The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 15: Domestic Relations

Chapter 21: ABUSE PREVENTION

Sub-Chapter 03: Address Confidentiality For Victims Of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Or Stalking

15 V.S.A. § 1155. Disclosure of address prohibited; exceptions



§ 1155. Disclosure of address prohibited; exceptions

(a) The secretary of state may not make a program participant's address, other than the address designated by the secretary, available for inspection or copying, except under the following circumstances:

(1) if requested by a law enforcement agency for a law enforcement purpose as defined in subdivision 1151(5) of this title; or

(2) if directed by a court order to a person identified in the order; or

(3) to verify the participation of a specific program participant, in which case the secretary may only confirm information supplied by the requester.

(b) The secretary shall ensure by rule that:

(1) when a law enforcement agency determines it has an immediate need for a participant's actual address, disclosure of the address shall occur immediately; and

(2) in other circumstances, there is an expedited process for disclosure.

(c) The secretary may request that an agency review its disclosure requests to determine whether such requests were appropriate.

(d) The secretary shall provide immediate notification of disclosure to a program participant when disclosure takes place under subdivisions (a)(2) and (3) of this section.

(e)(1) No person shall knowingly and intentionally obtain a program participant's actual address from the secretary knowing that he or she was not authorized to obtain the address information.

(2) No employee of a state, local, or municipal agency or sheriff's department shall knowingly and intentionally disclose, with the intent to disseminate to the individual from whom the program participant is seeking address confidentiality, a participant's actual address to a person known to the employee to be prohibited from receiving the participant's actual address, unless such disclosure is permissible by law. This subdivision is only intended to apply when an employee obtains a participant's actual address during the course of the employee's official duties and, at the time of disclosure, the employee has specific knowledge that the address disclosed belongs to a person who is participating in the program.

(3) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit an agency or agency employee from disclosing or providing a participant's actual address to an agency attorney providing advice to an agency or agency employee, nor shall any agency attorney be prohibited, except as set forth in section 1156 of this title, from disclosing a participant's actual address to other law enforcement employees, other agency attorneys, paralegals, or their support staff, if disclosure is related to providing such advice or to the agency attorney's representation of the agency or agency employee. In the case of law enforcement, agency attorneys shall also include the attorneys in the office of the state's attorneys, attorney general and the United States attorney. An attorney, during the course of providing advice to another person or agency, shall not be subject to the provisions set forth in subdivisions 1155(e)(1) and (2) of this title, nor shall any actionable duty arise from giving such advice.

(4) A person who violates subdivisions (1) or (2) of this subsection shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00. Each unauthorized disclosure shall constitute a separate civil violation. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude criminal prosecution for a violation. (Added 1999, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2001; amended 2001, No. 28, § 7, eff. May 21, 2001.)