1997 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws
Primary Physical Aggressor (A.8672 Weinstein/S.5791 Saland)
Amends mandatory arrest provisions to clarify that in family offense cases, where both parties allege an offense, arrest of both parties is not required if an officer believes one party was acting in self- defense. In misdemeanor cross-complaint cases, police are not required to arrest both parties, only the primary physical aggressor. Specific guidelines are provided to assist in the identification of the primary physical aggressor. The bill also prohibits an officer from threatening arrest in order to discourage a person's request for police intervention and specifies that arrest may not be based on a complainant's willingness to testify or participate in a subsequent judicial proceeding. The Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence are required to develop guidelines for the implementation of this law by police agencies.
Signed: October 14,1997 Chapter 4
Effective: primary physical aggressor and self-defense provisions - 90 days after Governor's signature development of implementation guidelines - 180 days after signature
Workplace Violence Policy (A.8289 Nolan/S.4853-A Rath)
Requires the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, with the assistance of the Department of Labor and a task force representing the concerns of employers, employees and domestic violence advocates to develop a model domestic violence employee awareness and assistance policy for businesses in New York State. The Office will provide information and technical support to businesses and will survey businesses, in four years, to determine to what extent the model policy is adopted.
Signed: August 5,1997 Chapter 368
Effective: February 1,1998
Local Criminal Court Authority (A.7029 Weinstein/S.3495 Saland)
Clarifies ambiguities in the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 regarding the authority of, and procedures for, local criminal courts to act on behalf of the Family Court or Supreme Court in family offense cases when these courts are closed. The bill sets forth specific procedures to be followed in hearing these cases and transferring them over to Family or Supreme Court.
Signed: July 8,1997 Chapter 186
Notice to Prenatal/Postpartum Patients (A.67-B Feldman/S.1023-A Skelos)
Hospitals that have maternity/newborn services and diagnostic and treatment centers that offer prenatal care services (health centers, Planned Parenthoods, some HMO's, etc) are required to disseminate to all patients at prenatal visits or at post-delivery, a notice regarding family violence. This notice, to be developed by the Department of Health in consultation with the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the Office of Children and Family Services (formerly DSS), will provide information about the effects of child abuse/maltreatment and domestic violence and services available to women and children experiencing such violence.
Signed: July 29,1997 Chapter 271
Effective: 180 days after signature
NYS Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act (A.3379-A Clark/S.2163-A Volker)
Amends Penal Law to make the act of female genital mutilation a class E felony. Requires the Department of Health and the Department of Social Services to complete a study on the health risks and emotional trauma associated with female genital mutilation. Also requires the establishment and implementation of an educational prevention and outreach program.
Signed: September 17,1997 Chapter 618
Effective: penalty provision- 45 days after Governor's signature study and community education/outreach provision - 180 days after signature
Extension of Temporary Orders of Protection (A.6442-A Katz/S.3208-A Skelos)
Clarifies that in cases where the court has issued a temporary order of protection ex parte or with a warrant for the arrest of a defendant, the order remains in effect until the defendant appears in court.
Signed: September 17,1997 Chapter 589
Victim Impact Statements (A.38-A Feldman/S.1587-A Volker)
Allows a crime victim who submits a written or makes an in-person victim impact statement at an inmate's parole hearing to include in such statement any information concerning threatening or intimidating conduct by the inmate that has occurred after sentencing, directed towards the victim, their representative or any family members.
Signed: September 17,1997 Chapter 581
Effective: January 1, 1998
Coordination Of Law Enforcement Elder Abuse Reports (A.8064 Clark/S.5365 Maziarz)
In family offense cases where the victim is sixty-five years or older, police are required to send a copy of the domestic violence incident report form to the New York State Committee for the Coordination of Police Services to Elderly Persons. The committee is required to report annually to the Legislature on the incidence of such reports and to recommend policies and programs to assist law enforcement, the courts and the Crime Victim's Board in helping victims.
Signed: September 17,1997 Chapter 626
Domestic Violence-Related Budget Items
Welfare Reform/Family Violence Option (A.8678/S.5788 pp.112-113)
Welfare reform includes new requirements and deadlines for applicants and current recipients. The domestic violence language, consistent with the Family Violence Option created by the Federal Wellstone-Murray amendment, provides protection for victims through the following provisions:
- universal notification of procedures and services available to domestic violence victims
- universal screening by local DSS to determine if an applicant/recipient is a victim of domestic violence
- disclosure is voluntary and confidential
- upon disclosure, victim is referred to a trained local DSS domestic violence liaison who will:
- assess the victim's claim of domestic violence -- in the absence of sufficient or corroborating evidence, assessment will be based on the victims's sworn statement alleging abuse
- refer the victim to services, on a voluntary basis
- assess the need for waivers of program and/or employment requirements, based on the extent to which domestic violence is a barrier to compliance by making it more difficult to escape the violence or by placing the victim or children at further risk of domestic violence
- exemptions from the sixty month limit on receipt of benefits will be available to individuals with an independently verified physical or mental impairment resulting from domestic violence or to a care giver for a dependent child who is disabled as a result of domestic violence
- a specific confidentiality provision is included, which allows information to be released only to other governmental agencies, unless required to be disclosed by law or authorized in writing by the victim
DSS (now the Office of Family and Children Services) is required, after consultation with OPDV and statewide domestic violence advocacy groups, to develop regulations for the implementation of theses provisions by local Social Services districts.
Signed: August 20,1997 Chapter 436
New York City Shelter Bed Development (A.1604-A/S.814-A pp.239-240)
$13,750,000 for 250 licensed shelter beds in NYC; for acquisition, demolition, design, rehabilitation, modification or construction by not-for-profit corporations with demonstrated expertise in providing residential services
Signed: August 20,1997 Chapter 56