Domestic Violence New Law Providing Address Confidentiality

Victims of Domestic Violence will soon be able to not only keep their address confidential but will also be permitted to designate the NY Secretary of State as the person authorized to receive legal process for them.

Governor Cuomo in late September signed a law that is similar to laws in 32 other states that are designed to shield and protect victims of domestic violence from further abuse by allowing them to opt not to disclose their actual address and mailing address . The NY Secretary of State will be provided with the actual address and the designation shall remain in effect for a period of four years.

The authors of the legislation state that the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence is shortly after separation from the abuser. Due to the ease in which public records can be searched, even when a victim relocates, the abuser can still often locate them through internet searches of various data bases.

The law will probably take effect sometime in June, 2012 and forms for acceptance into the program will be created. In the meantime, it is still possible to ask the court clerk or judge to keep an address confidential. However, there will not be an official person designated to receive legal papers and mail until the new law takes effect.