Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statutes: Maine

Confidential Clergy Communications Statutes

Maine Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statute

MAINE RULES OF EVIDENCE

Article V. Privileges.Rule 505. Religious Privilege.(a) Definitions. As used in this rule:        (1) A ” member of the clergy” is a minister, priest, rabbi, accredited Christian Science practitioner, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed so to be by the person consulting that individual.(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 acting as spiritual adviser.(c) Who May Claim the Privilege. The privilege may be claimed by the person, by the person’s guardian or conservator, or by the person’s personal representative if the person is deceased. The person who was the member of the clergy at the time of the communication is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege but only on behalf of the communicant.