Victims of stalking and petitioners for an order of protection who operate a home-based business have a new protection in state law to shield their privacy, as legislation sponsored by State Representative Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on August 23 to allow them an alternative course to comply with requirements on business owners to publish their address.
Local small business owner and women’s advocate Michele Costa brought this issue to her legislator’s attention. “I thank Representative Keicher for leading the charge for finding ways to make it safer for women to operate and grow their businesses,” Costa said. Specifically, House Bill 2528 provides that a person operating a business under an assumed name at his or her personal residence may list the address of their local county clerk as the default agent for service of process to meet the publication requirements, if the following conditions are met: 1) the person reasonably believes that publishing his or her home address would put his or her safety at risk, and lists the reasoning for such on the form submitted to the county clerk, which shall be kept confidential, 2) the form is accompanied by a court order or police report that there is a true need for the address to be kept confidential, and 3) the person provides the address of his or her residence to the county clerk, which shall be kept confidential.
“Individuals who operate a home-based business deserve the peace of mind of knowing that a perpetrator cannot use the law against them to find their current address,” Representative Keicher said. “This is an issue where Democrats and Republicans came together to work with me to get this done. I thank the Governor for his support by signing this measure into law.”
DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato expressed his support for the new law from a prosecutor’s perspective. “This common sense adjustment to state law allows us to better protect those who are victims of stalking or covered by an order of protection,” Amato said. “It may only impact a small number of people in DeKalb County, but the law should always be written in such a way to ensure equal protection for everyone in our community. It will take our entire community working together with all of our assets, like this new statute, to put an end to the oppression and trauma that domestic violence causes.”
For questions or more information, please call Representative Keicher’s District Office in Sycamore at (815) 748-3494.