I never was a JW.
My knowledge of US law is limited. I am a retired police officer (UK) and my specialist area for many years in England & Wales involved a great deal of work in this sort of area - i.e. in what circumstances what information (material) is available, useable, must be made available. I offer this for what its worth and am open to contradiction and correction. What I say applies to the principles of law in E&W, but with the growing internationalism in law and jurisdiction the principles are useful.
In E&W, the principles were codified in the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Before that, there was a mish-mash of common law and ;suck it and see'.
Under PACE 1984, information ('material') was classified in different ways - but always ALWAYS (this is important) with the principle that the person who was owed the duty of confidentiality had the rights over that confidentiality. In other words, for example, in the present case - claimed penitent/clergy confidentiality - the right to confidentiality belongs to the penitent, not the clergy, and it is his to waive, not the priest's.
To continue. Most material, not held under a duty of confidentiality, (say, for example, purchase records from a retailer) can be provided with no problem. The holder of the information could, if necessary, be compelled by a magistrates' warrant to provide material.
Move up a step. Material held under a duty of confidentiality. This would include information held by (for example) a bank or an accountant under a professional duty of confidentiality. This is called 'Special Procedure Material'. The holder of the material can only be compelled to produce it by order of a Circuit Judge (a high level Judge) where the judge is satisfied that serious crime etc. is involved. This 'Special Procedure' is not used lightly and circuit judges rightly probe every application.
Then there is 'Excluded Material'. This is information which is provided under an expectation of confidentiality and which no-one else can obtain. Full stop. Period. In E&W this includes medical records, stuff like that (e.g. phone conversations with The Samaritans) and - to get back to the subject here - penitent/clergy confessions.
I have never been a catholic, but my understanding is that if I were, and if I chose to make my confession to a priest - or if I was in any other denomination and chose to make a confession one on one with an expectation of confidentiality - there is no legal authority which could compel the person to whom I confessed to give that information to anyone.
But the central point is confidentiality. I talk to my priest on the basis that he is constrained by his duty not to pass that information on. That is the contract between us - my expectation under which I provide that information.
Now compare that to the JW scenario. Two elders, JC, a duty to report to HQ. Doesn't comply at all with the expectation/duty of penitent and confessor.
And I repeat it because it's worth repeating - the right of confidentiality belongs to the person who gave the information, not the person who holds it.
Sorry, this has dragged on.