1152. 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 of State to have an address designated by the Secretary serve as the person’s address or the address of the minor or incapacitated person. The Secretary of State shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the Secretary of State, and if it contains:
(1) a 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, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking;
(B) 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;
(C) the parent or legal guardian applying on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person has legal authority to act on the person’s behalf;
(D) if the applicant is under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, the applicant has notified the Department of the actual address and the applicant authorizes the release of the actual address to the Department; and
(E) if the applicant is required to report the actual address for the Sex Offender Registry under 13 V.S.A. chapter 167, subchapter 3, the applicant authorizes the release of the actual address to the Registry;
(2) a designation of the Secretary as agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail;
(3) the mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the Secretary and the phone number or numbers where the applicant can be called by the secretary;
(4) the new address or addresses that the applicant requests not be disclosed for the reason that disclosure will increase the risk of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking;
(5) the signature of the applicant and the name of any individual or representative of any office who assisted in the preparation of the application and the date on which the applicant signed the application.
(b) Applications shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary.
(c) Upon receipt of a properly completed application, the Secretary shall certify the applicant as a program participant. Applicants shall be certified for four years following the date of filing, unless the certification is withdrawn or cancelled before that date. The Secretary shall by rule establish a renewal procedure.
(d) A person who knowingly provides false or incorrect information to the secretary as required by this chapter may be prosecuted under 13 V.S.A. § 2904.
(e) A program participant shall notify the Secretary of State of a change of actual address within seven days of the change of address.
(f) The Civil or Family Division of Washington County Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over petitions for protective orders filed by program participants pursuant to 12 V.S.A. §§ 5133 and 5134, to sections 1103 and 1104 of this title, and to 33 V.S.A. § 6935. A program participant may file a petition for a protective order in the county in which he or she resides or in Washington County to protect the confidentiality of his or her address.