Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Legislative Summaries by Year

2003 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws

Mandatory Arrest Sunset (A.8691 Weinstein / S.3999 Golden)

Extends the mandatory arrest provision for family offenses for two more years, until 9/1/2005.

Signed: August 5, 2003 Chapter 303

Effective: Immediately

Order of Protection Extension (A.8923-A Paulin / S.5532 Saland)

Extends the maximum length that orders of protection can be granted in Family Court from 1 to 2 years, and from 3 to 5 years, if aggravating circumstances exist (such as a violation of a current order of protection).

Signed: September 22, 2003 Chapter 579

Effective: 30 days after signature

Criminal Contempt 1st Degree (A.8999 Lentol / S.5596 Johnson)

Amends the criminal contempt law (felony violation of an order of protection section) by adding criminal contempt 1st degree to the list of previous convictions within the last five years that can be used to charge an abuser with a new criminal contempt 1st (the original law only included a previous conviction for criminal contempt 2nd degree).

Signed: August 5, 2003 Chapter 331

Effective: November 1, 2003

SARA Clean-Up /Sexual Assault Exam Reimbursement (A.9116 Lentol / S.5690 Golden)

Enhances penalties for several sexual assault crimes, including forcible touching, persistent sexual abuse and possession and sale of the date-rape drug, GHB. Makes multiple technical corrections to SARA (Sexual Assault Reform Act), changes "sodomy" to "criminal sexual act," and replaces references to "deviate sexual intercourse" with the terms "oral sexual conduct" or "anal sexual conduct." Provides for direct NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) reimbursement for sexual assault forensic exams performed by a hospital, sexual assault examiner program or licensed health care provider.

Signed: July 30, 2003 Chapter 264

Effective: November 1, 2003; OVS reimbursement will take effect April 1, 2005

Emergency Contraception (A.15-A John / S.202-A Spano)

Requires hospitals that treat rape victims to provide information on emergency contraception. Upon the victim's request, the hospital must provide emergency contraception. The Department of Health is required to develop and produce informational materials on emergency contraception, to be used by all hospitals in New York State.

Signed: September 30, 2003 Chapter 625

Effective: 120 days after signature

Order of Conditions (A.6895-A Eddington / S.2970-A Flanagan)

Allows a judge to issue an "order of conditions," with stay-away language similar to an order of protection, in criminal cases where a defendant is found not responsible by reason of mental disease/defect. The order can cover family and household members, as defined by the judge, and may be filed with the sheriff or local police department.*

Signed: September 17, 2003 Chapter 525

Effective: Immediately

* The Governor signed this bill with the understanding that the Legislature will pass a chapter amendment during the next session to make additional changes that will improve the effectiveness of the law. The amendment will require that these orders of conditions be placed on the NYS Order of Protection and Warrant Registry and be filed with the sheriff or local police department. A violation of these orders will also become subject to mandatory arrest provisions.

Assigned Counsel Rates (Budget Bill A.2106-B / S.1406-B)

Increases reimbursement rates for assigned counsel and law guardians. All assigned counsel and law guardian work will be reimbursed at $75 per hour, with the exception of misdemeanor and petty offense cases, which will have a $60 per hour rate. Caps have also been raised.

Signed: May 15, 2003 Chapter 62

Effective: Rate increase will take effect January 1, 2004

Court Referee Authority Extended (A.8671 Weinstein / S.5314 Volker)

Extends for two years the authority of Family Court referees to issue ex-parte temporary orders of protection after 5 P.M. This provision is intended to give domestic violence victims in New York City access to Family Court after regular court hours. Court referees are former judges or judicial hearing officers.

Signed: July 29, 2003 Chapter 261

Effective: Immediately

Video Voyeurism (A.8926 Schimminger / S.3060-B Marcellino)

"Stephanie's Law" creates felony criminal penalties for video voyeurism, including the unconsented use of mechanical, digital or electronic devices to record visual images of a person in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Criminal penalties are also created for disseminating, publishing or selling images of another person's body which were obtained by unlawful surveillance.

Signed: June 12, 2003 Chapter 69

Effective: 60 days after signature

Stalking 2nd (A.3974 DiNapoli / S.519 Balboni)

Adds stalking of ten or more victims on ten separate occasions to the stalking 2nd degree statute.

Signed: September 30, 2003 Chapter 598

Effective: November 1, 2003

Student Access to Campus Crime Statistics (A.8511-A Tokasz / S.396-A Lavalle)

Requires any NYS college that receives state aid to inform students and prospective students on how to access campus crime statistics, including partner offenses, sexual assaults, etc. These crimes are now reported to the US Department of Education (as required by the Jeanne Cleary Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act).

Signed: September 30, 2003 Chapter 597

Effective: 90 days after signature

Grandparent's Custody (A.8302-B Green / S.4224-A Saland)

Grants grandparents legal standing to petition for custody where extraordinary circumstances (as defined in the bill) can be demonstrated.

Signed: October 7, 2003 Chapter 657

Effective: 90 days after signature

The Following Bill Has Been Vetoed By The Governor:

Dual Track Child Protective Response Pilots (A.5315-B Green / S.4542-B Rath)

Would create demonstration projects to test a two-track response to CPS cases; one track for traditional investigation and a new track to include safety assessment and a focus on supportive, family-centered, preventive services.

Veto message # 146 - Veto based on technical and procedural concerns raised by the City of New York. The Governor has directed Executive Chamber staff, Office of Children and Family Services and local social services districts to work with other interested parties to develop legislation that will correct the problems identified by the Mayor's Office.