R.S. 47:4-1


R.S. 47:4-6

P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 369, approved January 19, 1998

Senate Committee Substitute for

Senate, Nos. 391 and 768




An Act concerning the protection of persons threatened by domestic violence, supplementing Title 47 of the Revised Statutes and enacting an additional chapter.


      Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


      1. An additional chapter 4 is added to Title 47 as follows:


Title 47

Chapter 4

Address Confidentiality Program


      47:4-1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Address Confidentiality Program Act."


      47:4-2. The Legislature finds that persons attempting to escape from actual or threatened domestic violence frequently establish new addresses to prevent their assailants from finding them. The purpose of this act is to enable public agencies to respond to requests for public records without disclosing the location of a victim of domestic violence, to enable interagency cooperation with the Secretary of State in providing address confidentiality for victims of domestic violence, and to enable public agencies to accept a program participant's use of an address designated by the Secretary of State as a substitute mailing address.


      47:4-3. As used in this act:

      "Address" means a residential street address, school address, or work address of a person, as specified on the person's application to be a program participant under this act.

      "Program participant" means a person certified by the Secretary of State as eligible to participate in the Address Confidentiality Program established by this act.

      "Department" means the Department of State.

      "Domestic violence" means an act defined in section 3 of P.L.1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-19), if the act has been reported to a law enforcement agency or court.

      "Secretary" means the Secretary of State.


      47:4-4. a. There is created in the department a program to be known as the "Address Confidentiality Program." A person 18 years of age or over, a parent or guardian acting on behalf of a minor, or a guardian acting on behalf of an incapacitated person may apply to the secretary to have an address designated by the secretary as the applicant's address. The secretary shall approve an application if it is filed in the manner and on the form prescribed by the secretary and if it contains:

      (1) a sworn statement by the applicant that the applicant has good reason to believe:

      (a) that the applicant is a victim of domestic violence as defined in this act; and

      (b) that the applicant fears further violent acts from the applicant's assailant;

      (2) a designation of the secretary as agent for the purpose of receiving process and for the purpose of receipt of mail;

      (3) the mailing address where the applicant can be contacted by the secretary, and a telephone number where the applicant can be called;

      (4) the new address or addresses that the applicant requests not be disclosed because of the increased risk of domestic violence; and

      (5) the signature of the applicant and any person who assisted in the preparation of the application, and the date.

      b. An application shall be filed with the secretary.

      c. Upon approving a completed application, the secretary shall certify the applicant as a program participant. An applicant shall be certified for four years following the date of filing unless the certification is withdrawn or invalidated before that date.

      d. A program participant may apply to be recertified every four years thereafter.

      e. A program participant may use the address designated by the secretary as his or her work address.

      f. Upon receipt of first class mail addressed to a program participant, the secretary or a designee shall forward the mail to the actual address of the participant. The secretary may arrange to receive and forward other kinds and classes of mail for any program participant at the participant's expense. The actual address of a program participant shall be available only to the secretary and to those employees involved in the operation of the address confidentiality program and to law enforcement officers for law enforcement purposes.

      g. The secretary, in accordance with the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.


      47:4-5. The secretary may cancel a program participant's certification if:

      (1) the program participant obtains a name change through an order of the court;

      (2) the program participant changes the participant's residential address and does not provide seven days' advance notice to the secretary;

      (3) mail forwarded by the secretary to the address or addresses provided by the program participant is returned as undeliverable; or

      (4) any information on the application is false.

      The application form shall notify each applicant of the provisions of this subsection.


      47:4-6. A program participant may request that any State or local agency use the address designated by the secretary as the program participant's address. The agency shall accept the address designated by the secretary as a program participant's address, unless the agency has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the secretary that:

      (1) the agency has a bona fide statutory basis for requiring the program participant to disclose to it the actual location of the program participant; and

      (2) the disclosed confidential address of the program participant will be used only for that statutory purpose and will not be disclosed or made available in any way to any other person or agency.


      2. This act shall take effect immediately.




Establishes "Address Confidentiality Program" for domestic violence victims.