HARRISBURG – Crime victims would have access to relevant police investigation files when they attempt to sue the criminal through the civil justice system under a bill introduced by Luzerne County Rep. Aaron Kaufer. PA’s Criminal History Record Information Act was adopted in January 1980 and restricts the information that law enforcement can release to a crime victim relevant to the investigation that led to the criminal’s arrest. The inability to access that information can severely hamstring a crime victim’s effort to seek fair and reasonable compensation through the civil justice system. Crime victims often receive little or no restitution through the criminal justice system and often must file a lawsuit through the civil justice system to recoup costs they’ve incurred associated with the crime they suffered. Kaufer’s House Bill 2525 would authorize the release of the information to crime victims solely for the purpose of filing a civil lawsuit. It includes exemptions, such as when releasing the information would threaten a person or public safety, or if it would jeopardize another police investigation. It also would prohibit the release of the information if it would cause substantial emotional distress to a victim of child abuse, domestic abuse or sexual abuse.

REP. AARON KAUFER