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A00628 Summary:

BILL NO    A00628A

SAME AS    SAME AS S05293

SPONSOR    Weinstein (MS)

COSPNSR    Destito, Clark, Glick, Jaffee, Paulin, Schroeder, Dinowitz

MLTSPNSR   Galef, McEneny, Millman, Molinaro

Add S108, Exec L

Establishes an address confidentiality program in the office of the secretary
of state for domestic violence victims who need to maintain confidentiality of
their location; authorizes the secretary of state to accept service of process
and receipt of mail on behalf of a program participant.
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A00628 Memo:

BILL NUMBER:A628A

TITLE OF BILL:  An act to amend the executive law, in relation to
authorizing the secretary of state to accept service of process and
receipt of mail on behalf of victims of domestic violence for the
purpose of maintaining the confidentiality of the location of such
victims

PURPOSE OF BILL:  Directs the Secretary of State to accept service of
process and mail on behalf of victims of domestic violence wishing to
keep their location secret.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:  Adds a new section 108 to the Executive Law to
allow victims of domestic violence to designate the Secretary of State
as their agent for purposes of service of process and receipt of mail.

JUSTIFICATION:  Persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened
domestic violence frequently establish new addresses in order to prevent
their abusers from finding them. A victim of domestic violence who fears
for his or her safety or the safety of his or her children and who has
left his or her home as a result of domestic violence should be afforded
the opportunity to keep their address confidential to prevent against
the threat of domestic violence to themselves and/or their children.

Violence frequently escalates when batterers believe they are losing
control of their victims. Statistically, the most dangerous time for
survivors is during and immediately after their separation from abusers.
When victims attempt to flee, they are at greatest risk of serious inju-
ry or death. Domestic violence offenders routinely pursue victims to new
locations to further harass and abuse the survivor.  Batterers often
search public records to obtain their victim's physical address to stalk
them. This legislation would provide victims the ability to have their
mailing address remain anonymous by providing a substitute address for
them to use in lieu of their actual address. Upon receipt by the Secre-
tary of State of a process or mail for a victim of domestic violence,
the Department shall immediately forward such process or mail to the
victim of domestic violence.

There are about thirty-three states that have some form of address
confidentiality program. This legislation will enable interagency coop-
eration with the secretary of state in providing name and address confi-
dentiality for victims of domestic violence, and will enable state and
local agencies to accept a program participant's use of an address
designated by the secretary of state as a substitute mailing address. In
addition, this bill will enable state and local agencies to respond to
requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim
of domestic violence.

The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to promulgate all
necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of this program.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Similar to:
2010; A.10180/S.7379 - Veto #6764 '10
2009; A.2858-A/S.3580-A - Veto #8 '09
2007-08; A.2990 - Passed Assembly
2006; A.11362-A - Passed Assembly
2003-04; A.4299 - A. Gov. Ops.
2001-02; A.7737 - A. Gov. Ops.
2000; A.9864 [Hochberg]/S.6435 - A. Gov. Ops./S. Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:  Minimal, offset by
savings from reduced need to access safety net services including
police, shelter and health care systems.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  This act shall take effect nine months from the date on
which it shall have become a law.
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A00628 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                        628--A

                              2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                      (PREFILED)

                                    January 5, 2011
                                      ___________

       Introduced by M. of A. WEINSTEIN, DESTITO, CLARK, GLICK, JAFFEE, PAULIN,
         SCHROEDER,  DINOWITZ -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. GALEF, McENENY,
         MILLMAN -- read once and referred to  the  Committee  on  Governmental
         Operations  --  reported  and  referred  to  the Committee on Codes --
         committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
         recommitted to said committee

       AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to authorizing the secre-
         tary  of  state  to  accept  service of process and receipt of mail on
         behalf of victims of domestic violence for the purpose of  maintaining
         the confidentiality of the location of such victims

         THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 108 to
    2  read as follows:
    3    S 108. ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM.    THERE  IS  CREATED  IN  THE
    4  OFFICE  OF  THE SECRETARY OF STATE A PROGRAM TO BE KNOWN AS THE "ADDRESS
    5  CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM" TO PROTECT  VICTIMS  OF  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE  BY
    6  AUTHORIZING  THE  USE OF DESIGNATED ADDRESSES FOR SUCH VICTIMS AND THEIR
    7  MINOR CHILDREN. THE PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY  THE  SECRETARY  OF
    8  STATE.
    9    1.  DEFINITIONS.  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE FOLLOWING WORDS
   10  SHALL, UNLESS THE CONTEXT REQUIRES OTHERWISE, HAVE THE  FOLLOWING  MEAN-
   11  INGS:
   12    (A)  "VICTIM  OF  DOMESTIC VIOLENCE" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS IS
   13  ASCRIBED TO SUCH TERM BY SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL
   14  SERVICES LAW.
   15    (B) "ACTUAL ADDRESS" MEANS  THE  RESIDENTIAL  STREET  ADDRESS,  SCHOOL
   16  ADDRESS  OR  WORK  ADDRESS  OF AN INDIVIDUAL, AS SPECIFIED ON HIS OR HER
   17  APPLICATION TO BE A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT UNDER THIS SECTION.

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD03113-04-1
       A. 628--A                           2

    1    (C) "PROGRAM PARTICIPANT"  MEANS  A  PERSON  CERTIFIED  AS  A  PROGRAM
    2  PARTICIPANT UNDER THIS SECTION.
    3    (D)  "MAIL"  MEANS FIRST CLASS LETTERS DELIVERED VIA THE UNITED STATES
    4  POSTAL SERVICE, INCLUDING PRIORITY,  EXPRESS  AND  CERTIFIED  MAIL,  AND
    5  EXCLUDING PACKAGES, PARCELS, PERIODICALS AND CATALOGUES, UNLESS THEY ARE
    6  CLEARLY  IDENTIFIABLE  AS  PHARMACEUTICALS OR CLEARLY INDICATE THAT THEY
    7  ARE SENT BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY.
    8    (E) "SUBSTITUTE ADDRESS" MEANS THE SECRETARY'S DESIGNATED ADDRESS  FOR
    9  THE ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM.
   10    (F) "SECRETARY" MEANS THE SECRETARY OF STATE.
   11    2.  ADDRESS  CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM; APPLICATION; CERTIFICATION.  (A)
   12  AN ADULT PERSON, A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN ACTING ON BEHALF OF A MINOR,
   13  OR A LEGAL GUARDIAN ACTING ON BEHALF OF  AN  INCAPACITATED  PERSON,  MAY
   14  APPLY TO THE SECRETARY TO HAVE AN ADDRESS DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY TO
   15  SERVE  AS  THE PERSON'S ADDRESS OR ADDRESS OF THE MINOR OR INCAPACITATED
   16  PERSON IN LIEU OF THE  PERSON'S  ACTUAL  ADDRESS.  THE  SECRETARY  SHALL
   17  APPROVE  AN  APPLICATION  IF  IT  IS FILED IN THE MANNER AND ON THE FORM
   18  PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY, AND IF IT INCLUDES:
   19    (I) A SIGNED WRITTEN STATEMENT MADE UNDER OATH BY THE APPLICANT THAT:
   20    (A) THE APPLICANT, OR THE  MINOR  OR  INCAPACITATED  PERSON  ON  WHOSE
   21  BEHALF THE APPLICATION IS MADE, IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE;
   22    (B)  THE  APPLICANT,  OR  THE  MINOR  OR INCAPACITATED PERSON ON WHOSE
   23  BEHALF THE APPLICATION IS MADE, HAS LEFT HIS OR HER RESIDENCE BECAUSE OF
   24  SUCH VIOLENCE;
   25    (C) THE APPLICANT FEARS FOR HIS OR HER SAFETY OR HIS OR HER CHILDREN'S
   26  SAFETY, OR THE SAFETY OF THE MINOR  OR  INCAPACITATED  PERSON  ON  WHOSE
   27  BEHALF THE APPLICATION IS MADE; AND
   28    (D)  THE  PARENT  OR  LEGAL  GUARDIAN APPLYING ON BEHALF OF A MINOR OR
   29  INCAPACITATED PERSON HAS LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ACT ON THE PERSON'S BEHALF;
   30    (II) A DESIGNATION OF THE SECRETARY AS AGENT FOR PURPOSES  OF  SERVICE
   31  OF PROCESS AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIPT OF MAIL;
   32    (III)  THE MAILING ADDRESS WHERE THE APPLICANT CAN BE CONTACTED BY THE
   33  SECRETARY AND THE TELEPHONE NUMBER OR NUMBERS WHERE THE APPLICANT CAN BE
   34  CALLED BY THE SECRETARY;
   35    (IV) THE ACTUAL ADDRESS OR ADDRESSES THAT THE APPLICANT  REQUESTS  NOT
   36  BE DISCLOSED BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED RISK OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; AND
   37    (V)  THE  SIGNATURE OF THE APPLICANT AND THE NAME AND SIGNATURE OF ANY
   38  INDIVIDUAL OR REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY OFFICE DESIGNATED BY  THE  SECRETARY
   39  UNDER  SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION WHO ASSISTED IN THE PREPARATION
   40  OF THE APPLICATION, AND THE DATE  ON  WHICH  THE  APPLICANT  SIGNED  THE
   41  APPLICATION.
   42    (B)  THE  SECRETARY  SHALL  ESTABLISH, DISTRIBUTE AND MAKE AVAILABLE A
   43  FORM FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING APPLICATIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
   44    (C) APPLICATIONS SHALL BE FILED WITH THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY.
   45    (D) UPON RECEIPT OF A PROPERLY COMPLETED  APPLICATION,  THE  SECRETARY
   46  SHALL  CERTIFY THE APPLICANT AS A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT AND SHALL SERVE AS
   47  THE PARTICIPANT'S AGENT FOR SERVICE OF PROCESS AND RECEIPT OF  MAIL  FOR
   48  THE DURATION OF THE TERM OF CERTIFICATION.
   49    (E)  PARTICIPANTS SHALL BE CERTIFIED FOR FOUR YEARS FOLLOWING THE DATE
   50  OF FILING, UNLESS THE CERTIFICATION IS  WITHDRAWN  OR  CANCELLED  BEFORE
   51  THAT  DATE.  THE  SECRETARY  SHALL  PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR
   52  RENEWAL OF APPLICATIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
   53    3. DESIGNATION OF AGENCIES TO ASSIST APPLICANTS.  THE SECRETARY  SHALL
   54  DESIGNATE  STATE,  LOCAL  OR NONPROFIT AGENCIES THAT PROVIDE COUNSELING,
   55  REFERRAL, SHELTER OR OTHER SPECIALIZED SERVICES TO VICTIMS  OF  DOMESTIC
   56  VIOLENCE  TO  ASSIST  PERSONS  APPLYING TO BE PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS. SUCH
       A. 628--A                           3

    1  PERSONS PROVIDING ASSISTANCE SHALL BE TRAINED BY  THE  SECRETARY.    ANY
    2  ASSISTANCE AND COUNSELING RENDERED BY AN OFFICER OF THE SECRETARY OR HIS
    3  OR  HER  DESIGNEES  TO  APPLICANTS SHALL IN NO WAY BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL
    4  ADVICE.
    5    4.  USE  AND ACCEPTANCE OF SUBSTITUTE ADDRESS; MAIL FORWARDING.  (A) A
    6  PROGRAM PARTICIPANT MAY REQUEST THAT STATE AND LOCAL  AGENCIES  USE  THE
    7  SUBSTITUTE  ADDRESS.  WHEN  CREATING,  MODIFYING OR MAINTAINING A PUBLIC
    8  RECORD, STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES SHALL  ACCEPT  THE  SUBSTITUTE  ADDRESS
    9  UPON  DEMONSTRATION BY A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT OF HIS OR HER CERTIFICATION
   10  IN THE PROGRAM, UNLESS  THE  SECRETARY  WAIVES  THIS  REQUIREMENT  AFTER
   11  DETERMINING THAT:
   12    (I) THE AGENCY HAS A BONA FIDE STATUTORY OR ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT
   13  FOR THE USE OF THE PARTICIPANT'S ACTUAL ADDRESS WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE
   14  CONFIDENTIAL UNDER THIS SECTION; AND
   15    (II)  THE  AGENCY  HAS  EXPLAINED HOW ITS ACCEPTANCE OF THE SUBSTITUTE
   16  ADDRESS WILL PREVENT THE AGENCY FROM MEETING ITS OBLIGATIONS  UNDER  THE
   17  LAW AND WHY IT CANNOT MEET ITS STATUTORY OR ADMINISTRATIVE OBLIGATION BY
   18  A CHANGE IN ITS INTERNAL PROCEDURES.
   19    (B)  ANY  AGENCY RECEIVING A WAIVER SHALL MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY
   20  OF THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS BY  REDACTING  THE  ACTUAL  ADDRESS
   21  WHEN THE RECORD IS RELEASED TO ANY PERSON AND SHALL NOT MAKE THE PROGRAM
   22  PARTICIPANT'S ACTUAL ADDRESS AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION OR COPYING, EXCEPT
   23  UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:
   24    (I)  IF  REQUESTED  BY  A  LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FOR A LEGITIMATE LAW
   25  ENFORCEMENT PURPOSE AS DETERMINED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY; OR
   26    (II) IF DIRECTED BY A COURT ORDER TO A PERSON IDENTIFIED IN THE ORDER.
   27    (C) UPON RECEIPT BY THE SECRETARY OF A PROCESS OR MAIL FOR  A  PARTIC-
   28  IPANT,  THE  OFFICE  OF THE SECRETARY SHALL IMMEDIATELY FORWARD ALL SUCH
   29  PROCESS OR MAIL TO THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS AT THEIR  ACTUAL
   30  ADDRESS, AND SHALL RECORD THE DATE OF SUCH FORWARDING.
   31    (D) A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT MAY USE THE SUBSTITUTE ADDRESS AS HIS OR HER
   32  WORK ADDRESS.
   33    (E) THE SECRETARY OR ANY MEMBER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE WHO REASON-
   34  ABLY  AND  IN  GOOD  FAITH  HANDLES  ANY  PROCESS OR MAIL ON BEHALF OF A
   35  PARTICIPANT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION SHALL  BE  IMMUNE  FROM  ANY
   36  CIVIL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE RESULT BY REASON OF SUCH ACTIONS.
   37    5.  CANCELLATION  OF  CERTIFICATION.    (A) THE SECRETARY MAY CANCEL A
   38  PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S CERTIFICATION IF, AFTER THE  PASSAGE  OF  FOURTEEN
   39  DAYS:
   40    (I) FROM THE DATE OF CHANGING HIS OR HER NAME, THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
   41  DOES NOT NOTIFY THE SECRETARY THAT HE OR SHE HAS OBTAINED A NAME CHANGE;
   42  HOWEVER, THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT MAY REAPPLY UNDER HIS OR HER NEW NAME;
   43    (II)  FROM THE DATE OF CHANGING HIS OR HER ACTUAL ADDRESS, THE PROGRAM
   44  PARTICIPANT FAILS TO NOTIFY THE SECRETARY OF THE CHANGE OF SUCH ADDRESS;
   45  OR
   46    (III) FROM THE DATE THE SECRETARY FIRST RECEIVES  MAIL,  FORWARDED  TO
   47  THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS, RETURNED AS NON-DELIVERABLE.
   48    (B)  THE SECRETARY SHALL CANCEL CERTIFICATION OF A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
   49  WHO APPLIES USING FALSE INFORMATION.
   50    (C) THE SECRETARY SHALL CANCEL CERTIFICATION OF A PROGRAM  PARTICIPANT
   51  IF  THE  PARTICIPANT'S  CERTIFICATION TERM HAS EXPIRED AND CERTIFICATION
   52  RENEWAL HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED.
   53    (D) THE SECRETARY SHALL SEND NOTICE OF  CANCELLATION  TO  THE  PROGRAM
   54  PARTICIPANT.  NOTICE  OF  CANCELLATION  SHALL  SET  OUT  THE REASONS FOR
   55  CANCELLATION. THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT SHALL HAVE THIRTY DAYS  TO  APPEAL
   56  THE CANCELLATION DECISION UNDER PROCEDURES DEVELOPED BY THE SECRETARY.
       A. 628--A                           4

    1    (E)  PROGRAM  PARTICIPANTS MAY WITHDRAW FROM THE PROGRAM BY GIVING THE
    2  SECRETARY WRITTEN NOTICE OF THEIR WITHDRAWAL  AND  HIS  OR  HER  CURRENT
    3  IDENTIFICATION  CARD.  THE  SECRETARY SHALL ESTABLISH, BY RULE, A SECURE
    4  PROCEDURE FOR ENSURING THAT THE REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL IS LEGITIMATE.
    5    (F) ANY RECORDS OR DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT SHALL
    6  NOT BE A PUBLIC RECORD AND SHALL BE RETAINED AND HELD CONFIDENTIAL FOR A
    7  PERIOD  OF  THREE  YEARS  AFTER  TERMINATION  OF  CERTIFICATION AND THEN
    8  DESTROYED.
    9    6. DISCLOSURE OF PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS PROHIBITED;  EXCEPTIONS.    THE
   10  SECRETARY SHALL NOT MAKE A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS, OTHER THAN THE
   11  SUBSTITUTE  ADDRESS,  AVAILABLE  FOR INSPECTION OR COPYING, EXCEPT UNDER
   12  ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:
   13    (A) IF REQUESTED BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT  AGENCY  FOR  A  LEGITIMATE  LAW
   14  ENFORCEMENT PURPOSE AS DETERMINED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY; OR
   15    (B)  TO  A  PERSON  IDENTIFIED  IN A COURT ORDER, UPON THE SECRETARY'S
   16  RECEIPT OF THAT COURT ORDER WHICH SPECIFICALLY ORDERS THE DISCLOSURE  OF
   17  A PARTICULAR PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS AND THE REASONS STATED THERE-
   18  FOR; OR
   19    (C)  TO VERIFY THE PARTICIPATION OF A SPECIFIC PROGRAM PARTICIPANT, IN
   20  WHICH CASE THE SECRETARY MAY ONLY CONFIRM INFORMATION  SUPPLIED  BY  THE
   21  REQUESTER.
   22    7.  RULES  AND REGULATIONS.   THE SECRETARY SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND
   23  REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
   24    8. REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE.   THE  SECRETARY  SHALL  SUBMIT  TO  THE
   25  LEGISLATURE,  NO  LATER  THAN FEBRUARY FIRST OF EACH YEAR, A REPORT THAT
   26  INCLUDES FOR EACH COUNTY, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS RECEIVED, THE
   27  TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN THE PROGRAM ESTABLISHED BY THIS
   28  SECTION DURING THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR AND THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PIECES
   29  OF MAIL FORWARDED TO PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS DURING THE  PREVIOUS  CALENDAR
   30  YEAR.
   31    S  2.  This  act shall take effect nine months after the date it shall
   32  have become a law; provided, however, that the  secretary  of  state  is
   33  authorized  and  directed to promulgate all rules, regulations and forms
   34  necessary to implement the provisions of  this  act,  on  its  effective
   35  date, on or before such date.
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