D.C. Law 22-118. Address Confidentiality Act of 2018.

D.C. Law 22-118. Address Confidentiality Act of 2018.

AN ACT

To establish an Address Confidentiality Program, administered by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, to allow a victim of a covered offense or a covered employee to maintain the confidentiality of her or his actual address; to amend the Freedom of Information Act of 1976 to prohibit the disclosure of an actual address; to amend the Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act of 2001 to authorize the Office of Administrative Hearings to hear adjudicated cases relating to the Address Confidentiality Program; and to amend section 389 of the Revised Statutes of the District of Columbia to provide that the actual addresses of participants in the Address Confidentiality Program shall be withheld from public inspection.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Address Confidentiality Act of 2018".

New subchapter III-A of Chapter 5 of Title 4

TITLE I. ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY

New § 4-555.01

Note § 4-555.01

Sec. 101. Definitions.

For the purposes of this title, the term:

(1) "Actual address" means a participant's residential, work, or school address, or a combination thereof, as specified on an applicant's application to participate in the Program.

(2) "Applicant" means a District resident who:

(A) Submits or intends to submit an application to OVSJG to participate in the Program; and

(B) Is a victim of a covered offense or a covered employee.

(3) "Application assistant" means a person trained and designated by OVSJG to assist an applicant or an applicant's representative in the preparation of an application to participate in the Program.

(4) "Covered employee" means an individual, including a volunteer, who provides services at an organization:

(A) That focuses on reproductive healthcare; or

(B) Whose primary purpose is serving victims of a covered offense.

(5) "Covered offense" means domestic violence, a sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.

(6) "Day" means calendar day, unless otherwise specified in this title.

(7) "District agency" means any office, department, division, board, commission, or other unit of the District government, including an independent agency, required by law or by the Mayor or the Council to administer any law or any rule adopted under the authority of a law.

(8) "Domestic violence" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3032(1) of the Domestic Violence Hotline Establishment Act of 2013, effective December 24, 2013 (D.C. Law 20-61; D.C. Official Code § 4-551(1)).

(9) "Human trafficking" means an act prohibited by section 103 or section 104 of the Prohibition Against Human Trafficking Amendment Act of 2010, effective October 23, 2010 (D.C. Law 18-239; D.C. Official Code § 22-1833 or § 22-1834).

(10) "Law enforcement agency" means the Metropolitan Police Department, the Office of the Attorney General, or any other District agency, except the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Department of Forensic Sciences, that has the authority to investigate, make arrests for, or prosecute or adjudicate District criminal or delinquency offenses. The term "law enforcement agency" includes a covered Federal law enforcement agency, as that term is defined in section 11712(d) of the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, approved August 5, 1997 (111 Stat. 782; D.C. Official Code § 5-133.17(d)) ("Cooperative Agreement Act"), that has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Metropolitan Police Department pursuant to section 11712 of the Cooperative Agreement Act, to the extent the covered Federal law enforcement agency is acting pursuant to the cooperative agreement.

(11) "OVSJG" means the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants.

(12) "Participant" means an applicant who is certified under section 103.

(13) "Program" means the Address Confidentiality Program established by this title to protect the confidentiality of an actual address of a participant.

(14) "Representative" means a parent, guardian, or legal representative of:

(A) A minor, if the minor resides with the parent, guardian, or legal representative; or

(B) An incapacitated person.

(15) "Sexual offense" means any of the following offenses:

(A) Incest, as described in section 875 of An Act To establish a code of law for the District of Columbia, approved March 3, 1901 (31 Stat. 1332; D.C. Official Code § 22-1901);

(B) First degree sexual abuse, as described in section 201 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3002) ("Act");

(C) Second degree sexual abuse, as described in section 202 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3003) ("Act");

(D) Third degree sexual abuse, as described in section 203 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3004) ("Act");

(E) Fourth degree sexual abuse, as described in section 204 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3005) ("Act");

(F) Misdemeanor sexual abuse, as described in section 205 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3006) ("Act");

(G) First degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student, as described in section 208c of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3009.03) ("Act");

(H) Second degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student, as described in section 208d of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3009.04) ("Act");

(I) First degree sexual abuse of a ward, patient, client, or prisoner, as described in section 212 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3013) ("Act");

(J) Second degree sexual abuse of a ward, patient, client, or prisoner, as described in section 213 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3014) ("Act");

(K) First degree sexual abuse of a patient or client, as described in section 214 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3015) ("Act");

(L) Second degree sexual abuse of a patient or client, as described in section 215 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3016) ("Act"); or

(M) Attempts to commit sexual offenses, as described in section 217 of the Anti-Sexual Abuse Act of 1994, effective May 23, 1995 (D.C. Law 10-257; D.C. Official Code § 22-3018) ("Act").

(16) "Stalking" means an act prohibited by section 503 of the Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Amendment Act of 2009, effective December 10, 2009 (D.C. Law 18-88; D.C. Official Code § 22-3133).

(17) "Substitute address" means an address designated by OVSJG under the Program that can be used by a participant or a participant's representative pursuant to this title, instead of the participant's actual address.

(18) "Tribunal" means a court, administrative agency, or other body acting in an adjudicative capacity that, after presentation of evidence or legal argument, has jurisdiction to render a decision affecting a party's interests in a matter.

New § 4-555.02

Note § 4-555.02

Sec. 102. Establishment of the Address Confidentiality Program.

(a) There is established the Address Confidentiality Program to be administered by OVSJG to protect the confidentiality of the actual address of a participant.

(b) Under the Program, OVSJG shall:

(1) Designate a substitute address for a participant that shall be used as provided in this title; and

(2) Receive first-class, certified, and registered mail sent to a participant's substitute address and forward the mail to the participant or the participant's representative within 3 business days after receipt.

(c) OVSJG shall maintain records of any certified or registered mail received on behalf of a participant.

(d) A participant's actual address shall not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act of 1976, effective March 29, 1977 (D.C. Law 1-96; D.C. Official Code § 2-531 et seq.).

New § 4-555.03

Note § 4-555.03

Sec. 103. Program applications and certification of participants.

(a) OVSJG shall:

(1) Establish a training program for a person to complete before the person may be designated as an application assistant; and

(2) Designate application assistants to assist an applicant or an applicant's representative in submitting an application to the Program.

(b) A person may be designated as an application assistant if the person successfully completes the training program established pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section and provides:

(1) Counseling, referral, or other services to victims of a covered offense; or

(2) Services at an organization that focuses on reproductive healthcare.

(c) To apply to participate in the Program, an applicant or an applicant's representative shall meet with an application assistant to fill out an application together.

(d) The application shall be on a form prescribed by OVJSG and contain the following:

(1) The applicant's name;

(2) Evidence that the applicant is a victim of a covered offense or is a covered employee, including at least one of the following:

(A) A sworn affidavit by the applicant or the applicant's representative, stating that the applicant:

(i) Is a victim of a covered offense or is a covered employee; and

(ii) Fears for her or his safety;

(B) Law enforcement agency or other District agency records or files;

(C) An order of a tribunal;

(D) If the applicant is alleged to be a victim of domestic violence, documentation from a domestic violence program or facility, including a shelter or safe house;

(E) If the applicant is alleged to be a victim of a sexual offense, documentation from a sexual assault program or facility;

(F) If the applicant is alleged to be a victim of human trafficking, documentation from a human trafficking program or facility, including a shelter or safe house;

(G) If the applicant is alleged to be a victim of stalking, documentation from a program or facility providing services for victims of stalking; or

(H) Documentation from a medical professional from whom the applicant has sought assistance in dealing with the alleged covered offense;

(3) A statement by the applicant or the applicant's representative that disclosure of the applicant's actual address would endanger the applicant's safety;

(4) The actual address that the applicant is seeking to have protected by OVSJG;

(5) A statement as to whether there are any existing orders or pending actions of a tribunal involving the applicant, and if so, describing those orders or actions;

(6) A statement designating the Director of OVSJG as an agent for purposes of service of process and receiving mail;

(7) If applicable, the name and contact information of the applicant's representative; and

(8) A statement by the applicant or the applicant's representative, under penalty of perjury, that to the best of the applicant's or the applicant's representative's knowledge, the information contained in the application is true.

(e)(1) Before submitting an application to OVSJG, the application assistant may attach a statement to the application describing whether the application assistant believes the applicant to be a strong candidate for the Program, and the application assistant's reasoning.

(2) A completed application shall be signed and dated by the applicant or the applicant's representative and the application assistant.

(f) After reviewing a completed application, OVSJG shall certify an applicant to be a participant if the applicant:

(1) Meets the requirements of this title; and

(2) Would benefit from participation in the Program.

(g) Upon certifying a participant, OVSJG shall issue to the participant or the participant's representative a Program authorization card, which shall identify the participant's substitute address.

(h)(1) A certification shall remain valid for 3 years following the date of certification unless the certification is cancelled by OVSJG or the participant or the participant's representative before the end of the 3-year period.

(2) At least 60 days before a participant's certification expires, OVSJG shall send the participant or the participant's representative written notice of the upcoming expiration.

(3) A certification may be renewed for an additional 2 years by filing a renewal application with the Director. The renewal application shall be signed and dated by the participant or the participant's representative and an application assistant. The renewal application shall contain a statement by the participant or the participant's representative, under penalty of perjury, that, to the best of the participant's or the participant's representative's knowledge, the information contained in the renewal application is true.

(i) If any of the information provided in an application or renewal application changes, including the participant's name, address, or telephone number, the participant or the participant's representative shall notify OVSJG within 30 days of the change.

New § 4-555.04

Note § 4-555.04

Sec. 104. Certification cancellation.

(a) OVSJG may cancel a participant's certification if:

(1) The participant or the participant's representative fails to comply with the requirements of this title; or

(2) Mail forwarded to the participant by OVSJG is returned as undeliverable.

(b) If the Director determines that there are grounds for cancelling the certification of a participant pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Director shall, at least 60 days before cancelling the participant's certification, send written notice of the upcoming cancellation to the participant or the participant's representative that explains the reasons for cancellation.

(c)(1) A participant or the participant's representative may cancel her or his certification at any time.

(2) If a participant or the participant's representative cancels the participant's certification because the participant is moving to another jurisdiction, the person or the person's representative may provide OVSJG with the new address, to which OVSJG shall continue to forward the person's mail for 30 days after the Director receives the person's new address.

(d) When a certification is canceled, regardless of the reason for the cancellation, the person who was a participant or the person's representative shall be responsible for notifying others that the certification was canceled and the person will no longer receive mail at the substitute address.

New § 4-555.05

Note § 4-555.05

Sec. 105. Address use by District agencies.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided in this section, a participant or the participant's representative shall not be required to provide the participant's actual address for any purpose for which a District agency requires or requests a residential, work, or school address.

(b) Only a participant's actual address shall be used as part of a registration required by the Sex Offender Registration Act of 1999, effective July 11, 2000 (D.C. Law 13-137; D.C. Official Code § 22-4001 et seq.).

(c)(1) After a participant who is eligible to vote is certified to participate in the Program, unless the participant opts out, OVSJG shall send the participant's actual address and a copy of the participant's Program authorization card to the District of Columbia Board of Elections ("Board"), which the Board shall maintain.

(2) If a participant decides to vote, the participant shall vote by absentee ballot.

(3) If a participant decides to sign a petition to be filed with the Board, the participant may use her or his substitute address to sign the petition.

(d) Only a participant's actual address shall be used on any document filed with the Office of Tax and Revenue.

(e)(1) Upon written request by a supervisor at the rank of sergeant or above of the Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD"), OVSJG shall provide a participant's actual address to MPD for law enforcement purposes only.

(2) MPD shall not publish a participant's actual address pursuant to section 389 of the Revised Statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C. Official Code § 5-113.06).

(f)(1) If a participant or a participant's representative is or becomes aware that a District agency has made public the participant's actual address, the participant or the participant's representative may submit a written request, along with a copy of the participant's Program authorization card, to the District agency, asking the District agency to remove any publicly accessible references to the participant's actual address.

(2) Upon receipt of a request pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the District agency shall remove publicly accessible references to the participant's actual address, including any references on the District agency's website, within 10 business days of receiving the request.

New § 4-555.06

Note § 4-555.06

Sec. 106. Requests by a District agency for disclosure of an actual address.

(a) A District agency may request disclosure of a participant's actual address from OVSJG pursuant to this section by sending a written request to OVSJG on the District agency's letterhead with the following information:

(1) The name of the participant for whom the District agency seeks disclosure of the actual address;

(2) An explanation of the reasons that the District agency is requesting the participant's actual address;

(3) A statement that the agency has adopted internal procedures that would ensure that the confidentiality of the participant's actual address will be protected; and

(4) Any other information that OVSJG may reasonably request to identify the participant in the records of OVSJG.

(b)(1) Upon the receipt of a request pursuant to this section, OVSJG shall provide the participant or the participant's representative with:

(A) Written notice of the request for disclosure received pursuant to this section; and

(B) An opportunity to express whether the request should be granted.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply if the request for disclosure is made by a law enforcement agency investigating alleged criminal or delinquent conduct by the participant or when complying with paragraph (1) of this subsection would jeopardize an ongoing investigation or the safety of law enforcement personnel.

(c)(1) Within 30 days after receiving a request under this section, OVSJG shall determine whether to grant the request.

(2)(A) Upon making a determination under paragraph (1) of this subsection, OVSJG shall provide the participant or the participant's representative with written notice describing whether the request is being granted or denied.

(B) Subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not apply if the request for disclosure is made by a law enforcement agency investigating alleged criminal or delinquent conduct by the participant or when complying with subparagraph (A) of this paragraph would jeopardize an ongoing investigation or the safety of law enforcement personnel.

(d)(1) If OVSJG grants a request pursuant to this section, OVSJG shall provide the District agency that submitted the request with the following information:

(A) The participant's actual address;

(B) A statement setting forth the permitted uses of the actual address and the persons permitted to have access to the actual address; and

(C) The date on which the permitted use expires, if expiration is appropriate, after which the agency may no longer use the actual address.

(2) If a District agency's request is granted pursuant to this section, the District agency may only use the participant's actual address as set forth in the statement required by paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection.

(e) If OVSJG denies a request under this section, OVSJG shall provide prompt written notice to the District agency that submitted the request, setting forth the specific reasons for the denial.

New § 4-555.07

Note § 4-555.07

Sec. 107. Program participation and procedures.

(a) If, at any time, a participant is subject to an order or is involved in an action of a tribunal, OVSJG shall notify the relevant tribunal of the participant's certification.

(b)(1) No person shall be compelled to disclose a participant's actual address during any proceeding before a tribunal unless the tribunal finds, based upon clear and convincing evidence, that:

(A) A party will suffer material harm without disclosure of the participant's actual address;

(B) The harm to the participant is substantially outweighed by the material harm to the party requesting disclosure of the participant's actual address;

(C) There are no alternatives to disclosure of the participant's actual address that would address the material harm; and

(D) The disclosure is narrowly tailored in both scope and manner to disclose the minimum amount of participant information necessary to address the material harm.

(2) A tribunal may seal the portion of any record that contains a participant's actual address.

(c) Nothing in this title, including the fact that a person is a participant, shall affect an existing or future order relating to the allocation of custody, parental responsibilities, or parenting time.

(d) Participation in the Program shall not constitute evidence of a covered offense.

(e) Whenever the laws of the District provide a participant a legal duty to act within a prescribed period of 10 days or less after the service of a notice or other paper upon the participant, and the notice or paper is served upon the participant by mail pursuant to this title, 5 days shall be added to the prescribed period.

New § 4-555.08

Note § 4-555.08

Sec. 108. Penalties.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided by this title, no person shall intentionally obtain from a District agency or disclose a participant's actual address knowing that the participant is participating in the Program.

(b) A person violating subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to a civil fine of not more than $10,000.

New § 4-555.09

Note § 4-555.09

Sec. 109. Immunity from liability.

Neither the District government nor its employees, nor an application assistant, shall be liable for the failure of a participant to receive any mail forwarded to her or him by OVSJG pursuant to this title.

New § 4-555.10

Note § 4-555.10

Sec. 110. Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by an action of OVSJG taken pursuant to this title may appeal the action of OVSJG to the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to section 6 of the Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act of 2001, effective March 6, 2002 (D.C. Law 14-76; D.C. Official Code § 2-1831.03).

New § 4-555.11

Note § 4-555.11

Sec. 111. Program review.

By January 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, OVSJG shall submit a review of the Program to the chairperson of the Council committee with jurisdiction over OVSJG.

New § 4-555.12

Note § 4-555.12

Sec. 112. Rules.

OVSJG, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this title.

TITLE II. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS

Note § 2-534

Sec. 201. Section 204(d) of the Freedom of Information Act of 1976, effective March 29, 1977 (D.C. Law 1-96; D.C. Official Code § 2-534(d)), is amended as follows:

Amend § 2-534

(a) The existing text is designated as paragraph (1).

Amend § 2-534

(b) A new paragraph (2) is added to read as follows:

"(2) An actual address, as that term is defined in section 101 of the Address Confidentiality Act of 2018, passed on 2nd reading on April 10, 2018 (Enrolled version of Bill 22-37), shall not be disclosed under this title.".

Note § 2-1831.03

Sec. 202. Section 6 of the Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act of 2001, effective March 6, 2002 (D.C. Law 14-76; D.C. Official Code § 2-1831.03), is amended by adding a new subsection (b-24) to read as follows:

Amend § 2-1831.03

"(b-24) This act shall apply to all adjudicated cases relating to the Address Confidentiality Program established by section 102 of the Address Confidentiality Act of 2018, passed on 2nd reading on April 10, 2018 (Enrolled version of Bill 22-37).".

Note § 5-113.06

Sec. 203. Section 389 of the Revised Statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C. Official Code § 5-113.06) is amended by adding a new subsection (d) to read as follows:

Amend § 5-113.06

"(d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the actual addresses of participants in the Address Confidentiality Program established by section 102 of the Address Confidentiality Act of 2018, passed on 2nd reading on April 10, 2018 (Enrolled version of Bill 22-37), shall be withheld from public inspection.".

TITLE III. APPLICABILITY; FISCAL IMPACT STATEMENT; EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 301. Applicability.

(a) This act shall apply upon the date of inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

(b) The Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification.

(c)(1) The Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register.

(2) The date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of this act.

Sec. 302. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 303. Effective date.

This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.