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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

FAQs: For Law Enforcement

How does service of process work for Safe at Home participants?
What are best practices for law enforcement?
How do I schedule a Safe at Home presentation for staff at my law enforcement organization?
Can law enforcement professionals enroll in Safe at Home?
How can I watch the Safe at Home video for law enforcement?
How does someone enroll in Safe at Home?
Was a Safe at Home participant correct when they told me they did not have to tell law enforcement their real name?
How can we have brochures sent to us and is there a charge for them?
What does a Safe at Home card look like?
How can I be directly notified of new Safe at Home laws and proposed legislation?
Can't someone hide and avoid criminal prosecution if they join Safe at Home?
If I need to discuss a situation about a Safe at Home participant, I can call the Safe at Home office, right?
Does a Safe at Home participant have to disclose their real address to law enforcement?
How do I refer someone for Safe at Home enrollment?
What if law enforcement needs the real address of a Safe at Home participant because they need to make an arrest?
How will I know if someone is a Safe at Home participant?
What does a Safe at Home address look like?

Q: How does service of process work for Safe at Home participants?
A:

When people join Safe at Home they assign the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State as their agent to receive service of process. A participant's real residential address should not be used for service of process purposes.

For service of any legal documents by First Class Mail, including Certified Mail:

Envelopes containing documents to be served by mail, including writs, notices, motions, orders, judgments, demands, summons, subpoenas, or any other legal documents, must be clearly marked "Service of Process" on their exterior. This will ensure proper record-keeping of service received. The envelope should be addressed to the program participant at the designated address and should include the lot number. Certified Mail without the name and complete address, including the lot number, will not be accepted by the program.

For service of process in person:

If you choose to serve the documents in person, please serve the documents upon the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Clearly mark the exterior of the envelope containing the documents "Service of Process," and include the participant's name and complete address, including the lot number. No fee will be charged for accepting service. 

Serve the documents between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm in care of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State at the following address:

State Office Building, Room 180
100 Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Q: What are best practices for law enforcement?
A:
For a printable, two-page summary of Safe at Home best practices for law enforcement, click here Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=11681.                                    
Q: How do I schedule a Safe at Home presentation for staff at my law enforcement organization?
A:

To schedule a Safe at Home training, call the Safe at Home office at 651-201-1399.

Depending on your group size, a minimum of 30-60 minutes is required for a sufficient training on Safe at Home.

 

Q: Can law enforcement professionals enroll in Safe at Home?
A:

Yes. There are participants who have enrolled due to their profession, including law enforcement professionals. If someone fears for their personal safety-even if it's for professional reasons, they can join Safe at Home as long as they meet the other eligibility requirements. 

 

Q: How can I watch the Safe at Home video for law enforcement?
A:
Watch or download this video:

Safe at Home Trailer for Law Enforcement (mp4) (265 MB)
Q: How does someone enroll in Safe at Home?
A:

A person needs to meet with a Safe at Home Application Assistant to enroll in Safe at Home. An application assistant is a victim advocate who has been trained to assist with the Safe at Home application paperwork and voluntarily partners with our office to provide the enrollment service.

There are approximately 200 Safe at Home Application Assistants throughout Minnesota, employed at various victim service agencies that voluntarily partner with our office. More than likely, the victim services organization that you refer people to has at least one Safe at Home Application Assistant on staff. Click here to find out or to locate an enrolling agency near you.

 

Q: Was a Safe at Home participant correct when they told me they did not have to tell law enforcement their real name?
A:

No. There is no law that allows a Safe at Home participant to not disclose their real name to law enforcement if they are asked.

 

Q: How can we have brochures sent to us and is there a charge for them?
A:

If you would like brochures mailed to you free of charge, please call the Safe at Home office at 651-201-1399 or email Safe.athome@state.mn.us.

 

Q: What does a Safe at Home card look like?
A:

The image below shows what a Safe at Home card looks like. The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State began issuing this type of card in early May 2011. Cards issued prior to that date were green and have a colored image of the Minnesota state seal in the upper left corner.

A Safe at Home card will bear the name of the cardholder, as well as other personal information, including the participant's complete Safe at Home address.

Safe at Home ID card

Q: How can I be directly notified of new Safe at Home laws and proposed legislation?
A:

You can request to be directly informed of new Safe at Home laws and of proposed legislation by calling 651-201-1399 or by emailing Safe.athome@state.mn.us.

 

Q: Can't someone hide and avoid criminal prosecution if they join Safe at Home?
A:

No.

When someone joins Safe at Home it is not impossible to contact them. It is only difficult to physically locate them.

After someone joins Safe at Home, it's their real physical address that remains a secret (and possibly their work or school address). Their Safe at Home address, in essence, becomes their public address. It should be on their driver's license and it will be the address that is listed in any current public or private record that bears their personal information. Therefore, a person can always be contacted or legally served through their Safe at Home address.

If someone is the subject (the person who allegedly did something wrong) of a pending or ongoing criminal action when they enroll in Safe at Home, they are required to disclose that fact and the name of the prosecuting jurisdiction to the Safe at Home office. If they do not, their program participation will be cancelled. After the participant discloses the required information to Safe at Home, the prosecuting jurisdiction is notified that the person has enrolled in Safe at Home and of what that person's Safe at Home address is.

Q: If I need to discuss a situation about a Safe at Home participant, I can call the Safe at Home office, right?
A:

Not really.

All data about Safe at Home participants (including former participants), applicants, and eligible people is classified as private data. This means the Office of the Secretary of State cannot disclose any information about the subject person without their signed consent. And, in no way can that person ever give our office consent to disclose their address.

Our office can, however, verify program participation if we are given a potential participant's name and lot number.

If you wish to tell us something about a participant, you can talk to us all you want, but we cannot share with you any information about that person. If you wish to relay a message to a program participant, we are happy to do that for you, and in doing so the participant will be encouraged to give you their telephone number for future contacts.

  

Q: Does a Safe at Home participant have to disclose their real address to law enforcement?
A:

No. Law enforcement must accept a participant's Safe at Home address just like everyone else in Minnesota.

 

Q: How do I refer someone for Safe at Home enrollment?
A:

If you know someone who could benefit from the services Safe at Home provides, you can suggest to them that they should consider enrolling in Safe at Home. You can then refer them to your local victim services organization, because more than likely it is a place for Safe at Home enrollment. Or, you can tell them to call the Safe at Home office at 651-201-1399 or 1-866-723-3035. Our program telephone number is on our brochure.

To verify that your local victim services organization is a place for Safe at Home enrollment, click here and use the map to locate your region and enrollment places in your area. 

 

Q: What if law enforcement needs the real address of a Safe at Home participant because they need to make an arrest?
A:

If the real residential address of a participant is needed because law enforcement needs to arrest a Safe at Home participant, the party seeking the information needs to obtain a court order for the Safe at Home office to disclose the participant's address or, if it is an emergency situation, the party can make a data disclosure request through the Duty Officer at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Safe at Home staff are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accommodate such a request if the need arises.


 

Q: How will I know if someone is a Safe at Home participant?
A:

Safe at Home participants are encouraged to tell law enforcement professionals with whom they come in contact that they are enrolled in Safe at at Home. They cannot be required to tell you why they are enrolled in Safe at Home.

All Safe at Home participants are issued a Safe at Home participation card-even minors. Although they are not required to carry it with them at all times, most participants carry the card with them in their wallet or purse. You can ask to see their card. The card indicates the participant's legal name, their Safe at Home address, the law requiring you to accept and use their Safe at Home address, as well as the Safe at Home office telephone number. Presentation of a Safe at Home card creates a rebuttable presumption that enrollment is valid.

Most Safe at Home participants will have their Safe at Home address on their Minnesota driver's license or state ID card. If a participant has their Safe at Home address on that card, there will be no record of the participant's real address in DVS records.

Lastly, if you really question whether someone is actually a Safe at Home participant, you can call the Safe at Home office and give the lot number and name of a potential Safe at Home participant and the Safe at Home office can confirm or deny program participation of the person in question.

 

Q: What does a Safe at Home address look like?
A:

All Safe at Home participants share the same post office box. There are no exceptions. There is no other Safe at Home post office box number in Minnesota.

A Safe at Home address looks like:

Lot ###
PO Box 17370
Saint Paul MN  55117-0370

Every participant is issued a lot number. The lot number is a very important part of a participant's address. Because all participants share the same post office box, the lot number is what separates households (and sometimes adults within the same household) from one another. If mail being sent to a program participant does not contain a lot number, the mail may never reach the participant or may be significantly delayed in reaching them.

 

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