Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 853

Public Act No. 03-200

AN ACT CONCERNING AN ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) As used in sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Address confidentiality program" or "program" means the program established pursuant to sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act;

(2) "Agency" shall have the same meaning as "public agency" or "agency", as provided in section 1-200 of the general statutes;

(3) "Application assistant" means a person authorized by the Secretary of the State to assist applicants in the completion of applications for program participation;

(4) "Authorized personnel" means an employee in the office of the Secretary of the State who has been designated by the Secretary of the State, or an employee of an agency who has been designated by the chief executive officer of such agency, to process and have access to records pertaining to a program participant, including, but not limited to, voter registration applications, voting records and marriage records;

(5) "Certification card" means a card issued by the Secretary of the State pursuant to section 5 of this act;

(6) "Confidential address" means a program participant's address or addresses as listed on such participant's application for program participation that are not to be disclosed, including such participant's residential address in this state and work and school addresses in this state, if any;

(7) "Family violence" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 46b-38a of the general statutes;

(8) "Injury or risk of injury to a child" means any act or conduct that constitutes a violation of section 53-21 of the general statutes;

(9) "Law enforcement agency" means the office of the Attorney General, the office of the Chief State's Attorney, the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety or any municipal police department;

(10) "Marriage records" means an application for a marriage license, an issued marriage license, a license certificate or other documents related thereto;

(11) "Program address" means the post office box number and fictitious street address assigned to a program participant by the Secretary of the State;

(12) "Program participant" or "participant" means any person certified by the Secretary of the State to participate in the address confidentiality program;

(13) "Record" shall have the same meaning as "public records or files", as provided in section 1-200 of the general statutes;

(14) "Sexual assault" means any act that constitutes a violation of section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a of the general statutes; and

(15) "Stalking" means any act that constitutes a violation of section 53a-181c, 53a-181d or 53a-181e of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) There shall be an address confidentiality program established in the office of the Secretary of the State to provide a substitute mailing address for any person who has been a victim of family violence, injury or risk of injury to a child, sexual assault or stalking, and who wishes to keep such person's residential address confidential because of safety concerns.

(b) The Secretary of the State shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to carry out the provisions of sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act. Such regulations may include, but need not be limited to, provisions for applications for participation in the address confidentiality program, certification of program participants, certification cancellation, agency use of program addresses, forwarding of program participants' mail, voting by program participants and recording of vital statistics for program participants.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) An adult person, a guardian or conservator of the person acting on behalf of an adult person, or a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor may apply to the Secretary of the State for participation in the address confidentiality program and to have the Secretary of the State designate a program address to serve as the address of the adult person or of the minor. Each application for program participation shall be completed with the assistance of an application assistant.

(b) The Secretary of the State shall make available a list of entities that employ application assistants to assist applicants in applying for participation in the address confidentiality program, provided no entity shall be included on such list unless the entity has received sufficient funds from federal or state sources as reimbursement for the reasonable costs of implementing the provisions of sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) The Secretary of the State shall certify an applicant or the person on whose behalf an application is made as a program participant if the application is filed in the manner and on the application form prescribed by the Secretary of the State and includes:

(1) A statement made under penalty of false statement, as provided in section 53a-157b of the general statutes, that (A) the applicant or the person on whose behalf the application is made is a victim of family violence, injury or risk of injury to a minor, sexual assault or stalking, and (B) the applicant fears for the applicant's safety, for the safety of the applicant's children, for the safety of the person on whose behalf the application is made, or for the safety of the children of the person on whose behalf the application is made;

(2) Documentation supporting the statement made pursuant to subdivision (1) of this section;

(3) A designation of the Secretary of the State as the agent of the applicant or the person on whose behalf the application is made for service of process and for receipt of first class mail;

(4) The residential address in this state, the work and school addresses in this state, if any, and the phone number or numbers, if available, that are to remain confidential, but which may be used by the Secretary of the State or authorized personnel to contact the applicant or the person on whose behalf the application is made; and

(5) The application preparation date, the applicant's signature and the signature of the application assistant who assisted the applicant in completing the application.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) Upon certification of an applicant or a person on whose behalf an application is made as a program participant pursuant to section 4 of this act, the Secretary of the State shall issue a certification card to such applicant or person, as appropriate. The certification card shall include the program participant's name and signature, a certification code, the program address and the certification expiration date. Such certification expiration date shall be four years from the date of issuance of the certification card.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) The Secretary of the State shall maintain a post office box for the exclusive use of the program. The post office box number and a fictitious street address shall be the program address for program participants.

(b) The Secretary of the State shall open the post office box each day, other than Saturdays, Sundays and state holidays, and retrieve the contents. All first class mail addressed to a program participant shall be placed, unopened, into envelopes addressed to the participant and deposited at a United States post office the same day for delivery by first class mail to the participant at the confidential address indicated on the application by the participant or by the person applying on behalf of the participant.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) A program participant may request that the participant's marriage records be kept confidential by appearing in person with the participant's spouse or intended spouse before the authorized personnel for the office of the registrar of vital statistics in the municipality where the marriage was or is to be celebrated and presenting the participant's certification card to such personnel. Upon such request, such registrar shall keep the participant's marriage records confidential and shall not make available for inspection or copying the name and address of a program participant or of the participant's spouse or intended spouse contained in the participant's marriage records, except (1) if requested by a law enforcement agency, to the law enforcement agency, (2) if directed by a court order, to a person identified in such order, or (3) if notified by the Secretary of the State that the program participant's certification has been cancelled.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) A program participant may request to be listed on a voter registry list without the participant's street and house number by presenting the participant's certification card to the authorized personnel for the office of the registrar of voters for the municipality in which the participant is eligible to vote, or has applied for such eligibility. Upon such request, the registrar of voters shall list the participant by name only in accordance with subsection (d) of section 9-35 of the general statutes. Such registrar shall keep the participant's confidential address confidential and shall not make such address available for inspection or copying, except (1) if requested by a law enforcement agency, to the law enforcement agency, (2) if directed by a court order, to a person identified in such order, or (3) if notified by the Secretary of the State that the program participant's certification has been cancelled.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) A program participant may request that an agency use the program address as the participant's residential, work or school address for all purposes for which the agency requires or requests such residential, work or school address. A program participant shall present the participant's certification card to any agency official creating a new record pertaining to the participant and request the use in such record of the program address appearing on the certification card. The agency official may make a photocopy of the certification card for the records of the agency and thereafter shall immediately return the certification card to the program participant.

(b) If a program participant requests that an agency use the program address pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the agency shall accept and use the program address as the program participant's residential, work or school address, in lieu of the participant's confidential address, unless the agency receives an exemption from such use granted by the Secretary of the State pursuant to section 10 of this act.

Sec. 10. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) An agency may request an exemption from the use of a program participant's program address pursuant to section 9 of this act by providing, in writing, to the Secretary of the State: (1) Identification of the statute or regulation that specifies the agency's statutory or regulatory requirement for the use of the program participant's confidential address; (2) a statement that the confidential address will be used only for such statutory or regulatory purposes; (3) identification of the specific program participant with respect to whom the exemption is requested; (4) identification of the persons who will have access to the confidential address; and (5) an explanation of how the agency's acceptance of the program address would prevent the agency from meeting its obligations under the law and why it cannot meet its statutory or regulatory obligation by a change in its internal procedures.

(b) During the review and evaluation by the Secretary of the State, and any appeal, if applicable, of an agency's exemption request, the agency shall use the program participant's program address.

(c) The Secretary of the State's determination to grant or deny an exemption request shall be based on, but need not be limited to, an evaluation of the information provided by the agency pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(d) If the Secretary of the State determines that there is a statutory or regulatory requirement that the agency use the program participant's confidential address and that the confidential address will be used only to comply with such requirement, the Secretary of the State shall issue a written exemption for the agency. The Secretary of the State may include in the exemption (1) the agency's obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the program participant's confidential address, (2) limitations on the use of or access to the confidential address, (3) the term for which the exemption is granted, (4) a designation of the record format in which the confidential address may be maintained, (5) a designation of a disposition date after which the agency may no longer maintain a record of the participant's confidential address, and (6) any other provisions and qualifications deemed appropriate by the Secretary of the State. Any agency that is granted an exemption may not make the program participant's confidential address available for inspection or copying by persons other than those identified in the exemption request as having access to the confidential address, except (A) if directed by a court order, to a person identified in such order, or (B) if notified by the Secretary of the State that the program participant's certification has been cancelled.

(e) Prior to granting an exemption, the Secretary of the State shall notify the program participant of the exemption, including the name of the agency and the reason or reasons for the exemption.

(f) If the Secretary of the State determines that there is no statutory or regulatory requirement that the agency use the program participant's confidential address, the Secretary of the State shall issue a written denial of the exemption request. Such written denial shall include a statement of the reason or reasons for the denial.

(g) The granting or denial of the agency's exemption request pursuant to this section constitutes a final decision. The program participant or any other party aggrieved by such decision may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183 of the general statutes.

Sec. 11. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) A program participant, a guardian or conservator of the person acting on behalf of an adult program participant, or a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor program participant may apply to renew the participant's program certification by filing with the Secretary of the State (1) the participant's current certification card, (2) a properly completed certification renewal form, and (3) a new certification card form. The program participant or the person acting on behalf of the program participant shall provide all the information required on the certification renewal form and the program participant shall sign and date the certification card form.

(b) The Secretary of the State shall (1) certify a program participant who has satisfied the filing requirements of subsection (a) of this section to participate in the program for an additional four-year term, and (2) issue to such program participant a new certification card with a new certification expiration date.

Sec. 12. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) The Secretary of the State may cancel a program participant's certification and invalidate the participant's certification card if:

(1) The program participant changes the participant's name from the name listed on the program application and fails to notify the Secretary of the State in writing of the name change not later than thirty days after the change;

(2) The program participant changes the participant's confidential address from the address listed on the program application and fails to notify the Secretary of the State in writing of the change not later than thirty days after the change;

(3) Mail forwarded to the program participant is returned as nondeliverable;

(4) The term of the program participant's certification has expired and the participant has not applied for renewal; or

(5) The application for program participation or renewal filed by or on behalf of the program participant contains false information.

(b) The Secretary of the State shall send written notice of cancellation to the program participant at the confidential address shown in the Secretary of the State's records regarding the participant. The notice shall specify the reason or reasons for cancellation. The program participant shall have thirty days from the date the notice was mailed by the Secretary of the State to appeal the cancellation in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to section 2 of this act.

(c) A person may reapply to the address confidentiality program at any time after such person's certification has been cancelled for any reason.

(d) (1) The Secretary of the State shall notify in writing the authorized personnel of the appropriate agency when a participant's certification in the program has been cancelled. After receipt of such notice, the agency shall not be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the record or address of a program participant whose certification has been cancelled.

(2) If the marriage records of a program participant whose certification has been cancelled were kept confidential pursuant to section 7 of this act, the Secretary of the State shall notify in writing the authorized personnel of the appropriate office of the registrar of vital statistics of the cancellation.

(3) If the participant whose certification has been cancelled was listed on a voter registry list without the participant's street and house number pursuant to section 8 of this act, the Secretary of the State shall notify in writing the authorized personnel of the appropriate office of the registrar of voters of the cancellation.

(e) A program participant may withdraw from the program by submitting to the Secretary of the State written notice of the participant's withdrawal and the participant's current certification card. The Secretary of the State shall cancel the participant's certification effective on the date of receipt of such notice by the Secretary of the State.

Sec. 13. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) The Secretary of the State shall be a program participant's agent upon whom any summons, writ, notice, demand or process in any action, proceeding or other matter involving the program participant shall be served.

(b) A program participant may be served by any proper officer or other person lawfully empowered to make service by leaving two true and attested copies of such summons, writ, notice, demand or process, together with the required fee, at the office of the Secretary of the State or depositing the same in the United States mail, by registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the Secretary of the State's office and marked "Address Confidentiality Program". The Secretary of the State shall file one copy of the summons, writ, notice, demand or process and keep a record of the date and hour of receipt. The Secretary of the State shall, not later than two business days after such service, forward by registered or certified mail the copy of such summons, writ, notice, demand or process to the program participant at the confidential address shown on the records of the Secretary of the State.

(c) Service is effective pursuant to this section as of the date and hour received by the Secretary of the State as shown on the records of the Secretary of the State.

Sec. 14. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) (a) The Secretary of the State may not make any records in a program participant's file, other than the program address, available for inspection or copying, except:

(1) If requested by a law enforcement agency or by the State Elections Enforcement Commission, to such law enforcement agency or said commission, provided the request is in writing, on agency or commission letterhead stationery signed by the agency's chief law enforcement officer, a commanding officer in the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety or the executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, as the case may be, and contains the request date and the name of the program participant;

(2) If directed by a court order, to a person identified in such order;

(3) To verify the participation of a specific program participant, in which case the Secretary of the State may only confirm information supplied by the requestor; or

(4) If the program participant's certification has been cancelled.

(b) If the Secretary of the State discloses records pursuant to subdivision (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of the State shall forthwith notify the program participant of such disclosure.

Sec. 15. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) No employee of any law enforcement agency or any state or municipal social service agency, and no other witness, shall be compelled to disclose a program participant's confidential address during the discovery phase of, or during testimony in, any criminal or civil proceeding unless the court finds that nondisclosure may prejudice a party to the proceeding.

Sec. 16. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2004) No custody or visitation order in effect prior to or during a person's participation in the address confidentiality program shall be affected by such participation or by any provision of sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 17. Subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2004):

(b) Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of:

(1) Preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;

(2) Personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy;

(3) Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identity was made known, (B) signed statements of witnesses, (C) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to such action, (D) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public, (E) arrest records of a juvenile, which shall also include any investigatory files, concerning the arrest of such juvenile, compiled for law enforcement purposes, (F) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under section 53-21, or of an attempt thereof, or (G) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-216;

(4) Records pertaining to strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled;

(5) (A) Trade secrets, which for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, are defined as information, including formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, processes, drawings, cost data, or customer lists that (i) derive independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from their disclosure or use, and (ii) are the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain secrecy; and

(B) Commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute;

(6) Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment or academic examinations;

(7) The contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property or to prospective public supply and construction contracts, until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions have been terminated or abandoned, provided the law of eminent domain shall not be affected by this provision;

(8) Statements of personal worth or personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by an applicant with such licensing agency to establish the applicant's personal qualification for the license, certificate or permit applied for;

(9) Records, reports and statements of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining;

(10) Records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or state statutes or communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship;

(11) Names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is eighteen years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each such student who is younger than eighteen years of age, provided this subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting the disclosure of the names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school in a regional school district to the board of selectmen or town board of finance, as the case may be, of the town wherein the student resides for the purpose of verifying tuition payments made to such school;

(12) Any information obtained by the use of illegal means;

(13) Records of an investigation or the name of an employee providing information under the provisions of section 4-61dd;

(14) Adoption records and information provided for in sections 45a-746, 45a-750 and 45a-751;

(15) Any page of a primary petition, nominating petition, referendum petition or petition for a town meeting submitted under any provision of the general statutes or of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, until the required processing and certification of such page has been completed by the official or officials charged with such duty after which time disclosure of such page shall be required;

(16) Records of complaints, including information compiled in the investigation thereof, brought to a municipal health authority pursuant to chapter 368e or a district department of health pursuant to chapter 368f, until such time as the investigation is concluded or thirty days from the date of receipt of the complaint, whichever occurs first;

(17) Educational records which are not subject to disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g;

(18) Records, the disclosure of which the Commissioner of Correction, or as it applies to Whiting Forensic Division facilities of the Connecticut Valley Hospital, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has reasonable grounds to believe may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person or the risk of an escape from, or a disorder in, a correctional institution or facility under the supervision of the Department of Correction or Whiting Forensic Division facilities. Such records shall include, but are not limited to:

(A) Security manuals, including emergency plans contained or referred to in such security manuals;

(B) Engineering and architectural drawings of correctional institutions or facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities;

(C) Operational specifications of security systems utilized by the Department of Correction at any correctional institution or facility or Whiting Forensic Division facilities, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system may be disclosed;

(D) Training manuals prepared for correctional institutions and facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(E) Internal security audits of correctional institutions and facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities;

(F) Minutes or recordings of staff meetings of the Department of Correction or Whiting Forensic Division facilities, or portions of such minutes or recordings, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(G) Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of inmates or staff at correctional institutions or facilities; and

(H) Records that contain information on contacts between inmates, as defined in section 18-84, and law enforcement officers;

(19) Records when there are reasonable grounds to believe disclosure may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person, any government-owned or leased institution or facility or any fixture or appurtenance and equipment attached to, or contained in, such institution or facility, except that such records shall be disclosed to a law enforcement agency upon the request of the law enforcement agency. Such reasonable grounds shall be determined (A) with respect to records concerning any executive branch agency of the state or any municipal, district or regional agency, by the Commissioner of Public Works, after consultation with the chief executive officer of the agency; (B) with respect to records concerning Judicial Department facilities, by the Chief Court Administrator; and (C) with respect to records concerning the Legislative Department, by the executive director of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management. As used in this section, "government-owned or leased institution or facility" includes, but is not limited to, an institution or facility owned or leased by a public service company, as defined in section 16-1, a certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1, or a municipal utility that furnishes electric, gas or water service, but does not include an institution or facility owned or leased by the federal government, and "chief executive officer" includes, but is not limited to, an agency head, department head, executive director or chief executive officer. Such records include, but are not limited to:

(i) Security manuals or reports;

(ii) Engineering and architectural drawings of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(iii) Operational specifications of security systems utilized at any government-owned or leased institution or facility, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system, may be disclosed;

(iv) Training manuals prepared for government-owned or leased institutions or facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(v) Internal security audits of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(vi) Minutes or records of meetings, or portions of such minutes or records, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(vii) Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of security personnel at government-owned or leased institutions or facilities; and

(viii) Emergency plans and emergency recovery or response plans;

(20) Records of standards, procedures, processes, software and codes, not otherwise available to the public, the disclosure of which would compromise the security or integrity of an information technology system;

(21) The residential, work or school address of any participant in the address confidentiality program established pursuant to sections 1 to 16, inclusive, of this act.

Approved June 26, 2003