senate Bill S1402

Relates to enforcement of orders of child support against inmates

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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

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION

Summary

Relates to enforcement of orders of child support against inmates; requires that inmates be notified of their right to seek modification of child support orders; provides a 180 day stay of enforcement following release; makes provisions permitting modification applicable to inmates incarcerated prior to effective date of such amendments.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4584
Versions:
S1402
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Crime Victims, Crime And Correction
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Add §149-a, Cor L; amd §236, Dom Rel L; amd §390.30, CP L; amd §13, Chap 182 of 2010
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S5473A, A7931A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1402

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, the criminal
procedure law and the domestic relations law, in relation to child
support obligations of inmates; and to amend section 13 of chapter 182
of the laws of 2010 amending the tax law, the family court act, the
domestic relations law and the social services law relating to the
modification of child support orders, employer reporting of new hires
and quarterly earnings, work programs and the noncustodial earned
income tax credit, in relation to the effectiveness of certain
provisions thereof

PURPOSE: This bill would enable people residing in a state
correctional facility to be informed of their right to modify an
existing child support order pursuant to Chapter 182 of the Laws of
2010. In addition and with the approval of the court, individuals
released from prison may be granted up to 180 days before they begin
to fulfill their child support obligations.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends the correction law to add a new section
149-a requiring that all people residing in a correctional facility be
notified of their possible eligibility to modify an existing child
support order based on their "substantial change in circumstances."

Section 2 of the bill amends section 390.30 of the criminal procedure
law, to require that the presentence investigation include gathering
information with respect to child support obligations.

Section 3 of the bill amends section 236 of the domestic relations law
to give the court discretion to stay an order of child support for up
to 180 days following the release of a non-custodial parent from a
period of incarceration.

Section 4 of the bill amends section 13 of Chapter 182 of the Laws of
2010 to provide that persons whose incarceration began prior to the
effective date of such chapter shall have the ability to modify their
child support orders.

JUSTIFICATION: Parents have an obligation to provide for their
children in every way possible, and that includes making timely child
support payments based on their income and ability to pay. Child
support programs, criminal justice agencies, and the courts all play a
critical role in the development of fair child support policies for
noncustodial parents in prison and the parole system. While New York
has taken some steps to address the effects of incarceration on the
child support obligations of people in prison, systemic reform has not
gone far enough.

Under a 2010 law, New Yorkers entering the prison system are allowed
to apply for a modification of their child support order based on the
substantial change in their circumstances. Before the law was enacted,
incarcerated individuals were barred from filing for a modification
based on a Court of Appeals ruling.


The 2010 law, however, does not apply to people who were incarcerated
prior to the law taking effect. Consequently, this population is not
permitted to even apply to have their child support order changed
despite the fact that they are "involuntarily unemployed." And, for
them, the monthly child support obligations at the time of
imprisonment continue to accrue throughout their incarceration,
sometimes resulting in thousands upon thousands of dollars in back
support payments - an unrealistic sum that they will never be able to
pay in a lifetime. They emerge from prison with enormous debts,
severely hampering their chances for successful reentry into society
by making employment - already difficult with a conviction history --
counterproductive to their economic success and their ability to
provide for their children.

The current inability to stay or modify child support orders compounds
the difficulties noncustodial parents face in the reentry process. If
there is a court order for support, continuation of payments can be
made a condition of release to parole and a non-custodial parent can
face reincarnation if they are unable to pay. Moreover, a parent
reentering society from the prison justice system can lose their
drivers license and face additional jail time if they fail to make
timely child support payments. Without a driver's license, parents in
many rural upstate counties and suburban counties with limited access
to public transportation are unable to travel to and from work. This
alone would make it difficult -if not impossible - for non-custodial
parents to fulfill their financial responsibilities to their children.
New York is doing a disservice to children and families when a child
support modification is deserved but not allowed.

Motivating efforts to enable all men and women who are incarcerated
and who are eligible to apply for a child support modification are
cases like that of 40-year-old Glenn Martin. As noted in Prisoner's
Dilemma in the March 14, 2011, edition of American Prospect, "Mr.
Martin was convicted in 1995 for an armed robbery of -a New York City
jewelry store and was sentenced to six years in prison. When he went
to jail, he had $300 in outstanding child-support debt and owed $100 a
week as part of his regular court-ordered payment. He was worried
because he'd have no income in prison and knew he'd emerge owing more
money. He guessed at the time it would total $3,000 or $4,000.

When he got out in June 2001, he decided to turn his life around, get
a job, and stay out of trouble. But then he found out about his
child-support bill. Not only had his payments accrued during the six
years but the state had tacked on 9 percent compounding interest. The
bill was $50,000."

There are many barriers to a person's ability to make a successful
transition from prison to community and family life, including getting
a living wage job, finding a safe and affordable place to live and
having access to supportive services. These challenges begin the day a
person is released from prison. It is unrealistic to expect that every
formerly incarcerated person will be able to begin fulfilling their
child support obligations immediately, and that is why the bill gives
the court discretion to stay an order for up to 180 days.

FISCAL IMPACT: Minimal.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: S.5473-A - Died in Committee

EFFECTIVE DATE: 90 days after becoming law.

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

                                  1402

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  MONTGOMERY,  HASSELL-THOMPSON, PERKINS, RIVERA --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction

AN  ACT  to amend the correction law, the criminal procedure law and the
  domestic relations law, in relation to child  support  obligations  of
  inmates;  and  to  amend section 13 of chapter 182 of the laws of 2010
  amending the tax law, the family court act, the domestic relations law
  and the social services law relating  to  the  modification  of  child
  support  orders,  employer  reporting of new hires and quarterly earn-
  ings, work programs and the noncustodial earned income tax credit,  in
  relation to the effectiveness of certain provisions thereof

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

  Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new section 149-a
to read as follows:
  S 149-A. NOTIFICATION TO INMATES OF THEIR ABILITY  TO  SEEK  MODIFICA-
TIONS OF AN ORDER OF CHILD SUPPORT. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW
TO  THE  CONTRARY, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY ALL INMATES RESIDING IN A
CORRECTIONAL FACILITY WITHIN THE STATE OF NEW YORK  OF  THE  POSSIBILITY
THAT THEY MAY BE ABLE TO MODIFY AN EXISTING CHILD SUPPORT ORDER BASED ON
A  "SUBSTANTIAL  CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES" IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION TWO
HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX OF  THE  DOMESTIC  RELATIONS  LAW  AND  SECTION  FOUR
HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT.
  S 2. Subdivision 1  of section 390.30 of the criminal procedure law is
amended to read as follows:
  1.  The  investigation. The pre-sentence investigation consists of the
gathering of information with respect to the circumstances attending the
commission of the offense, the defendant's  history  of  delinquency  or
criminality,  and  the  defendant's  social history, employment history,
family situation, economic status, INCLUDING CHILD SUPPORT  OBLIGATIONS,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04008-01-3

S. 1402                             2

education,  and personal habits. Such investigation may also include any
other matter which the agency conducting the investigation  deems  rele-
vant  to the question of sentence, and must include any matter the court
directs to be included.
  S  3. Subdivision 9 of part B of section 236 of the domestic relations
law is amended by adding a new paragraph e to read as follows:
  E. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, UPON AN
APPLICATION FOR A MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT PURSUANT TO THIS  SUBDI-
VISION,  THE  COURT IN ITS DISCRETION, MAY ISSUE AN ORDER DIRECTING THAT
AN ORDER FOR PAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT BE STAYED FOR A PERIOD  OF  UP  TO
ONE  HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF A NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT
FROM A PERIOD OF INCARCERATION.  ARREARS SHALL ACCRUE DURING SUCH  PERI-
OD.  THE  ORIGINAL  ORDER, OR ANY MODIFIED ORDER SHALL BE ENFORCEABLE AT
THE END OF SUCH STAY.
  S 4. Section 13 of chapter 182 of the laws of 2010  amending  the  tax
law,  the  family  court  act, the domestic relations law and the social
services law relating to  the  modification  of  child  support  orders,
employer  reporting  of  new hires and quarterly earnings, work programs
and the noncustodial earned income tax credit  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  S  13.  This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become law; provided however, that sections six and seven  of  this
act shall apply to any action or proceeding to modify any order of child
support  entered  on or after the effective date of this act except that
if the child support order incorporated without merging a  valid  agree-
ment or stipulation of the parties, the amendments regarding the modifi-
cation  of  a child support order set forth in sections six and seven of
this act shall only apply if the incorporated agreement  or  stipulation
was  executed  on  or  after  this act's effective date, AND EXCEPT THAT
SECTIONS SIX AND SEVEN OF THIS ACT SHALL APPLY TO ANY ACTION OR PROCEED-
ING TO MODIFY A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER ENTERED AGAINST ANY PERSON WHO IS AN
INMATE IN A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY  IN  THIS  STATE  WHOSE  INCARCERATION
BEGAN  PRIOR  TO  THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT; provided however, that
sections three and four of this act  shall  take  effect  on  the  three
hundred sixty-fifth day after it shall have become a law.
  S  5.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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