Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III-A. Crime Victims' Address Confidentiality.


§ 4–555.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, 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 subchapter.

(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 § 4-551(1).

(9) "Human trafficking" means an act prohibited by § 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 § 5-133.17(d), that has entered into a cooperative agreement with the Metropolitan Police Department pursuant to § 5-133.17, 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 § 4-555.03.

(13) "Program" means the Address Confidentiality Program established by this subchapter 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 § 22-1901);

(B) First degree sexual abuse, as described in § 22-3002;

(C) Second degree sexual abuse, as described in § 22-3003;

(D) Third degree sexual abuse, as described in § 22-3004;

(E) Fourth degree sexual abuse, as described in § 22-3005;

(F) Misdemeanor sexual abuse, as described in § 22-3006;

(G) First degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student, as described in § 22-3009.03;

(H) Second degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student, as described in § 22-3009.04;

(I) First degree sexual abuse of a ward, patient, client, or prisoner, as described in § 22-3013;

(J) Second degree sexual abuse of a ward, patient, client, or prisoner, as described in § 22-3014;

(K) First degree sexual abuse of a patient or client, as described in § 22-3015;

(L) Second degree sexual abuse of a patient or client, as described in § 22-3016; or

(M) Attempts to commit sexual offenses, as described in § 22-3018.

(16) "Stalking" means an act prohibited by § 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 subchapter, 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.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 101, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 101 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.02. 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 subchapter; 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 subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 102, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 102 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.03. 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 OVSJG 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, or the Director's designee, 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 subchapter; 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.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 103, 65 DCR 5064; May 10, 2019, D.C. Law 22-313, § 6(a), 66 DCR 1627.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 103 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.04. 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 subchapter; 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.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 104, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 104 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.05. 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 Chapter 40 of Title 22.

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

(2) The Office of Tax and Revenue shall not index by a participant's name in any online database of the agency relating to:

(A) Assessment and tax information; and

(B) All recorded documents; provided, that a court order, a judgment, a lien, or any document related to debt collection that is not a security interest instrument, may be indexed by the participant's name.

(3) The participant's name may be included in any notice or index published by the Office of Tax and Revenue for the collection of debt, including taxes.

(4) This subsection shall not require the Office of Tax and Revenue to redact or otherwise erase a participant's name or address in any document or electronic record in its online database.

(5) Except as provided in this subsection, the Office of Tax and Revenue shall not disclose a participant's actual address, unless OVSJG permits disclosure pursuant to the rules issued under § 4-555.12.

(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 § 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.

(3) This subsection shall not apply to the Office of Tax and Revenue.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 105, 65 DCR 5064; May 10, 2019, D.C. Law 22-313, § 6(b), 66 DCR 1627.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 105 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.06. 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.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 106, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 106 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.07. 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 subchapter, 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 subchapter, 5 days shall be added to the prescribed period.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 107, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 107 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.08. Penalties.

(a) Except as provided by this subchapter, no person shall intentionally obtain from a District agency, other than the Office of Tax and Revenue, or disclose a participant's actual address knowing that the participant is participating in the Program, unless required by existing law or by OVSJG pursuant to the rules issued under § 4-555.12.

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


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 108, 65 DCR 5064; May 10, 2019, D.C. Law 22-313, § 6(c), 66 DCR 1627.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 108 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.09. 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 subchapter.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 109, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 109 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.10. Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by an action of OVSJG taken pursuant to this subchapter may appeal the action of OVSJG to the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to § 2-1831.03.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 110, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 110 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.11. 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.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 111, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 111 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 4–555.12. Rules.

OVSJG, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-118, § 112, 65 DCR 5064.)

Applicability

Section 7035 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-118 has been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-118: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-118 provided that the creation of this section by § 112 of D.C. Law 22-118 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.