2016 California Code
Penal Code - PEN
PART 4 - PREVENTION OF CRIMES AND APPREHENSION OF CRIMINALS
TITLE 7.5 - THE HERTZBERG-LESLIE WITNESS PROTECTION ACT
14029.5. (a) (1) No person or private entity shall post on the Internet the home address, the telephone number, or personal identifying information that discloses the location of any witness or witness family member participating in the Witness Relocation and Assistance Program (WRAP) with the intent that another person imminently use that information to commit a crime involving violence or a threat of violence against that witness or witness family member.
(2) A violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment of up to six months in a county jail, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(3) A violation of this subdivision that leads to the bodily injury of the witness, or of any of the witness family members who are participating in the program, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment of up to one year in a county jail, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(b) Upon admission to WRAP, local or state prosecutors shall give each participant a written opt-out form for submission to relevant Internet search engine companies or entities. This form shall notify entities of the protected person and prevent the inclusion of the participant s addresses and telephone numbers in public Internet search databases.
(c) A business, state or local agency, private entity, or person that receives the opt-out form of a WRAP participant pursuant to this section shall remove the participant s personal information from public display on the Internet within two business days of delivery of the opt-out form, and shall continue to ensure that this information is not reposted on the same Internet Web site, a subsidiary site, or any other Internet Web site maintained by the recipient of the opt-out form. No business, state or local agency, private entity, or person that has received an opt-out form from a WRAP participant shall solicit, sell, or trade on the Internet the home address or telephone number of that participant.
(d) A business, state or local agency, private entity, or person that violates subdivision (c) shall be subject to a civil penalty for each violation in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000). An action for a civil penalty under this subdivision may be brought by any public prosecutor in the name of the people of the State of California and the penalty imposed shall be enforceable as a civil judgment.
(e) A witness whose home address or telephone number is made public as a result of a violation of subdivision (c) may bring an action seeking injunctive or declaratory relief in any court of competent jurisdiction. If a jury or court finds that a violation has occurred, it may grant injunctive or declaratory relief and shall award the witness court costs and reasonable attorney s fees.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a witness whose home address or telephone number is solicited, sold, or traded in violation of subdivision (c) may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction. If a jury or court finds that a violation has occurred, it shall award damages to that witness in an amount up to a maximum of three times the actual damages, but in no case less than four thousand dollars ($4,000).
(g) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under any other provision of law.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 328, Sec. 183. Effective January 1, 2011.)
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