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NONLIABILITY FOR FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS PROVIDING FINANCIAL RECORDS TO STATE CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN CHILD SUPPORT CASES

Sec469A[42 U.S.C. 669a] (a) In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal or State law, a financial institution shall not be liable under any Federal or State law to any person for disclosing any financial record of an individual to a State child support enforcement agency attempting to establish, modify, or enforce a child support obligation of such individual, or for disclosing any such record to the Federal Parent Locator Service pursuant to section 466(a)(17)(A).

(b) Prohibition of Disclosure of Financial Record Obtained by State Child Support Enforcement Agency.—A State child support enforcement agency which obtains a financial record of an individual from a financial institution pursuant to subsection (a) may disclose such financial record only for the purpose of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support obligation of such individual.

(c) Civil Damages for Unauthorized Disclosure.—

(1) Disclosure by state officer or employee.—If any person knowingly, or by reason of negligence, discloses a financial record of an individual in violation of subsection (b), such individual may bring a civil action for damages against such person in a district court of the United States.

(2) No liability for good faith but erroneous interpretation.—No liability shall arise under this subsection with respect to any disclosure which results from a good faith, but erroneous, interpretation of subsection (b).

(3) Damages.—In any action brought under paragraph (1), upon a finding of liability on the part of the defendant, the defendant shall be liable to the plaintiff in an amount equal to the sum of—

(A) the greater of—

(i) $1,000 for each act of unauthorized disclosure of a financial record with respect to which such defendant is found liable; or

(ii) the sum of—

(I) the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of such unauthorized disclosure; plus

(II) in the case of a willful disclosure or a disclosure which is the result of gross negligence, punitive damages; plus

(B) the costs (including attorney’s fees) of the action.

(d) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—

(1) Financial institution.—The term “financial institution” means—

(A) a depository institution, as defined in section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(c));

(B) an institution-affiliated party, as defined in section 3(u) of such Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(u));

(C) any Federal credit union or State credit union, as defined in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752), including an institution-affiliated party of such a credit union, as defined in section 206(r) of such Act (12 U.S.C. 1786(r)); and

(D) any benefit association, insurance company, safe deposit company, money-market mutual fund, or similar entity authorized to do business in the State.

(2) Financial record.—The term “financial record” has the meaning given such term in section 1101 of the Right to Financial Privacy Act of 1978[216] (12 U.S.C. 3401).


[216]  See Vol. II, P.L. 95-630, §1101.