Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1318 Public records: confidentiality.(1999-2000)



SECTION 1.

 Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2166.5.
 (a) Any person filing with the county elections official a new affidavit of registration or reregistration may have the information relating to his or her residence address, telephone number, and email address address and telephone number  appearing on the affidavit, or any list or roster or index prepared therefrom, declared confidential upon presentation of certification that the person is a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault,  Violence  and Stalking program pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code or a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers, and Patients program pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 6215) of that division. Code. 
(b) Any person granted confidential voter status  confidentiality  under subdivision (a) shall:
(1) Provide a valid mailing address and be considered a vote by mail  Be considered an absent  voter for all subsequent elections and all subsequent reregistrations inside or outside the county  or  until the county elections official is notified otherwise by the Secretary of State or in writing by the voter. A voter requesting termination of vote by mail  absent voter  status thereby consents to placement of his or her residence address, telephone number, and email address address and telephone number  in the roster of voters.
(2) In addition to the required residence address, provide a valid mailing address to be used in place of the residence address for election, scholarly, or political research, and government purposes.  The elections official, in producing any list, roster, or index shall exclude voters with a confidential voter status. may, at his or her choice, use the valid mailing address or the word “confidential” or some similar designation in place of the residence address. 
(c) No action in negligence may be maintained against any government entity or officer or employee thereof as a result of the  disclosure of the information that is the subject of this section unless by a showing of gross negligence or willfulness.
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any person granted confidentiality upon receipt by the county elections official of a written notice by the address confidentiality program manager of the withdrawal, invalidation, expiration, or termination of the program participant’s certification.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2005, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2005, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 1.5.

 Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code is amended to read:

2166.5.
 (a) Any person filing with the county elections official a new affidavit of registration or reregistration may have the information relating to his or her residence address, telephone number, and email E-mail  address appearing on the affidavit, or any list or roster or index prepared therefrom, declared confidential upon presentation of certification that the person is a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault,  Violence  and Stalking program pursuant to Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code or a participant in the Address Confidentiality for Reproductive Health Care Service Providers, Employees, Volunteers, and Patients program pursuant to Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 6215) of that division. Code. 
(b) Any person granted confidential voter status  confidentiality  under subdivision (a) shall:
(1) Provide a valid mailing address and be considered a vote by mail  Be considered an absent  voter for all subsequent elections and all subsequent reregistrations inside or outside the county  or  until the county elections official is notified otherwise by the Secretary of State or in writing by the voter. A voter requesting termination of vote by mail  absent voter  status thereby consents to placement of his or her residence address, telephone number, and email E-mail  address in the roster of voters.
(2) In addition to the required residence address, provide a valid mailing address to be used in place of the residence address for election, scholarly, or political research, and government purposes.  The elections official, in producing any list, roster, or index shall exclude voters with a confidential voter status. may, at his or her choice, use the valid mailing address or the word “confidential” or some similar designation in place of the residence address. 
(c) No action in negligence may be maintained against any government entity or officer or employee thereof as a result of the  disclosure of the information that is the subject of this section unless by a showing of gross negligence or willfulness.
(d) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to any person granted confidentiality upon receipt by the county elections official of a written notice by the address confidentiality program manager of the withdrawal, invalidation, expiration, or termination of the program participant’s certification.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2005, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2005, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 The heading of Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code is amended to read:

CHAPTER  3.1. Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking

SEC. 3.

 Section 6205 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6205.
 The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking frequently establish new names or  addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them. The purpose of this chapter is to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the changed name or  location of a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking, to enable interagency cooperation with the Secretary of State in providing name and  address confidentiality for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking, and to enable state and local agencies to accept a program participant’s use of an address designated by the Secretary of State as a substitute mailing address.

SEC. 3.5.

 Section 6205 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6205.
 The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking frequently establish new names or addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them. The purpose of this chapter is to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the changed name or location of a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking, to enable interagency cooperation with the Secretary of State in providing name and address confidentiality for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking, and to enable state and local agencies to accept a program participant’s use of an address designated by the Secretary of State as a substitute mailing address.

SEC. 4.

 Section 6205.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6205.5.
 Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(a) “Address” means a residential street address, school address, or work address of an individual, as specified on the individual’s application to be a program participant under this chapter.
(b) “Domestic violence” means an act as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code.
(c) “Domicile” means a place of habitation  “Stalking” means an act  as defined in Section 349 646.9  of the Elections Penal  Code.
(d) “Program participant” means a person certified as a program participant under Section 6206.
(e) “Sexual assault” means an act or attempt made punishable by Section 220, 261, 261.5, 262, 264.1, 266c, 269, 285, 286, 288, 288.5, 288a, 289, or 647.6 of the Penal Code.
(f) “Stalking” means an act as defined in Section 646.9 of the Penal Code.

SEC. 5.

 Section 6206 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6206.
 (a) An adult person, a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of an incapacitated person, who is domiciled in California,  person  may apply to the Secretary of State to have an address designated by the Secretary of State serve as the person’s address or the address of the minor or incapacitated person. An application shall be completed in person at a community-based victims’ assistance program or a community-based assistance program that serves victims of elder or dependent adult abuse pursuant to the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 15600) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code).  program.  The application process shall include a requirement that the applicant shall meet with a victims’ assistance counselor and receive orientation information about the program. The Secretary of State shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State and if it contains all of the following:
(1) A sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has good reason to believe both of the following:
(A) That the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking.
(B) That the applicant fears for his or her safety or his or her children’s safety, or the safety of the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made.
(2) If the applicant alleges that the basis for the application is that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault,  violence,  the application may be accompanied by evidence including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.
(B) Documentation from a domestic violence or sexual assault  program if the person is alleged to be a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. violence. 
(C) Documentation from a legal, clerical, medical, or other professional from whom the applicant or person on whose behalf the application is made has sought assistance in dealing with the alleged domestic violence or sexual assault. violence. 
(D) Any other evidence that supports the sworn statement, such as a statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provides the basis for the claim, or physical evidence of the act or acts of domestic violence or sexual assault. violence. 
(3) If the applicant alleges that the basis for the application is that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of stalking, the application may shall  be accompanied by evidence including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.
(B) Documentation from a legal,  Legal,  clerical, medical, or other professional from whom the applicant or person on whose behalf the application is made has sought assistance in dealing with the alleged stalking.
(C) Any other evidence that supports the sworn statement, such as a sworn statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances that provide the basis for the claim, or physical evidence of the act or acts of stalking.
(4) The name and last known address of the applicant’s minor child or children, the name and last known address of the other parent or parents of the minor child or children of the applicant, and all court orders related to the minor child or children of the applicant, and legal counsel of record in those cases. A statement of whether there are any existing court orders involving the applicant for child support, child custody, or child visitation, and whether there are any active court actions involving the applicant for child support, child custody, or child visitation, the name and address of legal counsel of record, and the last known address of the other parent or parents involved in those court orders or court actions. 
(5) A designation of the Secretary of State as agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail.
(A) Service on the Secretary of State of any summons, writ, notice, demand, or process shall be made by delivering to the address confidentiality program personnel of the office Office  of the Secretary of State two copies of the summons, writ, notice, demand, or process.
(B) If a summons, writ, notice, demand, or process is served on the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall immediately cause a copy to be forwarded to the program participant at the address shown on the records of the address confidentiality program so that the summons, writ, notice, demand, or process is received by the program participant within three days of the Secretary of State’s having received it.
(C) The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all summonses, writs, notices, demands, and processes served upon the Secretary of State under this section and shall record the time of that service and the Secretary of State’s action.
(D) The office of the Secretary of State and any agent or person employed by the Secretary of State shall be held harmless from any liability in any action brought by any person injured or harmed as a result of the handling of first-class mail on behalf of program participants.
(6) The mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the Secretary of State, and the phone number or numbers where the applicant can be called by the Secretary of State.
(7) The address or addresses that the applicant requests not be disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of domestic violence, sexual assault,  violence  or stalking.
(8) The signature of the applicant and of any individual or representative of any office designated in writing under Section 6208.5 who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the date on which the applicant signed the application.
(b) Applications shall be filed with the office of the Secretary of State.
(c) Upon filing a properly completed application, the Secretary of State shall certify the applicant as a program participant. Applicants shall be certified for four years following the date of filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before that date. The Secretary of State shall by rule establish a renewal procedure. A minor program participant, who reaches 18 years of age during his or her enrollment, may renew as an adult following the renewal procedures established by the Secretary of State. 
(d) Upon certification, the  in any case where there are court orders or court actions identified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 6206 and there is no other or superseding court order dictating the specific terms of communication between the parties, the  Secretary of State shall, within 10 days, notify the other parent or parents identified pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of the  of the address designated by the Secretary of State for the program participant and the  designation of the Secretary of State as agent for purposes of service of process and, unless there is a court order prohibiting contact, the address designated by the Secretary of State for the program participant.  process.  The notice shall be given by mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to the last known address of the other parent to be notified. A copy shall also be sent to that parent’s counsel of record, if provided to the Secretary of State by the applicant. record. 
(e) A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure of the applicant’s address would endanger the applicant’s safety or the safety of the applicant’s children or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, or who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon making an application, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A notice shall be printed in bold type and in a conspicuous location on the face of the application informing the applicant of the penalties under this subdivision.

SEC. 6.

 Section 6206.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6206.5.
 Upon (a)   termination of  The Secretary of State may cancel  a program participant’s certification, the  certification if there is a change in the residential address from the one listed on the application, unless the program participant provides the  Secretary of State shall retain records as follows: with at least seven days’ prior notice of the change of address. 
(a) (b)  Except as provided in subdivision (g) of Section 6206.7 or Section 6208, any records or documents pertaining to  The Secretary of State may cancel certification of  a program participant shall be held confidential for a period of three years after withdrawal or termination of certification. if mail forwarded by the secretary to the program participant’s address is returned as nondeliverable. 
(c) The Secretary of State shall cancel certification of a program participant who applies using false information.
(b) (d)  All Any  records or documents pertaining to a program participant shall be retained and held confidential  for a period of three years after termination of certification and then destroyed, except for change of name records, which shall be retained permanently and only be accessible pursuant to Section 6208 and Section 1798.34 of the Civil Code. destroyed. 

SEC. 6.5.

 Section 6206.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6206.5.
 Upon (a)   termination of a program participant’s certification, the  The Secretary of State may cancel program participant’s certification if there is a change in the residential address from the one listed on the application, unless the program participant provides the  Secretary of State shall retain records as follows: with at least seven days’ prior notice of the change of address. 
(b) The Secretary of State may cancel a program participant’s certification if the program participant changes his or her name from the one listed in the application and fails to notify the Secretary of State of the name change within seven days of the change.
(a) (c)  Except as provided in subdivision (g) of Section 6206.7 or Section 6208, any records or documents pertaining to  The Secretary of State may cancel certification of  a program participant shall be held confidential for a period of three years after withdrawal or termination of certification. if mail forwarded by the secretary to the program participant’s address is returned as nondeliverable. 
(d) The Secretary of State shall cancel certification of a program participant who applies using false information.
(b) (e)  All Any  records or documents pertaining to a program participant shall be retained and held confidential  for a period of three years after termination of certification and then destroyed, except for change of name records, which shall be retained permanently and only be accessible pursuant to Section 6208 and Section 1798.34 of the Civil Code. destroyed. 

SEC. 7.

 Section 6206.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6206.7.
 (a) A program participant may withdraw from program participation by submitting to the Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  written notification of withdrawal and his or her current identification card. Certification shall be terminated on the date of receipt of this notification.
(b) The Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  may terminate a program participant’s certification and invalidate his or her authorization card for any of the following reasons:
(1) The program participant’s certification term has expired and certification renewal has not been completed.
(2) The Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  has determined that false information was used in the application process to qualify as a program participant  or that participation in the program is being used as a subterfuge to avoid detection of illegal or criminal activity or apprehension by law enforcement.
(3) The program participant no longer resides at the most recent  residential address provided to the Secretary of State,  listed on the application,  and has not provided at least seven days’ prior notice in writing of a change in address.
(4) A service of process document or mail forwarded to the program participant by the Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  is returned as nondeliverable.
(5) The program participant obtains a legal name change and fails to notify the Secretary of State within seven days.
(6) The program participant, who reaches 18 years of age during his or her certification term, has not renewed his or her certification within 60 days of him or her reaching 18 years of age.
(c) The Secretary of State may refuse to renew a program participant’s certification if the adult program participant or the parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person has abandoned his or her domicile in this state.
(d) (c)  If intended  termination is based on any of the reasons under subdivision (b) or (c), the Secretary of State  a result of paragraph (1), (3), (4), or (5) of subdivision (b), the address confidentiality program manager  shall send written notification of the intended termination to the program participant. The program participant shall have 30  five business  days in which to appeal the intended  termination under procedures developed by the Secretary of State.
(e) (d)  The Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  shall notify in writing the county elections official and authorized personnel of the appropriate county clerk’s office, county recording office, and department of health of the program participant’s certification withdrawal, invalidation, expiration, or termination.
(f) (e)  Upon receipt of this termination notification, authorized personnel shall transmit to the Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  all appropriate administrative records pertaining to the program participant and the record transmitting agency is no longer responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of a terminated program participant’s record.
(g) (f)  Following termination of program participant certification as a result of paragraph (2) of  subdivision (b), the Secretary of State  address confidentiality program manager  may disclose information contained in the participant’s application.

SEC. 8.

 Section 6207 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6207.
 (a) A program participant may request that state and local agencies use the address designated by the Secretary of State as his or her address. When creating a public record, state and local agencies shall accept the address designated by the Secretary of State as a program participant’s substitute address, unless the Secretary of State has determined both of the following:
(1) The agency has a bona fide statutory or administrative requirement for the use of the address which would otherwise be confidential under this chapter.
(2) This address will be used only for those statutory and administrative purposes and shall not be publicly disseminated.
(b) A program participant may request that state and local agencies use the address designated by the Secretary of State as his or her address. When modifying or maintaining a public record, excluding the record of any birth, fetal death, death, or marriage registered under Division 102 (commencing with Section 102100) of the Health and Safety Code, state and local agencies shall accept the address designated by the Secretary of State as a program participant’s substitute address, unless the Secretary of State has determined both of the following:
(1) The agency has a bona fide statutory or administrative requirement for the use of the address which would otherwise be confidential under this chapter.
(2) This address will be used only for those statutory and administrative purposes and shall not be publicly disseminated.
(c) A program participant may use the address designated by the Secretary of State as his or her work address.
(d) The office of the Secretary of State shall forward all first-class mail and all mail sent by a governmental agency to the appropriate program participants. The office of the Secretary of State may, in its discretion, refuse to  shall not  handle or forward packages regardless of size or type of mailing.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), program participants shall comply with the provisions specified in subdivision (d) of Section 1808.21 of the Vehicle Code if requesting suppression of the records maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Program participants shall also comply with all other provisions of the Vehicle Code relating to providing current address information to the department.

SEC. 9.

 Section 6208.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6208.5.
 The Secretary of State shall designate state and local agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as well as agencies that serve victims of elder or dependent adult abuse pursuant to the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 15600) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code) to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking  violence or stalking to assist persons  applying to be program participants. The Secretary of State shall conduct outreach activities to identify and recruit the agencies.  Any assistance and counseling rendered by the office of the Secretary of State or its designees to applicants shall in no way be construed as legal advice.

SEC. 10.

 Section 6209.5 of the Government Code is repealed.

6209.5.
 The Secretary of State shall provide each program participant a notice in clear and conspicuous font that contains all of the following information:
(a) The program participant is authorized by law to request to use his or her address designated by the Secretary of State on real property deeds, change of ownership forms, and deeds of trust when purchasing or selling a home.
(b) The program participant may create a revocable living trust and place his or her real property into the trust to protect his or her residential street address from disclosure in real property transactions.
(c) The program participant may obtain a change of his or her legal name to protect his or her anonymity.
(d) A list of contact information for entities that the program participant may contact to receive information on, or receive legal services for, the creation of a trust to hold real property or obtaining a name change, including county bar associations, legal aid societies, domestic violence prevention organizations, state and local agencies, or other nonprofit organizations that may be able to assist program participants.

SEC. 11.

 Section 6209.7 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6209.7.
 (a) Nothing in this chapter, nor participation in this program, affects custody or visitation orders in effect prior to or during program participation. A program participant who falsifies his or her location in order to unlawfully avoid custody or visitation orders is subject to immediate termination from the program and is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Participation in the program does not constitute evidence of domestic violence or stalking for purposes of making custody or visitation orders.
SEC. 12.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because in that regard this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, notwithstanding Section 17610 of the Government Code, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code. If the statewide cost of the claim for reimbursement does not exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000), reimbursement shall be made from the State Mandates Claims Fund.
SEC. 13.
 Section 1.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 2166.5 of the Elections Code proposed by both this bill and AB 2214. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2001, (2) each bill amends Section 2166.5 of the Election Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after AB 2214, in which case Section 1 of this bill shall not become operative.
SEC. 14.
 Section 3.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 6205 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and AB 205. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2001, (2) each bill amends Section 6205 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after AB 205, in which case Section 3 of this bill shall not become operative.
SEC. 15.
 Section 6.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 6206.5 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and AB 205. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2001, (2) each bill amends Section 6206.5 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after AB 205, in which case Section 6 of this bill shall not become operative.