, nor shall they, after the marriage relation ceases, be 23 permitted to reveal in testimony any such communication made 24 while the marriage subsisted. 25 2. Notwithstanding subsection 1, a spouse may be 26 examined about and reveal in testimony any of the following 27 communications: 28 a. Communications of threats against the spouse or a third 29 party. 30 b. Communications that have been transmitted or revealed to 31 a third party. 32 c. Communications that are criminal in nature which place a 33 strain on the marital relationship. 34 d. Communications between spouses who are separated. 35 -1- LSB 5277XC (1) 89 cm/jh 1/ 2
S.F. _____ e. Communications that have no relation to their mutual 1 trust and confidence as spouses. 2 f. Other communications that the court determines were not 3 intended to be confidential. 4 Sec. 4. Section 726.4, Code 2022, is amended to read as 5 follows: 6 726.4 Husband or wife Spouses may be witness witnesses . 7 In all prosecutions under section 726.3 , 726.5 , or 726.6 , 8 the husband or wife is a spouses are competent witness 9 witnesses for the state and may testify to relevant acts or 10 communications between them. 11 EXPLANATION 12 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 13 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 14 This bill relates to the privilege of confidential 15 communications between spouses in a case. Marital privilege 16 allows communication that occurs between spouses to remain 17 confidential and free from public exposure and protects spouses 18 from being required to testify against one another in a civil 19 or criminal case. The bill specifies six exceptions to the 20 marital privilege: (1) threats against spouse or third party, 21 (2) communications that have been disclosed to a third party, 22 (3) communications criminal in nature, (4) communications 23 between spouses that are separated, (5) communications that 24 have no relation to their mutual trust and confidence as 25 spouses, and (6) other communications that the court determines 26 were not intended to be confidential. Current law does not 27 provide exceptions. 28 The bill makes conforming changes. 29 -2- LSB 5277XC (1) 89 cm/jh 2/ 2