Kansas bill makes it a crime to publicize personal information about judge or judge’s family in certain cases

In seeking to protect judges from threats many states have taken actions to prevent distribution of personal information about judges and their families. Kansas’ House is set to debate just such as measure as an amendment to an existing statute making “interference with the judicial process” a crime.

HB 2448 of 2014 would make it a crime to “knowingly making available by any means personal information about a judge or the judge’s immediate family member.” There is a two prong test included:

1) if the dissemination of the personal information poses an imminent and serious threat to the judge’s safety or the safety of such judge’s immediate family member, and
2) the person making the information available knows or reasonably should know of the imminent and serious threat.

The bill then defines “personal information” to include

a judge’s home address, home telephone number, personal mobile telephone number, pager number, personal e-mail address, personal photograph, immediate family member photograph, photograph of the judge’s home, photograph of the judge’s motor vehicle, any immediate family member’s motor vehicle, any immediate family member’s place of employment, any immediate family member’s child care or day care facility or any immediate family member’s public or private school that offers instruction in any or all of the grades kindergarten through 12.

HB 2448 is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee.