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Domestic Violence Legislative Update 2017

September 28, 2017

Author: Amy Schwartz-Wallace

Current as of September 27, 2017
 
Below are selected domestic violence-specific or related bills which were signed into law or successfully navigated both houses of the legislature this session and are awaiting action.  We will continue to provide periodic updates about the bill statuses.
 
The bills are available online and you can see the status and history, text, sponsors, memo/justification at http://nyassembly.gov/leg/ or https://www.nysenate.gov/search/legislation

FROM THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION
 
S.6749/A.7793A: Relates to the confidentiality of registration records for victims of domestic violence; may be obtained by an order from supreme court, county court or family court in the county where a victim of domestic violence is registered.
 
Although the law already provided relief for confidentiality of voter registration records, the process was unclear and this protection was under-utilized.  Under this amendment, this application may now be made in multiple courts where the victim is registered to vote, including family court where many victims obtain their order of protection.
 
Status:  Passed both houses in 6/2017 but not yet sent to the Governor
Effective:  Will take effect immediately if signed into law
Amends Election Law §5-508
 
S.4407-B/A.5524-B: Increases the age of consent for purposes of marriage; prohibits marriages of minors under the age of seventeen years of age.

Prohibits marriage under age seventeen and requires all marriage license applicants to provide documentary proof of age.  Clarifies the process for a Supreme Court or Family Court judge to legally review and provide consent for seventeen-year-olds to marry and further requires an attorney for the child to be appointed who has received training on both domestic violence and forced marriage.  Before approving the consent for marriage, The judge must: (1) notify all minor parties of their rights (including termination of marriage, support, domestic violence services, access to public assistance and other services); (2) review any history of child abuse or neglect proceedings, orders of protection registry, sex offender registry, and the warrant registry; (3) conduct an in camera interview separately with each minor and determine a series of written affirmative findings to determine if there is fraud, duress, or coercion and if there are safety concerns.  Where the marriage consent is approved, the law provides that minors will enjoy many of the rights of an adult.    

Signed: 6/20/2017 Chapter 35
Effective:  7/20/2017
Amends DRL §§15, 13-b & 15-a
 
S.5394-A/A.7714-a: Provides for the addition of the Superintendent of the Division of State Police to the NYS OPDV Advisory Council and the addition of the Office of Victim Services to the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.
 
Signed: 8/21/2017 Chapter 248
Effective:  Immediately
Amends Executive Law §575
 
FROM THE NEW YORK STATE BUDGET ADOPTED IN APRIL 2017

From A.3006-c/S.2006-C:

Residential Domestic Violence Programs As Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect/Background Checks: Adds "publicly-funded emergency shelter for families with children" to the list of mandated reporters and defines these as “any facility with overnight sleeping accommodations and that is used to house recipients of temporary housing assistance and which houses or may house children and families with children.”  This category is intended to include residential domestic violence programs.  As a result, residential DV programs are now formally and explicitly on the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect.  (Previously their reporting requirements came as a part of their licensing condition)  
In addition, under §460-h these shelters are all also now required to obtain criminal history background check and fingerprints from the Division of Criminal Justice Services for any prospective employee, consultant, assistant or volunteer who will have “regular and substantial contact” with children.  These are also numerous provisions addressing other issues related to this new mandate, such as confidentiality and information sharing, withdrawal for application, and more. 

Several state agencies are required to promulgate implementing rules and regulations. 

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: Part Q
Effective: April 20, 2017
Amends: Social Services Law §§412 new subdivision 9, 413(1)(a), 424-a(3), new 460-h

From A.3005-c/S.2005-C:

Translations of Orders of Protection in Court: This new law formally codifies and expands upon language access protections with orders of protections.  The law requires translation of temporary or final orders of protection in all Family Courts and Supreme Courts via a multi-year roll out schedule for the top 10 languages in each of New York’s four judicial departments.  The law also creates pilot projects to address access to translation in the criminal and justice courts, as well best practices for language assistance for orders of protection in these courts.  The Chief Administrator of the Courts must consult with various stakeholders, as well as evaluate the pilots and the implementation of the Family and Supreme Court initiatives.  

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: Part BB
Effective: July 19, 2017
Amends: Judiciary Law §212(2) – new (t) and (t-1); Family Court Act new §169; Domestic
Relations Law §240(3) new paragraph (a-1); Domestic Relations Law §252 new subdivision 1-a; Family Court Act §214(b)(ii)(2)—new closing paragraph

Extends the mandatory arrest sunset provision for family offenses for two more years through September 1, 2019.

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: §17 of Part A
Effective: April 20, 2017
Amends: Criminal Procedure Law §140.10(4)

Extends the sunset increased maximum length of criminal court orders of protection for two more years through September 1, 2019

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: §19 of Part A
Effective: April 20, 2017
Amends: Criminal Procedure Law §§530.12(5); 530.13(4)

Expanded eligibility for Crime Victim Compensation: Adds new crimes that do not have a physical injury element to the list of enumerated offenses eligible for compensation including but not limited to:  Unlawful Imprisonment, Menacing (2nd and 3rd degrees), Criminal Mischief (4th degree), and Robbery (1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees).  Some of these crimes are also enumerated family offenses.  Compensation may be provided for:  loss of earning or support, the unreimbursed cost of repair or replacement of essential personal property that has been lost, damaged or destroyed as a direct result of such crime, the unreimbursed cost for security devices to enhance the personal protection of such victim, transportation expenses incurred for necessary court appearances in connection with the prosecution of such crime, the unreimbursed costs of counseling provided to such victim on account of mental or emotional stress resulting from the incident in which the crime occurred, the unreimbursed cost of securing a crime scene, reasonable relocation expenses, and for occupational or job training.      

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: Part G
Effective: October 17, 2017
Amends:  Executive Law §631 (11) and (12)
 
Hate Crime Task Force: Establishes a Hate Crime Task Force within the NYS Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation that is charged with, where possible, assisting and supporting other law enforcement agencies in preventing, investigating, and detecting offenses committed due to a perception or belief regarding the race, color, national  origin,  ancestry,  gender,  religion,  religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person. This task force will also develop reports and publications with other state agencies that shall inform individuals of their legal rights and remedies as protected classes under the penal law and as victims of discrimination, including domestic violence victim status. 

Signed: Chapter 55 – Budget Bill: Part F
Effective: April 20, 2017
Amends: Executive Law §216 new subdivision 2

 





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