2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
December 29, 2015 - Introduced by Senators S. Fitzgerald, Shilling,
Gudex, C. Larson, Hansen, L. Taylor, Risser, Erpenbach, Vukmir, Lassa,
Darling, Wirch, Marklein, Ringhand, Harris Dodd, Harsdorf and Olsen,
cosponsored by Representatives
Kleefisch, C. Taylor, Ohnstad, Gannon,
Horlacher, Petryk, Milroy, Hebl, Johnson, Thiesfeldt, Mason, Berceau,
Zamarripa, Zepnick, Kremer, Bernier, Murphy, Kahl, Subeck, A. Ott, Goyke,
Doyle, Jacque, Jagler, E. Brooks, Sinicki, Rohrkaste, T. Larson, Krug,
Rodriguez, Kolste, Born, Allen, Considine, Nerison, Shankland, Billings,
Ballweg, Skowronski, Heaton and Spreitzer. Referred to Committee on
Judiciary and Public Safety.
1An Act to renumber and amend
6.47 (2); and to create
(1) (am) 5., 6.47 (4) (b), 19.35 (1) (am) 2m., 66.0504 and 165.68 of the statutes; 3relating to: creating a program to protect the confidentiality of addresses for
4victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking; providing an exemption
5from emergency rule procedures; and requiring the exercise of rule-making
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill creates a program, administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ)
that keeps the addresses of victims of certain crimes confidential. Under the bill, a
person who is a victim, or a parent or guardian of a person who is a victim, of certain
acts of abuse, stalking, or human trafficking, or who is in fear for his or her physical
safety or that of his or her child or ward, or who resides with any of those persons may
participate in the program.
Under the bill, a person who participates in the program submits his or her
actual address to DOJ and receives from DOJ an assigned address that the person
may use for all personal and official purposes. The bill requires DOJ to forward mail
and certain packages it receives at the assigned address to the person at his or her
actual address. A person may renew his or her participation in the program every
five years, and DOJ may discontinue the person's participation if he or she fails to
notify DOJ that his or her address or legal name has changed.
The bill requires DOJ to keep the person's actual address confidential, except
pursuant to a court order or except from a law enforcement officer if the person is
suspected of criminal activity. The bill also requires the person's actual address to
be kept confidential by municipal and other local governmental clerks and election
officials as long as the person is participating in the program. Under the bill, no one
may refuse to use the assigned address or require the person to disclose his or her
actual address without specific statutory authority to do so.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
6.47 (1) (am) 5. of the statutes is created to read:
(am) 5. An individual who is a participant in the program established 3
in s. 165.68.
6.47 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
Except as authorized in sub. (8), the board, each municipal clerk, each 6
agent designated under s. 6.33 (5) (b), and each election official shall withhold from 7
public inspection under s. 19.35 (1) the name and address of any eligible individual 8
whose name appears on a poll list or registration list if the individual provides the 9
municipal clerk with a valid written request to protect the individual's 10
confidentiality. To be valid, a request under this subsection must be accompanied by 11
a copy of a protective order that is in effect, an affidavit under sub. (1) (am) 2. that 12
is dated within 30 days of the date of the request, confirmation from the department
13of justice that the person is a program participant, as provided under s. 165.68 (4)
a statement signed by the operator or an authorized agent of the operator of a 15
shelter that is dated within 30 days of the date of the request and that indicates that 16
the operator operates the shelter and that the individual making the request resides 17
in the shelter, or a statement signed by an authorized representative of a domestic
abuse victim service provider or a sexual assault victim service provider under sub. 2
(1) (am) 4. that is dated within 30 days of the date of the request. A physically 3
disabled individual who appears personally at the office of the municipal clerk 4
accompanied by another elector of this state may designate that elector to make a 5
request under this subsection on his or her behalf.
6.47 (4) of the statutes is renumbered 6.47 (4) (a) and amended to 7
(a) Except as provided in par. (b) and
sub. (5), a confidential listing 9
under sub. (2) expires on the date that a protective order expires, the date that the 10
protected individual ceases to reside in a shelter, the date that updated information 11
is received from a sheriff, the chief of a police department, or a district attorney or 12
the authorized representative of a sheriff, chief, or district attorney, or at the end of 13
the 24-month period that follows creation or renewal of the listing under sub. (2), 14
whichever is earlier.
6.47 (4) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) A confidential listing under sub. (2) that is issued to a program 17
participant expires on the date the individual's participation in the program expires 18
pursuant to s. 165.68 (3) (b) 4. a. or on the date the individual cancels his or her 19
participation in the program pursuant to s. 165.68 (3) (b) 4. e. or is disenrolled from 20
the program pursuant to s. 165.68 (3) (b) 4. b.
19.35 (1) (am) 2m. of the statutes is created to read:
(am) 2m. The actual address, as defined in s. 165.68 (1) (b), of a 23
participant in the program established in s. 165.68.
66.0504 of the statutes is created to read:
2566.0504 Address confidentiality program. (1) Definitions.
In this section:
(a) "Actual address" has the meaning given in s. 165.68 (1) (b).
(b) "Local clerk" means an individual, and an individual's deputy or assistant, 3
who serves as one of the following:
1. A county clerk under s. 59.23.
2. A clerk of court under s. 59.40.
3. A municipal clerk as defined in s. 5.02 (10).
4. A register of deeds under s. 59.43.
(c) "Program participant" has the meaning given in s. 165.68 (1) (g).
9(2) Identity protection.
(a) If a program participant submits a written request 10
to a local clerk that he or she keep the program participant's actual address private, 11
the local clerk may not disclose any record in his or her possession which would reveal 12
the program participant's actual address, except pursuant to a court order.
(b) The provisions of s. 165.68 (3) (b) 4. a., to the extent that they apply under 14
s. 165.68, apply to a program participant's written request under par. (a).
165.68 of the statutes is created to read:
16165.68 Address confidentiality program.
In this section:
(a) "Abuse" means an act or threat of any of the following:
1. Child abuse under ss. 813.122 (1) (a) or 948.02 to 948.11.
2. Domestic abuse, as defined in s. 813.12 (1) (am).
3. Sexual abuse, as defined in s. 103.10 (1m) (b) 6.
4. Stalking under s. 940.32.
5. Trafficking under s. 940.302.
(b) "Actual address" means the residential street address, school address, or 24
work address of a program participant.
(c) "Assigned address" means an address designated by the department and 2
assigned to a program participant.
(d) "Department" means the department of justice.
(e) "Mail" means first class letters and flats delivered by the United States 5
Postal Service, including priority, express, and certified mail. "Mail" does not include 6
a package, parcel, periodical, or catalogue unless it is clearly identifiable as being 7
sent by a state or local agency or unit of government or is clearly identifiable as 8
containing a pharmaceutical or medical item.
(f) "Program assistant" means an individual designated by the department to 10
assist a program participant. The department may designate as a program assistant 11
an employee of the department or of a state or local agency that provides counseling, 12
assistance, or support services to victims, or an employee of or a volunteer for an 13
organization that provides counseling, assistance, or support services free of charge 14
(g) "Program participant" means a person who is certified by the department 16
to participate in the confidentiality program established in this section.
(a) A person is eligible for participation in the confidentiality 18
program established in this section if he or she attests all of the following:
1. That he or she is a resident of this state.