State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_47 > GS_47-113_2

§ 47‑113.2.  Restrictingaccess to military discharge documents.

(a)        All militarydischarge documents filed on or after January 1, 2004, shall be considered apublic record, but for confidential safekeeping and restricted access to suchdocuments, these documents will be filed with the registers of deeds in thisState. These documents are exempt from public inspection and access except asallowed in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)        Definitions:

(1)        Authorized party. –Four categories of authorized parties are recognized with respect to access tomilitary discharge documents under subsection (d) of this section:

a.         The subject of thedocument.

b.         Agents andrepresentatives of the subject authorized in writing:

1.         By the subject orsubject's widow or widower in a notarized authorization,

2.         By a court torepresent subject, or

3.         By the subject'sexecutor acting on behalf of a deceased subject.

c.         Authorized agents ofthe Division of Veterans Affairs, the United States Department of VeteransAffairs, the Department of Defense, or a court official with an interest inassisting the subject or the deceased subject's beneficiaries to obtain abenefit.

d.         Agents orrepresentatives of the North Carolina State Archives.

(2)        Filing office. – Theoffice where military discharge documents are recorded, registered, or filed inthis State is the register of deeds.

(3)        Military dischargedocument. – Any document that purports to represent a notice of separation fromor service in any armed forces of the United States or of any state, including,but not limited to, Department of Defense Form 214 or 215, WD AGO 53, WD AGO55, WD AGO 53‑55, NAVMC 78‑PD, and NAVPERS 553, or any other letterrelating to the separation from the armed forces.

(c)        A militarydischarge document shall be accepted for filing upon presentation in person.

(d)        The filing officermay refuse to accept any document that is:

(1)        Not submitted inperson by an authorized party in accordance with subsection (b) of thissection.

(2)        Not an original, acarbon copy, or a photographic copy issued or certified by an agency of federalor State government.

(e)        No copy of amilitary discharge document or any other information from such document filedafter the effective date of this section shall be made available other than inaccordance with subsection (b) or (h) of this section.

(f)         Certified copiesof a military discharge document will be made available only in accordance withsubsection (e) of this section and only by individual request.

(g)        Uncertified copiesof a military discharge document will be made available to an authorized partyin accordance with subsection (b) of this section and only by individualrequest.

(h)        The North CarolinaAssociation of Registers of Deeds and the Division of Veterans Affairs shall adoptbefore January 1, 2004, such request forms and associated rules as are requiredto implement the provisions of this section. All filing offices shall use theforms and comply with the rules, as adopted.

(i)         Completed requestforms shall be maintained in the register of deeds for a period of one year.

(j)         The request formsshall not be considered public records and are subject to the same restrictedaccess as the military discharge document.

(k)        In the event imagesof and the index to military discharge documents filed prior to January 1,2004, have not been commingled with other publicly available document imagesand their index in a filing office, the images and the index will be maintainedand are subject to all the provisions of this section that apply to newly fileddocuments.

(l)         The register ofdeeds shall, to the greatest extent possible, take appropriate protectiveactions in accordance with any limitations determined necessary by the registerof deeds with regard to records that were filed before the effective date ofthis section.

(m)       Subsection (d) ofthis section shall not apply to images of military discharge documents thathave been on file for over 50 years.

(n)        There shall be nofee charged for filing military discharge documents or for providing certifiedcopies of military discharge documents provided to those who have a right toaccess under subsection (d) of this section. Uncertified copy of a militarydischarge document that becomes public record under subsection (h) of thissection is subject to fee as determined in G.S. 161‑10(a)(11).

(o)        Filing officesshall be responsible for the cost of compliance with this section.

(p)        Recording officialsshall not be liable for any damages that may result from good faith compliancewith the provisions of this section.

(q)        The words"register of deeds" appearing in this section shall be interpreted tomean "register of deeds, assistant register of deeds, or deputy registerof deeds". (2003‑248,s. 2.)