AB 849, as introduced, Garcia. Protection of victims: 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 respond to requests for public records without disclosing a program participant’s residence address contained in any public record and otherwise provide for confidentiality of identity for that person, subject to specified conditions. Any person who makes a false statement in an application is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This bill would include victims of abuse of an elder or dependent adult, as defined, within these provisions. By including a new category of eligible persons, this bill would impose new duties on local public officials and expand the scope of an existing crime, thereby creating a state-mandated local program.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 6205 of the Government Code is amended
The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape
4from actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault, or
5stalking frequently establish new names or addresses in order to
6prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them.
7The purpose of this chapter is to enable state and local agencies
8to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the
9changed name or location of a victim of domestic violence, sexual
begin delete orend delete stalking, to
11enable interagency cooperation with the Secretary of State in
12providing name and address confidentiality for victims of domestic
13violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and to enable state and local
14agencies to accept a program participant’s use of an address
15designated by the Secretary of State as a substitute mailing address.
Section 6205.5 of the Government Code is amended
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the
19definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
23 “Address” means a residential street address, school address,
24or work address of an individual, as specified on the individual’s
25application to be a program participant under this chapter.
P3 1 “Domestic violence” means an act as defined in Section
26211 of the Family Code.
4 “Domicile” means a place of habitation as defined in Section
5349 of the Elections Code.
7 “Program participant” means a person certified as a program
8participant under Section 6206.
10 “Sexual assault” means an act or attempt made punishable
11by Section 220, 261, 261.5, 262, 264.1, 266c, 269, 285, 286, 288,
12288.5, 288a, 289, or 647.6 of the Penal Code.
14 “Stalking” means an act as defined in Section 646.9 of the
Section 6206 of the Government Code is amended to
(a) An adult person, a parent or guardian acting on behalf
19of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of an incapacitated
20person, who is domiciled in California, may apply to the Secretary
21of State to have an address designated by the Secretary of State
22serve as the person’s address or the address of the minor or
23incapacitated person. An application shall be completed in person
24at a community-based victims’ assistance program. The application
25process shall include a requirement that the applicant shall meet
26with a victims’ assistance counselor and receive orientation
27information about the program. The Secretary of State shall
28approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form
29prescribed by the Secretary of State and if it contains all of the
31(1) A sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has
32good reason to believe both of the following:
33(A) That the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on
34whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic
35violence, sexual assault,
begin delete orend delete stalking.
37(B) That the applicant fears for his or her safety or his or her
38children’s safety, or the safety of the minor or incapacitated person
39on whose behalf the application is made.
P4 1(2) If the applicant alleges that the basis for the application is
2that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose
3 behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence or
4sexual assault, the application may be accompanied by evidence
5including, but not limited to, any of the following:
6(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.
7(B) Documentation from a domestic violence or sexual assault
8program if the person is alleged to be a victim of domestic violence
9or sexual assault.
10(C) Documentation from a legal, clerical, medical, or other
11professional from whom the applicant or person on whose behalf
12the application is made has sought assistance in dealing with the
13alleged domestic violence or sexual assault.
14(D) Any other evidence that supports the sworn statement, such
15as a statement from any other individual with knowledge of the
16 circumstances that provides the basis for the claim, or physical
17evidence of the act or acts of domestic violence or sexual assault.
18(3) If the applicant alleges that the basis for the application is
19that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose
20behalf the application is made, is a victim of stalking, the application may be accompanied
22by evidence including, but not limited to, any of the following:
23(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.
begin deleteLegal, end deleteclerical, medical, or
25other professional from whom the applicant or person on whose
26behalf the application is made has sought assistance in dealing
27with the alleged stalking.
28(C) Any other evidence that supports the sworn statement, such
29as a sworn statement from any other individual with knowledge
30of the circumstances that provide the basis for the claim, or physical
31evidence of the act or acts of stalking.
33(4) The name and last known address of the applicant’s minor
34child or children, the name and last known address of the other
35parent or parents of the minor child or children of the applicant,
36and all court orders related to the minor child or children of the
37applicant, and legal counsel of record in those cases.
38(5) A designation of the Secretary of State as agent for purposes
39of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail.
P5 1(A) Service on the Secretary of State of any summons, writ,
2notice, demand, or process shall be made by delivering to the
3address confidentiality program personnel of the office of the
4Secretary of State two copies of the summons, writ, notice, demand,
6(B) If a summons, writ, notice, demand, or process is served on
7the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall immediately
8cause a copy to be forwarded to the program participant at the
9address shown on the records of the address confidentiality
10program so that the summons, writ, notice, demand, or process is
11received by the program participant within three days of the
12Secretary of State’s having received it.
13(C) The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all summonses,
14writs, notices, demands, and processes served upon the Secretary
15of State under this section and shall record the time of that service
16and the Secretary of State’s action.
17(D) The office of the Secretary of State and any agent or person
18employed by the Secretary of State shall be held harmless from
19any liability in any action brought by any person injured or harmed
20as a result of the handling of first-class mail on behalf of program
22(6) The mailing address where the applicant can be contacted
23by the Secretary of State, and the phone number or numbers where
24the applicant can be called by the Secretary of State.
25(7) The address or addresses that the applicant requests not be
26disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of
27domestic violence, sexual assault,
begin delete orend delete stalking.
29(8) The signature of the applicant and of any individual or
30representative of any office designated in writing under Section
316208.5 who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the
32date on which the applicant signed the application.
33(b) Applications shall be filed with the office of the Secretary
filing a properly completed application, the Secretary
36of State shall certify the applicant as a program participant.
37Applicants shall be certified for four years following the date of
38filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before
39that date. The Secretary of State shall by rule establish a renewal
40procedure. A minor program participant, who reaches 18 years of
P6 1age during his or her enrollment, may renew as an adult following
2the renewal procedures established by the Secretary of State.
3(d) Upon certification, the Secretary of State shall, within 10
4days, notify the other parent or parents identified pursuant to
5paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of the designation of the Secretary
6of State as agent for purposes of service of process and, unless
7there is a court order prohibiting contact, the address designated
8by the Secretary of State for the program participant. The notice
9shall be given by mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid,
10to the last known address of the other parent to be notified. A copy
11shall also be sent to that parent’s counsel of record, if provided to
12the Secretary of State by the applicant.
13(e) A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure
14of the applicant’s address would endanger the applicant’s safety
15or the safety of the applicant’s children or the minor or
16incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, or
17who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon
18making an application, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A notice shall
19be printed in bold type and in a conspicuous location on the face
20of the application informing the applicant of the penalties under
Section 6208.5 of the Government Code is amended
The Secretary of State shall designate state and local
25agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter
26services to victims of domestic violence
begin delete orend delete stalking to assist persons applying to be
28program participants. Any assistance and counseling rendered by
29the office of the Secretary of State or its designees to applicants
30shall in no way be construed as legal advice.
The Legislature finds and declares that this act imposes
32a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public
33bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the
34meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.
35Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes
36the following finding to demonstrate the interest protected by this
37limitation and the need for protecting the interest:
38In order to protect the victims of crimes, it is necessary that this
39act take effect.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
2Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain
3costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
4because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction,
5eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
6or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
7Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
8meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
10However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that
11this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
12to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
13pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
144 of Title 2 of the Government Code.