Senate committee passes bill to restrict defendants’ ability to speak to media

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee in a unanimous 6-0 vote passed a bill that would prohibit a defendant in a revenge porn lawsuit from publicly disclosing the name or any identifying characteristics of a plaintiff to any person including “any member of the media.”

SB 157 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D- Fremont) also would deny public access to the court files in revenge porn cases for 60 days after a final judgment is entered.

The bill amends a law enacted several years ago, also authored by Wieckowski, that allows plaintiffs in revenge porn cases to file under a pseudonym when pursuing a civil claim against a defendant for allegedly distributing a sex tape involving the plaintiff without his or her consent.

SB 157 was introduced to provide uniform standards for discovery that would protect the identity of the plaintiff but the bill goes much further.

CNPA staff is working with the author’s office on several amendments to eliminate the bar on defendants’ speech rights and the delay on public access to court files in revenge porn cases.

The bill is headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee where it will be heard in late April.