senate Bill S3324

Prohibits public officials from releasing sealed juvenile police records

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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

  • 31 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

Prohibits public officials from releasing sealed juvenile police records; makes such official misconduct a class A misdemeanor.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4798
Versions:
S3324
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Family Court Act
Laws Affected:
Add §381.4, Fam Ct Act; amd §195.00, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S3275, A9767
2009-2010: S7143, A3370, S7143
2007-2008: A5060, A5060

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3324

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the penal
law, in relation to prohibiting public officials from unsealing
juvenile police records

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To prevent the unsealing and release
of information contained in juvenile offender records by public
officials and/or employees by making the offense punishable under the
penal law.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends section 1 of the
Family Court Act by adding a new section 381.4 to provide that, unless
authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction, the release by a
public official and/o/ an employee of juvenile offender records, and
other court records that have been, and are sealed, shall be
specifically prohibited by law.

Section 195.00 of the Penal Law is also amended to provide that,
unless authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction, the release by
an appointed or elected public official and/or a public employee of
juvenile offender records and other court records that have been, and
are sealed pursuant to law, shall be an act of official misconduct.

JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, juvenile offender records,
inclusive of the records and entire documents, are sealed after
adjudication to protect the privacy of the entire proceeding. State
laws specifically and directly restrict the access to and disclosure
of the information and the record. But, while the law clearly makes
the release of the record unlawful, there is no specific penalty
attached for violation of the law. The people most likely to have
access to these records, and therefore most likely to be the conduit
for release and disclosure are public employees, and appointed and
elected officials. Because no specific penalty or consequence is
prescribed by current law, the only real deterrent is moral or ethical
obligation. Recent behavior by high ranking officials in N.Y.C. has
demonstrated that in the absence of moral/ethical obligations, the law
without teeth does not always work. This bill, if enacted, would put
teeth in the law by providing for penalties appropriate for such
misconduct by public officials and employees who dishonor their oath
of office.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.7143/A.3370 (Perry) Reported
and Committed to Codes 2007-08: A.5060 2005-06: A.5017 2003-04: A.6714
2001-02: A.7080

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No fiscal implications to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November
next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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

                                  3324

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children
  and Families

AN ACT to amend the family court act and the penal law, in  relation  to
  prohibiting public officials from unsealing juvenile police records

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

  Section 1. The family court act is amended by  adding  a  new  section
381.4 to read as follows:
  S  381.4.  PROHIBITION  OF  PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO UNSEAL POLICE RECORDS.
UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION, THE  RELEASE  BY
AN APPOINTED OR ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIAL OR AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS A CARETAK-
ER  OF  JUVENILE  OFFENDER RECORDS OR OTHER COURT RECORDS THAT HAVE BEEN
SEALED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE IS PROHIBITED.
  S 2. Section 195.00 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdi-
vision 3 to read as follows:
  3. HE OR SHE IS AN APPOINTED OR ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIAL  OR  A  PUBLIC
EMPLOYEE  WHO  IS  THE  CARETAKER  OF JUVENILE OFFENDER RECORDS OR OTHER
COURT RECORDS THAT HAVE BEEN SEALED PURSUANT TO LAW, AND HE OR SHE KNOW-
INGLY RELEASES SUCH SEALED JUVENILE  OFFENDER  RECORDS  OR  OTHER  COURT
RECORDS WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION BY AN ORDER OF A COURT OF COMPETENT JURIS-
DICTION.
  S 3. 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.
                                                           LBD00085-01-3

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