senate Bill S163

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Permits a social worker or other professional to provide emotional support to a vulnerable elderly person testifying in certain grand jury proceedings

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to codes
Jan 05, 2011 referred to codes

Co-Sponsors

S163 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3861
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง190.25, CP L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S2151, A1708

S163 - Bill Texts

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Permits a social worker, rape crisis counselor, or other professional to provide emotional support to a vulnerable elderly person testifying in certain grand jury proceedings provided that the district attorney consents.

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BILL NUMBER:S163

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in
relation to permitting a social worker or other professional to
provide emotional support to a vulnerable elderly person testifying in
certain grand jury proceedings

PURPOSE: This bill would permit a vulnerable elderly person to be
accompanied by a professional support person whenever that elder is
called before a grand jury to give evidence, provided the district
attorney consents.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the criminal
procedure law by adding a new subdivision 3(i) which would allow a
social worker, rape crisis counselor, psychologist, or other
professional providing emotional support to a vulnerable elderly
person to accompany such person before a grand jury to give evidence,
provided the district attorney consents. The support person shall not
offer the witness with an answer to any question or otherwise
participate in such proceeding. The support person would also be
required to take an oath before the grand jury that he or she will
keep the grand jury proceedings secret within his or her own
knowledge. Specifies that "vulnerable elderly person" is used for
purposes of this subdivision as defined by section 260.31 of the penal
law.

Section 2 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Many elderly crime victims are intimidated by the
prospect of having to appear alone before a grand jury (which consists
of 23 strangers) to give testimony under oath. Other older persons are
distrustful of certain aspects of our criminal justice system because
they do not understand the process. Many of these elderly crime
victims are ill or disabled, in wheelchairs or on oxygen, and need the
presence of a support person if they are to give evidence before a
grand jury. Under the provisions of this bill only those older
persons defined under section 260.03(3) of the penal law as a
"vulnerable elderly person" would be able to have a professional
support person accompany them with the consent of the district
attorney. A "vulnerable elderly person" is defined as someone who is
sixty years of age or older who is suffering from a disease of
infirmity associated with advanced age and manifested by demonstrable
physical, mental or emotional dysfunction to the extent that the
person is incapable of adequately providing for his or her own health
or personal care. Permitting a professional support person to
accompany the vulnerable elderly person when he or she appears before
a grand jury will help assure that elderly crime victims receive
access to justice in New York State. This bill has been requested by
the Elder Law Sub-Committee of the New York State District Attorney's
Association.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.6582/A.11208 of 2002; Passed Senate
S.1512/A.2428A of 2003/2004; Passed Senate
S.1159/A.S18G of 2005/2006; Referred to Codes
S.952/A.902 of 2007/2008; Passed Senate/Died in Assembly
S.2151/A.1708 of 2009/2010; Referred to Codes


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The first day of November next succeeding the date on
which it shall become law.

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

                                   163

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  MAZIARZ,  DeFRANCISCO,  DIAZ, RANZENHOFER -- read
  twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
  Committee on Codes

AN  ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to permitting a
  social worker or other professional to provide emotional support to  a
  vulnerable elderly person testifying in certain grand jury proceedings

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 190.25 of the  criminal  procedure
law is amended by adding a new paragraph (i) to read as follows:
  (I)  A  SOCIAL  WORKER,  RAPE  CRISIS COUNSELOR, PSYCHOLOGIST OR OTHER
PROFESSIONAL PROVIDING EMOTIONAL SUPPORT TO A VULNERABLE ELDERLY PERSON,
AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION  260.31  OF  THE
PENAL  LAW,  AS ADDED BY CHAPTER THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY-ONE OF THE LAWS OF
NINETEEN HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT, WHO IS CALLED TO GIVE EVIDENCE IN A GRAND
JURY PROCEEDING, CONCERNING ANY  TYPE  OF  OFFENSE,  PROVIDED  THAT  THE
DISTRICT  ATTORNEY  CONSENTS.  SUCH SUPPORT PERSON SHALL NOT PROVIDE THE
WITNESS WITH AN ANSWER TO ANY QUESTION OR OTHERWISE PARTICIPATE IN  SUCH
PROCEEDING AND SHALL FIRST TAKE AN OATH BEFORE THE GRAND JURY THAT HE OR
SHE  WILL  KEEP  SECRET ALL MATTERS BEFORE SUCH GRAND JURY WITHIN HIS OR
HER KNOWLEDGE.
  S 2. 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.
                                                           LBD01660-01-1

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