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AB-2483 Victims of stalking: address confidentiality.(2011-2012)

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Assembly Bill No. 2483
CHAPTER 102

An act to amend Section 6206 of the Government Code, relating to address confidentiality.

[ Approved by Governor  July 13, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  July 13, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2483, Blumenfield. Victims of stalking: address confidentiality.
Existing law authorizes victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to complete an application in person at a community-based victims’ assistance program to be approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of enabling state and local agencies to provide for confidentiality of the address for that person, subject to specified conditions. Any person who makes a false statement in an application is guilty of a misdemeanor. An applicant alleging the basis for the application is domestic violence or sexual assault may attach specific evidence to the application, and an applicant alleging the basis for the application is stalking is required to attach specific evidence to the application.
This bill would remove the requirement for specific attached evidence for an application alleging the basis is stalking, and instead make the inclusion of that evidence permissive.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 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 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. 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, 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, 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.
(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.
(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.
(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 be accompanied by evidence including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.
(B) 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) 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 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, 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.
(d) Upon certification, in any case where there are court orders or court actions identified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) 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 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. 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.
(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.