Section 12-21-3.1

Subpoena of law enforcement officers and investigative reports; disposition of criminal matters.

(a) Neither law enforcement investigative reports nor the testimony of a law enforcement officer may be subject to a civil or administrative subpoena except as provided in subsection (c).

(b) Law enforcement investigative reports and related investigative material are not public records. Law enforcement investigative reports, records, field notes, witness statements, and other investigative writings or recordings are privileged communications protected from disclosure.

(c) Under no circumstance may a party to a civil or administrative proceeding discover material which is not authorized discoverable by a defendant in a criminal matter. Noncriminal parties may upon proper motion and order from a court of record: Secure photographs, documents and tangible evidence for examination and copying only by order of a court imposing such conditions and qualifications as may be necessary to protect a chain of custody of evidence; or protect the prosecutors', law enforcement officers', or investigators' work product; or to prevent the loss or destruction of documents, objects, or evidence. Such discovery order may be issued by a court of record upon proof by substantial evidence, that the moving party will suffer undue hardship and that the records, photographs or witnesses are unavailable from other reasonable sources.

(d) Discovery orders prior to the disposition of the criminal matter under investigation are not favored and should be granted only upon showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials and is unable, without undue hardship, to obtain the substantial equivalent by other means.

(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude the disclosure of investigative reports, including the testimony of law enforcement officers, to a state administrative agency authorized by law to investigate or conduct administrative contested case hearings in any matter related to the suspension, revocation, or restriction of a professional license or registration for the protection of the public health and safety.

(f) For purposes of this section, a criminal matter is disposed of in any of the following ways:

(1) When the prosecuting authority has presented the matter to a grand jury and a no bill or true bill has been returned.

(2) After a written statement by the chief law enforcement officer of the agency conducting the investigation that the matter under investigation is closed.

(3) When the entity or individual under investigation has been tried and final judgment entered.

(Act 98-507, p. 1184, §§1, 2.)