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2011 Domestic Violence Legislative Update

August 18, 2011

Author: Amy Schwartz-Wallace

Described below are the new domestic violence-specific laws, as well as the bills which successfully navigated both houses of the Legislature and are awaiting further action. This update is current through July 20, 2011.  The Empire Justice website posts legislative updates throughout the summer as needed.


AMENDMENT TO SOCIAL SERVICVES LAW DEFINTION OF “VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE” (A.627/S.4222):  Amends the Social Services Law §459-a definition of “victim of domestic violence”.  The new definition retains its age requirement of 16 yrs or older, but specifically includes those in “intimate relationships”.  It also expands the list of general and enumerated offenses to include family offenses.  As with the prior law, the requirement that one have actual physical or emotional injury or substantial risk thereof is retained. The Social Services Law definition determines intimate partner violence victim access to the panoply of residential and non-residential domestic violence services, as well as access to the public assistance waivers and protections available under New York’s version of the Family Violence Option.  By reference, this legal definition also provides abuse victims with access to address confidentiality protections in civil proceedings under CPLR §2103, as well as access to anti-discrimination and confidentiality protections contained under Insurance Law §2612.

3/29/2011 passed Assembly
3/30/2011 passed Senate
4/01/2011 delivered to Governor
4/13/2011 signed Ch. 11
Effective Date: Immediately

EXTENSION OF THE JUDICIAL HEARING  OFFICER PILOT PROGRAM IN THE 7TH & 8TH  JUDICIAL DISTRICT FAMILY COURTS (A.6152/ S.4666):  Amending Chapter 219 of the Laws of 2002, this law will continue to allow, for an additional three years, judicial hearing officers to issue ex parte orders of protection and orders of protection where the respondent has defaulted in family courts in the seventh and eighth judicial districts of the 4th Department.

5/03/2011 passed Assembly
5/10/2011 passed Senate
5/20/2011 delivered to Governor
6/01/2011 signed Ch. 34
Effective Date: Immediately

CLARIFICATIONS ON DETERMINING THE EXPIRATION DATE OF A CRIMINAL FAMILY OFFENSE ORDER OF PROTECTION (A.88/S.1428):  Corrects an anomaly in CPL §§530.12(5) and 530.13(4) by amending these two provisions to now provide that a final order of  protection shall be issued on  the  date of sentencing, rather than the date of conviction. Additionally, the law allows that a final order of protection may be issued for any crime or violation between "members of the same family or household," as such phrase is defined CPL §530.11(1).

3/23/2011 passed Assembly
3/30/2011 passed Senate
4/01/2011 delivered to Governor
4/13/2011 signed Ch. 9
Effective Date: May 13, 2011

BILLS THAT PASSED BOTH HOUSES (but not yet sent to the Governor)  

ESTABLISHES AN ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS WHO NEED TO MAINTAIN SECRECY OF THEIR LOCATION (A.628 /S.5293):  Adds a new §108 to the Executive Law by creating an address confidentiality program for receipt and forwarding of mail and for service of process with the NYS Office of the Secretary of State. (Note: Similar bills were passed in 2009 and 2010, but vetoed by Governor Paterson.)

5/03/2011 passed Assembly
6/16/2011 passed Senate
Effective Date: Nine (9) months from the date on which it becomes law

CRIME VICTIMS BOARD AWARDS FOR VICTIMS OF CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION OF BREATHING OR BLOOD CIRCULATION (S.4084/ A.8091):  By amending Executive Law §631, this bill adds the misdemeanor-level strangulation crime to the list of those offenses for which the Office of Victim Services may make awards where the victim has not suffered physical injury attendant to the crime. If signed by the Governor, the law would apply to all pending and subsequent original awards made by the Office of Victim Services. 

6/15/2011 passed Assembly
6/16/2011 passed Senate
Effective Date: 90 days after enactment

ADDS CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION OF BREATHING OR BLOOD CIRCULATION AND STRANGULATION TO THE LIST OF ACTIONABLE ALLEGATIONS IN FAMILY OFFENSE PETITIONS (S.4302-A/A.7632):  By amending Family Court Act §821, this bill conforms the 2010 addition of strangulation and criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation to the list of actionable allegations contained in family offense petitions under Family Court Act §812.

6/6/2011 passed Assembly
6/23/11 passed Senate
Effective Date: Immediately on the date on which it becomes law

DIRECTS THE OFFICE FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO DEVELOP SENIOR CENTER-BASED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS (S.4235/ A.6736):   Directs OPDV to create and promote domestic violence-specific programming in senior centers.

5/24/2011 passed Senate
6/16/2011 passed Assembly
Effective Date: Immediately on the date on which it becomes law

NOTICES AND STIPULATIONS IN CERTAIN MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS (S.4244-C/A.698-D):  Amends the CPL by adding a new §370.15 which outlines the procedures for determining whether certain misdemeanor crimes are crimes of “domestic violence” consistent with federal firearms control laws.  The bill provides procedures for notice to defendants and the NYS Criminal Justice Services, as well as admissions, stipulations, burden of proof, and other related evidentiary issues.

6/15/2011 passed Assembly
6/20/2011 passed Senate
Effective Date: On the 120th day on which it becomes a law and it shall apply only to crimes committed on or after such date

DEVELOPMENT OF JUDICIAL & LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING ON SEXUAL OFFENSES (A.2349-a/S.4895):  Amends the Executive Law by adding a new subdivision 4 to §840 by authorizing the Municipal Police Training Council to make provisions for education and training, as well as to develop and disseminate policies and procedures, regarding the police officer investigation and intervention in sexual assault crimes. Further, the bill authorizes the Municipal Police Training Council to recommend rules and regulations to the Governor with respect to creating and implementing a formalized sexual assault-related training program for all current and new police officers.  Finally, the bill amends the Judiciary Law by adding a new   §219-c that requires the Office of Court Administration to provide judges and justices with training on crimes involving sexual assault.

4/12/2011 passed assembly
5/10/2011 re-passed assembly (after amendment)
6/22/2011 passed senate
Effective Date: On the 90th day after it becomes a law

Thank you to Empire Justice Center Domestic Violence Law Intern, Carrie Gallagher, for her bill-tracking summaries in this session.


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