The Crime Victim Services Division (CVSD) of the Office of the Attorney General provides pseudonym forms for victims of a sex offense, stalking, family violence, and trafficking of persons.
Pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, chapter 58, which allows the form to be used by the victim to protect their real name. The victim can choose a pseudonym, in the event of any of the offenses listed below:
- Sex Offense Victims
- Victims of Stalking
- Victims of Family Violence
- Victims of Trafficking of Persons
The form requests law enforcement to remove the victim’s name from public files and records concerning the offense, including policy summary reports, press releases, and records of judicial proceedings. A pseudonym, or “a fictitious name”, will be used instead of the victim’s real name to designate the victim in all public files and records concerning the offense.
The pseudonym is only used in records concerning the offense, and not for other public files and records that are not related to the offense.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Victim
It is the victim’s responsibility to complete the form and submit it to the law enforcement agency investigating the offense for which they are a victim.
The victim should:
- Complete all information requested on the pseudonym form (leave the section that says “To Be Completed by Law Enforcement Agency” blank).
- Under the “RELEASE OF INFORMATION EXCEPTION” select which organizations you wish to disclose your real name and information.
- Return the completed form to the law enforcement agency investigating the offense.
Roles and Responsibilities of Law Enforcement
It is Law Enforcement’s responsibility to notify victim(s) they have the right to use pseudonyms and ensure the request is completed.
Law enforcement agency should:
- Explain the purpose of the pseudonym form.
- Inform the victim that by completing the pseudonym form, it will replace the victim’s real name in all public files and records concerning the offense.
- Assist the victim in filling out the form.
Upon receipt of the form the law enforcement agency shall:
- Remove the victim’s name and substitute the pseudonym for the name on all reports, files, and records in the agency’s possession;
- Notify the attorney representing the state of the pseudonym and that the victim has elected to be designated by the pseudonym; and
- Maintain the form in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the information contained on the form.