Delaware Code Sec 4320 et sec

§ 4320. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Adjudicative proceeding" means any
judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding in which the rights of parties
are determined but does not include any proceeding of a grand jury.

(2) "Information" means any oral, written
or pictorial material and includes, but is not limited to, documents,
electronic impulses, expressions of opinion, films, photographs, sound
records, and statistical data.

(3) "Person" means individual,
corporation, statutory trust, business trust, estate, trust,
partnership or association, governmental body, or any other legal
entity.

(4) "Reporter" means any journalist, scholar, educator, polemicist, or other individual who either:

a. At the time he or she obtained the
information that is sought was earning his or her principal livelihood
by, or in each of the preceding 3 weeks or 4 of the preceding 8 weeks
had spent at least 20 hours engaged in the practice of, obtaining or
preparing information for dissemination with the aid of facilities for
the mass reproduction of words, sounds, or images in a form available
to the general public; or

b. Obtained the information that is
sought while serving in the capacity of an agent, assistant, employee,
or supervisor of an individual who qualifies as a reporter under
subparagraph a.

(5) "Source" means a person from whom a
reporter obtained information by means of written or spoken
communication or the transfer of physical objects, but does not include
a person from whom a reporter obtained information by means of personal
observation unaccompanied by any other form of communication and does
not include a person from whom another person who is not a reporter
obtained information, even if the information was ultimately obtained
by a reporter.

(6) "Testify" means give testimony, provide tangible evidence, submit to a deposition, or answer interrogatories.

(7) "Within the scope of his or her
professional activities" means any situation, including a social
gathering, in which the reporter obtains information for the purpose of
disseminating it to the public, but does not include any situation in
which the reporter intentionally conceals from the source the fact that
he or she is a reporter and does not include any situation in which the
reporter is an eyewitness to or participant in an act involving
physical violence or property damage. (10 Del. C. 1953, § 4320; 59 Del.
Laws, c. 163, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 329, §
51.)

§ 4321. Privilege in nonadjudicative proceedings.

A reporter is privileged in a
nonadjudicative proceeding to decline to testify concerning either the
source or content of information that he obtained within the scope of
his professional activities. (10 Del. C. 1953, § 4321; 59 Del. Laws, c.
163, § 1.)

§ 4322. Privilege in adjudicative proceedings.

A reporter is privileged in an
adjudicative proceeding to decline to testify concerning the source or
content of information that he or she obtained within the scope of his
or her professional activities if the reporter states under oath that
the disclosure of the information would violate an express or implied
understanding with the source under which the information was
originally obtained or would substantially hinder the reporter in the
maintenance of existing source relationships or the development of new
source relationships. (10 Del. C. 1953, § 4322; 59 Del. Laws, c. 163, §
1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

§ 4323. Exceptions to the privilege in adjudicative proceedings.

(a) Unless the disclosure of the content
of the information would substantially increase the likelihood that the
source of the information will be discovered, the privilege provided by
§ 4322 shall not prevent a reporter from being required in an
adjudicative proceeding to testify concerning the content, but not the
source, of information that the reporter obtained within the scope of
his or her professional activities if the judge determines that the
public interest in having the reporter's testimony outweighs the public
interest in keeping the information confidential. In making this
determination, the judge shall take into account the importance of the
issue on which the information is relevant, the efforts that have been
made by the subpoenaing party to acquire evidence on the issue from
alternative sources, the sufficiency of the evidence available from
alternative sources, the circumstances under which the reporter
obtained the information, and the likely effect that disclosure of the
information will have on the future flow of information to the public.

(b) The privilege provided by § 4322
shall not prevent a reporter from being required in an adjudicative
proceeding to testify concerning either the source or the content of
information that the reporter obtained within the scope of his or her
professional activities if the party seeking to have the reporter
testify proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the sworn
statement submitted by the reporter as required by § 4322 is
untruthful. (10 Del. C. 1953, § 4323; 59 Del. Laws, c. 163, § 1; 70
Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

§ 4324. Determination of privilege claim.

A person who invokes the privilege
provided by this subchapter may not be required to testify in any
proceeding except by court order. If a person invokes the privilege in
any proceeding other than a court proceeding, the body or party seeking
to have the person testify may apply to the Superior Court for an order
requiring the claimant of the privilege to testify. If the Court
determines that the claimant does not qualify for the privilege under
the provisions of this subchapter, it shall order the claimant to
testify. (10 Del. C. 1953, § 4324; 59 Del. Laws, c. 163, § 1; 70 Del.
Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

§ 4325. Waiver.

If a reporter waives the privilege
provided by this subchapter with respect to certain facts, he or she
may be cross-examined on the testimony or other evidence he or she
gives concerning those facts but not on other facts with respect to
which the reporter claims the privilege. A reporter does not waive or
forfeit the privilege by disclosing all or any part of the information
protected by the privilege to any other person. (10 Del. C. 1953, §
4325; 59 Del. Laws, c. 163, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

§ 4326. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the "Reporters' Privilege Act." (10 Del. C. 1953, § 4326; 59 Del. Laws, c. 163, § 1.)

 

Link to Delaware Code Sec 4320 et sec

Last updated on August 20th, 2007

   
 
Copyright 2007-13 Digital Media Law Project and respective authors. Except where otherwise noted,
content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License: Details.
Use of this site is pursuant to our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice.