Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 8. Privileges

Advocate Privilege

26-1-812. Advocate privilege. (1) Unless a report is otherwise required by law, an advocate may not, without consent of the victim, be examined as to any communication made to the advocate by a victim and may not divulge records kept during the course of providing shelter, counseling, or crisis intervention services.

(2) This privilege belongs to the victim and may not be waived, except by express consent. The privilege continues even if the victim is unreachable. Consent may not be implied because the victim is a party to a divorce or custody proceeding. The privilege terminates upon the death of the victim.

(3) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(a) "Advocate" means an employee or volunteer of a domestic violence shelter, crisis line, or victim's services provider that provides services for victims of sexual assault, stalking, or any assault on a partner or family member.

(b) "Victim" means a person seeking assistance because of partner or family member assault, any sexual assault, or stalking, whether or not the victim seeks or receives services within the criminal justice system.

History: En. Sec. 8, Ch. 484, L. 1997.