senate Bill S3568

Establishes an address confidentiality program in the office of the secretary of state for domestic violence victims who need to maintain secrecy of their location

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 25 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE

Summary

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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Bill Details

Versions:
S3568
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง108, Exec L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S7379

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3568

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 OF BILL:
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
injury 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 Secretary 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
cooperation with the secretary of state in providing name and address
confidentiality 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:
2010: A.10180/S.7379: Vetoed Memo 6764
Similar to:
2009: A.2858-A/S.3580_A -- Veto #8, 2009
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 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.

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

                                  3568

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 25, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ADAMS  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

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:

  Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 108 to
read as follows:
  S  108.  ADDRESS  CONFIDENTIALITY  PROGRAM.    THERE IS CREATED IN THE
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE A PROGRAM TO BE KNOWN AS  THE  "ADDRESS
CONFIDENTIALITY  PROGRAM"  TO  PROTECT  VICTIMS  OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BY
AUTHORIZING THE USE OF DESIGNATED ADDRESSES FOR SUCH VICTIMS  AND  THEIR
MINOR  CHILDREN.  THE  PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE SECRETARY OF
STATE.
  1. DEFINITIONS.  FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE FOLLOWING  WORDS
SHALL,  UNLESS  THE CONTEXT REQUIRES OTHERWISE, HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEAN-
INGS:
  (A)  "DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE"  MEANS  AN  ACT  WHICH  WOULD  CONSTITUTE  A
VIOLATION  OF  THE  PENAL  LAW, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, AN ACT AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE FAMILY
COURT ACT, WHERE SUCH ACT IS OR HAS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN COMMITTED BY  A
MEMBER  OF THE SAME FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF
SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE FAMILY COURT  ACT,  AND  INCLUDES  A
THREAT  OF ANY SUCH ACT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE ACT OR THREAT THEREOF
HAS BEEN REPORTED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS.
  (B) "ACTUAL ADDRESS" MEANS  THE  RESIDENTIAL  STREET  ADDRESS,  SCHOOL
ADDRESS  OR  WORK  ADDRESS  OF AN INDIVIDUAL, AS SPECIFIED ON HIS OR HER
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.
                                                           LBD03113-01-1

S. 3568                             2

  (C) "PROGRAM PARTICIPANT"  MEANS  A  PERSON  CERTIFIED  AS  A  PROGRAM
PARTICIPANT UNDER THIS SECTION.
  (D)  "MAIL"  MEANS FIRST CLASS LETTERS DELIVERED VIA THE UNITED STATES
POSTAL SERVICE, INCLUDING PRIORITY,  EXPRESS  AND  CERTIFIED  MAIL,  AND
EXCLUDING PACKAGES, PARCELS, PERIODICALS AND CATALOGUES, UNLESS THEY ARE
CLEARLY  IDENTIFIABLE  AS  PHARMACEUTICALS OR CLEARLY INDICATE THAT THEY
ARE SENT BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY.
  (E) "SUBSTITUTE ADDRESS" MEANS THE SECRETARY'S DESIGNATED ADDRESS  FOR
THE ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM.
  (F) "SECRETARY" MEANS THE SECRETARY OF STATE.
  2.  ADDRESS  CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM; APPLICATION; CERTIFICATION.  (A)
AN ADULT PERSON, A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN ACTING ON BEHALF OF A MINOR,
OR A LEGAL GUARDIAN ACTING ON BEHALF OF  AN  INCAPACITATED  PERSON,  MAY
APPLY TO THE SECRETARY TO HAVE AN ADDRESS DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY TO
SERVE  AS  THE PERSON'S ADDRESS OR ADDRESS OF THE MINOR OR INCAPACITATED
PERSON IN LIEU OF THE  PERSON'S  ACTUAL  ADDRESS.  THE  SECRETARY  SHALL
APPROVE  AN  APPLICATION  IF  IT  IS FILED IN THE MANNER AND ON THE FORM
PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY, AND IF IT INCLUDES:
  (I) A SIGNED WRITTEN STATEMENT MADE UNDER OATH BY THE APPLICANT THAT:
  (A) THE APPLICANT, OR THE  MINOR  OR  INCAPACITATED  PERSON  ON  WHOSE
BEHALF THE APPLICATION IS MADE, IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE;
  (B)  THE  APPLICANT,  OR  THE  MINOR  OR INCAPACITATED PERSON ON WHOSE
BEHALF THE APPLICATION IS MADE, HAS LEFT HIS OR HER RESIDENCE BECAUSE OF
SUCH VIOLENCE;
  (C) THE APPLICANT FEARS FOR HIS OR HER SAFETY OR HIS OR HER CHILDREN'S
SAFETY, OR THE SAFETY OF THE MINOR  OR  INCAPACITATED  PERSON  ON  WHOSE
BEHALF THE APPLICATION IS MADE; AND
  (D)  THE  PARENT  OR  LEGAL  GUARDIAN APPLYING ON BEHALF OF A MINOR OR
INCAPACITATED PERSON HAS LEGAL AUTHORITY TO ACT ON THE PERSON'S BEHALF;
  (II) A DESIGNATION OF THE SECRETARY AS AGENT FOR PURPOSES  OF  SERVICE
OF PROCESS AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIPT OF MAIL;
  (III)  THE MAILING ADDRESS WHERE THE APPLICANT CAN BE CONTACTED BY THE
SECRETARY AND THE TELEPHONE NUMBER OR NUMBERS WHERE THE APPLICANT CAN BE
CALLED BY THE SECRETARY;
  (IV) THE ACTUAL ADDRESS OR ADDRESSES THAT THE APPLICANT  REQUESTS  NOT
BE DISCLOSED BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED RISK OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; AND
  (V)  THE  SIGNATURE OF THE APPLICANT AND THE NAME AND SIGNATURE OF ANY
INDIVIDUAL OR REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY OFFICE DESIGNATED BY  THE  SECRETARY
UNDER  SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION WHO ASSISTED IN THE PREPARATION
OF THE APPLICATION, AND THE DATE  ON  WHICH  THE  APPLICANT  SIGNED  THE
APPLICATION.
  (B)  THE  SECRETARY  SHALL  ESTABLISH, DISTRIBUTE AND MAKE AVAILABLE A
FORM FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING APPLICATIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
  (C) APPLICATIONS SHALL BE FILED WITH THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY.
  (D) UPON RECEIPT OF A PROPERLY COMPLETED  APPLICATION,  THE  SECRETARY
SHALL  CERTIFY THE APPLICANT AS A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT AND SHALL SERVE AS
THE PARTICIPANT'S AGENT FOR SERVICE OF PROCESS AND RECEIPT OF  MAIL  FOR
THE DURATION OF THE TERM OF CERTIFICATION.
  (E)  PARTICIPANTS SHALL BE CERTIFIED FOR FOUR YEARS FOLLOWING THE DATE
OF FILING, UNLESS THE CERTIFICATION IS  WITHDRAWN  OR  CANCELLED  BEFORE
THAT  DATE.  THE  SECRETARY  SHALL  PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR
RENEWAL OF APPLICATIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.
  3. DESIGNATION OF AGENCIES TO ASSIST APPLICANTS.  THE SECRETARY  SHALL
DESIGNATE  STATE,  LOCAL  OR NONPROFIT AGENCIES THAT PROVIDE COUNSELING,
REFERRAL, SHELTER OR OTHER SPECIALIZED SERVICES TO VICTIMS  OF  DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE  TO  ASSIST  PERSONS  APPLYING TO BE PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS. SUCH

S. 3568                             3

PERSONS PROVIDING ASSISTANCE SHALL BE TRAINED BY  THE  SECRETARY.    ANY
ASSISTANCE AND COUNSELING RENDERED BY AN OFFICER OF THE SECRETARY OR HIS
OR  HER  DESIGNEES  TO  APPLICANTS SHALL IN NO WAY BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL
ADVICE.
  4.  USE  AND ACCEPTANCE OF SUBSTITUTE ADDRESS; MAIL FORWARDING.  (A) A
PROGRAM PARTICIPANT MAY REQUEST THAT STATE AND LOCAL  AGENCIES  USE  THE
SUBSTITUTE  ADDRESS.  WHEN  CREATING,  MODIFYING OR MAINTAINING A PUBLIC
RECORD, STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES SHALL  ACCEPT  THE  SUBSTITUTE  ADDRESS
UPON  DEMONSTRATION BY A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT OF HIS OR HER CERTIFICATION
IN THE PROGRAM, UNLESS  THE  SECRETARY  WAIVES  THIS  REQUIREMENT  AFTER
DETERMINING THAT:
  (I) THE AGENCY HAS A BONA FIDE STATUTORY OR ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT
FOR THE USE OF THE PARTICIPANT'S ACTUAL ADDRESS WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE
CONFIDENTIAL UNDER THIS SECTION; AND
  (II)  THE  AGENCY  HAS  EXPLAINED HOW ITS ACCEPTANCE OF THE SUBSTITUTE
ADDRESS WILL PREVENT THE AGENCY FROM MEETING ITS OBLIGATIONS  UNDER  THE
LAW AND WHY IT CANNOT MEET ITS STATUTORY OR ADMINISTRATIVE OBLIGATION BY
A CHANGE IN ITS INTERNAL PROCEDURES.
  (B)  ANY  AGENCY RECEIVING A WAIVER SHALL MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY
OF THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS BY  REDACTING  THE  ACTUAL  ADDRESS
WHEN THE RECORD IS RELEASED TO ANY PERSON AND SHALL NOT MAKE THE PROGRAM
PARTICIPANT'S ACTUAL ADDRESS AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION OR COPYING, EXCEPT
UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:
  (I)  IF  REQUESTED  BY  A  LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FOR A LEGITIMATE LAW
ENFORCEMENT PURPOSE AS DETERMINED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY; OR
  (II) IF DIRECTED BY A COURT ORDER TO A PERSON IDENTIFIED IN THE ORDER.
  (C) UPON RECEIPT BY THE SECRETARY OF A PROCESS OR MAIL FOR  A  PARTIC-
IPANT,  THE  OFFICE  OF THE SECRETARY SHALL IMMEDIATELY FORWARD ALL SUCH
PROCESS OR MAIL TO THE APPROPRIATE PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS AT THEIR  ACTUAL
ADDRESS, AND SHALL RECORD THE DATE OF SUCH FORWARDING.
  (D) A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT MAY USE THE SUBSTITUTE ADDRESS AS HIS OR HER
WORK ADDRESS.
  (E) THE SECRETARY OR ANY MEMBER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE WHO REASON-
ABLY  AND  IN  GOOD  FAITH  HANDLES  ANY  PROCESS OR MAIL ON BEHALF OF A
PARTICIPANT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION SHALL  BE  IMMUNE  FROM  ANY
CIVIL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE RESULT BY REASON OF SUCH ACTIONS.
  5.  CANCELLATION  OF  CERTIFICATION.    (A) THE SECRETARY MAY CANCEL A
PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S CERTIFICATION IF, AFTER THE  PASSAGE  OF  FOURTEEN
DAYS:
  (I) FROM THE DATE OF CHANGING HIS OR HER NAME, THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
DOES NOT NOTIFY THE SECRETARY THAT HE OR SHE HAS OBTAINED A NAME CHANGE;
HOWEVER, THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT MAY REAPPLY UNDER HIS OR HER NEW NAME;
  (II)  FROM THE DATE OF CHANGING HIS OR HER ACTUAL ADDRESS, THE PROGRAM
PARTICIPANT FAILS TO NOTIFY THE SECRETARY OF THE CHANGE OF SUCH ADDRESS;
OR
  (III) FROM THE DATE THE SECRETARY FIRST RECEIVES  MAIL,  FORWARDED  TO
THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT'S ADDRESS, RETURNED AS NON-DELIVERABLE.
  (B)  THE SECRETARY SHALL CANCEL CERTIFICATION OF A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
WHO APPLIES USING FALSE INFORMATION.
  (C) THE SECRETARY SHALL CANCEL CERTIFICATION OF A PROGRAM  PARTICIPANT
IF  THE  PARTICIPANT'S  CERTIFICATION TERM HAS EXPIRED AND CERTIFICATION
RENEWAL HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED.
  (D) THE SECRETARY SHALL SEND NOTICE OF  CANCELLATION  TO  THE  PROGRAM
PARTICIPANT.  NOTICE  OF  CANCELLATION  SHALL  SET  OUT  THE REASONS FOR
CANCELLATION. THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANT SHALL HAVE THIRTY DAYS  TO  APPEAL
THE CANCELLATION DECISION UNDER PROCEDURES DEVELOPED BY THE SECRETARY.

S. 3568                             4

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

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