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Do I Have To Put My Address On Court Papers?
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Do I Have To Put My Address On Court Papers?


Do I Have To Put My Address On Court Papers?

No. You may write “address confidential due to domestic violence” on your forms. Additionally, recent legislation allows survivors of domestic violence to keep their home addresses confidential through the Safe At Home program, which is run by the Secretary of State’s office. If you meet certain criteria, the Safe At Home program will give you a substitute mailing address to use on official documents, including court papers and your driver’s license. In addition, your voter’s registration records will be kept confidential; as a registered voter in the Safe At Home program, you automatically receive absent voter status. Also, if you decide to get married while in the program, your address will remain confidential on those documents as well.

Here’s how the Safe At Home program works: You apply through one of the many designated local domestic violence services programs. To qualify, you must meet criteria establishing you as a victim-survivor of domestic violence. Then you will be issued a Safe At Home identification card with the substitute address. Any first-class or government mail sent to you at that address will be forwarded within 48 hours. Any service of process delivered to the address also will be passed on to you. If you follow the rules, you can use the address for up to four years. For more information, call the program toll-free at 1-877-322-5227. Or, visit the program’s Web site at www.ss.ca.gov/safeathome.

Keep in mind, however, that the Safe At Home program is simply one more protective measure. It is not a guarantee of safety. While it may provide vital assistance, no such program is fail-safe. Use all measures possible to keep yourself and your children safe.