senate Bill S3922

Permits certain out-of-court statements by a child less than twelve years old to be admitted

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Sponsor

Bill Status


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

  • 09 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

Permits certain out-of-court statements by a child less than twelve years old to be admissible in court in cases of sex offenses and where the child is unavailable or unwilling to testify, among other criteria.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S3922
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Add §60.47, CP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: A4686
2007-2008: A2872

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3922

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to admissibility of
certain out-of-court statements by a child less than twelve years old

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To permit certain individuals to testify in cases of alleged child
sexual abuse, when the child is unable to testify or when the
testimony of an individual is relevant to the case in question.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

The bill would amend the criminal
procedure law by adding a new §60.47, titled, Rules of Evidence;
admissibility of certain out-of-court statements of children less
than twelve years old.

JUSTIFICATION:

In many criminal cases, testimony by one person about what another
person said is inadmissible as hearsay. However, a number of state
courts have recently relaxed their rules regarding hearsay to make it
possible for this type of evidence to be used in child abuse cases in
lieu of testimony by the child who has suffered such abuse.

An exception to the hearsay rule is extremely important in cases of
child abuse, particularly in cases of very young children who are
unable to testify or have been determined to suffer possible severe
trauma by testifying.
Testimony presented by a law enforcement officer, medical
professional, or Office of Children and Family Services employee
regarding statements by a child less than twelve years of age which
show spontaneity and if the child's mental state are consistent in
terminology with the age of the child, shall be deemed admissible,
when the child is unavailable or refuses to testify, unless there is
evidence of personal bias or prejudice. The jury should deem all
hearsay admissible by virtue of the fact that it is worthy of
consideration by the jury.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A.4686 in the 2009/10 Session
A.2872 in the 2007/08 Session
A.5571 in the 2003/04 Session
A.4089 in the 2005/06 Session
A.1874 in the 2001/02 Session
A.3014 in the 1999/00 Session
A.9338 in the 1997/98 session

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.


EFFECTIVE DATE:

The first of November after it has become a law.

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

                                  3922

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 9, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SMITH  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to admissibility
  of certain out-of-court statements by a child less than  twelve  years
  old

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

  Section 1. The criminal procedure law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
section 60.47 to read as follows:
S 60.47 RULES  OF EVIDENCE; ADMISSIBILITY OF CERTAIN OUT-OF-COURT STATE-
          MENTS OF CHILDREN LESS THAN TWELVE YEARS OLD.
  THE COURT MAY DETERMINE THAT A STATEMENT OF THE COMPLAINING WITNESS IS
NOT MADE INADMISSIBLE BY THE HEARSAY RULE IF THE COURT FINDS ALL OF  THE
FOLLOWING:
  1.  THE  STATEMENT WAS MADE BY A CHILD LESS THAN TWELVE YEARS OLD, AND
THE CONTENTS OF THE STATEMENT WERE INCLUDED IN A  WRITTEN  REPORT  OF  A
LOCAL  OR  STATE  LAW  ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR OF AN EMPLOYEE OF A LOCAL
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES OR OF THE OFFICE OF  CHILDREN  AND  FAMILY
SERVICES.
  2.  THE  STATEMENT  DESCRIBES  THE  MINOR  CHILD  AS A VICTIM OF A SEX
OFFENSE INCLUDED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THE PENAL LAW.
  3. THE STATEMENT SHOWED SPONTANEITY AND A CONSISTENT REPETITION OF THE
FACTS, WAS STATED IN THE TERMINOLOGY CONSISTENT  WITH  THE  AGE  OF  THE
CHILD, AND WAS REFLECTIVE OF THE MENTAL STATE OF THE CHILD.
  4.  THE  STATEMENT  WAS MADE BY A CHILD WHO HAD NO MOTIVE TO FABRICATE
SUCH STATEMENT. THE COURT SHALL VIEW WITH CAUTION  THE  TESTIMONY  OF  A
PERSON  RECOUNTING  HEARSAY  WHERE THERE IS EVIDENCE OF PERSONAL BIAS OR
PREJUDICE.
  5. THE CHILD IS FOUND TO BE UNAVAILABLE OR REFUSES TO TESTIFY.
  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.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10045-01-1

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