senate Bill S2554

Relates to cancellation of membership camping contracts

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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

  • 25 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 10 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.585
  • 11 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 16 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 24 / Jun / 2011
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1374
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A8965

Summary

Relates to cancellation of membership camping contracts.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8965
Versions:
S2554
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add §654-a, amd §653, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: A11119B, A11119A
2011-2012: A940

Votes

9
0
9
Aye
0
Nay
1
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Consumer Protection committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2554

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to cancellation
of membership
camping contracts

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to allow
purchasers of membership camping contracts to cancel such contracts
under certain conditions.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
This bill would allow purchasers of
membership camping contracts to cancel their contracts under the
following conditions:

* There is a material breach by, the membership campground operator to
provide the essential services and programs as set forth and in the
manner provided in the membership camping contract; natural
disasters, illegal acts, power outages, or governmental or law
enforcement actions would not be a basis for cancellation if the
membership campground operator diligently restores such services and
programs; or

* the purchaser has relocated to not less than 50.0 miles from a site
where the membership can be used; or

* the purchaser, purchaser's spouse or domestic partner reside in or
are notified of and accept the opportunity to commence occupancy in
an adult care facility or residential care facility; or

* the purchaser, purchaser's spouse or domestic partner receives
written certification from a physician state that the purchaser or
purchaser's spouse is physically unable due to ailment or injury to
visit the campground and materially utilize any of the services and
programs outlined in the membership camping contract; or

* the purchaser of a multi-party contract is a victim of domestic
violence perpetrated by another signee of the same contract.

The purchaser would be required to have paid all outstanding fees due
at the time of cancellation and for 90 days thereafter. The purchaser
would also be required to submit documentation supporting their
request to cancel the contract.

JUSTIFICATION:
Membership campgrounds can provide campers with easy
access to campgrounds across the nation. Many such memberships allow
the purchaser to camp at several different locations. While these

arrangements are popular with many consumers, some have complained of
being trapped in lengthy contracts. This bill would allow purchasers
to cancel
a membership campground contract under certain circumstances,
including entering a nursing home, becoming physically unable to
utilize campground services, and relocating a considerable distance
from the campground(s). Purchasers of lifetime memberships, which can
cost thousands of dollars up front and involve campground maintenance
fees that can run into the hundreds of dollars each year, are
especially harmed when unforeseen circumstances make it impossible to
use a membership.
This bill would provide cancellation rights in very limited
circumstances to purchasers of membership camping contracts. Similar
rights are currently provided to purchasers of membership health club
services under the Health Club Services Law (Article 30 of the
General Business Law).

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
180 days after it shall have become a law.

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

                                  2554

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 25, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to cancellation of
  membership camping contracts

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

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
654-a to read as follows:
  S  654-A.  CANCELLATION  OF  MEMBERSHIP  CAMPING CONTRACTS. 1. FOR THE
PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL  HAVE  THE  FOLLOWING
MEANINGS:
  A.  "ADULT  CARE FACILITY" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS SUCH TERM IS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE OF SECTION TWO OF THE SOCIAL  SERVICES
LAW,  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER, THAT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM
"ADULT CARE FACILITY" SHALL NOT INCLUDE A SHELTER FOR ADULTS;
  B. "DOMESTIC PARTNER" SHALL HAVE THE SAME  MEANING  AS  SUCH  TERM  IS
DEFINED   IN   SUBDIVISION   SEVEN   OF   SECTION   TWENTY-NINE  HUNDRED
NINETY-FOUR-A OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW.
  C. "RESIDENTIAL HEALTH CARE FACILITY" SHALL HAVE THE SAME  MEANING  AS
SUCH  TERM  IS  DEFINED  IN  SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT
HUNDRED ONE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW; AND
  D. "SHELTER FOR ADULTS" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS  SUCH  TERM  IS
DEFINED  IN  SUBDIVISION  TWENTY-THREE  OF  SECTION  TWO  OF  THE SOCIAL
SERVICES LAW.
  2. A. UPON THE EXPIRATION OF THE CANCELLATION  PERIOD  PROVIDED  UNDER
SECTION SIX HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE, A PURCHASER OF A MEMBER-
SHIP CAMPING CONTRACT SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL SUCH CONTRACT UNDER
THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
  (1)  THERE  IS  A  MATERIAL BREACH OF CONTRACT BY THE MEMBERSHIP CAMP-
GROUND OPERATOR TO PROVIDE THE ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND  PROGRAMS  AS  SET
FORTH  AND IN THE MANNER PROVIDED IN THE MEMBERSHIP CAMPING CONTRACT.  A

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00798-01-1

S. 2554                             2

NATURAL DISASTER OR PHENOMENA, FAILURE OR SHORTAGE OF ELECTRIC POWER  OR
OTHER  SOURCE  OF ENERGY, UNAUTHORIZED OR ILLEGAL ACTS, LABOR STRIKES OR
DISPUTES DISRUPTING OPERATIONS,  OR  GOVERNMENTAL,  JUDICIAL,    OR  LAW
ENFORCEMENT  ACTIONS  SHALL  NOT BE A BASIS FOR CANCELLATION, UNLESS THE
MEMBERSHIP CAMPGROUND OPERATOR FAILS TO DILIGENTLY RESTORE SUCH SERVICES
AND PROGRAMS WITHIN A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME; OR
  (2) THE PURCHASER HAS RELOCATED TO A PERMANENT RESIDENCE NOT LESS THAN
FIVE HUNDRED MILES FROM THE CAMPGROUND OR  THE  LOCATION  OF  ANY  OTHER
CAMPGROUND AVAILABLE TO THE PURCHASER PURSUANT TO ONE OR MORE RECIPROCAL
PROGRAMS OUTLINED IN THE MEMBERSHIP CAMPING CONTRACT; OR
  (3)  THE  PURCHASER,  OR  THE  PURCHASER'S  SPOUSE OR DOMESTIC PARTNER
CURRENTLY RESIDES IN OR IS NOTIFIED OF AND ACCEPTS  THE  OPPORTUNITY  TO
COMMENCE  OCCUPANCY  IN  AN  ADULT CARE FACILITY OR A RESIDENTIAL HEALTH
CARE FACILITY AND THE PURCHASER PROVIDES A COPY OF SUCH NOTIFICATION  OR
PROOF OF RESIDENCY TO THE OPERATOR; OR
  (4)  THE  PURCHASER  OR  THE  PURCHASER'S  SPOUSE  OR DOMESTIC PARTNER
RECEIVES A WRITTEN CERTIFICATION  FROM  A  PHYSICIAN  STATING  THAT  THE
PURCHASER  OR  THE  PURCHASER'S SPOUSE OR DOMESTIC PARTNER IS BEDRIDDEN,
HOUSEBOUND, OR SIMILARLY PHYSICALLY UNABLE DUE TO AILMENT OR  INJURY  TO
VISIT  THE  CAMPGROUND  AND  MATERIALLY  UTILIZE ANY OF THE SERVICES AND
PROGRAMS AS OUTLINED IN THE MEMBERSHIP CAMPING CONTRACT, AND SUCH CONDI-
TION IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE TEMPORARY. THE PURCHASER MUST PROVIDE A  COPY
OF SUCH CERTIFICATION TO THE OPERATOR; OR
  (5)  THE  PURCHASER  OF  A  CONTRACT SIGNED BY MORE THAN ONE PURCHASER
PROVIDES TO THE OPERATOR A COPY OF ANY  OF  THE  FOLLOWING,  WITHIN  SIX
MONTHS OF ITS ISSUANCE, INVOLVING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BY ANOTHER SIGNATORY
OF THE SAME CONTRACT: (A) A VALID DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCIDENT REPORT FORM
AS  SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIFTEEN OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED
THIRTY-SEVEN OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW; (B) A  VALID  POLICE  REPORT;  (C)  A
VALID  ORDER  OF  PROTECTION;  OR (D) A SIGNED AFFIDAVIT FROM A LICENSED
MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, EMPLOYEE OF A COURT ACTING WITH-
IN THE SCOPE OF HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT,  SOCIAL  WORKER,  A  RAPE  CRISIS
COUNSELOR  AS  DEFINED  IN  SECTION  FORTY-FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THE CIVIL
PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, OR ADVOCATE ACTING ON BEHALF OF AN  AGENCY  THAT
ASSISTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS. PARAGRAPH D OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL
NOT  APPLY TO A PURCHASER CANCELING UNDER THIS SUBPARAGRAPH. A CLAIM FOR
TERMINATION UNDER THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL BE MADE IN GOOD FAITH.  TERMI-
NATION  UNDER  THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL REQUIRE, AND THE PROVISION OF ANY
OF THE ITEMS IN (A) THROUGH (D) OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH, FOR  THE  PURPOSES
OF  THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH,  SHALL  BE PRESUMPTIVE EVIDENCE OF THE CONTINUED
EXISTENCE OF A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF PHYSICAL OR  EMOTIONAL  HARM  TO  THE
PURCHASER  OR  PURCHASER'S  CHILD.  PROVISION OF ANY OF THE ITEMS IN (A)
THROUGH (D) OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL GIVE THE OPERATOR, AT ITS OPTION,
THE RIGHT TO INVESTIGATE AND, BASED ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN SUCH
ITEMS, IF HE OR SHE DETERMINES THAT THE SAFETY OF  CAMPGROUND  USERS  OR
EMPLOYEES  WOULD  BE  ENDANGERED  BY  ALLOWING THE PURCHASER THAT IS NOT
EXERCISING HIS OR HER RIGHTS UNDER THIS SUBDIVISION TO REMAIN AUTHORIZED
TO USE THE CAMPGROUND FACILITIES, THE  OPERATOR  SHALL  PROVIDE  WRITTEN
NOTICE  OF  SUCH DETERMINATION TO SUCH PURCHASER WHICH SHALL INFORM SUCH
PURCHASER OF HIS OR HER RIGHT TO RESPOND  IN  WRITING  TO  THE  OPERATOR
WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS  OF  RECEIPT OF SUCH NOTICE. UPON EXPIRATION OF THE
THIRTY DAY PERIOD,  IF  THE  OPERATOR  REASONABLY  DETERMINES  THAT  THE
RESPONSE  FROM THE PURCHASER NOT EXERCISING HIS OR HER RIGHTS UNDER THIS
SUBDIVISION IS INSUFFICIENT, THE OPERATOR MAY TERMINATE THE CONTRACT  OF
SUCH PURCHASER.

S. 2554                             3

  B.  WHEN  A  PURCHASER CANCELS A CONTRACT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION
SUCH PURCHASER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO HAVE PAID THE PURCHASE PRICE OF  HIS
OR HER MEMBERSHIP IN FULL, AS WELL AS ALL OUTSTANDING FEES, DUES, OR ANY
OTHER PAYMENTS DUE AT THE TIME OF CANCELLATION AND FOR NINETY DAYS THER-
EAFTER.   HOWEVER, IF ALL OF THE PURCHASERS WHO SIGNED THE CONTRACT DIE,
THE RELEVANT ESTATE OR ESTATES SHALL BE RELIEVED OF  ANY  FURTHER  OBLI-
GATION UNDER THE CONTRACT NOT THEN DUE AND OWING.
  C.  WRITTEN  NOTIFICATION  OF  THE INTENT TO CANCEL A MEMBERSHIP CAMP-
GROUND CONTRACT SHALL BE SIGNED BY THE PURCHASER OR HIS OR  HER  LEGALLY
DESIGNATED  REPRESENTATIVE  AND  DELIVERED  TO THE OPERATOR BY CERTIFIED
MAIL DULY ADDRESSED TO THE OPERATOR. SUCH NOTIFICATION SHALL  INCLUDE  A
WRITTEN  STATEMENT  THAT CERTIFIES THAT THE REPRESENTATIONS ARE TRUE AND
CORRECT, AND CONTAIN NO MATERIAL OMISSIONS OF FACT TO THE BEST KNOWLEDGE
AND BELIEF OF THE PERSON SUBMITTING THE CERTIFICATION.
  D. IN THE EVENT THAT THE MEMBERSHIP CAMPGROUND CONTRACT IS  SIGNED  BY
MORE  THAN  ONE  PURCHASER, AND ONE OR MORE PURCHASERS MEET THE REQUIRE-
MENTS TO CANCEL PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION, EVERY PURCHASER UNDER  THE
CONTRACT  SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL THE CONTRACT PROVIDED THE OTHER
PURCHASER OR PURCHASERS SO NOTIFY THE OPERATOR BY SIGNING  AND  DELIVER-
ING,  AT  THE  SAME TIME, THE SAME CANCELLATION NOTICE REQUIRED BY PARA-
GRAPH C OF THIS SUBDIVISION SIGNED BY THE PURCHASER OR PURCHASERS  MEET-
ING  THE  CANCELLATION REQUIREMENTS, IN WHICH CASE ALL SUCH PURCHASER OR
PURCHASERS WHO SIGN THE CANCELLATION NOTICE SHALL  BE  RELIEVED  OF  ANY
FURTHER  OBLIGATION  UNDER  THE  CONTRACT  EXCEPT  FOR THOSE OBLIGATIONS
OUTLINED IN PARAGRAPH B OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S 2. Subdivision 2-a of section 653 of the general  business  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  489  of  the  laws  of 1990, is amended to read as
follows:
  2-a. The following statement, in bold letters of at  least  ten  point
type,  which  advises  the purchaser of the right to cancel the contract
under section six hundred fifty-four of this article shall be  contained
in the contract:
      YOU  MAY  CANCEL  THIS  MEMBERSHIP CONTRACT   WITHOUT ANY PENALTY,
      FORFEITURE, OR FURTHER OBLIGATION WITHIN THREE (3)  BUSINESS  DAYS
      FROM THE DATE THAT YOU EXECUTE SAID CONTRACT. FOR ADDITIONAL RIGHT
      OF CANCELLATION SEE THE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT.
  Immediately  following  the  above  right  of cancellation notice, the
instructions below shall be given in the same type as the print for  the
contract text.
  "Notice of cancellation shall be in writing subscribed by the purchas-
er    OR HIS OR HER LEGALLY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE and hand delivered
or mailed BY CERTIFIED MAIL to the membership campground operator at the
address stated herein and postmarked not later than three business  days
from the date of execution of said contract. Such notice shall be accom-
panied  by the original or copies of the membership camping contract and
all supporting documentation."
  S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 653  of  the  general  business  law  is
amended by adding a new paragraph o to read as follows:
  O. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, IN BOLD LETTERS OF AT LEAST TEN POINT TYPE
WHERE IN CAPITAL LETTERS BELOW, WHICH ADVISES THE PURCHASER OF THE RIGHT
TO  CANCEL  THE  CONTRACT UNDER SECTION SIX HUNDRED FIFTY-FOUR-A OF THIS
ARTICLE, SHALL BE CONTAINED IN THE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT:
  ADDITIONAL RIGHT OF CANCELLATION: AFTER THREE (3) BUSINESS  DAYS  FROM
THE  DATE  THAT  YOU EXECUTE SAID CONTRACT YOU MAY CANCEL FOR ANY OF THE
FOLLOWING REASONS:

S. 2554                             4

  (1) A MATERIAL BREACH IN THE PROVISION OF THE ESSENTIAL  SERVICES  AND
PROGRAMS SET FORTH IN THE MEMBERSHIP CAMPING CONTRACT; OR
  (2)  YOU  HAVE  RELOCATED  TO A PERMANENT RESIDENCE NOT LESS THAN FIVE
HUNDRED MILES FROM A CAMPGROUND OR OTHER FACILITY WHERE YOU CAN USE YOUR
MEMBERSHIP; OR
  (3) YOU, YOUR SPOUSE, OR YOUR DOMESTIC PARTNER CURRENTLY RESIDES IN OR
ARE NOTIFIED OF AND ACCEPT THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENCE OCCUPANCY  IN  AN
ADULT CARE FACILITY OR A RESIDENTIAL HEALTH CARE FACILITY; OR
  (4)  YOU,  YOUR  SPOUSE,  OR  YOUR DOMESTIC PARTNER ARE CERTIFIED BY A
PHYSICIAN AS PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO VISIT THE RESORT  AND  MATERIALLY  USE
THE SERVICES AND PROGRAMS AS OUTLINED IN THE CONTRACT; OR
  (5)  YOU  ARE  THE  VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY ANOTHER
SIGNATORY OF THE SAME CONTRACT.
  IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE ABOVE  RIGHT  OF  CANCELLATION  NOTICE,  THE
INSTRUCTIONS  BELOW SHALL BE GIVEN IN THE SAME TYPE AS THE PRINT FOR THE
CONTRACT TEXT.
  "NOTICE OF CANCELLATION SHALL BE IN WRITING SUBSCRIBED BY THE PURCHAS-
ER OR HIS OR HER LEGALLY DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE AND SENT BY CERTIFIED
MAIL TO THE MEMBERSHIP CAMPGROUND OPERATOR AT THE ADDRESS STATED HEREIN.
SUCH NOTICE SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED  BY  THE  ORIGINAL  OR  COPIES  OF  THE
MEMBERSHIP CAMPING CONTRACT AND ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION. IF YOU ARE
EXERCISING  YOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL AFTER THREE BUSINESS DAYS, SUCH NOTIFI-
CATION SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A WRITTEN STATEMENT THAT  CERTIFIES  THAT  THE
REPRESENTATIONS  ARE TRUE AND CORRECT, AND CONTAIN NO MATERIAL OMISSIONS
OF FACT TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF."
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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