senate Bill S2482

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Provides a private right of action against a person who intentionally discloses the identity of a victim of a sex crime

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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 21, 2011 referred to codes

S2482 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Civil Rights Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§50-b & 50-c, Civ Rts L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S1686

S2482 - Bill Texts

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Provides a private right of action against a person who intentionally discloses the identity of a victim of a sex crime.

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BILL NUMBER:S2482

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the civil rights law, in relation to a private right of action
for the intentional disclosure of the identity of a victim of a sex crime

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends §50-b of the Civil Rights Law to allow
for release of certain documents where they are sufficiently redacted
to prevent identification of a victim of a sexual offense.

section two of the bill amends §50-C of the Civil Rights Law to
clarify who has a cause of action when the victim's identity is
intentionally disclosed in violation of the Civil Rights Law.

Section 3 is the enacting provision.

JUSTIFICATION:
During the 1991 legislative session, §50-b of the Civil Rights Law was
amended and a new §50-C was added. Section 50-b had protected against
the disclosure of the identity of the victim of a sex offense who had
been under the age of eighteen at the time of the alleged commission
of the offense. As amended, §50-b pertains to all victims of sex
offenses, irrespective of age.

The intent of §50-b is obvious - that the government should not
permit disclosures of records that would identify victims of sex
offenses.
Nevertheless, the language of §50-b is so broad that any record
containing the name or other identifier pertaining to a victim must
be withheld
see Fappiano v. New York City Police Department, 95 NY2d
738, (2001).

As a consequence, while victims' identities have been protected, so
have the identities of defendants. While §50-b is clearly
well-intentioned, it should not be used as a shield against
disclosure of all information relating to the alleged commission of a
sex offense and it certainly should not be used to protect defendants.

Due to the breadth and vagueness of the current statute, public
officials have been reluctant to disclose any information concerning
sex offenses for fear of litigation. To reduce the chilling effect of
the statute it requires further clarification.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2005-06: S.4907-A Senate Codes Cmte./A.10614 Assembly
Governmental Operations Cmte.
2007-08: S.892 Senate Codes Cmte./A.4610 Assembly Governmental
Operations Cmte.
2009-10: S.1686 Reported and Committed to Codes/A.2911 Governmental
Operations Cmte.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.


EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

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

                                  2482

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 21, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- 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 a private right  of
  action for the intentional disclosure of the identity of a victim of a
  sex crime

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 50-b of the civil rights  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  320  of  the  laws  of 2006, is amended to read as
follows:
  1. The identity of any victim of a sex offense, as defined in  article
one hundred thirty or section 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of the penal law,
or of an offense involving the alleged transmission of the human immuno-
deficiency  virus,  shall  be  confidential.  No report, paper, picture,
photograph, court file or other documents, in the custody or  possession
of  any public officer or employee, which identifies such a victim shall
be made available for public  inspection.  No  such  public  officer  or
employee shall disclose any portion of any police report, court file, or
other document, which tends to identify such a victim except as provided
in  subdivision  two of this section.  WHERE ANY REPORT, PAPER, PICTURE,
PHOTOGRAPH, COURT FILE, POLICE REPORT OR OTHER DOCUMENT WHICH IDENTIFIES
OR TENDS TO IDENTIFY SUCH VICTIM MAY BE SUFFICIENTLY REDACTED TO  INSURE
SUCH  VICTIM  IS  NOT  IDENTIFIED SUCH DOCUMENT MAY BE DISCLOSED ONLY TO
ASSIST LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES IN INVESTIGATING AND PROSECUTING SUCH
OFFENSE.
  S 2. The opening paragraph of section 50-c of the civil rights law  is
designated  subdivision  1  and  a new subdivision 2 is added to read as
follows:
  2.  IF THE IDENTITY OF THE VICTIM OF A SEX  OFFENSE  IS  INTENTIONALLY
DISCLOSED  IN  VIOLATION  OF SECTION FIFTY-B OF THIS ARTICLE AND HAS NOT
OTHERWISE BEEN DISCLOSED, THE VICTIM, OR IF THE VICTIM IS  DECEASED  THE

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08457-01-1

S. 2482                             2

VICTIM'S  FAMILY,  WHOSE  IDENTITY  WAS DISCLOSED MAY BRING AN ACTION TO
RECOVER DAMAGES ACTUALLY SUFFERED BY REASON OF SUCH WRONGFUL DISCLOSURE.
IN ANY ACTION BROUGHT UNDER THIS SECTION, THE COURT MAY AWARD REASONABLE
ATTORNEY'S FEES TO A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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