JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Alert on State Legislation Impacting Genealogists- New Hampshire and New Jersey #general


jan meisels allen <janmallen@...>
 

Dear Jewish Genners:

The IAJGS Public Records Monitoring and Access Committee monitors
legislation that impacts access to vital genealogical records (birth,
marriage, death) and census. In that vein I am informing you of several
egregious bills recently introduced in New Hampshire and New Jersey.

I. New Hampshire- HB 1382 prohibits a public or private entity >from using
non-public personal information about an individual for any reason without
the individuals' consent. The bill defines the term "individual" to mean a
human being, including a deceased human being. As drafted the bill would
prevent organizations, such as Ancestry.com and other data collection
organizations >from obtaining information on a deceased person, unless that
person had given their approval. Another concern we have, if the bill is
enacted as currently written, some state and local government employees may
preclude individuals >from obtaining copies of information (birth, marriage
or death records) on someone who is dead as the deceased had not given their
approval.

The genealogical community, as represented on the FGS/NGS Records
Preservation and Access Committee, --- IAJGS serves on the committee, is
taking the position of "support if amended". The amendment we are trying to
achieve is the removal of "deceased human being" >from the definition of
"individual" in the bill.

The first hearing is scheduled in the Judiciary Committee of the New
Hampshire House of Representatives on January 31, 2006 at 10 AM.

You may read the bill by going to:
http://gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2006/HB1382.html

2. New Jersey AB 1390 (2005 session it was AB 3806). This bill removes vital
records (birth, marriage, domestic partnership and
death records) >from the definition of public records, thereby making access
to such records very difficult, if not impossible. The bill has been
assigned to the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness
Committee-the committee members are not yet announced per the legislative
website.

The bill needs to be amended to permit copies of such records for
genealogists. Efforts to get time limits on the confidentiality of birth
records (100 years), marriage records ( 60 years) and death records (40
years) in the bill do not appear to be successful as yet.

The bill can be accessed at the New Jersey Legislature's website:
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/A1500/1390_I1.PDF

Both bills cited above are PDF files, therefore, to read them it is
necessary to install Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer which is
available for free by accessing the site at:
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readermain.html.

If you have any questions about the above, please contact me.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, Public Records Access and Monitoring Committee and
IAJGS representative on the FGS/NGS Records Preservation and Access
Committee

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