Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Law

NYS Domestic Violence Laws by Subject (beginning with 2007)

The Following Bills Have Been Signed Into Law:

Criminal Law:

Human Trafficking (A.8679 Dinowitz / S.5902 Padavan)

Establishes the state’s first law to strengthen penalties against human trafficking and provide assistance to victims:

  1. creates a class B felony for those who engage in sex trafficking and a class D felony for labor trafficking
  2. clarifies current law to address “prostitution tourism”-- knowingly selling travel-related services to facilitate prostitution (class D felony of promoting prostitution in the third degree)
  3. addresses the demand for prostitution by elevating the lowest level crime of patronizing a prostitute from a B to an A misdemeanor
  4. establishes an interagency task force, co-chaired by DCJS and OTDA, to coordinate implementation of the new law, collect data on trafficking, and recommend best practices for training and community outreach
  5. trafficking victims who have not been eligible for services because they are not U.S. citizens, or because they are foreign nationals who have not yet been certified as eligible for federal assistance programs, can now receive social services assistance from the state
  6. services include case management, emergency temporary housing, health and mental health care, drug addiction screening and treatment, language and translation services, and job training
  7. assistance is now available to coordinate with the federal government to obtain special visas that allow victims to testify against traffickers and facilitate future eligibility for refugee status

Effective: November 1, 2007 Chapter 74

Mandatory Arrest Extension (Budget Bill ~ A.4306-C/ S.2106-C)

Extends the mandatory arrest provision for family offenses for two more years, until September 1, 2009.

Effective: April 9, 2007 Chapter 56

Criminal Mischief Added to Family Offenses (A.8854-A Weinstein / S.4542-A Kruger)

Adds criminal mischief to the list of crimes defined as a “family offense” in the Family Court Act and criminal procedure law.

Effective: November 13, 2007 Chapter 541

Firearms/Licenses & Surrenders (A.618-A Paulin / S.4066 Robach)

Lowers the required level of injury from serious physical injury to physical injury for two provisions in the Criminal Procedure Law:

Effective: August 2, 2007 Chapter 198

Detainer Warrant (A.8592-B Aubrey / S.6352 Lanza)

Allows the director or deputy director of a local probation department to issue a warrant for a probationer who has violated a condition of probation to be taken into custody and detained if it is determined that s/he presents a sufficient safety risk. The law applies to probationers serving a probation sentence for conviction of certain sex offenses or a family offense, or is a youthful offender adjudicated for these crimes, and only in circumstances where the judge of the sentencing court or an alternative court is not available to issue a warrant. This is a three year pilot project to be conducted in four counties, to be selected by the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (excludes New York City).

Effective: July 18, 2007 Chapter 377

Orders of Protection:

Fees for Service of Orders of Protection ( A.7370 Hyer-Spencer / S.4020 Volker)

Prohibits sheriffs from charging a victim to serve an order of protection, or any additional papers that accompany the order (custody, child support, etc.)

Effective: May 21, 2007

Chapter 36 Temporary Order of Protection With a Securing Order (A.8193 Weinstein / S.4538 Kruger)

Allows a criminal court to issue a temporary order of protection when a securing order is issued and a defendant is committed to the custody of the sheriff. This provision would prevent a jailed defendant from communicating with a victim by telephone, mail, or other means.

Effective: July 1, 2007 Chapter 45

Family Court:

Electronic Transmission of Orders of Protection (A.7554-C Rosenthal / S. 4704-C Volker)

Allows the Family Courts in nine counties to participate in a three-year experimental program to file orders of protection electronically, or by facsimile transmission, with the appropriate police department or sheriff’s office -- eliminating the need for victims to personally transport orders to law enforcement. The designated counties include: Albany, Erie, Kings, Monroe, Nassau, New York, Onondaga, Richmond, and Westchester

Effective: July 18, 2007 Chapter 330

Criminal Mischief Added to Family Offenses (A.8854-A Weinstein / S.4542-A Kruger) – see Criminal Laws

Housing:

Residential Lease Termination Orders (A.3386 Heastie / S.1922 Robach Chapter 73)

Residential Lease Termination Amendment (A.9244 Heastie / S.6351 Robach Chapter 616)

The residential lease termination bill was signed into law on June 4, 2007. It was amended on August 15, 2007. Together, the original law and the amendment authorize courts to issue orders terminating the lease or rental agreement of a domestic violence victim who has obtained an order of protection and can prove that she is at substantial risk if she remains in the dwelling. The law requires multiple procedural steps:

  1. the victim must first request that the landlord release him/her from the lease
  2. the victim’s financial obligations to the landlord must be satisfied
  3. the victim must give notice to the landlord and any co-tenant
  4. the lease may be bifurcated between the co-tenant and the victim, if the co-tenant does not object

The provisions of the law went into effect on October 1, 2007.

Child Welfare:

Differential Response in CPS Cases (A.6610-B Paulin / S.4009-B Rath)

Allows local social services districts, with approval from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, to establish a differential response program for reported cases of child abuse or maltreatment. In addition to the traditional “investigation” option, a district can create an assessment and services track. The law requires OCFS to consult with OPDV in developing criteria for case eligibility and for local district participation.

Effective: August 1, 2007 Chapter 452

Social Services Workers as Mandated Reporters (A.1693-A Tonko / S.849-A Farley)

Expands the duty of social services workers to report to the State Central Registry any case where there is reasonable cause to believe that, based on personal knowledge facts, conditions or circumstances reported to them by third parties, a child has been abused or maltreated.

Effective: October 15, 2007 Chapter 513

Sex Offenses/Offenders:

HIV Testing in Sex Offense Cases (A.9256 Mayersohn // S.6357 Saland)

Authorizes a criminal court to order a defendant, in certain felony-level sex offense cases, to submit to HIV testing when an indictment has been issued or the case is proceeding in Supreme Court. The defendant must submit to HIV-related testing within six months after the date of the crimes charged, when testing would provide medical or psychological benefit to the victim. The victim must be notified of the test results and offered follow-up testing. If medically appropriate, hospitals are required to provide information and appropriate therapies to sex offense victims who have been exposed to HIV and to advise victims of the availability of crime victim compensation for treatment.

Effective: November 1, 2007 Chapter 571

Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (A.6162 Silver / S.3318 Volker)

Allows the State to continue managing sex offenders after the expiration of their criminal sentences, either by indefinite civil confinement of those individuals determined to be the most dangerous predators, or by permitting strict, intensive longer periods of parole supervision for offenders who pose a lower risk of harm. The law streamlines civil commitment procedures, mandates treatment for all sex offenders (both during incarceration and after release), eliminates parole for Article 130 sex offenses, creates a new crime of "sexually motivated felony," and creates a new Office of Sex Offender Management in the Division of Criminal Justice Services, which will be responsible for developing comprehensive policies and standards for the evaluation, treatment and management of sex offenders.

Effective: April 13, 2007 Chapter 7

Sex Offender Registry – Failure to Register (A.7512-A Weisenberg / S.6277 Skelos)

Increases the penalty for failing to register or verify as a sex offender, as required by the Sex Offender Registry Act. Current penalties for failure to register would increase from a class A misdemeanor to a class E felony for a first offense and from a class D to class E felony for a second or subsequent offense.

Effective: August 17, 2007 Chapter 373

Miscellaneous:

OPDV Advisory Council (A.8762 Young / S.3717 Golden)

Adds a representative from the State Office for the Aging as an ex-officio member of OPDV’s Advisory Council.

Effective: July 3, 2007 Chapter 188