Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Legislative Summaries by Year

2006 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws

Supreme Court Assigned Counsel (S.8096 Skelos / A.10447 Weinstein)

Requires Supreme Courts to assign counsel to indigent adults in divorce cases, if the case involves matters that could have been under the jurisdiction of Family Court. Counsel will only be assigned for those issues (custody, family offense or violation of a support order or order of protection), not the divorce action.

Signed: Chapter 538

Effective: August 16, 2006

Pets Covered in Orders of Protection (S.7691 Padavan / A.10767-A Rosenthal)

Allows protection of companion animals to be added to an order of protection issued in a criminal court or Family Court. Requires the respondent to refrain from intentionally injuring or killing any companion animal the respondent knows to be owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the petitioner or a minor child living in the household. Companion animals/pets are defined as a dog, cat or any other domesticated animal that lives in or near the household, but does not include farm animals.

Signed: Chapter 253

Effective: July 26, 2006

Insurance Confidentiality (S.7229 Balboni / A.11448 Rosenthal)

Prohibits an insurance company from disclosing to the person against whom an order of protection was issued, the address and telephone number of the insured victim or any person or entity providing covered services to the insured victim. If a child is the covered person, this protection is extended to the parent or guardian of the child. This law extends confidentiality to victims who are covered by a group insurance policy, to parallel the same protection that was signed into law in 2005 for individuals covered by individual insurance plans.

Signed: Chapter 361

Effective: November 25, 2006

Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes (S.8441 Skelos / A.12012 Paulin)

Eliminates the statute of limitations on first degree rape, first degree criminal sexual act, first degree aggravated sexual abuse and first degree course of sexual conduct against a child. Extends from one to five years the time allowed for a victim of these crimes to begin a civil action.

Signed: Chapter 3

Effective: June 23, 2006

DNA Database Expansion (S.8446 Skelos / A.11951 Lentol)

Expands the list of criminal convictions for which a person must give a DNA sample for the state DNA database, including all felonies in the NYS Penal Law. The new law adds seventeen misdemeanor crimes, including additional assault, menacing, stalking, unlawful imprisonment, and other offenses.

Signed: Chapter 2

Effective: June 23, 2006

Sex Offender Registration (S.6409 Skelos / A.9472 Aubrey)

Extends the period of time that a sex offender must remain on the state’s sex offender registry: level one offenders must be registered for 20 years; level two must register for life, with some exceptions to allow for relief after 30 years; level three requires life-time registration, with no relief exceptions. Requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to notify all sex offenders whose term of registration would have expired under the old law of their new, continued duty to register.

Signed: Chapter 1

Effective: January 18, 2006

Workplace Violence (S.6441 Spano / A.9691 John)

Requires public employers to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence. Any public employee, or representative of public employees, who believes that a serious violation of a safety or health standard exists, or an imminent danger exists, may request an inspection by the Department of Labor. Mandates that the Commissioner of Labor enforce this requirement. Domestic violence is not specifically identified in the legislation.

Signed: Chapter 82

Effective: October 5, 2006

Compelling Prostitution (S.6934 Leibell / A.10193 Bradley)

Requires a person convicted of the crime of compelling prostitution to register as a sex offender and to provide a DNA sample for the state’s DNA database.

Signed: Chapter 91

Effective: June 7, 2006

Sex Offender Release Notification to DSS (S.7277 Johnson / A.10778 Sweeney)

Requires the Board of Parole to provide notice to the local social services department when a level 2 or 3 sex offender is about to be released, if the inmate is likely to seek services.

Signed: Chapter 96

Effective: June 7, 2006

Criminal Court Orders of Protection (S.6871-A Saland / A.9907-A Paulin)

Extends the maximum length of criminal court orders of protection. Felony convictions increase from five to an eight year maximum, A misdemeanors from a three to five year maximum and all other offenses increase from a one to two year maximum.

Signed: Chapter 215

Effective: August 25, 2006

Criminal Contempt ( S.7054 Maltese / A.10150 Hevesi)

Adds prior aggravated criminal contempt to the list of predicate offenses for criminal contempt first degree. Allows for the prosecution of misdemeanor-level criminal contempt to be prosecuted as a felony, if a perpetrator was previously convicted of aggravated criminal contempt in the past five years.

Signed: Chapter 349

Effective: November 1, 2006

Aggravated Criminal Contempt (S.7055 Maltese / A.10151 Hevesi)

Expands aggravated criminal contempt (a class D felony) to include conviction for criminal contempt first degree, having been previously convicted of aggravated criminal contempt, or criminal contempt in the first degree within the past five years.

Signed: Chapter 350

Effective: November 1, 2006

District Attorney Consultation (S.6220 Meier/ A.9058 Pheffer)

Removes the requirement of a district attorney to consult with a victim about the release of the defendant and the sentencing/disposition in a criminal case when the victim is unable or unwilling to cooperate, or her/his whereabouts are unknown.

Signed: Chapter 193

Effective: November 1, 2006

Crime Victim Awards (S.3124-A Spano / A.1236-A Dinowitz)

Requires the deciding NYS Office of Victim Services (OVS) member to explain in writing why an award decision departs from precedent or the typical outcome of cases with similar facts.

Signed: Chapter 167

Effective: August 25, 2006

Incest (S.6277-B Volker / A.9305-B Lentol)

Amends the penal law regarding sexual contact with a child, to eliminate the lower penalty when the sexually abused child is closely related to the perpetrator. State law had permitted the child sexual offender to be charged with incest, a class E non-violent felony. The new law creates three degrees of incest, based on the age and capacity of the victim and the age of the perpetrator. The new categories for crimes involving children will now be level B or D felonies, allowing for more serious penalties and incarceration. Numerous other provisions are included Additional offender provisions include, mandatory registration with the Sex Offender Registry and payment of the sex offender victim fee. Victim provisions include prohibiting use of a polygraph, protection against name disclosure, child witnesses testifying via closed-circuit television or being accompanied to the grand jury.

Signed: Chapter 320

Effective: November 1, 2006

Fatality Review Teams (S.6703-B Spano / A.10023-B Paulin)

Expands the scope of local and regional fatality review teams to include the deaths of children for who there is an open child protective or child preventive services case. Also allows a review team to expand its review to all unexplained or unexpected deaths of children under the age of 18. Requires any autopsy or toxicology report to be released within thirty days of a child’s death. Enlarges the composition of local and regional fatality review teams, provides access to records and subpoena power, provides review team members with immunity from civil and criminal liability, maintains confidentiality of information obtained by the teams, and provides for the sharing of any annual report or fatality report released by a review team.

Signed: Chapter 485

Effective: December 14, 2006

Termination of Parental Rights (S.5392-B Meier / A.11582-B Rivera)

Expands the grounds on which parental rights can be terminated. In addition to the current grounds of homicide/attempted homicide of another child of the parent, the new law adds any child for whom the defendant is/was legally responsible. The new law also includes homicide/attempted homicide of the other parent of the child, unless committed by a victim of domestic violence and the violence was a contributing factor to the crime.

Signed: Chapter 460

Effective: November 14, 2006

Child Advocacy Centers (S.7644-B Meier / A.11188-A Scarborough)

Directs the NYS Office of Children and Family Services to facilitate the establishment of Child Advocacy Centers to serve child victims of sexual assault and serious physical abuse. New programs and centers that already exist will be required to maintain a standard protocol to provide appropriate services and minimize trauma to the child and the family. This protocol includes, but is not limited to, a private setting, a multidisciplinary investigative team, victim support and advocacy, a written set of inter-agency protocols, availability of specialized medical evaluation and treatment, and a comprehensive tracking system.

Signed: Chapter 517

Effective: February 12, 2007

Educational Neglect (S.8183 Meier / A.11571-A Scarborough)

Requires the NYS Office of Children and Families, in conjunction with the NYS Education Department, to develop model practices and procedures for the reporting and investigation of educational neglect by local social services districts and local school districts. These model protocols must be developed and posted to the websites of both agencies by September 1, 2007. By January 1, 2008, each local social services district and local school district must submit their proposed policies and procedures to OCFS. OCFS will have sixty days to approve or disapprove.

Signed: Chapter 543

Effective: August 16, 2006

CPS Duties/Reporting (S.7042-A Meier / A.11854 Bradley)

Requires local child protective services to refer reports of physical injury or sexual abuse of a child, or the death of a child, to appropriate local law enforcement. Investigations are to be conducted by an approved multi-disciplinary investigative team, or jointly with local law enforcement, where a county does not have an approved multidisciplinary team. Counties that have an approved protocol between CPS and local law enforcement on joint investigations of child abuse and maltreatment are exempt. Provides for cases where the report is made by a mandated reporter, within six months of two prior reports to the SCR involving the same child, a sibling, other children in the household or the subject of the report. Requires the state central registry to transfer prior reports to local child protective services.

Signed: Chapter 494

Effective: November 14, 2006

CPS Qualifications/Training (S.7816-A Spano / A.11574-A Titus)

Establishes a required annual six hours of training for child protective staff, including information on the investigation of child abuse and maltreatment and current developments in the areas of legal, treatment and prevention issues. Establishes minimum qualifications for supervisors of child protective services, to include a baccalaureate degree and three years experience in a human services field. Requires all child protective supervisors to complete a course in the fundamentals of child protection, including effective investigation, case planning and management, cultural competency and effective supervisory skills. An annual in-service training program is also mandated for supervisors.

Signed: Chapter 525

Effective: July 26, 2006

CPS Notification of Conviction (S.1626-A Lavalle / A.5058-A Mayersohn)

Requires the district attorney to notify the local child protective services agency when an individual is convicted of a crime against a child, including assault, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, sex offenses, endangering the welfare of a child, sexual performance by a child, abandonment, and non-support.

Signed: Chapter 647

Effective: September 13, 2006

Sodomy Amendment (S.5772 Duane / A.11927 Glick)

Creates consistent language in reference to a “criminal sexual act.” Previous changes in the law replaced the use of the obsolete term “sodomy” with the term “criminal sexual act.” This law changes the reference in the section of law that identifies certain sex offenses for which a convicted offender is barred from receiving youthful offender status.

Signed: Chapter 316

Effective: July 26, 2006