Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Legislative Summaries by Year

1999 New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws

Clinic Access and Anti-Stalking Act of 1999 (A.9036-A John / S.6146 Rath)

Creates the new crime of stalking in the first, second, third and fourth degrees, with related provisions on firearms, warrants, sentencing requirements and crime victim compensation. Also creates the crime of criminal interference with health care services or religious worship.

Signed: November 22, 1999, Chapter 635

Effective: December 1, 1999

Unemployment benefits (A.2309-B Sidikman / S.827-B Marcellino)

Provides that in cases where a victim of domestic violence voluntarily separates from employment as a result of the abuse, separation may be deemed for good cause for the purposes of unemployment benefits.

Signed: July 26, 1999, Chapter 268

Effective: Immediately

Family Offense Court Jurisdiction (A.8466 Weinstein / S.5677 Saland)

Provides that a victim's choice to proceed in Family Court does not divest the criminal court of jurisdiction over the family offense.

Signed: June 29, 1999 Chapter 125

Effective: Immediately

Supreme Court Orders of Protection (A.7707 Weinstein / S.3985-A Saland)

Implements a number of technical changes in the Domestic Relations Law, which governs matrimonial proceedings in Supreme Court. A victim requesting a temporary order of protection must be heard on the same day or the next day the court is in session. Additionally, upon issuing an order of protection, a temporary order or upon violation of an order, the court may direct the surrender of firearms, revoke or suspend a firearms license or prohibit future eligibility for a firearms license.

Signed: November 9, 1999, Chapter 606

Effective: November 1, 2000

Adoption and Safe Families Act (A.962-A Green / S.2346 Saland)

Conforms New York state law to the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act regarding fostercare and adoption procedures, timetables, etc. Includes two provisions for domestic violence cases: 1) courts must consider the presence of domestic violence in the home when determining if the need to place a child would be eliminated by an order of protection removing the abuser from the home, and 2) requires the Office of Children and Family Services to study the extent to which domestic violence victims have their children removed as a result of the abuser's conduct.

Signed: February 11, 1999, Chapter 7

Effective: Immediately

Parole Board Toll Free Access (A.6280 Englebright / S.3253 Lavalle)

Requires the state board of parole to provide toll free telephone access for crime victims wishing to contact the board regarding an inmate's release.

Signed: June 29, 1999, Chapter 126

Effective: Immediately

Child Fatality Review (A.8455-A Green / S.5689-A Saland)

This bill brings the state into compliance with the Federal Child Abuse Protection and Treatment Act amendments of 1996. Requires court-ordered child abuse investigations to be conducted by interagency, multi-disciplinary teams. Team members are required to develop written protocol for investigating cases and interviewing victims. Establishes local and regional fatality review teams, under the auspices of the State Office of Children and Family Services, to investigate the death of any child whose care has been transferred to an authorized agency or whose case has been reported to the child abuse State Central Registry. Establishes local citizen review panels to review the effectiveness of child protective investigations. Sets forth the authority of the panels and specifies information that must be reviewed and reported, including recommendations, to the legislature, the governor, OCFS and local agencies.

Signed: June 29, 1999, Chapter 136

Effective: Immediately

Crime Victim Compensation (A.8408-B Koon / S.3776-B Nozzolio)

Provides for crime victim compensation for counseling to the spouses and children of crime victims who were physically injured. Also provides that a sex offense victim shall be presumed to have suffered physical injury.

Signed: August 31, 1999, Chapter 427

Effective: Immediately

Insurance Benefits (A.4063-A Weinstein / S.2294-A Skelos)

Where a spouse or child has been designated an insurance beneficiary in an order of separation or divorce, requires that they be notified when the policy holder attempts to transfer ownership of the policy, change the named beneficiary, borrow against cash value or defaults.

Signed: July 20, 1999 Chapter 275

Effective: 60 days after signature

Custody Prohibition In Sibling Murder Cases (A.8134 Koon / S.4665-A Defrancisco)

Prohibits the court from awarding visitation or custody of a child to any person convicted of first or second degree murder of the child's sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling.

Signed: July 27, 1999, Chapter 378

Effective: Immediately

Local Update on Sexually Violent Predators (A.7102 Englebright / S.4427 Volker)

Requires the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services to distribute to local village, town or city police departments monthly updates of the subdirectory of sexually violence predators for purposes of public access.

Signed: June 22, 1999, Chapter 113

Effective: 90 days after signature

Interim Probation Supervision (A.8235 Lentol / S.3519 Volker)

Expands allowable conditions of interim probation supervision to include electronic monitoring and any other reasonable condition necessary or appropriate to ameliorate the conduct which resulted in court involvement.

Signed: July 7, 1999, Chapter 216

Effective: 90 days after signature

Justice Court Assistance Program (A.7266 Higgins / S.3399 Lack)

Creates the Justice Court Assistance program within the Office of Court Administration. Local justice courts may apply for funds to improve services to communities. Funds may be used to automate court operations, improve facilities, improve recording of court proceedings, provide law books and related materials, provide training for justices and nonjudicial court staff, etc.

Signed: July 20, 1999, Chapter 280

Effective: Immediately

Collection of Child Support Arrears (A.7698 Weinstein / S.5872 Saland)

Extends for two more years the current law authorizing the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to seek enforcement and recovery of child support arrears in excess of four months.

Signed: June 29, 1999, Chapter 139

Effective: June 30, 1999

Parole Board Victim Confidentiality (A.5515 DiNapoli / S.1126 Maltese)

Requires the NYS Parole Board to keep the name and address of a crime victim confidential when the victim submits a written statement to the board regarding the release of an inmate.

Signed: May 10, 1999, Chapter 40

Effective: Immediately

Child Support (A.7708 Weinstein / S.4432-A Saland)

Requires that out-of-state orders of support may only be modified in accordance with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

Signed: September 28, 1999, Chapter 533

Effective: Immediately

The following bill was vetoed by the Governor:

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (A.7168-B Weinstein / S.4138-A Saland)

Enacts the changes contained in the federal Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Updates and conforms New York's laws to the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and the Violence Against Women Act, strengthening and streamlining custody enforcement procedures, including mandatory enforcement of out-of-state custody orders.

Vetoed: December 21, 1999