LOCATE

CS 146 Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Locate Only Services

01/85 Revised 08/25/16 Training Completed 06/09/15

42 U.S.C. 653; 45 CFR 302.35, 303.3, 303.70; R527-5, R527-35

 

 

Statutory Authority

 

42 U.S. Code (U.S.C.) 653 – Federal Parent Locator Service

(a) Establishment; purpose

(1) The Secretary shall establish and conduct a Federal Parent Locator Service, under the direction of the designee of the Secretary referred to in section 652(a) of this title, which shall be used for the purposes specified in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) For the purpose of establishing parentage or establishing, setting the amount of, modifying, or enforcing child support obligations, the Federal Parent Locator Service shall obtain and transmit to any authorized person specified in subsection (c) of this section—

(A) information on, or facilitating the discovery of, the location of any individual—

(i) who is under an obligation to pay child support;

(ii) against whom such an obligation is sought;

(iii) to whom such an obligation is owed; or

(iv) who has or may have parental rights with respect to a child,

including the individual’s social security number (or numbers), most recent address, and the name, address, and employer identification number of the individual’s employer;

(B) information on the individual’s wages (or other income) from, and benefits of, employment (including rights to or enrollment in group health care coverage); and

(C) information on the type, status, location, and amount of any assets of, or debts owed by or to, any such individual.

(3) For the purpose of enforcing any Federal or State law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child, or making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination, as defined in section 663(d)(1) of this title, the Federal Parent Locator Service shall be used to obtain and transmit the information specified in section 663(c) of this title to the authorized persons specified in section 663(d)(2) of this title.” (Emphasis added.)

 

45 CFR 303.70 Procedures for submissions to the State Parent Locator Service (State PLS) or the Federal Parent Locator Service (Federal PLS).

(a) The State agency will have procedures for submissions to the State PLS or the Federal PLS for the purpose of locating parents, putative fathers, or children for the purpose of establishing parentage or establishing, setting the amount of, modifying, or enforcing child support obligations; for the purpose of enforcing any Federal or State law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child or making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination as defined in section 463(d)(1) of the Act . . .

 

The Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) provides locate-only services to “authorized persons” as defined by 42 U.S.C. 653(c) and 45 CFR 302.35 (see definition below) who request location information about the non-custodial parent (NCP) in parental kidnapping cases, to establish parentage or to establish, set the amount of, modify, or enforce child support obligations, as described by section 653(a)(2) of the Social Security Act (the Act).  The only resource available to CSS for locate-only cases is the Federal Parent Locate Service (FPLS).  The FPLS is part of the Federal Locate Collection System (LCS) and can only be accessed by CSS through the Office of Recovery Services Information System (ORSIS). 

 

Only the State Parent Locator Service (SPLS) may submit a request to the FPLS pursuant to 45 CFR 303.70(b), which states:

“Only the central State PLS may make submittals to the Federal PLS for the purposes specified in paragraph (a) of this section.”

 

This means that all FPLS requests for locate-only services must be sent or directed to the state’s SPLS unit for further processing.  For procedures and more information, refer to subsection Procedures below.

 

 

Definition

 

Authorized person – as defined by 42 U.S.C. 653(c):

. . . As used in subsection (a) of this section, the term “authorized person” means—

(1) any agent or attorney of any State or Indian tribe or tribal organization (as defined in subsections (e) and (l) of section 450b of title 25), having in effect a plan approved under this part, who has the duty or authority under such plans to seek to recover any amounts owed as child and spousal support (including, when authorized under the State plan, any official of a political subdivision);

(2) the court which has authority to issue an order or to serve as the initiating court in an action to seek an order against a noncustodial parent for the support and maintenance of a child, or any agent of such court;

(3) the resident parent, legal guardian, attorney, or agent of a child (other than a child receiving assistance under a State program funded under part A of this subchapter) (as determined by regulations prescribed by the Secretary) without regard to the existence of a court order against a noncustodial parent who has a duty to support and maintain any such child. . .

 

NOTE:  A for-profit, private collection agency or private attorney could act as an “agent of a child,” as stated above, provided they have a valid contract with the custodial parent (CP) for child support purposes.  An NCP, or non-resident parent or legal guardian is not considered an “agent of a child” for child support purposes.

  

(4) a State agency that is administering a program operated under a State plan under subpart 1 of part B of this subchapter, or a State plan approved under subpart 2 of part B of this subchapter or under part E of this subchapter. . .

 

NOTE:  This includes a State agency that administers a program under Title IV-B (Child and Family Services) or Title IV-E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance).  The Division of Child and Family Services is the State agency in Utah that operates these designated state plans.

 

 

Information Provided to an Authorized Person

 

The FPLS will provide the following information, if available, about the person being located:

 

1.                   The person’s social security number (SSN);

2.                   Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs);

3.                   The person’s most recent address;

4.                   The name, address and employer identification number (EIN) of the employer;

5.                   Employment wage and unemployment compensation amounts, benefits (e.g., health care coverage); and,

6.                   Other asset information, if available.

 

NOTE:  Asset information received through the FPLS that is from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is protected by section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC sec. 6103) and may only be released to a federal, state, or local child support agency.  Do not release this information to a resident parent, legal guardian, private agent or attorney. 

 

 

Privacy and Safeguarding of Information Received

 

Persons who receive FPLS information must safeguard the information and only use or disclose the information for authorized child support purposes.  These instructions are included in the “Return of FPLS Information” letter, which accompanies the FPLS information obtained by CSS.  Refer to the Procedures section below.

 

Information that has been safeguarded on ORSIS or with the FPLS will not be released except to a court.  The court will then determine if releasing the information may be harmful to a party involved. 

 

 

SPLS Procedures for FPLS Locate-Only Services

 

When/if the SPLS team receives requests for FPLS locate-only services, they will complete the following:

 

1.                  Provide an application – Provide the individual with an Application for Parent Locator Services.  The individual must:

a.                   complete the form;

b.                  sign and date it; and,

c.                   return it along with a $20.00 fee.  The fee must be paid before a case will be opened.  For more information on the fee, refer to #2 below.

 

2.                  Charge fees – 42 U.S.C. 653(e)(2) states:  “. . . Whenever such services are furnished to an individual specified in subsection (c)(3) of this section, a fee shall be charged such individual. The fee so charged shall be used to reimburse the Secretary or his delegate for the expense of providing such services.” 

 

This fee:

a.                   has been established pursuant to R527-0035(1)(a), “Parent Locator Service fee of $20.00. This fee is waived if the case was closed within the last 12 months.  For other individual, such as an attorney with the Attorney General’s Office, or a person working for a IV-B, IV-D, or IV-E agency, no fee is charged. 

b.                  must be paid before a case may be opened and a request for FPLS information made.

 

NOTE:  If the case is closed within the last 12 months, the fee is waived. 

 

3.                  Review the request/application – Once the application and fee are received in the office, review the application and determine if it qualifies for FPLS locate-only services pursuant to the federal and state laws and the information contained in this policy. 

a.                   If the application was completed by a private agent or attorney, it must be accompanied by a:

b.                  statement or release form signed by the CP authorizing the private agent or attorney to act on the behalf of the CP; and,

c.                   $20.00 fee. 

 

4.                  Open the case - If the request or application qualifies for FPLS locate services, a case will be opened within 10 calendar days of receipt of the application.

 

5.                  Refer the case to the FPLS - Once the case is opened, T38 must make a referral to the FPLS within 75 calendar days, pursuant to 45 CFR 303.3(b)(3).  The referral to the FPLS must be made in the manner and form prescribed by the Office pursuant to 45 CFR 303.70(c).  The referral must contain the following information pursuant to 45 CFR 303.70(d), “All submittals shall contain the following information:

(1) The parent's, putative father's or non-parent relative's name;

(2) The parent's or putative father's Social Security Number (SSN). If the SSN is unknown, the IV-D program must make reasonable efforts to ascertain the individual's SSN before making a submittal to the Federal PLS; and

(3) The non-parent relative's SSN, if known.

(4) Any other information prescribed by the Office.”

 

6.                   Receive and send the information to the requestor - The SPLS worker must:

a.                   monitor the case for the returned information.

b.                  Review the case to determine if the locate-only request was made on behalf of the resident parent, legal guardian, attorney or agent of a child not receiving assistance under title IV-A.  If it was, CSS must ensure that the requesting individual complied with the provisions of 45 CFR 302.35 pursuant to 45 CFR 303.70(e)(2).  The requesting individual must comply with 45 CFR 302.35(c )(3), which states, “(i) Attests that the request is being made to obtain information on, or to facilitate the discovery of, any individual in accordance with section 453(a)(2) of the Act for the purpose of establishing parentage, establishing, setting the amount of, modifying, or enforcing child support obligations;

(ii) Attests that any information obtained through the Federal or State PLS shall be used solely for these purposes and shall be otherwise treated as confidential;

(iii) Provides evidence that the requestor is the parent, legal guardian, attorney, or agent of a child not receiving assistance under title IV-A, and if an agent of such a child, evidence of a valid contract that meets any requirements in State law or written policy for acting as an agent and, if a parent, attestation that he or she is the resident parent.

(iv) Pays the fee required for Federal PLS services under section 453(e)(2) of the Act and §303.70(f)(2)(i) of this chapter, if the State does not pay the fee itself.  The State may also charge a fee to cover its costs of processing the request, which must be as close to actual costs as possible, so as not to discourage requests to use the Federal PLS.  If the State itself pays the fee for use of the Federal PLS or the State PLS in a non-IV-D case, Federal financial participation is not available in those expenditures.”

c.                   Safeguard the information pursuant to 45 CFR 303.70(e)(3), which states, “The IV-D agency will treat any information obtained through the Federal PLS and SPLS as confidential and shall safeguard the information under the requirements of sections 453(b), 453(l), 454(8), 454(26), and 463(c) of the Act, §303.21 of this part and instructions issued by the Office.”

 

7.                   Close the case - Close the case.

 

 

Project Save Our Children (PSOC) Locate Services

 

When a state child support enforcement agency is unable to locate the person or assets of a NCP using all available state and FPLS locate resources AND it appears that the case may be appropriate for federal criminal nonsupport prosecution, the case may be referred to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement PSOC Coordinator.