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S.B. No. 256

S.B. No. 256

AN ACT
relating to the confidentiality of home address information of
certain victims of family violence, sexual assault or abuse,
stalking, or trafficking of persons.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. The heading to Subchapter C, Chapter 56, Code of
Criminal Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER C. ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM FOR VICTIMS OF
FAMILY VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT OR ABUSE, [OR] STALKING, OR
TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS
SECTION 2. Article 56.81, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
amended by adding Subdivisions (3-a), (6-a), (6-b), and (6-c) and
amending Subdivision (7) to read as follows:
(3-a) “Household” has the meaning assigned by Section
71.005, Family Code.
(6-a) “Sexual abuse” means any conduct that
constitutes an offense under Section 21.02, 21.11, or 25.02, Penal
Code.
(6-b) “Sexual assault” means any conduct that
constitutes an offense under Section 22.011 or 22.021, Penal Code.
(6-c) “Stalking” means any conduct that constitutes an
offense under Section 42.072, Penal Code.
(7) “Trafficking of persons” means any conduct that
constitutes an offense [that may be prosecuted] under Section
20A.02, 20A.03, 43.03, 43.04, 43.05, 43.25, 43.251, or 43.26, Penal
Code, and that results in a person:
(A) engaging in forced labor or services; or
(B) otherwise becoming a victim of the offense.
SECTION 3. Article 56.82(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
amended to read as follows:
(a) The attorney general shall establish an address
confidentiality program, as provided by this subchapter, to assist
a victim of family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or
trafficking of persons[, or an offense under Section 22.011,
22.021, 25.02, or 42.072, Penal Code,] in maintaining a
confidential address.
SECTION 4. Article 56.83, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
amended by amending Subsections (a), (b), and (e) and adding
Subsection (e-1) to read as follows:
(a) To be eligible to participate in the program, an
applicant must:
(1) either:
(A) meet with a victim’s assistance counselor
from a state or local agency or other entity, whether for-profit or
nonprofit, that is identified by the attorney general as an entity
that provides [counseling and] shelter or civil legal services or
counseling to victims of family violence, sexual assault or abuse,
stalking, or trafficking of persons[, or an offense under Section
22.011, 22.021, 25.02, or 42.072, Penal Code];
(B) be protected under, or be filing an
application on behalf of a victim who is the applicant’s child or
another person in the applicant’s household and who is protected
under:
(i) a temporary injunction issued under
Subchapter F, Chapter 6, Family Code;
(ii) a temporary ex parte order issued
under Chapter 83, Family Code;
(iii) an order issued under Chapter 7A or
Article 6.09 of this code or Chapter 85, Family Code; or
(iv) a magistrate’s order for emergency
protection issued under Article 17.292; or
(C) possess documentation of family violence, as
identified by the rules adopted under this section, or of sexual
assault or abuse or stalking, as described by Section 92.0161,
Property Code;
(2) file an application for participation with the
attorney general or a state or local agency or other entity
identified by the attorney general under Subdivision (1);
(3) file an affirmation that the applicant has
discussed safety planning with a victim’s assistance counselor
described by Subdivision (1)(A);
(4) designate the attorney general as agent to receive
service of process and mail on behalf of the applicant; and
(5) [(4)] live at a residential address, or relocate
to a residential address, that is unknown to the person who
committed or is alleged to have committed the family violence,
sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking of persons[, or
an offense under Section 22.011, 22.021, 25.02, or 42.072, Penal
Code].
(b) An application under Subsection (a)(2) must contain:
(1) a signed, sworn statement by the applicant stating
that the applicant fears for the safety of the applicant, the
applicant’s child, or another person in the applicant’s household
because of a threat of immediate or future harm caused by the person
who committed or is alleged to have committed the family violence,
sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or [the] trafficking of
persons[, or an offense under Section 22.011, 22.021, 25.02, or
42.072, Penal Code];
(2) the applicant’s true residential address and, if
applicable, the applicant’s business and school addresses; and
(3) a statement by the applicant of whether there is an
existing court order or a pending court case for child support or
child custody or visitation that involves the applicant, the
applicant’s child, or another person in the applicant’s household
and, if so, the name and address of:
(A) the legal counsel of record; and
(B) each parent involved in the court order or
pending case.
(e) The attorney general by rule may establish additional
eligibility requirements for participation in the program that are
consistent with the purpose of the program as stated in Article
56.82(a).
(e-1) The attorney general may establish procedures for
requiring an applicant, in appropriate circumstances, to submit
with the application under Subsection (a)(2) independent
documentary evidence of family violence, sexual assault or abuse,
stalking, or trafficking of persons[, or an offense under Section
22.011, 22.021, 25.02, or 42.072, Penal Code,] in the form of:
(1) an active or recently issued [protective] order
described by Subsection (a)(1)(B);
(2) an incident report or other record maintained by a
law enforcement agency or official;
(3) a statement of a physician or other health care
provider regarding the [applicant’s] medical condition of the
applicant, applicant’s child, or other person in the applicant’s
household as a result of the family violence, sexual assault or
abuse, stalking, or trafficking of persons[, or offense]; [or]
(4) a statement of a mental health professional, a
member of the clergy, an attorney or other legal advocate, a trained
staff member of a family violence center, or another professional
who has assisted the applicant, applicant’s child, or other person
in the applicant’s household in addressing the effects of the
family violence, sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking
of persons; or
(5) any other independent documentary evidence
necessary to show the applicant’s eligibility to participate in the
program[, or offense].
SECTION 5. Article 56.90(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
amended to read as follows:
(a) The attorney general:
(1) shall disclose a participant’s true residential,
business, or school address if:
(A) requested by:
(i) a law enforcement agency for the
purpose of conducting an investigation;
(ii) the Department of Family and
Protective Services for the purpose of conducting a child
protective services investigation under Chapter 261, Family Code;
or
(iii) the Department of State Health
Services or a local health authority for the purpose of making a
notification described by Article 21.31 of this code, Section
54.033, Family Code, or Section 81.051, Health and Safety Code; or
(B) required by court order; and
(2) may disclose a participant’s true residential,
business, or school address if:
(A) the participant consents to the disclosure;
and
(B) the disclosure is necessary to administer the
program.
SECTION 6. Section 13.004(c), Election Code, is amended to
read as follows:
(c) The following information furnished on a registration
application is confidential and does not constitute public
information for purposes of Chapter 552, Government Code:
(1) a social security number;
(2) a Texas driver’s license number;
(3) a number of a personal identification card issued
by the Department of Public Safety;
(4) an indication that an applicant is interested in
working as an election judge; [or]
(5) the residence address of the applicant, if the
applicant is a federal judge or state judge, as defined by Section
13.0021, the spouse of a federal judge or state judge, or an
individual to whom Section 552.1175, Government Code, applies and
the applicant:
(A) included an affidavit with the registration
application describing the applicant’s status under this
subdivision, including an affidavit under Section 13.0021 if the
applicant is a federal judge or state judge or the spouse of a
federal judge or state judge;
(B) provided the registrar with an affidavit
describing the applicant’s status under this subdivision,
including an affidavit under Section 15.0215 if the applicant is a
federal judge or state judge or the spouse of a federal judge or
state judge; or
(C) provided the registrar with a completed form
approved by the secretary of state for the purpose of notifying the
registrar of the applicant’s status under this subdivision;
(6) the residence address of the applicant, if the
applicant, the applicant’s child, or another person in the
applicant’s household is a victim of family violence as defined by
Section 71.004, Family Code, who provided the registrar with:
(A) a copy of a protective order issued under
Chapter 85, Family Code, or a magistrate’s order for emergency
protection issued under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure;
or
(B) other independent documentary evidence
necessary to show that the applicant, the applicant’s child, or
another person in the applicant’s household is a victim of family
violence;
(7) the residence address of the applicant, if the
applicant, the applicant’s child, or another person in the
applicant’s household is a victim of sexual assault or abuse,
stalking, or trafficking of persons who provided the registrar
with:
(A) a copy of a protective order issued under
Chapter 7A or Article 6.09, Code of Criminal Procedure, or a
magistrate’s order for emergency protection issued under Article
17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure; or
(B) other independent documentary evidence
necessary to show that the applicant, the applicant’s child, or
another person in the applicant’s household is a victim of sexual
assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking of persons; or
(8) the residence address of the applicant, if the
applicant:
(A) is a participant in the address
confidentiality program administered by the attorney general under
Subchapter C, Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure; and
(B) provided the registrar with proof of
certification under Article 56.84, Code of Criminal Procedure.
SECTION 7. Section 25.025(a), Tax Code, is amended to read
as follows:
(a) This section applies only to:
(1) a current or former peace officer as defined by
Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure;
(2) a county jailer as defined by Section 1701.001,
Occupations Code;
(3) an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice;
(4) a commissioned security officer as defined by
Section 1702.002, Occupations Code;
(5) an individual who shows that the individual, the
individual’s child, or another person in the individual’s household
is a victim of family violence as defined by Section 71.004, Family
Code, by providing:
(A) a copy of a protective order issued under
Chapter 85, Family Code, or a magistrate’s order for emergency
protection issued under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure;
or
(B) other independent documentary evidence
necessary to show that the individual, the individual’s child, or
another person in the individual’s household is a victim of family
violence [if as a result of the act of family violence against the
victim, the actor is convicted of a felony or a Class A
misdemeanor];
(6) an individual who shows that the individual, the
individual’s child, or another person in the individual’s household
is a victim of sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking of
persons by providing:
(A) a copy of a protective order issued under
Chapter 7A or Article 6.09, Code of Criminal Procedure, or a
magistrate’s order for emergency protection issued under Article
17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure; or
(B) other independent documentary evidence
necessary to show that the individual, the individual’s child, or
another person in the individual’s household is a victim of sexual
assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking of persons;
(7) a participant in the address confidentiality
program administered by the attorney general under Subchapter C,
Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure, who provides proof of
certification under Article 56.84, Code of Criminal Procedure;
(8) a federal judge, a state judge, or the spouse of a
federal judge or state judge;
(9) [(7)] a current or former employee of a district
attorney, criminal district attorney, or county or municipal
attorney whose jurisdiction includes any criminal law or child
protective services matters;
(10) [(8)] an officer or employee of a community
supervision and corrections department established under Chapter
76, Government Code, who performs a duty described by Section
76.004(b) of that code;
(11) [(9)] a criminal investigator of the United
States as described by Article 2.122(a), Code of Criminal
Procedure;
(12) [(10)] a police officer or inspector of the
United States Federal Protective Service;
(13) [(11)] a current or former United States attorney
or assistant United States attorney and the spouse and child of the
attorney;
(14) [(12)] a current or former employee of the office
of the attorney general who is or was assigned to a division of that
office the duties of which involve law enforcement;
(15) [(13)] a medical examiner or person who performs
forensic analysis or testing who is employed by this state or one or
more political subdivisions of this state;
(16) [(14)] a current or former member of the United
States armed forces who has served in an area that the president of
the United States by executive order designates for purposes of 26
U.S.C. Section 112 as an area in which armed forces of the United
States are or have engaged in combat;
(17) [(15)] a current or former employee of the Texas
Juvenile Justice Department or of the predecessors in function of
the department;
(18) [(16)] a current or former juvenile probation or
supervision officer certified by the Texas Juvenile Justice
Department, or the predecessors in function of the department,
under Title 12, Human Resources Code; and
(19) [(17)] a current or former employee of a juvenile
justice program or facility, as those terms are defined by Section
261.405, Family Code.
SECTION 8. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2017.

______________________________ ______________________________
President of the Senate Speaker of the House

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 256 passed the Senate on
March 29, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.

______________________________
Secretary of the Senate

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 256 passed the House on
May 6, 2017, by the following vote: Yeas 142, Nays 0, one present
not voting.

______________________________
Chief Clerk of the House

Approved:

______________________________
Date

______________________________
Governor

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