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60-436. Identity of informer. A witness has a privilege to refuse to disclose the identity of a person who has furnished information purporting to disclose a violation of a provision of the laws of this state or of the United States to a representative of the state or the United States or a governmental division thereof, charged with the duty of enforcing that provision, or to a member of a crime stoppers chapter recognized by the Kansas state crime stoppers organization, and evidence thereof is inadmissible, unless the judge finds that: (a) the identity of the person furnishing the information has already been otherwise disclosed; or (b) disclosure of such person's identity is essential to assure a fair determination of the issues. The privilege extends to documenting records as well as testimony.

History: L. 1963, ch. 303, 60-436; L. 1994, ch. 326, ยง 1; July 1.

Cross References to Related Sections:

Journalist privilege, see 60-480.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"The Psychotherapists' Privilege," Craig Kennedy, 12 W.L.J. 297 (1973).

The exclusion of evidence obtained by use of false affidavits, 27 K.L.R. 509, 515 (1979).

"Survey of Kansas Law: Evidence," 29 K.L.R. 497, 504, 505 (1981).

"Tort Law: Kansas Further Limits Employment-at-Will By Providing Relief for Whistleblowers [Palmer v. Brown, 242 Kan. 893, 752 P.2d 685 (1988)]," Lisa K. Hammer, 28 W.L.J. 172, 180, 182, 184 (1988).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Extensive discussion of confidentiality provisions of Kansas Code for Care of Children. 2004-32.


1. No abuse of court's discretion in refusing to require disclosure of informer's identity. State v. Robinson, 203 K. 304, 308, 309, 454 P.2d 527.

2. Disclosure of informant's identity within discretion of court; statute encourages persons to reveal knowledge of crime. State v. Grider, 206 K. 537, 538, 479 P.2d 818.

3. Court's refusal to require disclosure of informer will not be overruled without just cause. State v. Nirschl, 208 K. 111, 115, 490 P.2d 917.

4. Cited; defendant must show identity of the informer is material to his defense. State v. Braun, 209 K. 181, 186, 495 P.2d 1000.

5. Failure to compel state to name informant at hearing on motion to suppress evidence not error. State v. Deffenbaugh, 216 K. 593, 600, 533 P.2d 1328.

6. Refusal to require disclosure of confidential informant; no abuse of discretion; conviction of heroin possession affirmed. State v. Jacques, 2 K.A.2d 277, 289, 579 P.2d 146.

7. Statute codifies the common law doctrine of "informer's privilege." State v. Knox, 4 K.A.2d 87, 93, 96, 603 P.2d 199.

8. Within sound discretion of trial court as to disclosing identity of informer; determination will not be disturbed in absence of abuse of discretion. State v. Mack, 228 K. 83, 87, 612 P.2d 158.

9. Disclosure of the identity of an informant lies within the sound discretion of the court; the defendant must show that the informant has information that is material and relevant. State v. Cohen, 229 K. 65, 69, 622 P.2d 1002.

10. Conviction for possession of heroin upheld; court did not abuse discretion in not disclosing informant's identity. State v. Whitehead, 229 K. 133, 139, 622 P.2d 665.

11. Defendant must show "Crimestopper" identity material to defense; not mere "tipster" providing information for investigation and arrest. State v. Pink, 236 K. 715, 720, 722, 696 P.2d 358 (1985).

12. State appeal from dismissal of marijuana charge (65-4105(d)(13), 65-4127b(b)(3)); disclosure of confidential informant's identity must be material to defense. State v. Schilling, 238 K. 593, 599, 712 P.2d 1233 (1986).

13. Trial court erred in finding person who is involved in a transaction with a defendant cannot be confidential informant and in determining that informant had been "otherwise disclosed." State v. Costner, 241 K. 148, 151, 152, 153, 734 P.2d 1144 (1987).

14. Cited; discharge of probationary employee in retaliation for reporting employer's illegal practices as actionable tort examined. Palmer v. Brown, 242 K. 893, 899, 752 P.2d 685 (1988).

15. Error to deny defendant's motion to disclose identity of confidential informant without first conducting in camera hearing. State v. Washington, 244 K. 652, 655, 660, 772 P.2d 768 (1989).

16. Imposition of sanctions upheld where state failed to comply with order to produce certain information about confidential informant. State v. Clovis, 248 K. 313, 323, 807 P.2d 127 (1991).

17. Standard of review on trial court's refusal to disclose identity of confidential informant is abuse of discretion. State v. Thomas, 252 K. 564, 580, 847 P.2d 1219 (1993).

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