WSR 02-07-091

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed March 19, 2002, 4:12 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: March 15, 2002.

Purpose: The Division of Child Support (DCS) is clarifying the rules regarding confidentiality and disclosure of information contained in DCS records.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-14A-2105, 388-14A-2110, 388-14A-2115, 388-14A-2120, and 388-14A-2125.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 26.23.120, 74.08.090.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 01-21-105 on October 23, 2001.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 7, Amended 5, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 7, Amended 5, Repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

March 15, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

2970.5
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2105   ((Does the)) Basic confidentiality rules for the division of child support ((keep information about me confidential?)).   (1) Under RCW 26.23.120, all information and records, concerning persons who owe a support obligation or for whom the division of child support (DCS) provides support enforcement services, are private and confidential.

(2) DCS discloses information and records only ((as follows:

(a) DCS discloses information and records only to:

(i))) to a person or entity listed in this section or in RCW 26.23.120, and only for ((the)) a specific purpose ((or purposes stated in)) allowed by state or federal law((;

(ii))).

(3) DCS may disclose information to:

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

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

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

(((v))) (d) A party under contract with DCS, including a federally recognized Indian tribe, if disclosure ((will allow the party to assist in the program's management or operation)) is for support enforcement and related purposes;

(((vi))) (e) A person or entity, including a federally recognized Indian tribe, when disclosure is necessary to the administration of the child support program or the performance of DCS functions and duties ((in)) under state and federal law((. DCS may publish information about a responsible parent for locate and enforcement purposes));

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

(((viii))) (g) The office of administrative hearings or the office of appeals for administration of the hearing process under chapter 34.05 RCW. The ALJ or review judge must:

(i) Not include the address of either party in an administrative order, or disclose a party's address to the other party((. The review judge and the ALJ must:

(A)));

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

(((B))) (iii) Inform the parties they may obtain the address by submitting a request for disclosure to DCS 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 address information is subject to the provisions of WAC 388-14A-2110;

(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 388-14A-2110;

(d))) WAC 388-14A-2110(2).

(4) DCS may publish information about a noncustodial parent (NCP) for locate and enforcement purposes.

(5) WAC 388-14A-2114(1) sets out the rules for disclosure of address, employment or other information regarding the custodial parent (CP) or the children.

(6) WAC 388-14A-2114(2) sets out the rules for disclosure of address, employment or other information regarding the NCP.

(7) DCS may disclose the Social Security Number of a dependent child to the noncustodial parent (NCP) to enable the NCP to claim the dependency exemption as authorized by the Internal Revenue Service((;

(e))).

(8) DCS may disclose 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))) (9) Except as provided elsewhere in chapter 388-14A WAC, chapter 388-01 WAC governs the process of requesting and disclosing information and records.

(((3))) (10) DCS must take timely action on requests for disclosure. DCS must respond in writing within five working days of receipt of the request.

(((4))) (11) If a child is receiving foster care services, ((you)) the parent(s) must contact ((your)) their local community services office for disclosure of the child's address information.

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

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

(a) Prevents DCS 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 DCS to disclose information and records obtained from a confidential source.

(14) DCS cannot provide copies of the confidential information form contained in court orders. You must go to court to get access to the confidential information form. DCS may disclose information contained within the confidential information form if disclosure is authorized under RCW 26.23.120, chapter 388-01 WAC, or chapter 388-14A WAC.

(15) DCS may provide a Support Order Summary to the parties to an administrative support order under WAC 388-14A-2116.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.120. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2105, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-030.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2107   Are there special rules for requests for whereabouts information?   (1) Address information is sometimes referred to as whereabouts information, meaning information giving someone's home, work, school or daycare location.

(2) 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.

(3) The last known address of the 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.

(4) The last known address of a party to an order for child support may be given to another party to the order. The party receiving the information may only use the information to establish a parenting plan for the children covered by the support order.

(5) Disclosure of whereabouts information is subject to the provisions of WAC 388-14A-2114.

(6) Requests from law enforcement agencies are subject to the provisions of RCW 74.04.062.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2110   How do I ((find out the address of my children, or of the other parent of my children)) make a request for disclosure of DCS public records?   (1) You can make a request for disclosure of most DCS records either orally or in writing. If you are requesting whereabouts information, see subsection (2).

(2) You must submit a request for disclosure of a parent or child's address ((must be submitted)) in writing or in person, with satisfactory evidence of identity, at any office of the division of child support (DCS)((;

(2))).

(a) If the request is made by your attorney, DCS may waive the provisions regarding submission in person with satisfactory evidence of identity((;

(3))).

(b) If you are unable to appear at a DCS office in person, DCS may waive the provision requiring submission in person if you submit a notarized request for disclosure((;

(4))). DCS can provide a form which contains all the required elements for an address disclosure request.

(c) The person seeking disclosure must attach the following to a request for disclosure of an address:

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

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

(((c))) (iii) A statement explaining the purpose of the request and how the requestor intends to use the information.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.120. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2110, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-030 and 388-14-035.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2112   When I make a public disclosure request, do I get the information or records immediately?   (1) The division of child support (DCS) must respond to a public disclosure request within five days, under RCW 26.23.120 and WAC 388-01-090.

(2) "Respond" can mean:

(a) Providing the requested documents;

(b) Acknowledging receipt of the request and giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide copies;

(c) Requesting copy and postage fees;

(d) Requesting that you clarify your request if we are not sure what you are asking for;

(e) Notifying you of any other necessary procedural steps, such as notice to the other party or to a third party; or

(f) Denying your request according to WAC 388-01-090(3).

(3) When someone requests address or other whereabouts information, DCS first gives notice as provided in WAC 388-14A-2114, 388-14A-2120, and 388-14A-2115.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2114   Does DCS give notice to anyone before releasing information pursuant to a public disclosure request?   (1) Prior to disclosing the address of the custodial parent (CP) or a child, DCS mails a notice to the last known address of the CP, except as provided under WAC 388-14A-2115. The notice advises the CP that:

(a) A request for disclosure has been made;

(b) DCS intends to disclose the address after thirty days from the date of the notice, unless:

(i) DCS receives a copy of an order which:

(A) Enjoins disclosure of the address;

(B) Restricts the noncustodial parent's right to contact or visit the CP or a child by imposing conditions to protect the CP 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 the CP or child would be unreasonably put at risk by disclosure of address or other identifying information; or

(ii) The CP requests an administrative hearing which ultimately results in a decision that release of the address is reasonably anticipated to result in harm to the CP or a dependent child.

(c) In any hearing under this section, either party may participate in the proceeding by telephone, from any prearranged location. The administrative law judge (ALJ) must not disclose the location and phone number.

(2) DCS does not provide notice to the noncustodial parent (NCP) before disclosing NCP's address information to the CP unless NCP has requested prior notice under WAC 388-14A-2120.

(3) Before releasing confidential information concerning someone who is not a party to the case, DCS gives notice to that person according to WAC 388-01-140.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2115   ((What are the requirements for making an)) Can the custodial parent waive notice of a request for address ((disclosure request))?   (1) ((The following provisions apply to a request for disclosure of the address of a party to the order or a dependent child under chapter 388-14A WAC. The division of child support (DCS) does not release the address if:

(a) The department has determined, under WAC 388-422-0021, that the custodial parent (CP) 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) DCS has information which gives DCS 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 DCS denies a request for disclosure under subsection (1) of this section, DCS notifies 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, DCS mails 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 advises the party that:

(a) A request for disclosure has been made;

(b) DCS will disclose the address after thirty days from the date of the notice, unless:

(i) DCS 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 administrative hearing 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 administrative law judge (ALJ) must not disclose the location and phone number.

(4) DCS is not required to 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.

(b) The records of DCS contain a written authorization for address release under WAC 388-14A-2125)) Any party to a support order may authorize the division of child support (DCS) to release his or her address to the other party with no prior notice.

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

(a) In writing;

(b) Notarized; and

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

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.120. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2115, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-030, 388-14-035, and 388-14-045.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2116   How do I request a support order summary from DCS?   (1) If you are a party to an administrative support order, you may request a support order summary from the division of child support (DCS). The support order summary includes the following information:

(a) The noncustodial parent's residential address, employer's address, Social Security Number; date of birth, and driver's license number; and

(b) The custodial parent's social security number.

(2) DCS provides the most current information DCS has available in the support order summary.

(3) DCS must provide notice to the noncustodial parent (NCP) prior to releasing his or her residential and employer address information if the NCP has requested that he or she be provided notice before DCS releases the address information, as provided in WAC 388-14A-2120.

(4) Nonaddress information contained in the Support Order Summary may be released without notice to the other party to the support order.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2120   ((What happens at a hearing on an objection to disclosure of my address)) Can the noncustodial parent request notice before DCS releases address information to the custodial parent?   (1) ((In any administrative hearing requested under WAC 388-14A-2115 (3)(b)(ii):

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

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

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

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

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

(c) The administrative law judge (ALJ) must 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 chapter 388-14A WAC specifically permits disclosure;

(e) If the party requesting address disclosure:

(i) Fails to meet this burden, the ALJ enters 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 show reasonable fear of harm by any form of evidence admissible under chapter 34.05 RCW; and

(B) Is not required to provide supporting evidence required by WAC 388-422-0020, to establish a reasonable fear of harm.

(f) If either party fails to appear, the ALJ enters an order on default:

(i) If the party objecting to disclosure fails to appear, the order requires DCS 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 denies the request for address information.

(g) OAH arranges the attendance of the parties by telephone or other procedure showing due regard for the safety of the parties and the children;

(h) DCS issues a final response to the disclosure request within five working days of the exhaustion of administrative remedies.

(2) If the custodial parent (CP) 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 are independent parties in the address disclosure hearing)) The notice and hearing process in WAC 388-14A-2114 and 388-14A-2140 do not apply to requests for address information of the noncustodial parent (NCP).

(2) The NCP may request notice before whereabouts info is released to the custodial parent by notifying the division of child support (DCS), either orally or in writing.

(3) Once an NCP has submitted a request for notice, DCS follows the notice and hearing provisions in WAC 388-14A-2114 and 388-14A-2140 when it receives a request for address information.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.120. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2120, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-030 and 388-14-050.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2125   ((How do I give)) Can DCS ((permission to give my address to the other parent)) ever release address information without ((going through the)) notice ((procedures of WAC 388-14A-2115))?   (1) ((Any party to a support order may authorize)) The division of child support (DCS) ((to release his or her address to the other party with no prior notice.

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

(a) In writing;

(b) Notarized; and

(c) Effective for any period designated by the party up to three years or until DCS is notified in writing that the party has revoked the authorization, whichever is sooner)) does not follow the notice and hearing process of WAC 388-14A-2114 and 388-14A-2140 if:

(a) Disclosure is denied under WAC 388-14A-2135;

(b) The CP has provided a written release as provided in WAC 388-14A-2115;

(c) The NCP has not filed a written request as provided in WAC 388-14A-2120; or

(d) A court order requires DCS to release the address information.

(2) DCS is not required to mail a notice prior to disclosure if the requesting party presents a facially valid warrant or a judicial finding that:

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

(b) 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.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.120. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2125, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-030 and 388-14-040.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2130   What if I object to the release of my address?   When a party objects to a notice mailed under WAC 388-14A-2114, the division of child support may:

(1) Deny disclosure if the objection provides information based on which DCS would have denied disclosure under WAC 388-14A-2135; or

(2) Request that the office of administrative hearings (OAH) set the case for an administrative hearing under WAC 388-14A-2140.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2135   When might DCS deny a request for address information without going through the notice and hearing process?   (1) The division of child support (DCS) denies a request for address information without going through the notice process under WAC 388-14A-2114 if:

(a) The department has determined, under WAC 388-422-0021, that the custodial parent (CP) 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) DCS has information which gives DCS 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 DCS denies a request for disclosure under subsection (1) of this section, DCS notifies the nonrequesting party that disclosure of the address was requested and was denied.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2140   What happens at a hearing on objection to disclosure of address information?   In any administrative hearing requested under WAC 388-14A-2114 (1)(b)(ii):

(1) The parent requesting address disclosure and the other party to the order or action are independent parties in the hearing.

(2) The office of administrative hearings (OAH) sets the hearing as a phone hearing;

(3) Each party must provide OAH with a telephone number where the party can be reached for the hearing, at some time before the scheduled hearing.

(4) The administrative law judge (ALJ) must not disclose the location or phone number from which either party is appearing.

(5) The ALJ may, upon good cause shown, convert the hearing to an in-person hearing for the party requesting disclosure.

(6) The initial burden of proof is on the party requesting address disclosure, to show that the address request is for a purpose for which chapter 388-14A WAC specifically permits disclosure.

(7) If the party requesting address disclosure:

(a) Fails to meet this burden, the ALJ enters an order denying the address request;

(b) 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:

(i) May show reasonable fear of harm by any form of evidence admissible under chapter 34.05 RCW; and

(ii) Is not required to provide supporting evidence required by WAC 388-422-0020, to establish a reasonable fear of harm.

(8) If either party fails to appear, the ALJ enters an order on default:

(a) If the party objecting to disclosure fails to appear, the order requires DCS 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;

(b) If the address requesting party fails to appear, the default order denies the request for address information.

(9) OAH arranges the attendance of the parties by telephone or other procedure showing due regard for the safety of the parties and the children.

(10) DCS issues a final response to the disclosure request within five working days of the exhaustion of administrative remedies, including any late appeal periods.

(11) If the custodial parent (CP) 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 are independent parties in the address disclosure hearing.

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