Domestic Relations Law 254
DRL 254: Confidentiality
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any proceeding for custody, divorce, separation or annulment, whether or not an order of protection or temporary order of protection is sought or has been sought in the past, the court may, upon its own motion or upon the motion of any party or the attorney for the child, authorize any party or the child to keep his or her address confidential from any adverse party or the child, as appropriate, in any pleadings or other papers submitted to the court, where the court finds that the disclosure of the address or other identifying information would pose an unreasonable risk to the health or safety of a party or the child. Pending such a finding, any address or other identifying information of the child or party seeking confidentiality shall be safeguarded and sealed in order to prevent its inadvertent or unauthorized use or disclosure.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a party or a child has resided or resides in a residential program for victims of domestic violence as defined in section four hundred fifty-nine-a of the social services law , the present address of the party and the child and the address of the residential program for victims of domestic violence shall not be revealed.
3. Upon authorization as provided in subdivision one of this section, the identifying information shall be sealed and shall not be disclosed in any pleading or other document filed in a proceeding under this article. The court shall designate the clerk of the court or such other disinterested person as it deems appropriate, with consent of such disinterested person, as the agent for service of process for the party whose address is to remain confidential and shall notify the adverse party of such designation in writing. The clerk or disinterested person designated by the court shall, when served with process or other papers on behalf of the party whose address is to remain confidential, promptly notify such party whose address is to remain confidential and forward such process or papers to him or her.
4. In any case in which such a confidentiality authorization is made, the party whose address is to remain confidential shall inform the clerk of the court or disinterested person designated by the court of any change in address for purposes of receipt of service or process or any papers.
This section of the Domestic Relations Law is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law for reference only. Statutes and codes such as DRL 254 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of DRL 254 is current. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Legislature Website. No statute should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. An attorney should be consulted for legal advice.
J. Douglas Barics, Esq. – Divorce, family, matrimonial, trial and appeals lawyer in Long Island, New York.