senate Bill S2485

Provides for the admissibility of recordings and logs of inmate calls made by the department of correction of the city of New York, as business records

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 17 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Summary

Provides for the admissibility of recordings and logs of inmate calls made by the department of correction of the city of New York, as business records.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6961
Versions:
S2485
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Amd R4518, CPLR
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S7041A, A10314, S7041A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2485 REVISED 4/25/13

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in
relation to the admissibility as business records of recordings and
logs made by the department of correction of the city of New York of
inmate telephone calls

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one of this bill amends Rule 4518 of the Civil Practice Law
and Rules by adding a new subdivision (h) to provide that New York
City Department of Correction (DOC) recordings of inmate telephone
calls and logs containing identifying information about the calls are
admissible in evidence as business records without further need for
foundation testimony. The bill requires a certification or
authentication of the records. The party seeking to introduce the
records into evidence would have to provide reasonable written notice
to an adverse party and make the records and the certification or
authentication available for inspection.

Section two is the effective date.

REASONS FOR SUPPORT: It is current practice for The New York City
Department of Correction (DOC) to record telephone calls made by
inmates as part of its regular course of business. DOC provides notice
to all people on the call and does not record inmate conversations
with their attorney or other privileged communications. Computer
generated logs for these calls contain identifying information about
the call, including the time of call, the telephone number of origin,
the telephone number called, the inmate identification number used to
make the call, and the name of the inmate associated with that
identification number. These are then subject to subpoenas requesting
copies of these phone calls and directing DOC representatives to
appear and testify at court proceedings to authenticate the
recordings.

DOC receives approximately 200 requests per week from District
Attorneys and other parties for recordings of inmate telephone calls
and the corresponding logs. Current law requires that these recordings
and logs be authenticated with in-court testimony before they are
admitted into evidence, causing DOC to send an employee to court to
provide authentication testimony which, depending on court schedules,
can cause the employee to spend hours or even an entire day waiting to
testify in what turns out to be a routine process of authentication.

This proposal seeks the ability to authenticate recorded inmate phone
calls as a business record in writing, provided it bears a
certification by an appropriate DOC representative, as opposed to
sending a representative to appear and authenticate the record in
person and diverting already scarce department employee time and
resources. Codifying these recordings and logs as admissible under the
business record exception is appropriate because the records are made
by DOC in the regular course of business and similar allowance is
permissible by law for other business records such as hospital bills.
Nothing in this proposal would preclude the court from requesting the
appropriate DOC representative from being called to appear and
authenticate the record in person, it would simply allow for the


written authentication as a business record. The staff and resources
currently dedicated to authenticating these records in court could
then be better utilized on other pressing legal matters affecting DOC
and on efficiently responding to the parties' requests for records.

Accordingly, the Mayor urges the earliest possible favorable
consideration of this proposal by the Legislature.

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

                                  2485

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules,  in  relation  to  the
  admissibility  as  business records of recordings and logs made by the
  department of correction of the city of New York of  inmate  telephone
  calls

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

  Section 1. Rule 4518 of the civil practice law and rules is amended by
adding a new subdivision (h) to read as follows:
  (H) A RECORDING MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION OF  THE  CITY  OF
NEW YORK OF AN INMATE'S TELEPHONE CALL, OR A LOG MADE BY SUCH DEPARTMENT
CONTAINING  IDENTIFYING  INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH A CALL, SUCH AS THE TIME
OF THE CALL, TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF ORIGIN AND DESTINATION  OF  THE  CALL,
INMATE  IDENTIFICATION  NUMBER  USED  TO  PLACE THE CALL AND NAME OF THE
INMATE ASSOCIATED WITH SUCH  IDENTIFICATION  NUMBER,  IS  ADMISSIBLE  IN
EVIDENCE  UNDER THIS RULE WITHOUT FURTHER NEED FOR FOUNDATION TESTIMONY,
PROVIDED THAT THE RECORDING OR LOG IS ACCOMPANIED BY A CERTIFICATION  OR
AUTHENTICATION  BY A CUSTODIAN OF THE RECORDING OR LOG OR ANOTHER QUALI-
FIED PERSON FROM SUCH DEPARTMENT DESIGNATED FOR THAT  PURPOSE  THAT  THE
RECORDING  OR  LOG  WAS  MADE IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF SUCH DEPARTMENT'S
BUSINESS, AND THAT IT WAS THE REGULAR COURSE OF SUCH  BUSINESS  TO  MAKE
THE  RECORDING AT THE TIME OF THE INMATE'S TELEPHONE CALL OR TO MAKE THE
LOG AT THE TIME OF THE INMATE'S TELEPHONE CALL OR  WITHIN  A  REASONABLE
TIME  THEREAFTER.  PRIOR  TO  THE TRIAL OR HEARING, THE PARTY SEEKING TO
INTRODUCE THE RECORDING OR LOG INTO EVIDENCE SHALL  PROVIDE  AN  ADVERSE
PARTY  WITH REASONABLE WRITTEN NOTICE OF THE INTENT TO OFFER THE RECORD-
ING OR LOG AND SHALL MAKE THE RECORDING OR LOG AND THE CERTIFICATION  OR
AUTHENTICATION AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05565-01-3

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.