Bulletin: KS2012002

Date:
August 13, 2012
To:
All Kansas Issuing Offices
RE:
Kansas Open Records Act Revisions pertaining to Records of Home Address or Home Ownership

Dear Associates:

Kansas HB 2427, effective July 1, 2012, adds to the Kansas Open Records Act two groups of occupations and two types of information which a public agency is not required to disclose.  These are records which identify the home address or home ownership of law enforcement officers (as defined in the subsection (a) (51) of the bill) and judges and state and federal attorneys (as defined in subsection (a) (52) of the bill). 

At this time we do not know how this law will be implemented by the various public agencies, including Registers of Deeds or taxing authorities.  We do not know how this law will affect indexing of liens or other matters affecting real estate.  We recommend that you obtain a Certification from all purchasers and sellers of residential property, and from all borrowers refinancing a home or obtaining a home equity loan, which Certification states that they are not in the occupation categories covered by the law.  In the event that the borrower or seller is unable to sign the Certification or otherwise discloses that they are in any of the covered occupation categories, you should contact your underwriter for further direction. 

A form of Certification is attached. 

The following is an excerpt of the law:

45-221. Certain records not required to be open; separation of open and closed information required; statistics and records over 70 years old open. 

(a)        Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law, a public agency shall not be required to disclose: 

(51) Records of a public agency which identify the home address or home ownership of a law enforcement officer as defined in K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5111, and amendments thereto, parole officer, probation officer, court services officer or community correctional services officer. The agency head of such law enforcement office, parole office, probation office, court services office or community correctional services office or such individual officer shall file with the custodian of such record a request to have such officer's identifying information removed from public access. Within seven days of receipt of such requests, the public agency shall remove such officer's identifying information from such public access.  

(52) Records of a public agency which identify the home address or home ownership of a federal judge, a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of appeals, a district judge, a district magistrate judge, the United States attorney for the district of Kansas, an assistant United States attorney, the attorney general, an assistant attorney general, a district attorney or county attorney or an assistant district attorney or assistant county attorney. Such person or such person's employer shall file with the custodian of such record a request to have such person's identifying information removed from public access. Within seven days of receipt of such requests, the public agency shall remove such person's identifying information from such public access.  

(b)        Except to the extent disclosure is otherwise required by law or as appropriate during the course of an administrative proceeding or on appeal from agency action, a public agency or officer shall not disclose financial information of a taxpayer which may be required or requested by a county appraiser or the director of property valuation to assist in the determination of the value of the taxpayer's property for ad valorem taxation purposes; or any financial information of a personal nature required or requested by a public agency or officer, including a name, job description or title revealing the salary or other compensation of officers, employees or applicants for employment with a firm, corporation or agency, except a public agency. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics, so classified as to prevent identification of particular reports or returns and the items thereof. 

(c)        As used in this section, the term "cited or identified" shall not include a request to an employee of a public agency that a document be prepared. 

(d)        If a public record contains material which is not subject to disclosure pursuant to this act, the public agency shall separate or delete such material and make available to the requester that material in the public record which is subject to disclosure pursuant to this act. If a public record is not subject to disclosure because it pertains to an identifiable individual, the public agency shall delete the identifying portions of the record and make available to the requester any remaining portions which are subject to disclosure pursuant to this act, unless the request is for a record pertaining to a specific individual or to such a limited group of individuals that the individuals' identities are reasonably ascertainable, the public agency shall not be required to disclose those portions of the record which pertain to such individual or individuals. 

(e)        The provisions of this section shall not be construed to exempt from public disclosure statistical information not descriptive of any identifiable person.

(f)         Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), any public record which has been in existence more than 70 years shall be open for inspection by any person unless disclosure of the record is specifically prohibited or restricted by federal law, state statute or rule of the Kansas supreme court or by a policy adopted pursuant to K.S.A. 72-6214, and amendments thereto. 

(g)        Any confidential records or information relating to security measures provided or received under the provisions of subsection (a) (45) shall not be subject to subpoena, discovery or other demand in any administrative, criminal or civil action. 

If you have any questions relating to this or other bulletins, please contact a Stewart Title Guaranty Company underwriter.

For on-line viewing of this and other bulletins, please log onto www.vuwriter.com.

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
KS Certification of Identifying Information