“Mail" means first class letters and flats delivered by the United States Postal Service, including priority, express, and certified mail. “Mail" does not include a package, parcel, periodical, or catalogue unless it is clearly identifiable as being sent by a state or local agency or unit of government or is clearly identifiable as containing a pharmaceutical or medical item.
“Program assistant" means an individual designated by the department to assist a program participant. The department may designate as a program assistant an employee of the department or of a state or local agency that provides counseling, assistance, or support services to victims, or an employee of or a volunteer for an organization that provides counseling, assistance, or support services free of charge to victims.
“Program participant" means a person who is certified by the department to participate in the confidentiality program established in this section.
A person is eligible for participation in the confidentiality program established in this section if he or she attests all of the following:
He or she is a victim of abuse, a parent or guardian of a person who is a victim of abuse, or a resident of a household in which a victim of abuse also resides.
He or she fears for his or her physical safety or for the physical safety of his or her child or ward.
That he or she resides or will reside at a location in this state that is not known by the person who committed the abuse against, or who threatens, the applicant or his or her child or ward.
That he or she will not disclose his or her actual address to the person who committed the abuse against, or who threatens, the applicant or his or her child or ward.
A person is eligible under par. (a)
regardless of whether any criminal charges have been brought relating to any act or threat against the person, whether the person has sought any restraining order or injunction relating to any act or threat against the person, or whether the person has reported any act or threat against him or her to a law enforcement officer or agency.
The department shall provide an application form for participation in the confidentiality program established in this section. The department may not charge a fee for applying to, or participating in, the program.
The application form shall include all of the following:
A place for the applicant to identify any state or local government agency that employs a person who committed an act of abuse against the applicant.
A statement certifying that the applicant understands and consents to all of the following program requirements:
A program participant remains enrolled in the program for 5 years, unless he or she cancels his or her participation under subd. 4. f.
or is disenrolled under subd. 4. e.
A program participant is required to notify the department when he or she changes his or her actual address or legal name.
A program participant is required to develop a safety plan with a program assistant.
A program participant authorizes the department to notify state or local agencies and units of government that the applicant is a program participant.
The department may disenroll a program participant if the person fails to update his or her information under subd. 4. b.
, or at any time after the department determines that the person no longer meets the eligibility requirements established under sub. (2)
. The department will notify a program participant if his or her participation will expire or if the department will disenroll the participant. A program participant who receives a notification under this subd. 4. e.
may update his or her information to establish eligibility or may reenroll in the program within 6 months from the date the department issues the notification.
A program participant may cancel his or her participation in the program at any time by submitting a written notice to the department.
A program participant certifies the department to be the program participant's designated agent for service of process.
Use of assigned address; release of information. 165.68(4)(a)
The department shall provide to each person it approves as a program participant an assigned address and shall provide each program participant a notification form for use under sub. (5)
The department shall forward all mail it receives at the assigned address for each program participant to the program participant's actual address.
The department shall provide, at the request of a program participant or at the request of a state or local agency or unit of government, confirmation of the person's status as a program participant.
Except as provided under subd. 2.
, the department may not disclose a program participant's actual address to any person except pursuant to a court order. If a court order is requested for disclosure, the department shall request the court to keep any record containing the program participant's actual address sealed and confidential.
The department may disclose a program participant's actual address to a law enforcement officer for official purposes.
Use of assigned address; confidentiality. 165.68(5)(a)
A program participant may use the assigned address provided to him or her under sub. (4)
for all purposes.
No state or local agency or unit of government may refuse to use a program participant's assigned address for any official business, unless a specific statutory duty requires the agency or unit of government to use the participant's actual address. A state or local agency or unit of government may confirm with the department a person's status as a program participant.
No person who has received a notification form from a program participant may refuse to use the assigned address for the program participant, may require a program participant to disclose his or her actual address, or may intentionally disclose to another person the actual address of a program participant.
Notwithstanding pars. (a)
, and (c)
, a municipal clerk may require a program participant to provide his or her actual address for voter registration and voter verification purposes. A municipal clerk shall also require a program participant to disclose his or her actual address to enroll a program participant in the confidential voter program provided under s. 6.47
. If a voter is enrolled in the confidential voter program under s. 6.47
the municipal clerk shall keep the program participant's actual address confidential as provided under s. 6.47
The department may promulgate rules under sub. (6)
to allow a program participant to consent to a disclosure of his or her actual address by the department or other entity with knowledge of the program participant's actual address when necessary to qualify for certain public assistance benefits or real property transactions. A person who discloses information under this paragraph shall include a notice that the information is confidential, and disclosure of the information to any 3rd party will be subject to the penalty under sub. (7)
If a program participant is the sole member of a limited liability company, the limited liability company may list the department as its registered agent and registered office under s. 183.0105 (1)
If the department receives service of process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served on a limited liability company under subd. 1.
, the department shall forward the process, notice, or demand to the program participant's actual address.
The department shall promulgate rules regarding administration of the program established under this section and regarding the retention and destruction of applications, records, and other documents received or generated under this section. The department may use the emergency rule procedures under s. 227.24
to promulgate the rules required under this subsection. Notwithstanding s. 227.24 (1) (a)
, the department may promulgate those rules as emergency rules without providing evidence that promulgating those rules as emergency rules is necessary to preserve the public peace, health, safety, or welfare and without a finding of emergency. Notwithstanding s. 227.24 (1) (e) 1d.
, the department is not required to prepare a statement of the scope of those rules or to submit those rules in final draft form to the governor for approval.
A person who intentionally releases information in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Investigation of statewide crime. 165.70(1)(1)
The department of justice shall do all of the following:
Investigate crime that is statewide in nature, importance or influence.
Except as provided in sub. (1m)
, enforce chs. 945
and ss. 940.20 (3)
, 943.01 (2) (c)
, 944.30 (1m)
, 947.02 (3)
, and 948.081
Investigate violations of ch. 563
that are statewide in nature, importance or influence.
The attorney general shall appoint, under the classified service, investigative personnel to achieve the purposes set out in sub. (1)
who shall have the powers of a peace officer. As many as are deemed necessary of the investigators so appointed shall be trained in drugs and narcotics law enforcement, or shall receive such training within one year of their appointment, and they shall assist, when appropriate, local law enforcement agencies to help them meet their responsibilities in this area.
It is the intention of this section to give the attorney general responsibility for devising programs to control crime statewide in nature, importance or influence, drugs and narcotics abuse, commercial gambling other than what is described in s. 945.03 (2m)
or 945.04 (2m)
, prostitution, and arson. Nothing herein shall deprive or relieve local peace officers of the power and duty to enforce those provisions enumerated in sub. (1)
District attorneys, sheriffs and chiefs of police shall cooperate and assist the personnel of the department in the performance of their duties.
Human trafficking resource center hotline poster. 165.71(1)(1)
The department of justice shall design a poster, or obtain a predesigned poster, that provides information regarding a human trafficking resource center hotline. The department shall ensure that the size of poster makes it legible and that the poster informs individuals what human trafficking is and provides a phone number that a victim or someone who knows a victim can call or text for help and services. The poster shall be in English and Spanish, and, for each county, in any other language required for voting materials in that county under federal law.
The department of justice shall make the poster under sub. (1)
available to others to print from its Internet site and shall encourage its display at each of the following places:
Gas stations with signs visible from an interstate or state highway that offer amenities to commercial vehicles.
Salons at which hair or nail services are provided.
Places at which employers engage some employees to perform agricultural labor.
Places at which athletic or sporting events occur.
Establishments that operate as a massage parlor or spa, alternative health clinic, or similar entity.
Expositions conducted by a county or agricultural society.
Rest areas maintained by the department of transportation.
History: 2015 a. 5
Controlled substances hotline and rewards for controlled substances tips. 165.72(2)
The department of justice shall maintain a single toll-free telephone number during normal retail business hours, as determined by departmental rule, for all of the following:
For persons to anonymously provide tips regarding suspected controlled substances violations.
For pharmacists to report suspected controlled substances violations.
Reward payment program.
The department shall administer a reward payment program. Under the program, the department may offer and pay rewards from the appropriation under s. 20.455 (2) (m)
for information under sub. (2) (a)
leading to the arrest and conviction of a person for a violation of ch. 961
A reward under sub. (3)
may not exceed $1,000 for the arrest and conviction of any one person. The department may not make any reward payment to a law enforcement officer, jail officer, juvenile detention officer, pharmacist, or department employee.
If a reward is claimed, the department shall make the final determination regarding any payment. The department may pay portions of a reward to 2 or more persons. The payment of a reward is not subject to a contested case proceeding under ch. 227
. The offer of a reward under sub. (3)
does not create any liability on the department or the state.
The department may withhold any record under this section from inspection or copying under s. 19.35
The department shall cooperate with the department of public instruction in publicizing, in public schools, the use of the toll-free telephone number under sub. (2)