§ 60.14. Address confidentiality program
A. The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking frequently establish new addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them. The purpose of this section is to enable state and local agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, to enable interagency cooperation with the Attorney General in providing address confidentiality for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, and to enable state and local agencies to accept an address designated by the Attorney General by a program participant as a substitute mailing address.
B. As used in this section:
1. “Address” means a residential street address, school address, or work address of an individual, as specified on the application of an individual to be a program participant under this section;
2. “Program participant” means a person certified as a program participant under this section;
3. “Domestic abuse” means an act as defined in Section 60.1 of this title and includes a threat of such acts committed against an individual in a domestic situation, regardless of whether these acts or threats have been reported to law enforcement officers; and
4. “Stalking” means an act as defined in Section 60.1 of this title regardless of whether the acts have been reported to law enforcement.
C. The Address Confidentiality Program shall be staffed by unclassified employees, who have been subjected to a criminal history records search.
D. 1. An adult person, a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of an incapacitated person, as defined by Section 1-111 of Title 30 of the Oklahoma Statutes, may apply to the Attorney General to have an address designated by the Attorney General serve as the address of the person or the address of the minor or incapacitated person. The Attorney General shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the Attorney General and if it contains:
a. a sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has good reason to believe:
(1) that the applicant, or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, is a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, and
(2) that the applicant fears for the safety of self or children, or the safety of the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made,
b. a designation of the Attorney General as agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail,
c. the mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the Attorney General, and the phone number or numbers where the applicant can be called by the Attorney General,
d. the new address or addresses that the applicant requests not be disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking, and
e. the signature of the applicant and application assistant who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the date on which the applicant signed the application.
2. An adult or minor child who resides with the applicant who also needs to be a program participant in order to ensure the safety of the applicant may apply. Each adult living in the household must complete a separate application. An adult may apply on behalf of a minor.
3. Applications shall be filed with the Office of the Attorney General.
4. Upon filing a properly completed application, the Attorney General shall certify the applicant as a program participant. Applicants shall be certified for four (4) years following the date of filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before that date. The Attorney General shall by rule establish a renewal procedure.
5. A person who falsely attests in an application that disclosure of the address of the applicant would endanger the safety of the applicant or the safety of the children of the applicant or the minor or incapacitated person on whose behalf the application is made, or who knowingly provides false or incorrect information upon making an application, may be found guilty of perjury under Sections 500 and 504 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
E. 1. If the program participant obtains a name change, the participant loses certification as a program participant.
2. The Attorney General may cancel the certification of a program participant if there is a change in the residential address, unless the program participant provides the Attorney General notice no later than seven (7) days after the change occurs.
3. The Attorney General may cancel certification of a program participant if mail forwarded by the Attorney General to the address of the program participant is returned as nondeliverable.
4. The Attorney General shall cancel certification of a program participant who applies using false information.
F. 1. A program participant may request that state and local agencies use the address designated by the Attorney General as the address of the participant. When creating a new public record, state and local agencies shall accept the address designated by the Attorney General as a substitute address for the program participant, unless the Attorney General has determined that:
a. the agency has a bona fide statutory or administrative requirement for the use of the address which would otherwise be confidential under this section, and
b. this address will be used only for those statutory and administrative purposes.
2. A program participant may use the address designated by the Attorney General as a work address.
3. The Office of the Attorney General shall forward all first class, certified and registered mail to the appropriate program participants for no charge. The Attorney General shall not be required to track or otherwise maintain records of any mail received on behalf of a participant unless the mail is certified or registered mail.
G. The Attorney General may not make any records in a file of a program participant available for inspection or copying, other than the address designated by the Attorney General, except under the following circumstances:
1. If directed by a court order, to a person identified in the order; or
2. To verify the participation of a specific program participant to a state or local agency, in which case the Attorney General may only confirm information supplied by the requester.
No employee of a state or local agency shall knowingly and intentionally disclose a program participant’s actual address unless disclosure is permitted by law.
H. The Attorney General shall designate state and local agencies, federal government, federally recognized tribes, and nonprofit agencies to assist persons in applying to be program participants. A volunteer or employee of a designated entity that provides counseling, referral, shelter, or other services to victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking and has been trained by the Attorney General shall be known as an application assistant. Any assistance and counseling rendered by the Office of the Attorney General or an application assistant to applicants shall in no way be construed as legal advice.
I. The Attorney General may enter into agreements with the federal government and federally recognized tribes in the State of Oklahoma or other entities for purposes of the implementation of the Address Confidentiality Program, including the use and acceptance of the substitute address designated by the Attorney General.
J. Effective July 1, 2008, all administrative rules promulgated by the Office of the Secretary of State to implement this program shall be transferred to and become part of the administrative rules of the Office of the Attorney General. The Office of Administrative Rules in the Office of the Secretary of State shall provide adequate notice in “The Oklahoma Register” of the transfer of such rules, and shall place the transferred rules under the Administrative Code section of the Attorney General. Such rules shall continue in force and effect as rules of the Office of the Attorney General from and after July 1, 2008, and any amendment, repeal or addition to the transferred rules shall be under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall adopt and promulgate rules to implement this program, as applicable.
K. Beginning July 1, 2008, the Director of the Address Confidentiality Program shall cease to be a position within the Office of the Secretary of State. All unexpended funds, property, records, personnel, and outstanding financial obligations and encumbrances related to the position and the Office of Address Confidentiality Program with the Office of the Secretary of State shall be transferred to the Office of the Attorney General. All personnel shall retain their employment position and status as unclassified employees, any leave, sick and annual time earned, and any retirement and longevity benefits which have accrued during tenure with the Office of the Secretary of State.