(a)It is the intent of the Legislature to protect individual rights of privacy, and to facilitate and enhance the effectiveness of the child and spousal support enforcement program, by ensuring the confidentiality of support enforcement and child abduction records, and to thereby encourage the full and frank disclosure of information relevant to all of the following:
(1)The establishment or maintenance of parent and child relationships and support obligations.
(2)The enforcement of the child support liability of absent parents.
(3)The enforcement of spousal support liability of the spouse or former spouse to the extent required by the state plan under Section 17604 and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 4900) of Part 5 of Division 9.
(4)The location of absent parents.
(5)The location of parents and children abducted, concealed, or detained by them.
(b)(1)Except as provided in subdivision (c), all files, applications, papers, documents, and records established or maintained by any public entity pursuant to the administration and implementation of the child and spousal support enforcement program established pursuant to Part D (commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code and this division, shall be confidential, and shall not be open to examination or released for disclosure for any purpose not directly connected with the administration of the child and spousal support enforcement program. No public entity shall disclose any file, application, paper, document, or record, or the information contained therein, except as expressly authorized by this section.
(2)In no case shall information be released or the whereabouts of one party or the child disclosed to another party, or to the attorney of any other party, if a protective order has been issued by a court or administrative agency with respect to the party, a good cause claim under Section 11477.04 of the Welfare and Institutions Code has been approved or is pending, or the public agency responsible for establishing paternity or enforcing support has reason to believe that the release of the information may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or the child. When a local child support agency is prohibited from releasing information pursuant to this subdivision, the information shall be omitted from any pleading or document to be submitted to the court and this subdivision shall be cited in the pleading or other document as the authority for the omission. The information shall be released only upon an order of the court pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision (c).
(3)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a proof of service filed by the local child support agency shall not disclose the address where service of process was accomplished. Instead, the local child support agency shall keep the address in its own records. The proof of service shall specify that the address is on record at the local child support agency and that the address may be released only upon an order from the court pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision (c). The local child support agency shall, upon request by a party served, release to that person the address where service was effected.
(c)Disclosure of the information described in subdivision (b) is authorized as follows:
(1)All files, applications, papers, documents, and records as described in subdivision (b) shall be available and may be used by a public entity for all administrative, civil, or criminal investigations, actions, proceedings, or prosecutions conducted in connection with the administration of the child and spousal support enforcement program approved under Part D (commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code and to the county welfare department responsible for administering a program operated under a state plan pursuant to Part A, Subpart 1 or 2 of Part B, or Part E of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(2)A document requested by a person who wrote, prepared, or furnished the document may be examined by or disclosed to that person or his or her designee.
(3)The payment history of an obligor pursuant to a support order may be examined by or released to the court, the obligor, or the person on whose behalf enforcement actions are being taken or that person's designee.
(4)Income and expense information of either parent may be released to the other parent for the purpose of establishing or modifying a support order.
(5)Public records subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of the Government Code) may be released.
(6)After a noticed motion and a finding by the court, in a case in which establishment or enforcement actions are being taken, that release or disclosure to the obligor or obligee is required by due process of law, the court may order a public entity that possesses an application, paper, document, or record as described in subdivision (b) to make that item available to the obligor or obligee for examination or copying, or to disclose to the obligor or obligee the contents of that item. Article 9 (commencing with Section 1040) of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of the Evidence Code shall not be applicable to proceedings under this part. At any hearing of a motion filed pursuant to this section, the court shall inquire of the local child support agency and the parties appearing at the hearing if there is reason to believe that release of the requested information may result in physical or emotional harm to a party. If the court determines that harm may occur, the court shall issue any protective orders or injunctive orders restricting the use and disclosure of the information as are necessary to protect the individuals.
(7)To the extent not prohibited by federal law or regulation, information indicating the existence or imminent threat of a crime against a child, or location of a concealed, detained, or abducted child or the location of the concealing, detaining, or abducting person, may be disclosed to any district attorney, any appropriate law enforcement agency, or to any state or county child protective agency, or may be used in any judicial proceedings to prosecute that crime or to protect the child.
(8)The social security number, most recent address, and the place of employment of the absent parent may be released to an authorized person as defined in Section 653(c) of Title 42 of the United States Code, only if the authorized person has filed a request for the information, and only if the information has been provided to the California Parent Locator Service by the federal Parent Locator Service pursuant to Section 653 of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(d)(1)"Administration and implementation of the child and spousal support enforcement program," as used in this division, means the carrying out of the state and local plans for establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support obligations, enforcing spousal support orders, and determining paternity pursuant to Part D (commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code and this article.
(2)For purposes of this division, "obligor" means any person owing a duty of support.
(3)As used in this division, "putative parent" shall refer to any person reasonably believed to be the parent of a child for whom the local child support agency is attempting to establish paternity or establish, modify, or enforce support pursuant to Section 17400.
(e)Any person who willfully, knowingly, and intentionally violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(f)Nothing in this section shall be construed to compel the disclosure of information relating to a deserting parent who is a recipient of aid under a public assistance program for which federal aid is paid to this state, if that information is required to be kept confidential by the federal law or regulations relating to the program.