2012 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws
The following bills have been signed into law by the Governor:
Domestic Violence Omnibus Bill - A.10624 Lentol / S.7638 Saland
Enacts significant changes that will provide greater safeguards for victims and increase accountability for offenders:
- Establishes the crime of "aggravated family offense" for offenders who commit certain misdemeanor-level offenses and have a previous conviction for a specified misdemeanor or felony against a family or household member within the past five years (class E felony)
- Establishes a new subdivision of "aggravated harassment in the second degree" for offenders who, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm, cause physical injury to a family or household member (A misdemeanor)
- Establishes a state-level domestic violence fatality review team within the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence which will bring together state and local domestic violence-related professionals to do in-depth reviews of select intimate partner homicides and periodically report aggregate data and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature
- Allows the court to consider two new factors when determining bail in family offenses cases: any violations of an order of protection and the defendant's history of possession of a firearm
- Allows victims of domestic violence to have their insurance claims, forms, or billing correspondence for medical and mental health services sent to a confidential address, protecting both the details of such services and the address of the victim from the abuser who is also the insurance policyholder
- Prevents individuals charged with causing the death of a victim, or who were the subject of an order protecting the deceased, from being able to exercise control over disposition of the deceased victim’s remains, allowing family members to make these decisions and proceed with funeral and burial arrangements
- Makes implementation changes to the New York State Address Confidentiality Program for domestic violence victims, established in the Department of State under Chapter 502 of the laws of 2011
Amends multiple sections of NYS law: Executive Law §108(1), §108(2)(a)(i), §108(4)(b)(i) and (c)(i), §108(6), §575(4), repeals old/adds a new Election Law §575(10); Public Health Law §4201(2); Insurance Law §2612(c)(2) and adds a new Insurance Law §2612(h); Penal Law §240.30 and adds a new Penal Law §240.75; Criminal Procedure Law 510.30(2)(a) and adds a new Criminal Procedure Law §200.63; Section 2 of chapter 502 of the laws of 2011; includes a severability clause in unconsolidated law to address enactment, should any portion of the bill be judged invalid.
Signed: 10/25/12 Chapter 491
Effective: multiple provisions with varying effective dates
Extended Length of Shelter Stay - A.2651-B Jacobs / S.6308-A Ball
Codifies in Social Services Law the ninety day limit on shelter stays that has been in regulation since 1987. Allows local districts to provide two forty-five day extensions beyond the ninety days for shelter residents who continue to be in need of emergency services and temporary shelter.
Amends Social Services Law §459-b
Effective: April 1, 2013 Chapter 459
DNA Testing and Databank Expansion - A.9555 Lentol / S.6733 Saland
Expands the DNA databank by requiring DNA sample collection from anyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor. In addition, the law expands defendants' access to DNA testing and databank comparisons both before and after conviction in appropriate circumstances, as well as access to discovery of property and materials after conviction to demonstrate their innocence.
Amends Criminal Procedure Law §§440.30(1) and (1-a), 240.40(1), 440.10(1), and Executive Law §95(7). In addition, the issues of preservation of property and costs for testing or searches are addressed in unconsolidated law.
Effective: 10/1/12 Chapter 19
Student Cyberbullying Prevention- A.10712 O’Donnell / S.7740 Saland
Requires school districts to establish policies and procedures to respond to cyberbullying, harassment, bullying and discrimination. The new law provides a detailed definition of cyberbullying that includes the use of electronic communication, either on or off school property, to intimidate, threaten or abuse another student. Districts must designate a school official to investigate reports made by students or parents, notify law enforcement, where appropriate, and take prompt responsive action. Schools must develop a bullying prevention strategy, advise all school community members of the school's policies and post the policies on the school's website. The law also establishes training requirements for current and new school employees on harassment, cyber/bullying and discrimination.
Amends Education Law §11(7), adds a new §11(8), amends §12(1), §13, §14, §15, §16, §801-a
Effective: 7/1/2013 Chapter 102
HIV Prevention - A.669-C Jaffee / S.3200-B Hannon
Allows NYS Office of Victim Services reimbursement for sexual assault victims to receive a 7-day starter pack of HIV post-exposure prevention treatment, rather than the current coverage for a 3-day pack. Hospitals and sexual assault nurse examiners will be reimbursed directly, eliminating the need for victims to negotiate payment for this additional care. The law also requires hospitals and sexual assault examiners to provide, or refer victims for, medical follow-up, with the victim’s permission to schedule.
Amends Public Health Law §2805(i)(1)(c), Executive Law §631(13)
Effective: 11/27/12 Chapter 39
Counseling for Relatives of Homicide Victims - A.9898 Schimel / S.6848 Nozzolio
Amends Executive Law to include additional relatives of homicide victims who will be eligible to receive awards from the Office of Victim Services. Guardians, siblings and step-siblings of a victim who died as a direct result of a crime will now be eligible to receive an award for counseling expenses.
Amends Executive Law §62 4(1)(b)
Effective: July 18, 2012 Chapter 233
Referee Authority Extended - A.9400 Weinstein / S.6624 Bonacic
Extends until September 1, 2014 the current authority of referees to make determinations about orders of protection. Referees are authorized to hear ex-parte order of protection petitions or petitions where all parties except the applying party failed to appear.
Amends Section 2 of Chapter 363 of the laws of 2010, relating to Judiciary Law §212(2)(n)
Effective: July 18, 2012 Chapter 137
Membership Camping Contracts - A.9020-B Jaffee /S.6429-A Robach
Allows individuals with membership camping contracts to cancel their part of a contract under certain conditions, including domestic violence, if the victim can provide documentation that the other signee of the contract perpetrated domestic violence against them. Based on concerns raised regarding victim safety, the Governor’s approval memo notes that the Legislature has agreed to eliminate the portion of the law that would allow campground operators to investigate whether the alleged abuser would present a danger to campground users or employees, and take subsequent action to terminate their membership.
Creates new General Business Law §654-a
Effective: February 13, 2013 Chapter 383
Probation Transfer - A.10415-A Weinstein / S.7589-A Savino
Amends a 2011 law that changed the transfer of probation cases when a probationer moved counties. Under the new law, in family offense and child support cases, the court now has the discretion to keep the case in the original county or transfer the court case to the county where the probationer has moved. This will allow future court actions, such as a violation of an order of protection, to be heard in either county, eliminating the need for the victim petitioner to travel to the respondent probationer’s new county of residence.
Effective: 10/3/12 Chapter 470
Amends FCA §§171, 173, 175, 176(1)
Social Security Numbers - A.8992-A Dinowitz / S.6609 Zeldin
Prohibits any individual or business entity from requiring individuals to disclose their social security numbers or denying services if an individual refuses to disclose. The law does not apply to government entities or if a social security number is required by law or covered under one of several exemptions included in the new law, such as, for credit or banking transactions, tax compliance, collection of child support, etc.
Effective: 12/12/12 Chapter 372
Adds a new §399-ddd to the General Business Law