Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statutes: Hawaii

Confidential Clergy Communications Statutes

Hawaii Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statute


Division 4. Courts and Judicial Proceedings.Title 33. Evidence.Chapter 626. Hawaii Rules of Evidence. Article V. Privileges.

Rule 506. Communications to clergy.

(a) Definitions. As used in this rule:

(1) A “member of the clergy” is a minister, priest, rabbi, Christian Science practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the communicant.

(2) A communication is “confidential” if made privately and not intended for further disclosure except to other persons present in furtherance of the purpose of the communication.

(b) General rule of privilege. A person has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent another from disclosing a confidential communication by the person to a member of the clergy in the latter’s professional character as spiritual advisor.

(c) Who may claim the privilege. The privilege may be claimed by the communicant or by the communicant’s guardian, conservator, or personal representative. The member of the clergy may claim the privilege on behalf of the communicant. Authority so to do is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.