Sexual assault victims face many barriers to reporting the violence they have experienced. As few as one-third of sexual assaults are reported to the police and even fewer result in criminal charges. The criminal justice system can be grueling for sexual assault victims and carries with it the possibility of testifying at trial in front of their perpetrators, an experience that is daunting at best and terrifying at worst. Because of how few cases make it into the court system, along with how difficult the process can be for victims, any legal mechanisms that would create an unnecessary barrier to a victim participating in the process must be critically examined. One such barrier in Wisconsin is known as a Shiffra-Green motion. This motion received its name from two separate criminal sexual assault cases that helped to shape the legal rules around a defendant’s right to request access to privileged information, often used to gain access to a victim’s mental health records. This Comment explores where challenges to victims’ credibility originate, the legal privilege afforded to victims’ records, and the evolution of federal and state law that gave birth to the Shiffra-Green motion. Finally, the Comment concludes with recommendations for Wisconsin to modify or eliminate the motion.
Katharine A. Adler,
In the Name of “Justice”: Shiffra-Green Motions and Their Unintended Harms,
106 Marq. L. Rev. 243
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol106/iss1/4