How to Use a Confidential Mailing Address
Hi, thank you for using My Court Coach. I’m Jylan and I’m going to be your instructor as we talk about how to use a confidential mailing address in family court.
You may want your address to be confidential if you are a victim of one the following crimes.
- domestic violence
- sex trafficking
- human trafficking
- elder or dependent adult abuse.
This list comes directly from Government Code section 6205, which is the law that allows for address confidentiality.
How to Get a Confidential Mailing Address for Family Court Paperwork
The California Secretary of State provides a name and address of confidentiality for victims of those types of crimes I just mentioned. Go to sos.ca.gov/registries/safe-home.
Prerequisites for Using a Confidential Mailing Address
To apply, first you’d have to be a victim of domestic violence, or a household member of a victim of a domestic violence, or you’re part of a reproductive healthcare facility. Also, you must be in fear of your safety or the safety of a minor child or an adult and incapacitated adults.
Using an Enrolling Agency for Your Confidential Mailing Address
Then, find an enrolling agency. These are agencies that will provide a confidential address on your behalf. Look for your county and call the phone number to contact the enrolling agency. You will tell them your situation and that you are looking for a confidential address as part of the Safe at Home Program.
The main objective of the Safe at Home Program is to provide California residents a confidential address free of charge. This program helps the victim not be tracked down by an abuser. For court paperwork, you at least need to have a mailing address of some sort.
Keeping a Minor’s Information Confidential from the Public
If you’re filing a restraining order on behalf of a minor child and you want to keep everything about them confidential (beyond just their address), you can use the form Request to Keep Minor’s Information Confidential. To do that, follow the instructions below.
Identify What Information You Want to Keep Private
First, tell the court, what is it exactly that you want to keep confidential from the public? Restraining orders are public information. Anybody has access to them and they can get your name and address and other identifying information. If you want the minor child’s name to not be listed on the restraining order, the courts can use the child’s initials, rather than full name. Any identifying information of the minor child that was in your request for a restraining order, you will list that information here.
Explain the Specific Reasons Why the Information Must Be Kept Secret
Second, be very specific. The information you provide here will come from the DV-100. Write the information that you do want redacted, i.e., to be removed or blacked out so that the public doesn’t have access to this information.
Plus, your request has to meet all four of these factors:
- Your child’s right to privacy overcomes the public right to access the information. Explain to the court why should this information be provided, be kept confidential or private from the public.
- There’s a substantial probability that the minor’s interests will be prejudiced if the information is not kept confidential. Explain to the court why your child’s safety is more important than the public’s information on this child. Why do you think there’s a strong likelihood that this child would be harmed if the information is not kept confidential?
- The order to keep the information confidential on about the child is narrowly tailored, so it’s specific to this particular child.
- There is no other way to maintain the confidentiality of this child in order to maintain their privacy.
Also, if the court denies your request, you can choose to cancel your restraining order. Or you can choose to move forward with your restraining order.
Keeping a Minor’s Information Confidential from an Abuser
There’s a different section about keeping the confidentiality of the child address and information from the abuser, the restrained person. You could have their name, their address, and any information related to the minor child that you don’t want the other party to know.
First, list out why is this important to keep the information confidential and not be released to the other party or to the abuser. What do you think is going to happen if the court does in fact allow this information to be released to the other party?
Then, if the court denies your request to keep this child’s information from the abuser, you can choose abandon the restraining order. Or you can choose to proceed with the restraining order.
After completing this form, submit it with your Request for a Restraining Order that’s prepared on behalf of your child. The court will make a decision on this at the same time that they decide your Request for Restraining Order.
We hope that you found this video helpful and thank you for your time.