BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2263


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          Date of Hearing:  April 19, 2016


                ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PRIVACY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION


                                   Ed Chau, Chair


          AB 2263  
          (Baker) - As Amended April 11, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Protection of victims of domestic violence, sexual  
          assault, or stalking, and reproductive health care service  
          providers:  address confidentiality


          SUMMARY:  Standardizes 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 assault, or on their status as a  
          patient, employee, or volunteer at a reproductive health care  
          clinic; and requires the Secretary of State (SOS) to provide SAH  
          enrollees with information about how to protect their privacy on  
          real property records.  Specifically, this bill: 


          1)Specifies 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)Specifies 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  








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            bodily harm or threatening to cause imminent great bodily harm  
            to the program participant or his or her residing spouse or  
            child. 



          3)Requires the SOS to post on its website and provide new SAH  
            enrollees information about how to protect personal privacy on  
            real property records as follows: 



             a)   A notice that the participant may request to use his or  
               her SOS SAH address on real property deeds, change of  
               ownership forms, and deeds of trust when purchasing or  
               selling a home; 

             b)   A notice that the participant may wish to protect his or  
               her home address from disclosure in real property  
               transactions by creating a trust and placing his or her  
               real property into the trust; 

             c)   A notice that the participant may wish to legally change  
               his or her name in order to protect his or her anonymity;  
               and

             d)   A list of contacts for entities, such as county bar  
               associations, legal aid societies, domestic violence  
               prevention organizations, or other state or local  
               nonprofits who can provide more information and legal  
               services to create a trust or accomplish a name change.  




          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Requires, under the California Public Records Act (CPRA),  








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            state and local agencies to make public records available for  
            inspection by the public, unless another provision of the CPRA  
            or another statute expressly exempts the records from the  
            disclosure requirement.  (Government Code (GC) Section 6250 et  
            seq.)  


          2)Establishes the SAH address confidentiality program at the  
            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.  (GC 6205 et seq.)  


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


          4)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.  (GC 6206 (c)  
            and 6215.2 (e)) 


          5)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  








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            specified.  (GC 6206 and 6207)  


          6)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 an SAH  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.  (GC 6208.1) 


          7)Prohibits the SOS from disclosing an SAH 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.  (GC 6206, 6206.4 and 6208) 


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


          9)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.  (GC 6206.7 (b))


          10)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.   








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            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.  (GC 6218) 


          11)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  
            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.  (GC 6254.21) 


          12)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:  Unknown









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          COMMENTS:  


           1)Purpose of this bill  .  This bill is intended to help protect  
            the privacy and personal safety of SAH program participants by  
            bringing uniformity to the confidentiality protections for  
            certain SAH participants, and by requiring the SOS to educate  
            participants about how they can protect their privacy on deeds  
            and other real property records.  This measure is  
            author-sponsored.   

           2)Author's statement  . According to the author's office, "AB 2263  
            closes a loophole in the Safe At Home Program to protect  
            victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, as  
            well as reproductive health care doctors, nurses, volunteers,  
            and patients.  Specifically, AB 2263 would provide victims  
            enrolled in the California Safe at Home program with resources  
            to have their title record excluded from being publically  
            posted, just as elected officials and public safety officers  
            do.  This bill would prohibit a person, business, or  
            association from posting the residential addresses or  
            telephone numbers of those enrolled in the California Safe at  
            Home Program if so requested by the program enrollee.  This  
            bill will also provide notice to enrollees of their options to  
            prevent their home address from being publically  
            disseminated."





           3)CPRA requests and the SAH program.   The CPRA 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 SAH program, which is  
            intended to keep the home addresses of program participants  








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            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 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.  SAH program  
            participants receive a designated address from the 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.  








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            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.  More than 7,000 people have  
            participated in the SAH program since its inception in 1999.





           4)What is the problem this bill seeks to solve?   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 her county assessor's  
            office that the address may have been sold to data brokers who  
            purchase public records in bulk and then post addresses and  
            other personal information on the Internet.  An earlier  
            iteration of the bill 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.  









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           5)Improved privacy protections for SAH participants  .  In its  
            current form, this bill makes modest improvements in how the  
            existing SAH framework treats people who are enrolled in the  
            program because of their status as victims of domestic  
            violence, stalking, and sexual abuse, and people who are  
            enrolled in the program because of their status as patients,  
            employees, or volunteers at a reproductive health care center.  
             Both groups of participants enjoy the restrictions on  
            disclosures by public agencies described above, but victims of  
            domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault have one  
            additional protection under current SAH law: a private person,  
            business, or association is prohibited from posting or  
            displaying on the Internet the home address of an SAH  
            participant if the SAH 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 to cause that person  
            imminent harm.   


             


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





           6)New amendments require the SOS to educate SAH enrollees about  
            privacy options  .  The author recently added new provisions to  
            the bill that require the SOS to provide to SAH enrollees  
            information about how to protect their privacy on real  








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            property records.  The following information must be given to  
            each new enrollee and posted on the SOS website: 

             a)   A notice that the participant has a right to use his or  
               her SOS SAH program address on real property deeds, change  
               of ownership forms, and deeds of trust when purchasing or  
               selling a home; 

             b)   A notice that the participant may wish to protect his or  
               her home address from disclosure in real property  
               transactions by creating a revocable living trust and  
               placing his or her real property into the trust; 

             c)   A notice that the participant may wish to legally change  
               his or her name in order to protect his or her anonymity;  
               and

             d)   Resource information about how to get more information  
               and legal services on how to create a trust to hold real  
               property or accomplish a name change, including a county  
               bar associations, legal aid societies, domestic violence  
               prevention organizations, or other state or local  
               nonprofits who may able to assist participants. 



            As the bill moves forward, the author has indicated she may  
            add more provisions to further strengthen the bill but has  
            expressed a commitment to working with all stakeholders to  
            devise workable solutions that carefully balance the need for  
            privacy against the need for public access to government  
            records, in particular the real property recording system. 





           1)Arguments in support  .  Planned Parenthood Affiliates of  
            California (PPAC) states in support that "the bill would close  








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            a loophole in the Safe At Home Program and would provide  
            notice to a participant that he or she has the right to use  
            his or her Safe at Home program address on real property  
            deeds, change of ownership forms, and deeds of trust when  
            purchasing or selling a home."
           2)Double-referral  .  This bill was double-referred to the  
            Assembly Judiciary Committee where it was heard on April 5,  
            2016 and passed 10-0.


           3)Prior Legislation  .  AB 849 (Garcia), Chapter 676, Statutes of  
            2013, extended SAH protection to victims of elder and  
            dependent adult abuse. 


            SB 1082 (Corbett), Chapter 270, Statutes of 2012, required  
            prospective participants of the SAH 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  
            SOS authority to terminate a program participant's  
            certification.


            SB 636 (Corbett), Chapter 200, Statutes of 2011, enhanced the  
            protections for participants in the SAH 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 (Oropeza), Chapter 326, Statutes of 2010, removed the  
            sunset date for the SAH program and required that the name  
            change records for the program participants be permanently  
            retained.  


            AB 2304 (Plescia), Chapter 586, Statutes of 2008, required  
            courts to keep confidential the current legal name of the  








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            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 (Bowen), Chapter 639, Statutes of 2006, extended the  
            protections of the SAH program to victims of sexual assault.


            AB 797 (Shelley), Chapter 380, Statutes of 2002, extended the  
            protections of the SAH program to reproductive health care  
            service providers and their employees, volunteers, and  
            patients. 


            SB 1318 (Alpert), Chapter 562, Statutes of 2000, extended the  
            protections of the SAH program to victims of stalking, and  
            revised procedures relating to terminating the certification  
            of participants.


            SB 489 (Alpert) Chapter 1005, Statutes of 1998, established  
            the SAH program for victims of domestic violence and allowed  
            for voter record and marriage application confidentiality as  
            well as address confidentiality. 


          REGISTERED 


          SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support










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          California State Sheriffs' Association


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


          Crime Victims United of California


          Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Santa Barbara, Ventura, & San  
          Luis Obispo Counties


          Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest


          Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County


          Planned Parenthood Advocates Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley


          Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California 


          Planned Parenthood Mar Monte


          Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund




          Opposition


          California Right to Life Committee, Inc.









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          Analysis Prepared by:Jennie Bretschneider / P. & C.P. / (916)  
          319-2200