senate Bill S6924

Establishes the right of tenants to call police or emergency assistance without fear of losing their housing

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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

  • 02 / Apr / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Establishes the right of tenants to call police or emergency assistance without fear of losing their housing as the result of landlord actions or local nuisance laws.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9056
Versions:
S6924
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Civil Rights Law
Laws Affected:
Ren Art 9 §§90 & 91 to be Art 10 §§100 & 101, add Art 9 §§90 - 98, Civ Rts L
view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6924

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 2, 2014
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the right  to  call
  for police and emergency assistance and providing victim protections

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

  Section 1. Article 9 and sections 90 and 91 of the civil  rights  law,
as renumbered by chapter 310 of the laws of 1962, are renumbered article
10  and  sections  100  and 101, and a new article 9 is added to read as
follows:
                                ARTICLE 9
                   RIGHT TO CALL POLICE AND EMERGENCY
                      ASSISTANCE/VICTIM PROTECTIONS
SECTION 90. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.
        91. RIGHT TO CALL FOR POLICE AND  EMERGENCY  ASSISTANCE;  VICTIM
              PROTECTIONS.
        92. PROTECTIONS  NOT  APPLICABLE  TO  BREACHES OF LEASE, ILLICIT
              ACTIVITIES OR OTHER VIOLATIONS OF LAW.
        93. RIGHT OF PROPERTY OWNERS TO BE FREE OF PENALTY FOR  RESPECT-
              ING  THE  RIGHTS OF AN OCCUPANT TO REQUEST POLICE OR EMER-
              GENCY ASSISTANCE.
        94. LIMITATION ON RIGHT TO REQUEST POLICE OR  EMERGENCY  ASSIST-
              ANCE PROHIBITED.
        95. DEFENSES.
        96. REMOVAL  OF  THE  PERPETRATOR  OF  VIOLENCE  WHILE  ASSURING
              CONTINUED OCCUPANCY BY VICTIM.
        97. REMEDIES.
        98. GUIDANCE AUTHORIZED.
  S 90. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. NO VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE,  OR  OTHER
PERSON  THREATENED  WITH VIOLENCE OR IN JEOPARDY OF HARM, SHOULD FAIL TO
ACCESS POLICE OR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE WHEN NEEDED BECAUSE  OF  THE  FEAR
THAT  DOING  SO  MAY  RESULT IN LOSING THEIR HOUSING THROUGH EVICTION OR
OTHER ACTIONS TO REMOVE THEM FROM THE PROPERTY. SOME LOCAL LAWS OR POLI-
CIES HAVE THE EFFECT OF TREATING SUCH REQUESTS FOR POLICE  OR  EMERGENCY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13895-03-4

S. 6924                             2

AID  AS  A  DISTURBANCE  CONSTITUTING  A  "PUBLIC NUISANCE" OR OTHERWISE
TREATING THE INDIVIDUAL FACED WITH THE VIOLENCE AND IN NEED  OF  ASSIST-
ANCE  AS AN UNDESIRABLE TENANT OR UNDESIRABLE INFLUENCE ON THE NEIGHBOR-
HOOD  BASED UPON A CALL FOR HELP TO THEIR HOME. LEGISLATION IS NEEDED TO
ASSURE THAT VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE OR THREATS OF HARM OR VIOLENCE  ARE  NOT
PENALIZED  IN  RELATION TO ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY AND INTERVENTION
NECESSARY TO ADDRESS OFFENDER ACCOUNTABILITY AND VICTIM SAFETY.
  MUNICIPALITIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE HAVE INCREASINGLY BEGUN  TO  ADOPT
LOCAL  LAWS  AND  ORDINANCES TO ADDRESS PUBLIC NUISANCES OR OTHER INTRU-
SIONS ON THE QUIET ENJOYMENT OF THEIR RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITIES. DESPITE
THEIR INTENT TO AID COMMUNITIES, OVERLY BROAD  ORDINANCES  HAVE  INSTEAD
HAD  A  HARMFUL  CHILLING EFFECT DETERRING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND CRIME
FROM ACCESSING POLICE ASSISTANCE AND  HAVE  JEOPARDIZED  PUBLIC  SAFETY.
GIVEN  THE NEGATIVE IMPACT THAT CERTAIN PROVISIONS HAVE ON THE COMMUNITY
AT LARGE, AND TO VICTIMS OF CRIME IN PARTICULAR, REMEDIAL LEGISLATION IS
NECESSARY THAT WILL BOTH PROTECT THE RIGHTS  OF  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE  AND
CRIME VICTIMS TO ACCESS ESSENTIAL POLICE ASSISTANCE, AS WELL AS PRESERVE
THE  LOCALITY'S RIGHT TO ADDRESS CONDUCT THAT MAY UNDERMINE THE COMMUNI-
TY'S SAFETY OR INTEGRITY.
  THE LEGISLATURE THEREFORE FINDS THAT IT IS DESIRABLE  TO  CLARIFY  THE
LAW  IN THIS AREA IN ORDER TO PROTECT WOMEN AND OTHERS FROM VIOLENCE AND
CRIME.
  THE LEGISLATURE FURTHER FINDS THAT THERE IS  A  NEED  TO  ASSURE  THAT
VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE, INCLUDING PERSONS THREATENED WITH HARM OR VIOLENCE,
HAVE  A  CLEAR  RIGHT TO ACCESS ASSISTANCE TO PROTECT PERSONAL OR PUBLIC
SAFETY.
  THE LEGISLATURE FINALLY FINDS THAT CLARIFICATION  IN  THIS  AREA  WILL
ADVANCE  THE  STATE'S INTEREST IN STOPPING CRIME AND FURTHER THE AIMS OF
PENAL LAWS THAT DEPEND ON CITIZENS TO REPORT INCIDENTS OF CRIME  TO  LAW
ENFORCEMENT.
  WITH  THIS  REMEDIAL  LEGISLATION THE LEGISLATURE SPECIFICALLY INTENDS
THAT THE COVERAGE OF THIS ARTICLE INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO,  LAWS
OR  ORDINANCES  THAT  USE  ANY  FORM  OF CUMULATIVE POINT SYSTEM FOR THE
PURPOSE OF IDENTIFYING ANY PERSONS OR PROPERTIES WHO OR WHICH  WOULD  BE
SUBJECT TO MUNICIPAL ENFORCEMENT ACTION.
  S  91.  RIGHT  TO  CALL  FOR  POLICE  AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE; VICTIM
PROTECTIONS. 1.  ANY PERSON WHO IS A VICTIM  OF  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE,  AS
DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW,
OR  WHO  OTHERWISE  BELIEVES HE OR SHE IS IN NEED OF POLICE OR EMERGENCY
ASSISTANCE HAS THE RIGHT TO REQUEST SUCH ASSISTANCE AND TO  BE  FREE  OF
ANY  DIRECT OR INDIRECT PENALTY OR REPRISAL FOR ACCESSING ASSISTANCE, OR
BECAUSE HE OR SHE RESIDES AT A PROPERTY WHERE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR OTHER
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY OCCURRED. OTHER THAN  AS  PROVIDED  IN  SECTION
NINETY-TWO  OF THIS ARTICLE, NO VICTIM OF CONDUCT WHICH HAS BEEN USED AS
THE GROUNDS FOR THE APPLICATION OF A LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE  ESTABLISHED
FOR  THE PURPOSE OF REGULATING NUISANCES SHALL BE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY
PENALIZED, OR OTHERWISE SUBJECT TO REPRISAL BY APPLICATION OF SUCH LOCAL
LAW, INCLUDING BY TERMINATION OR  REFUSAL  TO  RENEW  A  TENANCY  OR  BY
EVICTION.
  2.  NO  RESIDENTIAL  OCCUPANT  SHALL  BE REQUIRED, EITHER ORALLY OR IN
WRITING, TO WAIVE RIGHTS UNDER THIS ARTICLE, AND ANY SUCH  WAIVER  SHALL
BE VOID AND UNENFORCEABLE.
  S  92. PROTECTIONS NOT APPLICABLE TO BREACHES OF LEASE, ILLICIT ACTIV-
ITIES OR OTHER VIOLATIONS OF LAW. THE PROTECTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE  SHALL
NOT  BE DEEMED TO PROHIBIT A MUNICIPALITY FROM ENFORCING AN ORDINANCE OR
LOCAL LAW, NOR RESTRICT A LANDLORD FROM TERMINATING, EVICTING OR  REFUS-

S. 6924                             3

ING  TO RENEW A TENANCY, WHEN SUCH ACTION IS PREMISED UPON GROUNDS OTHER
THAN ACCESS OF POLICE OR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE OR IS  OTHERWISE  PREMISED
ON CONDUCT UNRELATED TO THE RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANT'S STATUS AS A TARGET OR
VICTIM OF VIOLENCE OR HARM.
  S  93.  RIGHT  OF PROPERTY OWNERS TO BE FREE OF PENALTY FOR RESPECTING
THE RIGHTS OF AN OCCUPANT TO REQUEST POLICE OR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE.  NO
LANDLORD OR OTHER PROPERTY OWNER SHALL BE SUBJECT TO FINES  OR  LOSS  OF
PERMITS  OR  LICENSES  BY  A  MUNICIPALITY  FOR FAILING TO TAKE STEPS TO
REMOVE AN OCCUPANT WHO HAS EXERCISED RIGHTS UNDER THIS ARTICLE.
  S 94. LIMITATION ON RIGHT TO REQUEST POLICE  OR  EMERGENCY  ASSISTANCE
PROHIBITED.    A MUNICIPALITY, MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY, LANDLORD OR PROPERTY
OWNER SHALL NOT PROHIBIT, RESTRICT, PENALIZE OR IN ANY OTHER WAY DIRECT-
LY OR INDIRECTLY LIMIT ANY PERSON'S EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER THIS  ARTI-
CLE. THE PROTECTIONS OF THIS PROHIBITION SHALL EXTEND TO ANY RESIDENTIAL
OCCUPANT  UPON WHOSE BEHALF A THIRD PARTY HAS CALLED FOR POLICE OR EMER-
GENCY ASSISTANCE.
  S 95. DEFENSES. 1.  IT IS A DEFENSE TO ANY JUDICIAL OR  ADMINISTRATIVE
ACTION  OR  PROCEEDING  TAKEN BY ANY MUNICIPALITY OR MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
ENFORCING ANY LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE THAT THE ENFORCEMENT ACTION DIRECT-
LY OR INDIRECTLY PENALIZES A RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANT OR PROPERTY OWNER  FOR
THE  EXERCISE  OF  RIGHTS UNDER THIS ARTICLE. PRIOR TO INITIATION OF ANY
SUCH ENFORCEMENT ACTION OR PROCEEDING ALL PARTIES  AND  ANY  RESIDENTIAL
OCCUPANT  THAT  MAY  BE SO IMPACTED SHALL BE GIVEN WRITTEN NOTICE BY THE
MUNICIPALITY OF THE PROTECTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE AND SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT
TO BE HEARD IN THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING TO ADVANCE THE DEFENSES PROVIDED
BY THIS ARTICLE.
  2. IT IS A DEFENSE IN ANY ACTION OR PROCEEDING BY A LANDLORD OR  OTHER
OWNER  OF  REAL  PROPERTY TO REGAIN POSSESSION OF THAT PROPERTY THAT THE
ACTION OR PROCEEDING DIRECTLY  OR  INDIRECTLY  PENALIZES  A  RESIDENTIAL
OCCUPANT FOR THE EXERCISE OF RIGHTS UNDER THIS ARTICLE.  ANY RESIDENTIAL
OCCUPANT  WHOSE  RIGHT  TO  CONTINUED  OCCUPANCY  MAY BE IMPACTED BY THE
OUTCOME SHALL BE GIVEN NOTICE OF THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING BY  THE  PARTY
INITIATING  THE  ACTION OR PROCEEDING AND SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAR
AS A NECESSARY PARTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THE  CIVIL
PRACTICE LAW AND RULES AND THE REAL PROPERTY ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS LAW
IN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE DEFENSES PROVIDED BY THIS ARTICLE.
  S  96. REMOVAL OF THE PERPETRATOR OF VIOLENCE WHILE ASSURING CONTINUED
OCCUPANCY BY VICTIM.  ACTIONS INCLUDING TERMINATION, EVICTION OR REFUSAL
TO RENEW A LEASEHOLD INTEREST OR TERMINATION OF ANY OTHER FORM OF LAWFUL
OCCUPANCY THROUGH A JUDICIAL PROCEEDING MAY BE CARRIED OUT  AGAINST  THE
PERPETRATOR  OF  SUCH VIOLENCE OR HARM.  NOTWITHSTANDING THE TERMS OF AN
EXISTING LEASE, WRITTEN OR ORAL, OR OTHER FORM OF  OCCUPANCY  AGREEMENT,
ANY  PERSON  WITH RIGHTS DESCRIBED IN SECTION NINETY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE
SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONTINUE IN OCCUPANCY,  AND  THE  COURT  MAY  SO
ORDER,  FOR  A  TERM  EQUIVALENT TO THE BALANCE OF THE ORIGINAL TERM AND
UNDER THE SAME TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS PROVIDED IN THE ORIGINAL LEASE OR
OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT.
  S 97. REMEDIES.  ANY PERSON OR ENTITY AGGRIEVED BY A VIOLATION OF  THE
PROTECTIONS  CREATED  BY  THIS  ARTICLE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO BRING AN
ACTION OR SPECIAL PROCEEDING IN A COURT OF APPROPRIATE  JURISDICTION  TO
SEEK  DAMAGES  AND/OR  DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF WITH RESPECT TO
SUCH VIOLATION. A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF MAY BE ENTITLED TO  AN  AWARD  OF
COSTS AND ATTORNEY'S FEES.
  S  98.  GUIDANCE  AUTHORIZED.    THE  NEW  YORK  STATE  OFFICE FOR THE
PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE  DIVISION  OF  CRIMINAL  JUSTICE
SERVICES,  UPON  CONSULTATION  WITH THE OTHER, ARE JOINTLY AUTHORIZED TO

S. 6924                             4

PROVIDE GUIDANCE WITH RESPECT TO DRAFTING OF LOCAL  NUISANCE  ORDINANCES
AND  EVALUATION  OF  THEIR  IMPACT  ON  ACCESS  TO  POLICE AND EMERGENCY
SERVICES.
  S  2.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all
pending actions and proceedings.

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