Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statutes: West Virginia
Confidential Clergy Communications Statutes
West Virginia Confidential Clergy Communications Privilege Statute
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
Chapter 48. Domestic Relations.
Article 1. General Provisions; Definitions.
Part 3. Miscellaneous Provisions Relating to Domestic Relations.
- 48-1-301. Communications between clergy and party.(a) A party to a domestic relations action cannot compel a member of the clergy to testify regarding any communications or statements made to the member of the clergy in his or her capacity as spiritual counselor or spiritual adviser by a party to the action, if the following conditions exist:
(1) Both the clergy and the party making such communications or statements claim that the communications or statements were made to the clergy in his capacity as a clergy and spiritual counselor or spiritual adviser to such party;
(2) No person, other than a member of the clergy, a party and the spouse of the party, was present when such communications or statements were made; and
(3) The party making such communications or statements does not either consent to their disclosure or otherwise waive the privilege granted by this section.
(b) The privilege granted by this section shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any other privileges recognized by law.
Chapter 57. Evidence and Witnesses.
Article 3. Competency of Witnesses.§ 57-3-9. Communications to priests, nuns, clergy, rabbis, Christian Science practitioners or other religious counselors not subject to being compelled as testimony.No priest, nun, rabbi, duly accredited Christian Science practitioner or member of the clergy authorized to celebrate the rites of marriage in this state pursuant to the provisions of article two, chapter forty-eight of this code shall be compelled to testify in any criminal or grand jury proceedings or in any domestic relations action in any court of this state:
(1) With respect to any confession or communication, made to such person, in his or her professional capacity in the course of discipline enjoined by the church or other religious body to which he or she belongs, without the consent of the person making such confession or communication; or
(2) With respect to any communication made to such person, in his or her professional capacity, by either spouse, in connection with any effort to reconcile estranged spouses, without the consent of the spouse making the communication. This subsection is in addition to the protection and privilege afforded pursuant to section three hundred one, article one, chapter forty-eight of this code.