WSR 97-18-075

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES

(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed September 2, 1997, 4:59 p.m.]

Date of Adoption: September 2, 1997.

Purpose: To conform the regulations regarding confidentiality of address information with changes to federal and state law; to provide the same protection to the responsible parent as has been given to the physical custodian and the children.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-14-030.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 26.23.120, as amended by section 908, chapter 58, Laws of 1997.

Other Authority: Section 303 of Public Law 104-193 (Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act).

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 97-15-085 on July 17, 1997.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: WAC 388-14-040, 388-14-045 and 388-14-050 were revised after consultation with legal services.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 4, amended 1, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 4, amended 1, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 4, amended 1, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

September 2, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3512, filed 2/10/93, effective 3/13/93 WAC 388-14-030 Confidentiality. (1) Under RCW 26.23.120, all information and records, concerning persons who owe a support obligation or for whom the ((office)) IV-D agency provides support enforcement services, are private and confidential. The ((office)) IV-D agency shall disclose information and records only as follows:

(a) The ((office)) IV-D agency shall disclose information and records only to:

(i) A person or entity listed and for the specific purpose or purposes stated in federal law;

(ii) The person who is the subject of the information or records, unless the information or records are exempt under RCW 42.17.310;

(iii) Local, state, and federal government agencies for support enforcement and related purposes;

(iv) A party to a judicial proceeding or a hearing under chapter 34.05 RCW, if the presiding officer enters an order to disclose. The presiding officer shall base the order on a written finding that the need for the information outweighs any reason for maintaining privacy and confidentiality;

(v) A party under contract, including a federally recognized Indian tribe, if disclosure will allow the party to assist in the program's management or operation;

(vi) A person or entity, including a federally recognized Indian tribe, when necessary to the administration of the program or the performance of functions and duties in state and federal law. The ((office)) IV-D agency may publish information about a responsible parent for locate and enforcement purposes;

(vii) A person, representative, or entity if the person who is the subject of the information and records consents, in writing, to disclosure;

(viii) The office of administrative hearings or the office of appeals for administration of the hearing process under chapter 34.05 RCW. The presiding officer or review judge shall not include the address of ((the physical custodian)) either party in an administrative order, or disclose ((the physical custodian's)) a party's address to the ((responsible parent)) other party. The review judge and the presiding officer shall:

(A) State in support orders that the address is known by the Washington state support registry; and

(B) Inform the parties they may obtain the address by submitting a request for disclosure to the ((office of support enforcement (OSE))) IV-D agency under this section.

(b) The last known address of, or employment information about, a party to a court or administrative order for, or a proceeding involving, child support may be given to another party to the order. The party receiving the information may only use the information to establish, enforce, or modify a support order. Disclosure of ((this)) address information is subject to the ((limitations listed under subsections (4), (5), and (6) of this section)) provisions of WAC 388-14-035, 388-14-040, 388-14-045, and 388-14-050;

(c) The last known address of natural or adoptive children may be given to a parent having a court order granting that parent visitation rights with, legal custody of or residential time with the parent's natural or adoptive children. The parent may only use this information to enforce the terms of the court order. Disclosure of this information is subject to the provisions of WAC 388-14-035, 388-14-040, 388-14-045, and 388-14-050;

(d) The ((department)) IV-D agency may disclose the Social Security Number of a dependent child to the ((absent)) responsible parent to enable the parent to claim the dependency exemption as authorized by the Internal Revenue Service;

(e) Financial records of an individual obtained from a financial institution may be disclosed only for the purpose of, and to the extent necessary, to establish, modify, or enforce a child support obligation of that individual.

(2) Except as provided under ((subsections (4) through (8) of this section)) WAC 388-14-035, 388-14-040, 388-14-045, and 388-14-050, chapter 388-320 WAC governs the process of requesting and disclosing information and records.

(3) The ((office)) IV-D agency shall take timely action on requests for disclosure. The office shall respond in writing within five working days of receipt of the request((, unless the request is for disclosure of the address of the physical custodian or the dependent children. The office shall inform the requestor of the thirty-day notice period provided for under subsection (5) of this section. The office shall respond to a request for an address within five working days of the date the thirty-day notice period, provided for in subsection (5) of this section, expires, unless the physical custodian requests an adjudicative proceeding to contest the address release.

(4) The following provisions apply to a request for disclosure of the physical custodian's or a dependent child's address under subsection (1)(b) and (c) of this section:

(a) The office shall not release the address if:

(i) The department has determined, under WAC 388-24-111, that the physical custodian has good cause for refusing to cooperate;

(ii) The order, on which the request is based, restricts or limits the address requesting party's right to contact or visit the other party or the child by imposing conditions to protect the physical custodian or the child from harm.

(b) A person shall submit a request for disclosure in writing and in person, with satisfactory evidence of identity, at any OSE office;

(c) If the request is made by the person's attorney, the office shall waive the provisions regarding submission in person with satisfactory evidence of identity;

(d) If the person resides outside the state of Washington, the office shall waive the provision requiring submission in person if the person:

(i) Submits a notarized request for disclosure; and

(ii) Complies with the requirements of subsection (4)(e) of this section.

(e) The requester shall attach the following to a request for disclosure of an address:

(i) A copy of the superior court order on which the request is based. The office shall waive this provision if the office has a true copy of the order on file;

(ii) A sworn statement by the individual that the order has not been modified;

(iii) A statement explaining the purpose of the request and how the information will be used.

(5) Prior to disclosing the physical custodian's or a child's address, the office shall mail a notice to the last known address of the physical custodian, except as provided under subsection (8) of this section. The notice shall advise the physical custodian that:

(a) A request for disclosure has been made;

(b) The office will disclose the address, to a person under subsections (1)(b) and (c) of this section, after thirty days from the date of the notice, unless:

(i) The office receives a copy of a court order which:

(A) Enjoins disclosure of the address; or

(B) Restricts the address requesting party's right to contact or visit the other party or a child by imposing conditions to protect the physical custodian or the child from harm, including, but not limited to, temporary orders for protection under chapter 26.50 RCW; or

(ii) The physical custodian requests an adjudicative proceeding which ultimately results in a decision that release of the address is reasonably anticipated to result in harm to the physical custodian or a dependent child.

(c) If the physical custodian requests an adjudicative proceeding to contest the address release, the physical custodian may participate in the proceeding by telephone, from any pre-arranged location. The location and phone number shall not be disclosed by the presiding officer.

(6) In any adjudicative proceeding requested under subsection (5)(b)(ii) of this section:

(a) The parent requesting address disclosure and the physical custodian are independent parties in the adjudicative proceeding;

(b) The physical custodian may participate by telephone, provided the physical custodian:

(i) States in the request for the adjudicative proceeding that participation will be by telephone; and

(ii) Provides the office of appeals or the office of administrative hearings with a telephone number where the physical custodian can be reached for the hearing, at least five calendar days before the scheduled hearing.

(c) The presiding officer shall not disclose the location or phone number from which the physical custodian is appearing;

(d) The initial burden of proof is on the party requesting address disclosure, to show that the address request is for a purpose for which disclosure is specifically permitted under this section.

(e) If the party requesting address disclosure:

(i) Fails to meet this burden, the presiding officer shall enter an order denying the address request;

(ii) Establishes that the address was requested for a purpose for which disclosure is permitted, the physical custodian must then show that it is reasonable to anticipate that physical or emotional harm to the physical custodian or a child will result from release of the address. The physical custodian:

(A) May demonstrate reasonable anticipation of harm by any form of evidence admissible under chapter 34.05 RCW; and

(B) Is not required to provide corroborative evidence required by WAC 388-24-111(7), to establish a reasonable anticipation of harm.

(f) If either party fails to appear, the presiding officer may enter an order on default:

(i) If the physical custodian fails to appear, the order shall require OSE to release the physical custodian's address;

(ii) If the address requesting party fails to appear, the default order shall deny the request for address information.

(g) The office of administrative hearings shall arrange the attendance of the parties by telephone or other procedure showing due regard for the safety of the physical custodian and the children;

(h) If the physical custodian requests an adjudicative proceeding the office shall respond to the disclosure request within five working days of the exhaustion of administrative remedies.

(7) If the physical custodian requests a hearing under subsection (6) of this section in response to a department initiated review of the support order for modification, both parties to the support order shall be independent parties in the address disclosure hearing.

(8) The office shall not mail a notice prior to disclosure:

(a) If the address requesting party can show the other party will likely flee and that:

(i) A court of competent jurisdiction of this state or another state has entered an order giving legal and physical custody of a child whose address is requested to the requesting party; and

(ii) The custody order has not been altered, changed, modified, superseded, or dismissed; and

(iii) A child was taken or enticed from the address requesting party's physical custody without that party's consent; and

(iv) The address requesting party has not subsequently assented to being deprived of physical custody of the children; and

(v) The address requesting party is making reasonable efforts to regain physical custody of the child; or

(b) When a child whose address is requested is receiving foster care services under chapter 74.13 RCW.

(9)))

(4) If a child is receiving foster care services, the party shall contact the party's local community services office for disclosure of that child's address information.

(((10))) (5) The rules of confidentiality and penalties for misuse of information and reports that apply to ((a department)) a IV-D agency employee, shall also apply to a person who receives information under this section.

(((11))) (6) Nothing in these rules:

(a) Prevents the ((office)) IV-D agency from disclosing information and records when such disclosure is necessary to the performance of its duties and functions as provided by state and federal law;

(b) Requires the ((office)) IV-D agency to disclose information and records obtained from a confidential source.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 93-05-020 (Order 3512), 388-14-030, filed 2/10/93, effective 3/13/93; 91-17-063 (Order 3234), 388-14-030, filed 8/20/91, effective 9/20/91. Statutory Authority: 1988 c 275. 89-01-049 (Order 2738), 388-14-030, filed 12/14/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 88-07-012 (Order 2606), 388-14-030, filed 3/4/88; Order 1054, 388-14-030, filed 9/25/75.]

NEW SECTION

WAC 388-14-035 Requests for address disclosure--Form of request. (1) A person shall submit a request for disclosure of a parent or child's address in writing and in person, with satisfactory evidence of identity, at any office of the IV-D agency;

(2) If the request is made by the person's attorney, the agency may waive the provisions regarding submission in person with satisfactory evidence of identity;

(3) If the person is unable to appear at the IV-D agency in person, the IV-D agency may waive the provision requiring submission in person if the person submits a notarized request for disclosure;

(4) The requester shall attach the following to a request for disclosure of an address:

(a) A copy of the superior court order on which the request is based. The IV-D agency shall waive this provision if the IV-D agency has a true copy of the order on file;

(b) A sworn statement by the individual that the order has not been modified; and

(c) A statement explaining the purpose of the request and how the information will be used.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-14-040 Authorization for address release. (1) Any party to a support order may authorize the IV-D agency to release his or her address to the other party with no prior notice.

(2) An authorization to release an address shall be:

(a) In writing;

(b) Notarized; and

(c) Effective for any period designated by the party up to three years or until the IV-D agency is notified in writing that the party has revoked the authorization, whichever is sooner.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-14-045 Requests for address disclosure--Notice of request--Standards for nonrelease. (1) The following provisions apply to a request for disclosure of the address of a party to the order or a dependent child under WAC 388-14-030 through 388-14-050. The IV-D agency shall not release the address if:

(a) The department has determined, under WAC 388-215-1450, that the physical custodian has good cause for refusing to cooperate;

(b) The order, on which the request is based, restricts or limits the address requesting party's right to contact or visit the other party or the child by imposing conditions to protect the party or the child from harm;

(c) An order has been entered finding that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of the information; or

(d) The IV-D agency has information which gives the agency reason to believe that release of the address may result in physical or emotional harm to the other party or to the children.

(2) Whenever the IV-D agency denies a request for disclosure under subsection (1) of this section, the IV-D agency shall notify the nonrequesting party that disclosure of the address was requested and was denied.

(3) Prior to disclosing the address of a party or a child, the IV-D agency shall mail a notice to the last known address of the party whose address is sought, except as provided under subsection (4) of this section. The notice shall advise the party that:

(a) A request for disclosure has been made;

(b) The IV-D agency will disclose the address after thirty days from the date of the notice, unless:

(i) The IV-D agency receives a copy of an order which:

(A) Enjoins disclosure of the address;

(B) Restricts the address requesting party's right to contact or visit the other party or a child by imposing conditions to protect the party or the child from harm, including, but not limited to, temporary orders for protection under chapter 26.50 RCW; or

(C) States that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put at risk by disclosure of address or other identifying information.

(ii) The party requests an adjudicative proceeding which ultimately results in a decision that release of the address is reasonably anticipated to result in harm to a party or a dependent child;

(iii) In any hearing under this section, either party may participate in the proceeding by telephone, from any prearranged location. The location and phone number shall not be disclosed by the presiding officer.

(4) The IV-D agency shall not mail a notice prior to disclosure if:

(a) The requesting party presents a facially valid warrant or a judicial finding that:

(i) The other party will likely flee to avoid service of process; or

(ii) The other party will likely flee and that:

(A) A court of competent jurisdiction of this state or another state has entered an order giving legal and physical custody of a child whose address is requested to the requesting party; and

(B) The custody order has not been altered, changed, modified, superseded, or dismissed; and

(C) A child was taken or enticed from the address requesting party's physical custody without that party's consent; and

(D) The address requesting party has not subsequently assented to being deprived of physical custody of the children; and

(E) The address requesting party is making reasonable efforts to regain physical custody of the child; or

(b) The records of the IV-D agency contain a written authorization for address release under WAC 388-14-040.

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NEW SECTION

WAC 388-14-050 Requests for address disclosure--Hearings. (1) In any adjudicative proceeding requested under WAC 388-14-045 (2)(b)(ii):

(a) The parent requesting address disclosure and the other party to the order or action are independent parties in the adjudicative proceeding;

(b) Either party may participate by telephone, provided the party:

(i) States in the request for the adjudicative proceeding that participation will be by telephone; or

(ii) Advises the office of administrative hearings at least five calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing that participation will be by telephone; and

(iii) Provides the office of administrative hearings with a telephone number where the party can be reached for the hearing, at least five calendar days before the scheduled hearing.

(c) The presiding officer shall not disclose the location or phone number from which the party is appearing;

(d) The initial burden of proof is on the party requesting address disclosure, to show that the address request is for a purpose for which disclosure is specifically permitted under WAC 388-14-030 through 388-14-050;

(e) If the party requesting address disclosure:

(i) Fails to meet this burden, the presiding officer shall enter an order denying the address request;

(ii) Establishes that the address was requested for a purpose for which disclosure is permitted, the other party must then show that it is reasonable to anticipate that physical or emotional harm to the party or a child will result from release of the address. The party objecting to address release:

(A) May demonstrate reasonable anticipation of harm by any form of evidence admissible under chapter 34.05 RCW; and

(B) Is not required to provide corroborative evidence required by WAC 388-215-1450, to establish a reasonable anticipation of harm.

(f) If either party fails to appear, the presiding officer may enter an order on default:

(i) If the party objecting to disclosure fails to appear, the order shall require the IV-D agency to release the address unless the record contains documentary evidence which provides the basis for a finding that physical or emotional harm will likely result from release of the address;

(ii) If the address requesting party fails to appear, the default order shall deny the request for address information.

(g) The office of administrative hearings shall arrange the attendance of the parties by telephone or other procedure showing due regard for the safety of the parties and the children;

(h) The IV-D agency shall issue a final response to the disclosure request within five working days of the exhaustion of administrative remedies.

(2) If the physical custodian requests a hearing under this section in response to a department initiated review of the support order for modification, both parties to the support order shall be independent parties in the address disclosure hearing.

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