senate Bill S631

Restricts certain access to records kept by the surrogate's court

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

Summary

Restricts access to records kept by the surrogate's court for business or commercial purposes; makes certain exceptions; and requires any person seeking access to books or records of the court to complete a form which shall disclose such person's name, address, telephone number and purpose of such access.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S631
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Surrogate's Court Procedure Act
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง2501, SCPA
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1213
2009-2010: S1379

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S631

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the surrogate's court procedure act, in relation to restricting
certain access to records kept by the court

PURPOSE:
To prevent mourning survivors from being harassed by vendors.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This legislation amends subdivision 8 of section 2501 of the
surrogate's court procedure act Persons wishing to examine open
surrogate's court records will be required to fill out a form stating
that the records will not be used for a business or commercial
purpose. The form will require disclosure of the person's name,
address, telephone number and purpose of such inspection, Such person
will be required to agree, under penalty of perjury, that any
information obtained from such books and records will not be used for
business or commercial purposes, It also provides that such person or
agent will not contact any member of a decedent's family or any
beneficiaries of a decedent except for claims and entitlements
directly related to the decedent's estate, The completed forms will
be retained by the court.

JUSTIFICATION:
Persons who have recently lost loved ones have become the victims of
bothersome and upsetting phone calls and letters from private
investors who are eager to purchase property left to the family
through the estate or to sell items to survivors, These investors
obtained their information from the surrogate's court open records.
Although the court does not give out phone numbers, it is not
difficult for the investors to get this information once they have
the other information provided by the court records. It is
unconscionable that grieving family members should be harassed in
this way. This legislation will reduce or eliminate this practice as,
under penalty of perjury, the investors will be prohibited from
contacting the decedent's family except for claims or entitlements
relating to the estate.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This bill was previously introduced.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
There will be minimal cost to the surrogate's court to maintain the
records.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the
date on which it shall have become law; provided, however, effective
immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rules or
regulations and the production of forms necessary for the
implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and
directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.


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

                                   631

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the surrogate's court  procedure  act,  in  relation  to
  restricting certain access to records kept by the court

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 8 of section  2501  of  the  surrogate's  court
procedure act is amended to read as follows:
  8.  All  books  and  records  other  than  those  sealed  are  open to
inspection of any person at reasonable times PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  ACCESS
TO SUCH BOOKS AND RECORDS IS NOT FOR A BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL PURPOSE. A
BUSINESS  OR  COMMERCIAL PURPOSE SHALL NOT INCLUDE A DEBTOR OF AN ESTATE
SEEKING ACCESS TO RECORDS OF SUCH ESTATE OR AN ATTORNEY  SEEKING  ACCESS
TO BOOKS AND RECORDS ON BEHALF OF AN INTERESTED PARTY, ESTATE OR BENEFI-
CIARY.
  ANY  PERSON  SEEKING TO INSPECT ANY BOOKS OR RECORDS, OTHER THAN THOSE
SEALED, SHALL COMPLETE A FORM WHICH SHALL BE PROVIDED BY THE COURT. SUCH
FORM SHALL REQUIRE SUCH PERSON SEEKING ACCESS  TO  ANY  SUCH  BOOKS  AND
RECORDS  TO  DISCLOSE  SUCH PERSON'S NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER AND
PURPOSE OF SUCH INSPECTION. SUCH PERSON  SHALL  BE  REQUIRED  TO  AGREE,
UNDER  PENALTY  OF PERJURY, ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM SUCH BOOKS AND
RECORDS SHALL NOT BE USED FOR BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, EXCEPT AS
PROVIDED IN THIS SUBDIVISION, AND SUCH PERSON OR AN AGENT OF SUCH PERSON
SHALL NOT CONTACT ANY MEMBER OF A DECEDENT'S FAMILY OR ANY BENEFICIARIES
OF A DECEDENT, EXCEPT FOR CLAIMS AND ENTITLEMENTS  DIRECTLY  RELATED  TO
SUCH DECEDENT'S ESTATE.  COMPLETED FORMS SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE COURT.
  S  2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have  become  a  law;  provided  however,
effective  immediately,  the  addition,  amendment  and/or repeal of any
rules or regulations and the  production  of  forms  necessary  for  the
implementation  of  this  act  on  its effective date are authorized and
directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03565-01-3

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