2011: Confidentiality For Actual Or Threatened Domestic Violence

In San Diego, there are many cases of legal separation, paternity and divorce which involve threatened or actual violence. The San Diego Superior Court Judges often issue restraining order in cases in which there is actual or threatened violence in paternity, divorce and legal separation cases. Many of these cases involve police reports and criminal convictions in the San Diego Superior Court or other Courts in California and even out of state. For some spouses or parents, the restraining order is not effective and there are violations. Below are some remedies divorced parties and parties who are involved in a paternity case or legal separation can consider when the court orders are not obeyed and restraining orders do not work.

In San Diego, Government Code Section 6205 and others embody the Legislature's understanding that persons who are attempting to escape from actual or threatened stalking, domestic violence and assault can establish new names or addresses. This can have the effect of preventing either their assailants or probable assailants from locating them. This procedure also provides a method by which local and state government agencies can address requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim of stalking, domestic violence or assault.

In San Diego, Government Code Section 6206 provides that guardians, parents or adults may submit an application to the California Secretary of State to have an address designated by the Secretary of State which will serve as the address of the minor or address of the person or an incapacitated person. This application shall be completed in person at a community–based victims' assistance program and there are several in San Diego County. The California Secretary of State shall approve a properly prepared application containing the mandatory required information. This required application shall include a sworn statement showing good reason to believe that the applicant or person on whose behalf the application is filed is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. In addition, the sworn statement shall include the facts upon which the applicant fears for her of his safety or her and his children's safety and can also include the safety of the incapacitated children or minor on whose behalf the application is made. In addition, the application shall include the following: whether there are any existing court orders involving child visitation, child support, or child custody; whether there are any active court actions involving the applicant for child visitation, child support, or child custody; the name and address of the attorney of record and the last known address of the other parent or parents involved in those court orders or court actions.

The California Secretary of State will be designated as that person's agent for purposes of service of process and for the purpose of receipt of mail. If legal process is served on the Secretary of State on behalf of the program participant, the Secretary of State shall immediately cause a copy to be forwarded to the program participant at the address shown on the records of the address confidentiality program so that it is received by the program participant within three days of the Secretary of State's having received it.

There are many other procedures and requirements and, if you are victim of actual or threatened domestic violence and/or assault, please feel free to contact us for a complimentary and confidential consultation.

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