Chapter 10.52 RCW

WITNESSESGENERALLY

Sections

10.52.040Compelling witness to attend and testifyAccused as witness.
10.52.060Confrontation of witnesses.
10.52.090Incriminating testimony not to be used.
10.52.100Identity of child victims of sexual assault not to be disclosed.
10.52.110Courthouse facility dog program.

NOTES:

Discharging defendant to give evidence: RCW 10.46.110.
Salaried public officers shall not receive additional compensation as witness on behalf of employer, and in certain other cases: RCW 42.16.020.
Witnesses: Rules of court: ER 610, CrR 6.12, CrRLJ 6.12.


Compelling witness to attend and testifyAccused as witness.

Witnesses may be compelled to attend and testify before the grand jury; and witnesses on behalf of the state, or of the defendant, in a criminal prosecution, may be compelled to attend and testify in open court, if they have been subpoenaed, without their fees being first paid or tendered, unless otherwise provided by law; the court may, upon the motion of the prosecuting attorney or defense counsel, recognize witnesses, with or without sureties, to attend and testify at any hearing or trial in any criminal prosecution in any court of this state, or before the grand jury. In default of such recognizance, or in the event that surety is required and has not been obtained, the court shall require the appearance of the witness before the court and shall appoint counsel for the witness if he is indigent and then shall determine that the testimony of the witness would be material to either the prosecution or the defendant and that the witness would not attend the trial of the matter unless detained and, therefore, the court may direct that such witness shall be detained in the custody of the sheriff until the hearing or trial in which the witness is to testify: PROVIDED, That each witness detained for failure to obtain surety shall be paid, in addition to witness fees for actual appearance in court, for each day of his detention a sum equal to the daily jury fee paid to a juror serving in a superior court; and each witness in breach of recognizance and who is detained therefor shall be paid, in addition to witness fees for actual appearance in court, the sum of one dollar for each day of his detention. Any such witness shall be provided food and lodging while so detained. Any person accused of any crime in this state, by indictment, information, or otherwise, may, in the examination or trial of the cause, offer himself, or herself, as a witness in his or her own behalf, and shall be allowed to testify as other witnesses in such case, and when accused shall so testify, he or she shall be subject to all the rules of law relating to cross-examination of other witnesses: PROVIDED, That nothing in this code shall be construed to compel such accused person to offer himself or herself as a witness in such case.

NOTES:

Rules of court: See CrR 6.13, 6.14.
Rights of accused persons: State Constitution Art. 1 §§ 9, 22 (Amendment 10).



Confrontation of witnesses.

Every person accused of crime shall have the right to meet the witnesses produced against him or her face to face: PROVIDED, That whenever any witness whose deposition shall have been taken pursuant to law by a magistrate, in the presence of the defendant and his or her counsel, shall be absent, and cannot be found when required to testify upon any trial or hearing, so much of such deposition as the court shall deem admissible and competent shall be admitted and read as evidence in such case.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: Caption for 1909 c 249 § 54 reads as follows: "SEC. 54. WITNESSES."
Rights of accused persons: State Constitution Art. 1 § 22 (Amendment 10).



Incriminating testimony not to be used.

In every case where it is provided in *this act that a witness shall not be excused from giving testimony tending to criminate himself or herself, no person shall be excused from testifying or producing any papers or documents on the ground that his or her testimony may tend to criminate or subject him or her to a penalty or forfeiture; but he or she shall not be prosecuted or subjected to a penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any action, matter or thing concerning which he or she shall so testify, except for perjury or offering false evidence committed in such testimony.

NOTES:

Rules of court: Ordering immunity from prosecutionIncriminating testimony not to be usedCrR 6.14.
*Reviser's note: For meaning of "this act," see note following RCW 9.01.120.
Bribery or corrupt solicitation: State Constitution Art. 2 § 30.
Rights of accused persons: State Constitution Art. 1 §§ 9, 22 (Amendment 10).
Witness not excused from giving testimony tending to incriminate himself in crimes concerning bribery: RCW 9.18.080.



Identity of child victims of sexual assault not to be disclosed.

Child victims of sexual assault who are under the age of eighteen, have a right not to have disclosed to the public or press at any court proceeding involved in the prosecution of the sexual assault, the child victim's name, address, location, photographs, and in cases in which the child victim is a relative or stepchild of the alleged perpetrator, identification of the relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator. The court shall ensure that information identifying the child victim is not disclosed to the press or the public and that in the event of any improper disclosure the court shall make all necessary orders to restrict further dissemination of identifying information improperly obtained. Court proceedings include but are not limited to pretrial hearings, trial, sentencing, and appellate proceedings. The court shall also order that any portion of any court records, transcripts, or recordings of court proceedings that contain information identifying the child victim shall be sealed and not open to public inspection unless those identifying portions are deleted from the documents or tapes.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: As to the constitutionality of this section, see Allied Daily Newspapers v. Eikenberry, 121 Wn.2d 205, 848 P.2d 1258 (1993).
FindingsIntentSeverability1992 c 188: See notes following RCW 7.69A.020.



Courthouse facility dog program.

(1) Courts are authorized to permit a courthouse facility dog for use by witnesses in any judicial proceeding.
(2) Courts with an available courthouse facility dog must allow a witness under eighteen years of age, or who has a developmental disability as defined in RCW 71A.10.020, to use a courthouse facility dog to accompany them while testifying in court.
(3) Courts may allow any witness who does not meet the criteria in subsection (2) of this section to use a courthouse facility dog, if available, to accompany them while testifying in court.
(4) Before the introduction of a courthouse facility dog into the courtroom and outside the presence of the jury, the party desiring to use the assistance of a courthouse facility dog must file a motion setting out: (a) The credentials of the courthouse facility dog; (b) that the courthouse facility dog is adequately insured; (c) that a relationship has been established between the witness and the courthouse facility dog in anticipation of testimony; and (d) reasons why the courthouse facility dog is necessary to facilitate the witness's testimony.
(5) Upon a finding that the presence of a courthouse facility dog is necessary to facilitate a witness's testimony, the witness must be afforded the opportunity to have a courthouse facility dog accompany the witness while testifying, if a courthouse facility dog and certified handler are available within the jurisdiction of the court in which the proceeding is held.
(6) If the court grants the motion filed under subsection (4) of this section, the certified handler must be present in the courtroom to advocate for the [courthouse] facility dog as necessary. The courthouse facility dog performing this service should be trained to accompany the witness to the stand without being attached to the certified handler by a leash and lie on the floor out of view of the jury while the witness testifies.
(7) In a jury trial, the following provisions apply:
(a) In the course of jury selection, either party may, with the court's approval, voir dire prospective jury members on whether the presence of a courthouse facility dog to assist a witness would create undue sympathy for the witness or cause prejudice to a party in any other way.
(b) To the extent possible, the court shall ensure that the jury will be unable to observe the [courthouse] facility dog prior to, during, and subsequent to the witness's testimony.
(c) On request of either party, the court shall present appropriate jury instructions that are designed to prevent any prejudice that might result from the presence of the courthouse facility dog before the witness testifies and at the conclusion of the trial.
(8) Courts may adopt rules for the use of a courthouse facility dog authorized under this section.
(9) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Certified handler" means a person who (i) was trained to handle the courthouse facility dog by the assistance dog organization that placed the dog and (ii) is a professional working in the legal system who is knowledgeable about its practices.
(b) "Courthouse facility dog" means a dog that: (i) Has graduated from a program of an assistance dog organization that is accredited by a recognized organization whose main purpose is to grant accreditation to assistance dog organizations based on standards of excellence in all areas of assistance dog acquisition, training of the dogs and their handlers, and placement; and (ii) was specially selected to provide services in the legal system to provide quiet companionship to witnesses during stressful legal proceedings thereby enabling them to better engage with the process.