Amended in Assembly May 24, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 849


Introduced by Assembly Member Garcia

February 21, 2013


An act to amend Sectionsbegin delete 6205, 6205.5, 6206,end deletebegin insert 6206end insert and 6208.5 of the Government Code, relating to public records.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 849, as amended, 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.

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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.

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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.

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This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

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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.

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This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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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.

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This bill would authorize the application to be completed at a community-based assistance program that serves victims of elder or dependent adult abuse, as specified. This bill would also require the Secretary of State to conduct outreach activities to identify and recruit state and local agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims, as specified.

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: begin deleteyes end deletebegin insertnoend insert.

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

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P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 6205 of the Government Code is amended
2to read:

3

6205.  

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
10assault, stalking, or abuse of an elder of dependent adult, to enable
11interagency cooperation with the Secretary of State in providing
12name and address confidentiality for victims of domestic violence,
13sexual assault, or stalking, and to enable state and local agencies
14to accept a program participant’s use of an address designated by
15the Secretary of State as a substitute mailing address.

16

SEC. 2.  

Section 6205.5 of the Government Code is amended
17to read:

18

6205.5.  

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the
19definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

P3    1(a) “Abuse of an elder or dependent adult” means an act as
2defined in Section 15610.07 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

3(b) “Address” means a residential street address, school address,
4or work address of an individual, as specified on the individual’s
5application to be a program participant under this chapter.

6(c) “Domestic violence” means an act as defined in Section
76211 of the Family Code.

8(d) “Domicile” means a place of habitation as defined in Section
9349 of the Elections Code.

10(e) “Program participant” means a person certified as a program
11participant under Section 6206.

12(f) “Sexual assault” means an act or attempt made punishable
13by Section 220, 261, 261.5, 262, 264.1, 266c, 269, 285, 286, 288,
14288.5, 288a, 289, or 647.6 of the Penal Code.

15(g) “Stalking” means an act as defined in Section 646.9 of the
16Penal Code.

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17

begin deleteSEC. 3.end delete
18begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

Section 6206 of the Government Code is amended
19to read:

20

6206.  

(a) An adult person, a parent or guardian acting on behalf
21of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of an incapacitated
22person, who is domiciled in California, may apply to the Secretary
23of State to have an address designated by the Secretary of State
24serve as the person’s address or the address of the minor or
25incapacitated person. An application shall be completed in person
26at a community-based victims’ assistance programbegin insert or a
27community-based assistance program that serves victims of elder
28or dependent adult abuse pursuant to the Elder Abuse and
29Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Chapter 11 (commencing
30with Section 15600) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and
31Institutions Code)end insert
. The application process shall include a
32requirement that the applicant shall meet with a victims’ assistance
33counselor and receive orientation information about the program.
34The Secretary of State shall approve an application if it is filed in
35the manner and on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State
36and if it contains all of the following:

37(1) A sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has
38good reason to believe both of the following:

39(A) That the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on
40whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic
P4    1violence, sexual assault,begin delete stalking, or abuse of an elder or dependent
2adultend delete
begin insert or stalkingend insert.

3(B) That the applicant fears for his or her safety or his or her
4children’s safety, or the safety of the minor or incapacitated person
5on whose behalf the application is made.

6(2) If the applicant alleges that the basis for the application is
7that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose
8 behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic violence or
9sexual assault, the application may be accompanied by evidence
10including, but not limited to, any of the following:

11(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.

12(B) Documentation from a domestic violence or sexual assault
13program if the person is alleged to be a victim of domestic violence
14or sexual assault.

15(C) Documentation from a legal, clerical, medical, or other
16professional from whom the applicant or person on whose behalf
17the application is made has sought assistance in dealing with the
18alleged domestic violence or sexual assault.

19(D) Any other evidence that supports the sworn statement, such
20as a statement from any other individual with knowledge of the
21 circumstances that provides the basis for the claim, or physical
22evidence of the act or acts of domestic violence or sexual assault.

23(3) If the applicant alleges that the basis for the application is
24that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose
25behalf the application is made, is a victim of stalkingbegin delete or abuse of
26an elder or dependent adultend delete
, the application may be accompanied
27by evidence including, but not limited to, any of the following:

28(A) Police, court, or other government agency records or files.

29(B) Documentation from a legal, clerical, medical, or other
30professional from whom the applicant or person on whose behalf
31 the application is made has sought assistance in dealing with the
32alleged stalkingbegin delete or abuse of an elder or dependent adultend delete.

33(C) Any other evidence that supports the sworn statement, such
34as a sworn statement from any other individual with knowledge
35of the circumstances that provide the basis for the claim, or physical
36evidence of the act or acts of stalkingbegin delete or abuse of an elder or
37dependent adultend delete
.

38(4) The name and last known address of the applicant’s minor
39child or children, the name and last known address of the other
40parent or parents of the minor child or children of the applicant,
P5    1and all court orders related to the minor child or children of the
2applicant, and legal counsel of record in those cases.

3(5) A designation of the Secretary of State as agent for purposes
4of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail.

5(A) Service on the Secretary of State of any summons, writ,
6notice, demand, or process shall be made by delivering to the
7address confidentiality program personnel of the office of the
8Secretary of State two copies of the summons, writ, notice, demand,
9or process.

10(B) If a summons, writ, notice, demand, or process is served on
11the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall immediately
12cause a copy to be forwarded to the program participant at the
13address shown on the records of the address confidentiality
14program so that the summons, writ, notice, demand, or process is
15received by the program participant within three days of the
16Secretary of State’s having received it.

17(C) The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all summonses,
18writs, notices, demands, and processes served upon the Secretary
19of State under this section and shall record the time of that service
20and the Secretary of State’s action.

21(D) The office of the Secretary of State and any agent or person
22employed by the Secretary of State shall be held harmless from
23any liability in any action brought by any person injured or harmed
24as a result of the handling of first-class mail on behalf of program
25participants.

26(6) The mailing address where the applicant can be contacted
27by the Secretary of State, and the phone number or numbers where
28the applicant can be called by the Secretary of State.

29(7) The address or addresses that the applicant requests not be
30disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of
31domestic violence, sexual assault,begin delete stalking, or abuse of an elder or
32dependent adultend delete
begin insert or stalkingend insert.

33(8) The signature of the applicant and of any individual or
34representative of any office designated in writing under Section
356208.5 who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the
36date on which the applicant signed the application.

37(b) Applications shall be filed with the office of the Secretary
38of State.

39(c) Upon filing a properly completed application, the Secretary
40of State shall certify the applicant as a program participant.
P6    1Applicants shall be certified for four years following the date of
2filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before
3that date. The Secretary of State shall by rule establish a renewal
4procedure. A minor program participant, who reaches 18 years of
5age during his or her enrollment, may renew as an adult following
6the renewal procedures established by the Secretary of State.

7(d) Upon certification, the Secretary of State shall, within 10
8days, notify the other parent or parents identified pursuant to
9paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of the designation of the Secretary
10of State as agent for purposes of service of process and, unless
11there is a court order prohibiting contact, the address designated
12by the Secretary of State for the program participant. The notice
13shall be given by mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid,
14to the last known address of the other parent to be notified. A copy
15shall also be sent to that parent’s counsel of record, if provided to
16the Secretary of State by the applicant.

17(e) A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure
18of the applicant’s address would endanger the applicant’s safety
19or the safety of the applicant’s children or the minor or
20incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, or
21who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon
22making an application, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A notice shall
23be printed in bold type and in a conspicuous location on the face
24of the application informing the applicant of the penalties under
25this subdivision.

26

begin deleteSEC. 4.end delete
27begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

Section 6208.5 of the Government Code is amended
28to read:

29

6208.5.  

The Secretary of State shall designate state and local
30agencies and nonprofit agencies that provide counseling and shelter
31services to victims of domestic violence,begin insert sexual assault, orend insert stalking,
32begin delete or abuse of an elder or dependent adultend deletebegin insert as well as agencies that
33serve victims of elder or dependent adult abuse pursuant to the
34Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Chapter
3511 (commencing with Section 15600) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the
36Welfare and Institutions Code)end insert
to assistbegin delete personsend deletebegin insert victims of domestic
37violence, sexual assault, or stalkingend insert
applying to be program
38participants.begin insert The Secretary of State shall conduct outreach
39activities to identify and recruit the agencies.end insert
Any assistance and
P7    1counseling rendered by the office of the Secretary of State or its
2designees to applicants shall in no way be construed as legal advice.

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3

SEC. 5.  

The Legislature finds and declares that this act imposes
4a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public
5bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the
6meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.
7Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes
8the following finding to demonstrate the interest protected by this
9limitation and the need for protecting the interest:

10In order to protect the victims of crimes, it is necessary that this
11act take effect.

12

SEC. 6.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
13Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain
14costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
15because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction,
16eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
17or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
18Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
19meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
20Constitution.

21However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that
22this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
23to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
24pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
254 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

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