Legal Question in Criminal Law in North Carolina

potential witness

can you obtain a persons identity as a witness who annonomously was quoted in a local school paper that they saw a person being assaulted.

Asked on 10/24/08, 9:43 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Reuland Law Offices of Robert C. Reuland, P.C.

Re: potential witness

That's a very good question, and the answer is probably not. If the person gave his name to the reporter, you would have to ask the trial court to compel the reporter to divulge the information but courts are very reluctant to do so. Even if you convince a court to issue the order, the reporter will likely refuse to give the information if the witness wants his identity protected. Reporters are ethically required to keep their confidential sources secret, and reporters have gone to jail for contempt rather than give up their sources. The only wrinkle here is that it is a school paper . . . might be interesting

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Answered on 10/24/08, 10:08 am

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