2010 Rhode Island Code
Title 15 Domestic Relations
CHAPTER 15-22 Exchange of Information in Support of Child Support Collection
§ 15-22-5 Disclosure of personal data prohibited Petition for disclosure Motion to seal court files Determination of harm Limited disclosure.
§ 15-22-5 Disclosure of personal data prohibited Petition for disclosure Motion to seal court files Determination of harm Limited disclosure. (a) A person or agency, including the IV-D agency, seeking personal data which the IV-D agency is prohibited from disclosing because of a history of domestic violence but which could otherwise be disclosed pursuant to § 15-22-1(a), or which the Federal Parent Locator Service established pursuant to title IV, part D of the Social Security Act is prohibited from disclosing because the secretary of the federal department of health and human services has been notified that there is reasonable evidence of a history of domestic violence, may file a petition with the family court to request disclosure of the personal data. The petition shall specify the purposes for which the personal data is required. When a petition is filed under this section, or when the court receives notice from the IV-D agency through a motion to seal the file or otherwise, that the IV-D agency has been notified of a history of domestic violence pursuant to § 15-22-4, the court shall determine whether disclosure of personal data could be harmful to the parent or child before releasing the data to any other person or agency. The parent may provide the information in writing and shall not be required to appear in person to contest the release of information. The court shall also notify the IV-D agency of any petition to disclose files pursuant to this section, and the IV-D agency shall provide the court with any reasonable evidence of a history of domestic violence when it has been provided to the IV-D agency pursuant to § 15-22-4. The court may also request information directly from the Federal Parent Locator Service, from the IV-D agency of another state, and from any other source.
(b) In determining whether disclosure of personal data meets the definition of a history of domestic violence and could be harmful to the parent or child, the court shall consider any relevant information provided by the parent or child, any information provided by the IV-D agency or by the IV-D agency of another state, any evidence provided by the person seeking the personal data, whether the address of the parent or child has been impounded, and any other relevant evidence, including information contained in the records of the statewide domestic violence record keeping system. Documentary evidence transmitted to the court by facsimile, telecopier, or other means that do not provide an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission. The court may permit a party or witness to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means.
(2) The court shall not enter an order to disclose personal data without reviewing all of the information that has been provided to the court and shall not draw an adverse inference from the failure of the parent to appear in person to contest disclosure of information.
(3) The court may, upon motion by any party, or the division of taxation, child support enforcement, or on its own, enter an order:
(i) Sealing the file and prohibiting any disclosure of confidential information by the court or its agents;
(ii) Obliterating location information contained in the court file;
(iii) Permitting disclosure by the court or its agents to a specific person or persons;
(iv) Prohibiting disclosure by the court or its agents to a specific person or persons; or
(v) Removing any restrictions on disclosure by the court and its agents.
(4) An order permitting disclosure of personal data may specify the purposes for which the data may be used and may prohibit a person to whom the data is disclosed from making further disclosures to any other person. The court shall notify the IV-D agency of any order entered pursuant to this section. Any person or agency who violates an order issued pursuant to this section may be held in contempt of court and subject to the penalties provided in § 15-22-4(c)(2).
(5) The court may disclose location information about a parent for the limited purpose of notifying the parent of a proceeding under this section or of any other proceeding in the probate and family court, provided that the information shall not be disclosed to another party unless the court issues an order pursuant to this section permitting the disclosure.
History of Section.
(P.L. 2000, ch. 149, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 272, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 410, § 9.)
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