BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2263


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          Date of Hearing:  April 5, 2016


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


                                  Mark Stone, Chair


          AB 2263  
          (Baker) - As Amended March 30, 2016


                                  PROPOSED CONSENT


          SUBJECT:  Protection of reproductive health care providers:  
          address confidentiality


          KEY ISSUE:  Should the Address confidentiality that existing law  
          provides to "Safe aT Home" ParticIpants who are patients,  
          employees, or volunteers at a reproductive health center, be the  
          same as that provided to participants who are in the program as  
          victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual abuse? 


                                      SYNOPSIS


          California's "Safe at Home" (SAH) program allows survivors of  
          domestic violence, stalking, sexual abuse, and elder and  
          dependent adult abuse, as well as patients, employees, and  
          volunteers of reproductive health centers, to participate in a  
          program that allows state and local agencies to respond to  
          requests for public records without disclosing the participant's  
          home address.  A program participant may request that state and  
          local agencies, when creating a public record concerning the  
          participant, use an address designated by the Secretary of State  








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          (SOS).  As recently amended this bill, according to the author,  
          makes a modest correction to a discrepancy in how the existing  
          SAH statutory framework treats persons who are enrolled in the  
          program because of their status as victims of domestic violence,  
          stalking, and sexual abuse, on the one hand, and those who are  
          enrolled in the program because of their status as patients,  
          employees, or volunteers at a reproductive health center, on the  
          other hand.  In addition to the restrictions on disclosures by  
          public agencies that are afforded to both groups, the Government  
          Code sections covering victims of domestic violence, stalking,  
          and sexual assault provide an additional restriction, under  
          certain circumstances, on the ability of a private person,  
          business, or association to disclose the SAH participant's home  
          address.  These restrictions on private persons, businesses, and  
          associations are not similarly situated in the Government Code  
          sections covering patients, employees, and volunteers of  
          reproductive health care centers.  Although quite similar  
          protections are afforded to patients and reproductive health  
          care providers in other statutes, based on conversations with  
          Legislative Counsel, the author believes that this bill will  
          make clearer the legislative intent to treat both groups the  
          same.  This author-sponsored bill is supported by law  
          enforcement and victims' rights groups, and Planned Parenthood.   
          There is no opposition to this bill.  This bill will be referred  
          to the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection  
          should it pass out of this Committee.  The author has indicated  
          to the Committee that she will continue to work on providing  
          more substantive provisions that will afford more meaningful  
          protections to all SAH program participants, both in the next  
          committee and as the bill moves forward.  Thus while this bill  
          is a work in progress, the modest and non-controversial change  
          that the bill makes to existing law warrants placing the bill on  
          consent for purposes of this hearing. 


          SUMMARY:  Seeks to bring uniformity to the confidentiality  
          protections for Safe at Home (SAH) program participants,  
          regardless of whether their participation is based on their  
          status as victims of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual  








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          assault, or whether it is based on their status as a patient,  
          employee, or volunteer at a reproductive health care clinic.   
          Specifically, this bill: 


          1)Provides that no person, business, or association shall  
            publicly post or display on the Internet the address of an SAH  
            program participant, as specified, who has made a written  
            demand of that person, business, or association to not  
            disclose the home address of the program participant.


          2)Provides that no person, business, or association shall  
            knowingly post the home address of a an SAH program  
            participant, as specified, or of the program participant's  
            residing spouse or child, on the Internet, knowing that person  
            is a program participant and intending to cause imminent great  
            bodily harm or threatening to cause imminent great bodily harm  
            to the program participant or his or her residing spouse or  
            child. 


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Establishes the Safe at Home (SAH) address confidentiality  
            program within the office of the Secretary of State (SOS).   
            This program allows state and local agencies to accept a  
            substitute address designated by the SOS in lieu of an actual  
            home address and requires the agency to request for public  
            records without disclosing the address of a victim of domestic  
            violence, sexual assault, stalking, or elder or dependent  
            adult abuse.  Permits any such adult victim, or parent or  
            guardian acting on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person,  
            to apply through a specified program to have an address  
            designated by the SOS as his or her substitute mailing  
            address.  (Government Code Section 6205 et seq.  Unless  
            otherwise stated, all further statutory references are to that  
            code.)  








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          2)Similarly, allows reproductive health care providers,  
            employees, volunteers, and patients to participate in the SAH  
            address confidentiality program, as specified.  (Section 6215  
            et seq.)


          3)Requires the SOS to certify a successful applicant as a  
            program participant for four years following the date of  
            filing, unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated  
            before that date, except reproductive health care services  
            facilities volunteers shall be certified until six months from  
            the last date of volunteering with the facility. (Sections  
            6206 (c), 6215.2 (e).) 


          4)Specifies that, once certified, the SAH participant may  
            request that a state or local agency, when creating a public  
            record, use a substitute address designated by the SOS in lieu  
            of the person's residential or work address, except as  
            specified.  (Sections 6206 and 6207.)  


          5)Provides that no person, business, or association shall  
            knowingly and intentionally publicly post or publicly display  
            on the Internet the home address, home telephone number, or  
            image of a program participant or other individuals residing  
            at the same home address with the intent to threaten the  
            participant or cause the participant, or co-resident, harm, as  
            specified.  (Section 6208.1.) 


          6)Prohibits the SOS from disclosing a program participant's name  
            change or address, other than the designated address, unless  
            it is requested by, and disclosed to, law enforcement, or  
            directed by a court, or if the participant's certification has  
            been canceled.  (Sections 6206, 6206.4 and 6208.) 









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          7)Requires that any records or documents pertaining to a program  
            participant shall be retained and held confidential for a  
            period of three years after termination of a certification and  
            then destroyed.  (Section 6206.5 (e).)


          8)Permits the confidentiality program manager to terminate a  
            program participant's certification for specified reasons,  
            including if the program manager determines that the  
            information used in the application process was used as a  
            subterfuge to avoid detection of illegal activity or  
            apprehension by law enforcement.  (Section 6206.7 (b).)


          9)Prohibits a person, business, or association from knowingly  
            posting or displaying on the Internet the home address, home  
            telephone number, or image of any provider, employee,  
            volunteer, or patient of a reproductive health service  
            facility, with the intent to incite a third person to cause  
            imminent bodily harm to a person protected by this provision.   
            Permits a person whose personal information is posted to bring  
            an action for injunctive relief of damages, as specified.   
            Provides that no person shall post or display on the Internet  
            any personal information about a person protected by this  
            provision if the person has requested that the information be  
            removed, as specified.  (Section 6218.) 


          10)Provides that no local or state agency shall post the home  
            address or telephone number of an elected or appointed  
            official on the Internet without that official's prior  
            consent.  Makes it a crime for any person to knowingly post  
            the home address or phone number of an official on the  
            Internet knowing that the person is an elected or appointed  
            official and with the intent to cause imminent bodily harm.   
            Provides that a violation of this provision is a misdemeanor,  
            and that a violation that results in bodily injury to the  
            official or a family member is a felony.  Provides that no  








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            person shall post or display on the Internet the home address  
            or telephone number of an elected or appointed official if  
            that official has made a written demand that the information  
            be removed.  (Section 6254.21.) 


          11)Provides that any person who maliciously, and with the intent  
            to obstruct justice, or with the intent or threat to inflict  
            imminent physical harm in retaliation for the due  
            administration of laws, publishes, disseminates, or otherwise  
            discloses the residence address or telephone number of any  
            peace officer, public safety officer, employee of a police  
            department or sheriff's office, or the spouse or children of  
            such person, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  If a violation of  
            this provision results in injury to the protected person or  
            his or her family, then the person who violates this provision  
            is guilty of a felony.  (Penal Code Section 146e.)


          FISCAL EFFECT:  As currently in print this bill is keyed  
          non-fiscal. 


          COMMENTS:  The California Public Records Act (PRA) requires  
          state and local agencies to make public records available for  
          inspection and copying by members of the public, unless the  
          records are expressly exempted from disclosure by express  
          provisions of the PRA or some other statute.  One such exemption  
          includes participants in the Safe At Home (SAH) program, which  
          is intended to keep the home addresses of program participants  
          confidential.  Though restricted to victims of domestic violence  
          when first established in 1998, the program has since expanded  
          to include victims of stalking and sexual assault, patients,  
          employees, and volunteers of reproductive health centers, and  
          victims of elder and dependent adult abuse.  In addition,  
          existing law provides similar protections for elected and  
          appointed officials and law enforcement officers.  These  
          programs protect participants by preventing their abusers, or  
          others who might wish to cause them harm, from discovering the  








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          participant's home address.  


          The SAH program works by allowing program participants to use a  
          substitute, publicly disclosable address, in lieu of the actual  
          home address, whenever an address is required by a public agency  
          for an official purpose.  Specifically, under Government Code  
          sections 6205-6210 and 6215-6216, SAH program participants  
          receive a designated address from the Secretary of State (SOS) -  
          typically a post office box - and the participant may then  
          demand that a state or local agency use this substitute address  
          as the participant's official address.  Any correspondence from  
          the agency to the participant is sent to the designated address,  
          and the SOS forwards it to the participant's actual and  
          confidential address.  In addition, the SOS is also designated  
          to receive legal notices and service of process on the  
          participant's behalf.  Agencies must accept the SOS address and  
          use it when creating, or disclosing, public records.  The SAH  
          program recognizes that some agencies may require the actual  
          home address for a bona fide statutory or administrative  
          purpose.  In that case, the agency may retain the home address  
          in its records; however, the agency may only use the home  
          address for that bona fide purpose and is prohibited from  
          publicly disseminating the home address of an SAH participant.   
          (See e.g. Government Code Section 6207 (a)(2) and (b)(2) and  
          Section 6215.5 (a)(2) and (b)(2).)  


          To be eligible to become an SAH program participant, an  
          individual, living in California, must file an application  
          containing a sworn statement that the applicant has good reason  
          to believe that he or she, or his or her minor child, has been a  
          victim of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or elder  
          or dependent adult abuse, or that he or she is a patient,  
          employee, or volunteer of a reproductive health center, and that  
          he or she fears for his or her safety or the safety of a child.   
          The applicant must also include a police report or some other  
          appropriate evidence indicating the applicant's eligibility.  









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          Purpose of Bill:  As recently amended, this bill, according to  
          the author, makes a modest correction to a potential discrepancy  
          in the way that the existing SAH framework treats persons who  
          are enrolled in the program because of their status as victims  
          of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual abuse, on the one  
          hand, and those who are enrolled in the program because of their  
          status as patients, employees, or volunteers at a reproductive  
          health care center, on the other hand.  In addition to the  
          restrictions on disclosures by public agencies that are afforded  
          to both groups, the Government Code sections covering victims of  
          domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault provide an  
          additional restriction, under certain circumstances, on the  
          ability of private persons, business, and associations to  
          disclose the SAH participant's home address.  Specifically,  
          existing law prohibits a private person, business, or  
          association from posting or displaying on the Internet the home  
          address of an SAH participant if the participant has demanded  
          that the person, business, or association remove the home  
          address.  In addition, existing law prohibits a person,  
          business, or association from posting the SAH participant's home  
          address online with the knowledge and intent, as specified, to  
          cause that person imminent harm.   


          Although quite similar protections are already afforded to  
          patients and reproductive health care providers in other  
          statutes, the author believes, based on conversations with  
          Legislative Counsel, that situating these protections within the  
          existing SAH statutory framework, in the manner provided by this  
          bill, will make clearer a legislative intent to provide both  
          groups with the same protections.  


          Past Amendments and Probable Future Amendments:  The author has  
          indicated to the Committee that she will continue to work on  
          strengthening this bill by providing more substantive provisions  
          that will afford more meaningful address confidentiality  
          protections to all SAH program participants as the bill moves  








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          forward.  According to the author, this bill was prompted by the  
          experience of a constituent who, despite being an SAH  
          participant and a victim of domestic violence, discovered that  
          her home address was nonetheless posted online and discovered by  
          her abuser.  The constituent apparently learned from a county  
          assessor that the address may have been sold to, or otherwise  
          legally obtained, by private data brokers who post addresses,  
          and much other personal information, online.  An earlier  
          iteration of the bill, therefore, would have prohibited a county  
          assessor from selling or otherwise disclosing the home addresses  
          to the general public.  However, after extensive discussions  
          with various stakeholders, including the county recorders and  
          county assessors, the author determined that the problem was  
          more complicated than initially assumed and that the bill as  
          introduced might not have addressed the underlying problem.  As  
          the bill moves forward, the author is committed to working with  
          all stakeholders to devise practical and workable solutions to a  
          very real problem: that notwithstanding the admirable work that  
          the SAH program has done in serving more than 7,000 persons  
          since its inception in 1999, there apparently remain a number of  
          deficiencies that allow a participant's home address to be  
          disclosed to persons who might cause them harm. 


          Nonetheless, while this bill is a work in progress, the modest  
          and non-controversial change that the bill before this Committee  
          makes to existing law warrants placing the bill on consent for  
          purposes of this hearing.  Should the bill be significantly  
          amended, the Committee would, as it always does, reserve the  
          right to bring the bill back to the Committee for a full hearing  
          on those amendments. 


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:  According to the author, this bill  
          "closes a loophole in the Safe At Home Program to protect  
          victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking." AB  
          2263, supporters believe, would allow Safe At Home Program  
          participants to benefit from the same protections that are  
          afforded elected and appointed officials and public safety  








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          officers under Government Code Section 6254.21.  


          Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) adds that the  
          Safe at Home Program has helped over 7,000 survivors.  PPAC  
          writes: "victims of domestic violence and other Californians  
          intended to be protected by Safe At Home can be found by  
          perpetrators who go to the Assessor's Office to locate them and  
          track them down."  PPAC notes that AB 2263 will close the  
          loophole to protect victims.  Several other local and regional  
          Planned Parenthood organizations support this bill for similar  
          reasons. 


          In agreement with the author and PPAC, California State  
          Sheriffs' Association (CSSA) writes: "AB 2263 addresses a  
          deficiency in existing law and reassures victims that their  
          private home addresses cannot be accessed by the general  
          public."


          It should be noted that the letters in support primary address  
          the bill as introduced or other proposed amendments to bill.   
          Nonetheless, the support seems to be in agreement that the  
          existing system has deficiencies that need to be addressed in  
          order to provide more meaningful protections. 


          Prior Related Legislation:  AB 849 (Chapter 676, Stats. of 2013)  
          extended "Safe at Home" protection to victims of elder and  
          dependent adult abuse. 


          SB 1082 (Chapter 270, Stats. of 2012) required prospective  
          participants of the "Safe at Home" program to be domiciled in  
          California in order to apply to the program, authorizes a minor  
          program participant, who reaches 18 years of age during his or  
          her enrollment, to renew as an adult, and modifies the Secretary  
          of State authority to terminate a program participant's  








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          certification, as specified.


          SB 636 (Chapter 200, Stats. of 2011), enhanced the protections  
          for participants in the Safe at Home program, including  
          prohibiting publicly posting or displaying on the Internet, or  
          soliciting, selling, or trading on the Internet, specified  
          personal information of the program participant.


          SB 1233 (Chapter 326, Stats. of 2010) removed the sunset date  
          for the Safe at Home program and required that the name change  
          records for the program participants be permanently retained.  


          AB 2304 (Chapter 586, Stats. of 2008) required courts to keep  
          confidential the current legal name of the petitioner and  
          prohibited the court from publishing that name by any means or  
          in any public forum when the petition for name change is by a  
          participant in the address confidentiality program.


          SB 1062 (Chapter 639, Stats. of 2006) extended the protections  
          of the Safe at Home program to victims of sexual assault.


          AB 797 (Chapter 380, Stats. of 2002) extended the protections of  
          the Safe at Home program to reproductive health care service  
          providers and their employees, volunteers, and patients. 


          SB 1318 (Chapter 562, Stats. of 2000) extended the protections  
          of the Safe at Home program to victims of stalking, and revised  
          procedures relating to terminating the certification of  
          participants.


          SB 489 (Chapter 1005, Stats. of 1998) established the Safe at  
          Home program for victims of domestic violence and allowed for  








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          voter record and marriage application confidentiality as well as  
          address confidentiality. 


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California State Sheriffs' Association


          Crime Victims United of California 


          Community Action Fund of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San  
          Bernardino Counties 


          Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest 


          Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County 


          Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California 


          Planned Parenthood Mar Monte  




          Opposition










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          None on file 




          Analysis Prepared by:Alexandria Smith-Davis and Thomas Clark/  
                                                            JUD. / (916) 319-2334