senate Bill S3306A

Amended

Requires investigating officials to investigate the homes of adults about whom reports have been filed

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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

  • 16 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 27 / Apr / 2011
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 27 / Apr / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 3306A
  • 02 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.405
  • 03 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 04 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 17 / May / 2011
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING (T) 3306B
  • 24 / May / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 24 / May / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 24 / May / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

Enacts "Laura Cummings Law"; requires investigating officials of the department of social services or the office of children and family services to investigate the homes of adults about whom reports have been filed and requires such officials to apply for a court order allowing access to the home if two or more such reports have been filed regarding such adult and access thereto has been denied; makes failing to allow access to the subject of a report a misdemeanor; allows information sharing between protective services agencies.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S3306
S3306A
S3306B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§421, 424, 473, 473-c & 422, Soc Serv L; amd §195.05, Pen L

Votes

4
0
4
Aye
0
Nay
2
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Children and Families committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3306A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services law, in relation to requiring investigating
officials of the department of social services or the office of children
and family services to investigate the homes of children and adults
about whom reports have been filed and requiring such
officials to
obtain a supervisor's approval or otherwise requiring such to
apply
for a court order allowing access to the home if two or more such
reports have been filed regarding such child or adult and access thereto
has been denied; and to amend
the penal law, in relation to criminalizing the act of denying access to
an individual who is the subject of a report to child or adult
protective services

PURPOSE: This bill would ensure that reports of serious
abuse of children or
of impaired adults are fully investigated including entry to the
home and that those individuals who interfere with such a lawful
investigation will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. This
legislation also ensures that Child and Adult protective services can
share important information about reports of abuse and other
relevant records.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 Short Title - "This Act shall be known as the "Laura Cummings
Law"

Subdivision 3 of section 421 and Subdivision 6-a of section 424 of the
Social Services Law are amended to mandate that after the second
report of abuse, it is presumed that a court order will be sought by
a child protective investigator to enter the home, and that any
decision not to seek such an order must be reviewed by a supervisor
and documented in the investigation file. A positive determination
must be made that the factors required under Family Court Act Section
1034 do not exist.

Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 473 and section 473-c of the
social services law are amended to require that when the second
report of abuse of an impaired individual is received it is presumed
that the department of social services will seek a court order to
enter the home and that any decision not to seek such an order must
be reviewed by a supervisor and documented in the investigation file.
A positive determination must be made that the factors required under
Family Court Act Section 1034 do not exist.

Subparagraphs (y), (z) and paragraph A of subdivision 4 of the section
422 of the social services law is amended to allow child protective
services to share information in regard to abuse with the department
of social services under certain circumstances and criteria.

Section 195.05 of the penal law is amended to include denying or
attempting to deny access to a potential victim with intent to
conceal abuse under the list of offenses that are defined as


obstructing governmental administration in the second degree,
punishable by a class A misdemeanor

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:

In January of 2010 the life of 23 year old Laura Cummings came to a
tragic end when she was smothered to death by her own mother. Laura
had endured years of physical, sexual and mental abuse and criminal
neglect at the hands of her family. This case would be heartbreaking
under any circumstances, but is made much worse by the fact that
child and adult protective services could have saved her life and
ended her suffering if they had responded appropriately. This
legislation seeks to honor Laura's memory by ensuring that these same
mistakes are never made again and that those that fail to cooperate
with an investigation are held accountable. By requiring that adult
or child protective services seek a court order to enter a residence
on the second report of abuse and thereafter the bill seeks to make
sure that a thorough investigation is conducted. The bill also
seeks to assure that in the investigation phase, information
regarding abuse is shared between child and adult protective
services. Lastly, the bill seeks to punish individuals who deny
access to a child or adult or interfere during an investigation of
abuse with a class A misdemeanor.

Children and impaired adults are some of our state's most vulnerable
citizens and this bill seeks to offer them the maximum protections
possible against any who might abuse them, and to ensure that
government agencies act in time to save others who may find
themselves in the same situation as Laura Cummings.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPACT: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately

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

                                 3306--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 16, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. MAZIARZ, RANZENHOFER, ADDABBO, DeFRANCISCO, FUSCHIL-
  LO,  GALLIVAN,  GOLDEN,  GRISANTI,  KENNEDY,  KRUEGER, LARKIN, LIBOUS,
  MARTINS, McDONALD, OPPENHEIMER, PERKINS,  ZELDIN  --  read  twice  and
  ordered  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on
  Children and Families -- committee discharged, bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to requiring inves-
  tigating  officials of the department of social services or the office
  of children and family services to investigate the homes  of  children
  and adults about whom reports have been filed and requiring such offi-
  cials to obtain a supervisor's approval or otherwise requiring such to
  apply  for  a  court  order allowing access to the home if two or more
  such reports have been filed regarding such child or adult and  access
  thereto  has  been  denied; and to amend the penal law, in relation to
  criminalizing the act of denying access to an individual  who  is  the
  subject of a report to child or adult protective services

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

  Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
"Laura Cummings Law".
  S  2.  The section heading and opening paragraph of section 421 of the
social services law, as amended by chapter 718 of the laws of 1986,  are
amended to read as follows:
  Responsibility  of  the  [department]  OFFICE  OF  CHILDREN AND FAMILY
SERVICES.   The [department] OFFICE  OF  CHILDREN  AND  FAMILY  SERVICES
shall:
  S  3.  Subdivision  3  of  section  421 of the social services law, as
amended by chapter 718 of the laws of 1986, paragraph (a) as amended  by
chapter  110 of the laws of 1989 and the closing paragraph as amended by
chapter 320 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08593-05-1

S. 3306--A                          2

  3. promulgate regulations setting forth requirements for the  perform-
ance  by  local  social  services  departments  of the duties and powers
imposed and conferred upon them by the provisions of this title  and  of
article  ten  of  the family court act. Such regulations shall establish
uniform  requirements for the investigation of reports of child abuse or
maltreatment under this title. The [department] OFFICE OF  CHILDREN  AND
FAMILY  SERVICES  shall  also issue guidelines which shall set forth the
circumstances or conditions under which:
  (a) personal contact shall be made with the child named in the  report
and  any  other  children  in the same household, including interviewing
such child or children absent the subject of the report whenever  possi-
ble and appropriate;
  (b) photographs of visible physical injuries or trauma of children who
may  be  the victims of abuse or maltreatment shall be taken or arranged
for;
  (c) medical examination of a child who may be a  victim  of  abuse  or
maltreatment and documentation of findings of such examination, shall be
required[.];
  (D) INVESTIGATIONS SHALL BE MADE OF THE HOME OF THE CHILD NAMED IN THE
REPORT,  INCLUDING  BY  THE AUTHORITY OF IMMEDIATE COURT ORDERS OBTAINED
FROM THE FAMILY COURT  WHENEVER  ACCESS  THERETO  IS  DENIED;  PROVIDED,
HOWEVER,  SUCH  GUIDELINES  SHALL  PRESUME  THAT SUCH AN IMMEDIATE COURT
ORDER BE SOUGHT WHEN TWO OR MORE REPORTS ARE MADE IN  REFERENCE  TO  THE
SAME  PERSON RELATING TO THE ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT OF A CHILD, INCLUDING
UNFOUNDED AND/OR CLOSED CASES NOT FOUND TO BE MISTAKEN OR FALSE REPORTS,
AND THE LOCAL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES  ARE  NOT  ABLE  TO  LOCATE  THE
SUBJECT  CHILD  OR  HAS  BEEN  DENIED ACCESS TO THE HOME OR TO THE CHILD
NAMED IN THE REPORT OR TO ANY CHILDREN IN THE HOUSEHOLD.   ANY  DECISION
NOT TO SEEK SUCH AN ORDER MUST BE REVIEWED BY A SUPERVISOR OF THE SOCIAL
SERVICES  DISTRICT AND DOCUMENTED IN THE INVESTIGATION FILE TO DETERMINE
THAT THE FACTORS REQUIRED UNDER SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF  THE
FAMILY COURT ACT DO NOT EXIST.
  The  [department] OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES shall promul-
gate regulations to establish standards for intervention,  criteria  for
case  closings,  criteria  for  determining whether or not to initiate a
child protective proceeding, and criteria for the formulation of  treat-
ment  plans  and for the delivery of child protective services including
specification of the services  to  be  classified  as  child  protective
services,  which  shall  also apply to any society for the prevention of
cruelty to children which has entered into a  currently  valid  contract
with a local department of social services to investigate child abuse or
maltreatment  reports.  The  [department]  OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY
SERVICES shall promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards and
practices for the delivery of child protective  services  in  connection
with  monitoring  and  supervising  respondents  and  their  families as
ordered by a family court pursuant to section  ten  hundred  thirty-nine
and  paragraphs  (i),  (iii), (iv) and (v) of subdivision (a) of section
ten hundred fifty-two of the family court act.  Such  regulations  shall
also require local child protective services to comply with notification
requirements  of the family court act in connection with such monitoring
and supervisory responsibilities.
  S 4. Subdivision 6-a of section 424 of the  social  services  law,  as
added by chapter 740 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
  6-a.  upon  receipt of such report and commencement of the appropriate
investigation, where the child protective service is not able to  locate
the  child or has been denied access to the home or denied access to the

S. 3306--A                          3

child named in the report or to any children in the household, and where
the child protective investigator has cause to believe a child or  chil-
dren's  life or health may be in danger immediately advise the parent or
person  legally  responsible for the child's care or with whom the child
is residing that, when denied sufficient access to the  child  or  other
children  in the home, the child protective investigator may contact the
family court to seek an immediate court order to gain access to the home
and/or the child named in the report or any children  in  the  household
without further notice and that while such request is being made to such
court,  law  enforcement may be contacted and if contacted shall respond
and shall remain where the child or children are or are believed  to  be
present;  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  THAT WHEN TWO OR MORE REPORTS ARE MADE IN
REFERENCE TO THE SAME PERSON RELATING TO THE ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT OF  A
CHILD,  INCLUDING UNFOUNDED AND/OR CLOSED CASES NOT FOUND TO BE MISTAKEN
OR FALSE REPORTS, AND THE CHILD PROTECTIVE INVESTIGATOR IS NOT  ABLE  TO
LOCATE THE SUBJECT CHILD OR HAS BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO THE HOME OR TO THE
CHILD NAMED IN THE REPORT OR TO ANY CHILDREN IN THE HOUSEHOLD, THE CHILD
PROTECTIVE  INVESTIGATOR SHOULD CONTACT THE FAMILY COURT TO SEEK SUCH AN
IMMEDIATE COURT ORDER, AND ANY DECISION NOT TO SEEK SUCH AN  ORDER  MUST
BE  REVIEWED  BY  A SUPERVISOR OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT AND DOCU-
MENTED IN THE INVESTIGATION FILE TO DETERMINE THAT THE FACTORS  REQUIRED
UNDER  SECTION  ONE  THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT DO NOT
EXIST;
  S 5.  Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of  section  473  of  the  social
services  law, as amended by chapter 395 of the laws of 1995, is amended
to read as follows:
  (a) receiving and investigating reports of seriously impaired individ-
uals who may be  in  need  of  protection;  WHICH  INVESTIGATIONS  SHALL
INCLUDE INVESTIGATION OF THE HOME OF AN IMPAIRED INDIVIDUAL NAMED IN THE
REPORT,  INCLUDING  BY  THE AUTHORITY OF IMMEDIATE COURT ORDERS WHENEVER
ACCESS  THERETO  IS  DENIED  AS  SET  FORTH  IN  SECTION  FOUR   HUNDRED
SEVENTY-THREE-A OF THIS ARTICLE;
  S  6.  Section 473-c of the social services law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 3-a to read as follows:
  3-A. WHEN TWO OR MORE REPORTS ARE MADE IN REFERENCE TO THE SAME PERSON
RELATING TO THE ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT OF AN ADULT PURSUANT TO THIS ARTI-
CLE, OR OF SUCH PERSON AS A CHILD PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SIX OF THIS  CHAP-
TER, INCLUDING UNFOUNDED AND/OR CLOSED CASES NOT FOUND TO BE MISTAKEN OR
FALSE  REPORTS,  AND  THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL IS NOT ABLE TO LOCATE
THE SUBJECT ADULT OR HAS BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO THE HOME OR TO THE  ADULT
NAMED  IN THE REPORT, THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL SHALL SEEK AN IMMEDI-
ATE COURT ORDER AS DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION.  ANY DECISION NOT TO  SEEK
SUCH  AN  ORDER  MUST BE REVIEWED BY A SUPERVISOR OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES
DISTRICT AND DOCUMENTED IN THE INVESTIGATION FILE TO DETERMINE THAT  THE
FACTORS  REQUIRED  UNDER  SECTION ONE THOUSAND THIRTY-FOUR OF THE FAMILY
COURT ACT DO NOT EXIST.
  S 7.  Subparagraphs (y) and (z) of paragraph (A) of subdivision  4  of
section  422 of the social services law, subparagraph (y) as amended and
subparagraph (z) as added by section 1 of part A of chapter 327  of  the
laws  of  2007, are amended and a new subparagraph (aa) is added to read
as follows:
  (y) members of a citizen  review  panel  as  established  pursuant  to
section  three hundred seventy-one-b of this article; provided, however,
members of a citizen review panel shall not disclose to  any  person  or
government official any identifying information which the panel has been

S. 3306--A                          4

provided  and  shall  not make public other information unless otherwise
authorized by statute; [and]
  (z)  an  entity  with  appropriate legal authority in another state to
license, certify or otherwise approve prospective  foster  and  adoptive
parents where disclosure of information regarding the prospective foster
or  adoptive parents and other persons over the age of eighteen residing
in the home of such prospective parents is required by paragraph  twenty
of subdivision (a) of section six hundred seventy-one of title forty-two
of the United States code[.]; AND
  (AA)  A SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL WHO IS INVESTIGATING WHETHER AN ADULT
IS IN NEED OF PROTECTIVE SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE  PROVISIONS  OF
SECTION  FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER, AND WHEN SUCH OFFI-
CIAL HAS REASONABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT SUCH PERSON MAY BE IN NEED  OF
PROTECTIVE  SERVICES  DUE TO THE ACTIONS OF AN INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS
THAT HAD ACCESS TO SUCH ADULT WHEN HE OR SHE WAS A CHILD, AND SUCH ADULT
EITHER CURRENTLY RESIDES WITH SUCH INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS, OR DID  SO
WITHIN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH, INFORMATION IS LIMITED
TO  VERIFICATION BY THE CITY OR COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES COMMISSIONER THAT
THERE WAS OR WAS NOT AN INDICATED  REPORT  OF  CHILD  ABUSE  OR  NEGLECT
INVOLVING SUCH ADULT AND SUCH INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS.
  S  8.   Paragraphs (B), (C) and (D) of subdivision 4 of section 422 of
the social services law, as amended by chapter 677 of the laws of  1985,
are amended to read as follows:
  (B) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contrary,
a  city or county social services commissioner may withhold, in whole or
in part, the release of any information which he or she is authorized to
make available to persons or agencies identified in  subparagraphs  (a),
(k),  [(l),] (m), (n)[,] AND (o)[, (p) and (q)] of paragraph (A) of this
subdivision if such commissioner determines that such information is not
related to the purposes for which such information is requested or  when
such disclosure will be detrimental to the child named in the report.
  (C) A city or county social services commissioner who denies access by
persons  or  agencies  identified in subparagraphs (a), (k), [(l),] (m),
(n)[,] AND (o)[, (p) and (q)] of paragraph (A) of  this  subdivision  to
records,  reports  or  other  information or parts thereof maintained by
such commissioner in accordance with this title shall, within  ten  days
from  the date of receipt of the request fully explain in writing to the
person requesting the records, reports or other information the  reasons
for the denial.
  (D)  A  person  or agency identified in subparagraphs (a), (k), [(l),]
(m), (n)[,] AND (o)[, (p) and (q)] of paragraph (A) of this  subdivision
who  is  denied access to records, reports or other information or parts
thereof maintained by a local department  pursuant  to  this  title  may
bring  a proceeding for review of such denial pursuant to article seven-
ty-eight of the civil practice law and rules.
  S 9. Section 195.05 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 269 of the
laws of 1998, is amended to read as follows:
S 195.05 Obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration  IN  THE
SECOND  DEGREE  when  he  OR  SHE  intentionally  obstructs,  impairs or
perverts the administration of law or  other  governmental  function  or
prevents  or  attempts  to  prevent  a public servant from performing an
official function[,]:
  1. by means of intimidation, physical force  or  interference,  or  by
means of any independently unlawful act[, or];

S. 3306--A                          5

  2. by means of interfering, whether or not physical force is involved,
with  radio,  telephone,  television or other telecommunications systems
owned or operated by the state, or a county, city, town,  village,  fire
district or emergency medical service [or];
  3. by means of releasing a dangerous animal under circumstances evinc-
ing  the  actor's  intent that the animal obstruct governmental adminis-
tration; OR
  4. BY, WITH  INTENT  TO  CONCEAL  ABUSE  AND/OR  NEGLECT,  DENYING  OR
ATTEMPTING  TO  DENY AN INVESTIGATION OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES OR OF
ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES, ACCESS TO INTERVIEW AN ALLEGED VICTIM.
  Obstructing governmental administration IN  THE  SECOND  DEGREE  is  a
class A misdemeanor.
  S 10. This act shall take effect immediately.

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