On November 13, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that prohibits victims of domestic violence from being held legally responsible for violation of an order of protection under which they are the protected party (Chapter 480). The law takes effect immediately and applies to all orders of protection currently in effect.
This prohibition will be explicitly stated on all New York State order of protection forms: “This order of protection will remain in effect even if the protected party has, or consents to have, contact or communication with the party against whom the order is issued. This order of protection can only be modified or terminated by the court. The protected party cannot be held to violate this order nor be arrested for violating this order.”
On December 18, 2013, the Governor signed into law Chapter 526, which addresses financial/economic abuse by recognizing certain crimes of identity theft, larceny and coercion as ways that abusers threaten and hold power over victims. The law adds these crimes to the list of family offenses, allowing victims to seek relief and an order of protection in Family Court, as well as criminal court. As family offenses, they will now be subject to mandatory arrest and the order of protection will be added to the statewide order of protection registry.
The law also adds a new condition that can be included in orders of protection, requiring the abuser to return specified “identification documents,” such as a passport, immigration documents, birth certificate, benefits/insurance cards, etc., to the protected party.