senate Bill S3275

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Prohibits public officials from releasing sealed juvenile police records

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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
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to children and families
Feb 15, 2011 referred to children and families

S3275 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9767
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Family Court Act
Laws Affected:
Add §381.4, Fam Ct Act; amd §195.00, Pen L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S7143, A3370

S3275 - Bill Texts

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

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BILL NUMBER:S3275

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/or 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.

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

                                  3275

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 15, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. HASSELL-THOMPSON -- 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.
                                                           LBD07093-01-1

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