(a) The department shall operate a service through which members of the public may provide a list of at least six persons on a form approved by the Department of Justice and inquire whether any of those persons is required to register as a sex offender and is subject to public notification. The Department of Justice shall respond with information on any person as to whom information may be available to the public via the Internet Web site as provided in Section 290.46, to the extent that information may be disclosed pursuant to Section 290.46. The Department of Justice may establish a fee for requests, including all actual and reasonable costs associated with the service.
(b) The income from the operation of the service specified in subdivision (a) shall be deposited in the Sexual Predator Public Information Account within the Department of Justice for the purpose of the implementation of this section by the Department of Justice.
The moneys in the account shall consist of income from the operation of the service authorized by subdivision (a), and any other funds made available to the account by the Legislature. Moneys in the account shall be available to the Department of Justice upon appropriation by the Legislature for the purpose specified in subdivision (a).
(c) (1) Any person who uses information disclosed pursuant to this section to commit a felony shall be punished, in addition and consecutive to, any other punishment, by a five-year term of imprisonment in the state prison.
(2) Any person who, without authorization, uses information disclosed pursuant to this section to commit a misdemeanor shall be subject to, in addition to any other penalty or fine imposed, a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(d) (1) A person is authorized to use information disclosed pursuant to this section only to protect a person at risk.
(2) Except as authorized under paragraph (1) or any other provision of law, use of any information that is disclosed pursuant to this section for purposes relating to any of the following is prohibited:
(A) Health insurance.
(F) Education, scholarships, or fellowships.
(G) Housing or accommodations.
(H) Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any business establishment.
(3) This section shall not affect authorized access to, or use of, information pursuant to, among other provisions, Sections 11105 and 11105.3 of this code, Section 226.55 of the Civil Code, Sections 777.5 and 14409.2 of the Financial Code, Sections 1522.01 and 1596.871 of the Health and Safety Code, and Section 432.7 of the Labor Code.
(4) (A) Any use of information disclosed pursuant to this section for purposes other than those provided by paragraph (1) or in violation of paragraph (2) shall make the user liable for the actual damages, and any amount that may be determined by a jury or a court sitting without a jury, not exceeding three times the amount of actual damage, and not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), and attorney's fees, exemplary damages, or a civil penalty not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
(B) Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of misuse of the service specified in subdivision (a), in violation of paragraph (2), the Attorney General, any district attorney, or city attorney, or any person aggrieved by the misuse of the service is authorized to bring a civil action in the appropriate court requesting preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against the person or group of persons responsible for the pattern or practice of misuse. The foregoing remedies shall be independent of any other remedies or procedures that may be available to an aggrieved party under other provisions of law, including Part 2 (commencing with Section 43) of Division 1 of the Civil Code.
(e) The Department of Justice and its employees shall be immune from liability for good faith conduct under this section.
(f) The public notification provisions of this section are applicable to every person described in subdivision (a), without regard to when his or her crimes were committed or his or her duty to register pursuant to Section 290 arose, and to every offense subject to public notification pursuant to Section 290.46, regardless of when it was committed.
(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 35, Sec. 7.)