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California Government Code Section 6254.21

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Government Code > California Government Code Section 6254.21

6254.21.  (a) No state or local agency shall post the home address
or telephone number of any elected or appointed official on the
Internet without first obtaining the written permission of that
individual.
   (b) No person shall knowingly post the home address or telephone
number of any elected or appointed official, or of the official's
residing spouse or child, on the Internet knowing that person is an
elected or appointed official and intending to cause imminent great
bodily harm that is likely to occur or threatening to cause imminent
great bodily harm to that individual. A violation of this subdivision
is a misdemeanor. A violation of this subdivision that leads to the
bodily injury of the official, or his or her residing spouse or
child, is a misdemeanor or a felony.
   (c) (1) (A) No person, business, or association shall publicly
post or publicly display on the Internet the home address or
telephone number of any elected or appointed official if that
official has made a written demand of that person, business, or
association to not disclose his or her home address or telephone
number.
   (B) A written demand made under this paragraph by a state
constitutional officer, a mayor, or a Member of the Legislature, a
city council, or a board of supervisors shall include a statement
describing a threat or fear for the safety of that official or of any
person residing at the official's home address.
   (C) A written demand made under this paragraph by an elected
official shall be effective for four years, regardless of whether or
not the official's term has expired prior to the end of the four-year
period.
   (D) (i) A person, business, or association that receives the
written demand of an elected or appointed official pursuant to this
paragraph shall remove the official's home address or telephone
number from public display on the Internet, including information
provided to cellular telephone applications, within 48 hours of
delivery of the written demand, and shall continue to ensure that
this information is not reposted on the same Internet Web site,
subsidiary site, or any other Internet Web site maintained by the
recipient of the written demand.
   (ii) After receiving the elected or appointed official's written
demand, the person, business, or association shall not transfer the
appointed or elected official's home address or telephone number to
any other person, business, or association through any other medium.
   (iii) Clause (ii) shall not be deemed to prohibit a telephone
corporation, as defined in Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code,
or its affiliate, from transferring the elected or appointed official'
s home address or telephone number to any person, business, or
association, if the transfer is authorized by federal or state law,
regulation, order, or tariff, or necessary in the event of an
emergency, or to collect a debt owed by the elected or appointed
official to the telephone corporation or its affiliate.
   (E) For purposes of this paragraph, "publicly post" or "publicly
display" means to intentionally communicate or otherwise make
available to the general public.
   (2) An official whose home address or telephone number is made
public as a result of a violation of paragraph (1) may bring an
action seeking injunctive or declarative relief in any court of
competent jurisdiction. If a court finds that a violation has
occurred, it may grant injunctive or declarative relief and shall
award the official court costs and reasonable attorney's fees. A fine
not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) may be imposed for a
violation of the court's order for an injunction or declarative
relief obtained pursuant to this paragraph.
   (3) An elected or appointed official may designate in writing the
official's employer, a related governmental entity, or any voluntary
professional association of similar officials to act, on behalf of
that official, as that official's agent with regard to making a
written demand pursuant to this section. A written demand made by an
agent pursuant to this paragraph shall include a statement describing
a threat or fear for the safety of that official or of any person
residing at the official's home address.
   (d) (1) No person, business, or association shall solicit, sell,
or trade on the Internet the home address or telephone number of an
elected or appointed official with the intent to cause imminent great
bodily harm to the official or to any person residing at the
official's home address.
   (2) Notwithstanding any other law, an official whose home address
or telephone number is solicited, sold, or traded in violation of
paragraph (1) 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 official in an amount up to a maximum
of three times the actual damages but in no case less than four
thousand dollars ($4,000).
   (e) An interactive computer service or access software provider,
as defined in Section 230(f) of Title 47 of the United States Code,
shall not be liable under this section unless the service or provider
intends to abet or cause imminent great bodily harm that is likely
to occur or threatens to cause imminent great bodily harm to an
elected or appointed official.
   (f) For purposes of this section, "elected or appointed official"
includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
   (1) State constitutional officers.
   (2) Members of the Legislature.
   (3) Judges and court commissioners.
   (4) District attorneys.
   (5) Public defenders.
   (6) Members of a city council.
   (7) Members of a board of supervisors.
   (8) Appointees of the Governor.
   (9) Appointees of the Legislature.
   (10) Mayors.
   (11) City attorneys.
   (12) Police chiefs and sheriffs.
   (13) A public safety official, as defined in Section 6254.24.
   (14) State administrative law judges.
   (15) Federal judges and federal defenders.
   (16) Members of the United States Congress and appointees of the
President.
   (g) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude punishment
instead under Sections 69, 76, or 422 of the Penal Code, or any other
provision of law.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014