senate Bill S1761

Protects constitutional or civil rights of people against infringement by those not acting under color of law

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 12 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Summary

Provides for protection of persons in exercise or enjoyment of rights under state and federal laws; provides for civil action by attorney general, civil action by person aggrieved, and criminal penalties; applies to defendants acting or not acting under color of law; provides for various penal sanctions in addition to civil relief; defines "sexual orientation".

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Bill Details

Versions:
S1761
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Civil Rights Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง44-b, Civ Rts L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S1128

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1761

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting
constitutional or civil rights of the people

PURPOSE:
To provide for a state statutory right to bring an action for damages
resulting from discrimination, threats or acts of violence and
intimidation, which parallels the rights of action and is found in
sections 1983 and 1984 of Title 42 of the U.S. code.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Adds a new section 44-b of the Civil Rights Law. Provides for
protection of persons in exercise or enjoyment of rights under state and
federal laws. Provides for civil action by persons aggrieved, and
criminal penalties.

JUSTIFICATION:
The Civil Rights Law is one of the repositories for New York's statutory
provisions on human rights. Article 4 of the Civil Rights 40-45
establishes equal rights to access and enjoyment of places of public
accommodation such as theatres, hotels and educational institutions.
Discrimination by owners and employees of such establishments, which is
based upon race, color, creed or national origin, is punishable as a
misdemeanor, with a fine of $100-$500 or 30-90 days in jail, or both.

Research has not revealed the existence of a state statutory right to
bring an action for damages resulting from discrimination. Therefore,
action by the legislature is imperative to provide a state remedy for
deprivation of civil rights statutes (sections 1983 and 1985 of the U.S.
code). Recent events of racially motivated violence in this state reveal
the need for this legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10: S.1128 - Referred to Investigations & Government Operations
2007-08: S.2911 - Referred to Investigations & Government Operations
2005-06: S.1221 - Referred to Investigations, Taxation &
Government Operations
2003-04: S.1006 - Referred to Investigations, Taxation&
Government Operations
2001-02: S.1572/A.2542 - Referred to Investigation, Taxation
& Government Operations

EFFECTIVE DATE:
On the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall
have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1761

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 12, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  PERKINS,  ADAMS,  DIAZ,  DUANE, HASSELL-THOMPSON,
  KRUEGER, PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
  be committed to the Committee on Investigations and  Government  Oper-
  ations

AN  ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to protecting consti-
  tutional or civil rights of the people

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The  civil  rights law is amended by adding a new section
44-b to read as follows:
  S 44-B. VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTIONAL OR CIVIL RIGHTS;  CIVIL  ACTIONS;
AND  CRIMINAL SANCTIONS. 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT. THE LEGISLATURE DECLARES
THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO ASSURE THAT EACH RESI-
DENT IS AFFORDED AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY  A  FULL  AND  PRODUCTIVE
LIFE  WITHOUT  FEAR  OF DISCRIMINATION BASED UPON RACE, RELIGION, CREED,
COLOR, SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AGE, DISABILITY OR NATIONAL ORIGIN.  THE
STATE  HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTIONALLY GUAR-
ANTEED RIGHTS OF ITS RESIDENTS. THE LEGISLATURE  NOTES  WITH  ALARM  THE
CONTINUED GROWTH IN THE STATE OF ACTS AND THREATS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIM-
IDATION, DENYING TO MEMBERS OF RACIAL, RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC GROUPS THEIR
FUNDAMENTAL CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS. ACTS WHICH DENY OR DEPRIVE OTHERS OF
THEIR  CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RIGHTS THREATEN THE RIGHTS AND PRIVI-
LEGES OF ALL PERSONS AND UNDERMINE THE FOUNDATION OF A  FREE  DEMOCRATIC
SOCIETY.  THE  LEGISLATURE FINDS THAT ENACTMENT OF THIS LEGISLATION WILL
ENHANCE THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE.
  2. WHENEVER ANY PERSON OR PERSONS, WHETHER OR NOT ACTING  UNDER  COLOR
OF  LAW,  INTERFERE  BY THREATS, INTIMIDATION OR COERCION, OR ATTEMPT TO
INTERFERE BY THREATS, INTIMIDATION OR COERCION,  WITH  THE  EXERCISE  OR
ENJOYMENT  BY  ANY  OTHER  PERSON  OR  PERSONS  OF RIGHTS SECURED BY THE
CONSTITUTION OR LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, OR OF RIGHTS SECURED  BY  THE
CONSTITUTION  OR  LAWS  OF  THIS STATE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY BRING A

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD06897-01-1

S. 1761                             2

CIVIL ACTION FOR INJUNCTIVE OR OTHER  APPROPRIATE  EQUITABLE  RELIEF  IN
ORDER  TO  PROTECT  THE  PEACEABLE EXERCISE OR ENJOYMENT OF THE RIGHT OR
RIGHTS SECURED. SAID CIVIL ACTION SHALL BE BROUGHT IN THE  NAME  OF  THE
PEOPLE  OF  THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND SHALL BE INSTITUTED IN THE SUPREME
COURT FOR THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE CONDUCT COMPLAINED OF OCCURRED  OR  IN
THE  SUPREME  COURT  FOR THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHOSE
CONDUCT COMPLAINED OF RESIDE OR HAVE THEIR PRINCIPAL PLACE  OF  BUSINESS
OR  IN THE SUPREME COURT FOR THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE AGGRIEVED PERSON OR
PERSONS RESIDE.
  3. ANY PERSON WHOSE EXERCISE OR ENJOYMENT OF  RIGHTS  SECURED  BY  THE
CONSTITUTION  OR  LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, OR OF RIGHTS SECURED BY THE
CONSTITUTION OR LAWS  OF  THIS  STATE,  HAS  BEEN  INTERFERED  WITH,  OR
ATTEMPTED TO BE INTERFERED WITH, AS DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS
SECTION,  MAY  INSTITUTE AND PROSECUTE IN HIS OR HER OWN NAME AND ON HIS
OR HER OWN BEHALF A CIVIL ACTION FOR  INJUNCTIVE  OR  OTHER  APPROPRIATE
EQUITABLE RELIEF, INCLUDING THE AWARD OF COMPENSATORY AND PUNITIVE MONEY
DAMAGES.  ANY  SUCH AGGRIEVED PERSON OR PERSONS WHO PREVAIL IN AN ACTION
AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO AN AWARD OF THE COSTS OF
THE LITIGATION AND REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES IN AN AMOUNT TO BE  DETER-
MINED BY THE COURT.
  4.  ANY  PERSON  CONVICTED OF VIOLATING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION
SHALL BE FINED NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR IMPRISONED NOT MORE
THAN ONE YEAR OR BOTH; IF BODILY INJURY  RESULTS  FROM  SUCH  VIOLATION,
SUCH  PERSON  SHALL  BE PUNISHED BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN TEN THOUSAND
DOLLARS OR BY IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT MORE THAN TEN YEARS, OR BOTH; AND  IF
DEATH  RESULTS,  SUCH  PERSON SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE RELEVANT PENALTIES
PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 70.00 OF THE PENAL LAW FOR CONVICTION OF A CLASS
A-I FELONY.
  5. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "SEXUAL ORIENTATION" MEANS  HAVING  A
PREFERENCE  FOR HETEROSEXUALITY, HOMOSEXUALITY, BISEXUALITY OR ASEXUALI-
TY, HAVING A HISTORY OF SUCH A PREFERENCE, OR BEING IDENTIFIED WITH SUCH
A PREFERENCE. HOWEVER NOTHING CONTAINED IN  THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  BE
CONSTRUED TO PROTECT CONDUCT OTHERWISE PROSCRIBED BY LAW.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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