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Address Confidentiality For Domestic Violence Victims Among New State Laws For 2003

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolinians can expect some new state laws with the new year.

Victims of domestic violence will be able to keep their addresses off drivers licenses and other public documents. The state Attorney General's Office can forward mail to the victims.

"This new address confidentiality helps people who have stalkers who are abusing them. It applies to victims of domestic violence who are trying to get away from it," state Attorney General Roy Cooper said.

To be eligible, a victim must have moved to a new address or be in the process of moving. They must sign a statement that they fear for their safety or the safety of their children and they must produce evidence of abuse such as police reports, court records or documentation from a professional group where the victim has sought help.

"This is not a witness protection program. You don't change you name. The only thing this does is shield your address from the public records and puts another barrier that can stop that abuser from tracking down a domestic violence victim," Cooper said.

Another law taking effect restricts individual election contributions to $1,000 for state appellate court judges. It is part of a financing plan that allows judges to finance their campaigns almost entirely with public money, rather than donations.

Another change in the election laws will allow the first campaign contributions to be made by credit card.

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