PDAA Applauds Passage of Bill to Help Crime Victims Seek Justice

October 27, 2022

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA) today commended state lawmakers for their bipartisan support of legislation that would help crime victims seek compensation in the civil justice system.

The bill (House Bill 2525) would grant crime victims the ability to seek relevant criminal investigative information when they bring an action against a defendant in civil court in the Commonwealth. The Criminal History Record Information Act often prevents crime victims from obtaining the information needed to seek fair compensation in civil court.

“This significant piece of legislation will help crime victims achieve justice in civil court,” said PDAA Executive Director Greg Rowe. “It improves our record-sharing laws to allow crime victims access to relevant information they need to seek compensation for the harm they suffered.”

Rowe said crime victims sometimes need to bring a civil claim to obtain compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of the crime, but they are prevented from obtaining certain law enforcement investigative information. This legislation would offer crime victims, pursuing a civil case against a defendant, an opportunity to obtain the needed information.

Supporters of the legislation noted that it includes commonsense exemptions, including information that would interfere with another criminal investigation or endanger public safety.

PDAA is grateful to the many elected officials for their leadership in supporting this bipartisan bill, including the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne), and the House and Senate Republican and Democratic Judiciary Chairs, Rep. Rob Kauffman, Rep. Tim Briggs, Sen. Lisa Baker, and Sen. Steve Santarsiero. The PDAA also greatly appreciates the collaboration with the Pennsylvania Association for Justice throughout the entire process.

PDAA urges Governor Wolf to sign the legislation into law.