senate Bill S1724

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires information on violence against women including domestic violence and human trafficking to be provided to foreign, prospective wives coming to this country

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to consumer protection
Jan 09, 2013 referred to consumer protection

S1724 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2571
Current Committee:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 28-CC ยงยง470 - 474, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3875, A1387
2009-2010: A6404

S1724 - Bill Texts

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Requires information pertaining to violence against women including domestic violence and human trafficking to be provided to foreign, prospective wives entering this country.

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BILL NUMBER:S1724

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to educating foreign
women entering this country as prospective spouses about the history of
the men they may be marrying and their rights as residents of the United
States if they become victims of domestic violence

PURPOSE:
To amend the general business law, to educate foreign women entering
this country as perspective spouses about the history of the men they
may be marrying and their rights as residents of the United States if
they become victims of domestic violence.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Amends the general business law by adding a new article 28-CC, to
regulate international marriage brokers operating within the state
and to prevent foreign women from becoming victims of domestic
violence.

An international marriage broker operating within the state is
required to file a disclosure form and a fifty thousand dollar surety
bond with the secretary of state to insure compliance of this act.
The international marriage broker shall be required to disclose the
following information: the business' name, address, and telephone
number; if applicable, the corporation or partnership's name, address
and telephone number employed by the broker; all internet web sites
owned or operated by the broker; and a copy of a valid photograph of
each employees or agent employed by the broker. An international
marriage broker shall also notify the department of state in writing
within thirty days from the renewal date of the bond of any changes
to the business' name, address, telephone number or agents. The
secretary of state shall post the information submitted by an
international marriage broker on the department's web site.

An international marriage broker shall be required to provide a
recruit, a person who is not a citizen or resident of the United
States, with a basic right information pamphlet in her or his
language and a written consent form allowing the broker to release
personal information about the recruit to the client. The basic right
information pamphlet shall include, but not limited to, the emergency
telephone numbers of the local police and fire departments where the
recruit will be residing; the client's marital status and the number
of foreign fiancee or finance visas that she or he has applied for
over her or his lifetime; immigration relief information,
information on the warning signs of domestic violence; and the
hotlines numbers of domestic violence and sexual assault services in
New York State and the United States.

JUSTIFICATION:
In 1999, the Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioned a
study that found more than 200 international marriage brokers
operating around the globe, arranging between .,000 and 6,000
marriages between American men and foreign women every year. eased on
the 1995 statistics, there are between 20,000 to 30,000 women who


have entered the United States using an international marriage broker
in the past five years. Most of the foreign brides advertised by the
international marriage brokers come from countries where women have
few educational or professional opportunities. Unfortunately, women
meeting their husbands through brokers frequently have little
opportunity to get to know their prospective spouses or assess their
potential for violence. They also have little knowledge of their
rights as victims of domestic violence in this country. In 1953, the
Commonwealth Fund estimated that seven percent of American women who
are married or living with someone are physically abused in a year's
time, and the incidence is higher in mail-order marriages.

In 2005, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act was passed
to provide foreign citizens with information and protection against
domestic violence from United States citizens. In New York State,
social referral services are defined and limited by the amount they
can charge a client for providing services. Although, there are no
statutes or regulations in this state that oversees international
marriage brokers to prevent domestic violence against foreign women.
The purpose of this act is to inform prospective spouses of foreign
birth, who marry United States citizens, of their rights as residents
of this country if they become victims of domestic violence.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2007/08 - A.7634 - Referred to Economic Development
2009/10 - A.6404 - Held in Economic Development

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
has become a law

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

                                  1724

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN  ACT  to  amend  the  general  business law, in relation to educating
  foreign women entering this country as prospective spouses  about  the
  history  of the men they may be marrying and their rights as residents
  of the United States if they become victims of domestic violence

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

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "International Marriage Brokers Act".
  S 2. Legislative findings. In 1999, the Immigration and Naturalization
Service commissioned a study that  found  more  than  200  international
marriage brokers operating around the globe, arranging between 4,000 and
6,000  marriages  between  American  men  and  foreign women every year.
Today, the number of international marriage brokers is nearly 500 world-
wide and, based on the 1999 statistics,  20,000  to  30,000  women  have
entered  the United States using an international marriage broker in the
past five years. In 1993, the Commonwealth  Fund  estimated  that  seven
percent  of  American  women  who are married or living with someone are
physically abused in a year's time, and that the incidence is higher  in
mail-order  marriages.   The purpose of this act is to regulate interna-
tional marriage brokers and to inform prospective wives of  the  history
of  the  men  they  may be marrying and their rights as residents of the
United States if they become victims of domestic violence.
  S 3. The general business law is amended by adding a new article 28-CC
to read as follows:
                              ARTICLE 28-CC
                   INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKERS ACT
SECTION 470. DEFINITIONS.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05008-01-3

S. 1724                             2

        471. DUTIES  AND  RESPONSIBILITY   OF   INTERNATIONAL   MARRIAGE
               BROKERS.
        472. FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKERS.
        473. PENALTIES.
        474. ENFORCEMENT.
  S 470. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL
HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS:
  1. "BASIC RIGHTS INFORMATION PAMPHLET" SHALL MEAN A PAMPHLET, OR OTHER
SIMILAR FORM OF WRITTEN MATERIAL, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMIT-
ED TO, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
  (A)  EMERGENCY  TELEPHONE  NUMBERS  FOR  LAW  ENFORCEMENT AND THE FIRE
DEPARTMENT WHERE THE RECRUIT WILL BE RESIDING,
  (B) THE CLIENT'S MARITAL STATUS, INCLUDING THE NUMBER OF TIMES SHE  OR
HE  HAS  BEEN  MARRIED,  AND  THE  NUMBER  OF K VISAS THAT SHE OR HE HAS
APPLIED FOR OVER HER OR HIS LIFETIME, ISSUED UNDER 8 U.S.C. SEC. 1184,
  (C) IMMIGRATION RELIEF AVAILABLE  TO  IMMIGRANT  VICTIMS  OF  DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, TRAFFICKING, AND OTHER CRIMES UNDER THE FEDER-
AL  VIOLENCE  AGAINST  WOMEN  ACT  OF  1994 (TITLE IV, P.L. 103-322) AND
SECTIONS 101(A)(15)(T) AND 101(A)(15)(U) OF THE FEDERAL IMMIGRATION  AND
NATIONALITY ACT (8 U.S.C. SEC. 1101 ET SEQ.),
  (D) INFORMATION ON THE WARNING SIGNS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND
  (E)  DOMESTIC  VIOLENCE  AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES IN NEW YORK STATE
AND THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED  TO,  THE  TRAFFICKING
INFORMATION  AND  REFERRAL HOTLINE, THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH INFORMA-
TION CENTER, THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HOTLINE  AND  THE  NATIONAL
SEXUAL ASSAULT HOTLINE.
  2.  "CLIENT" SHALL MEAN A PERSON WHO IS A RESIDENT OF THE STATE OF NEW
YORK WHO  CONTRACTS  WITH  AN  INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE  BROKER  TO  MEET
RECRUITS.
  3. "INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER" SHALL MEAN ANY PERSON, CORPORATION,
PARTNERSHIP,  SOLE  PROPRIETORSHIP,  OR ANY OTHER LEGAL ENTITY THAT DOES
BUSINESS IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK FOR A FEE TO RESIDENTS OF THE STATE OF
NEW YORK OFFERING MATRIMONIAL OR RELATED SERVICES  INVOLVING  SOLICITING
RECRUITS BY DOING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING IN STATE:
  (A)  EXCHANGING  PHOTOGRAPHS,  NAMES, TELEPHONE NUMBERS, ADDRESSES, OR
STATISTICS; AND
  (B) PROVIDING A SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT FOR INTRODUCING CLIENTS TO RECRUITS
IN A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES.
  4. "RECRUIT" SHALL MEAN A PERSON WHO IS NOT A CITIZEN OR  RESIDENT  OF
THE  UNITED  STATES  AND  WHO  IS RECRUITED BY AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE
BROKER FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING MATRIMONIAL OR RELATED SERVICES.
  S 471. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITY OF INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKERS. 1.
PRIOR TO THE RELEASE OF ANY PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION OF A RECRUIT TO
ANY THIRD PARTY, AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER SHALL OBTAIN FROM  THE
RECRUIT  A  SIGNED  WRITTEN  CONSENT  FORM,  IN  THE  RECRUIT'S  PRIMARY
LANGUAGE, AUTHORIZING THE RELEASE  OF  THE  RECRUIT'S  PERSONAL  CONTACT
INFORMATION TO THE SPECIFIC THIRD PARTY.
  2.  AN  INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER SHALL PROVIDE THE RECRUIT WITH A
BASIC RIGHTS INFORMATION PAMPHLET, AS REQUIRED BY SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED
SEVENTY  OF THIS ARTICLE, AT THE INITIAL CONTACT BETWEEN THE RECRUIT AND
THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER, ITS EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS.
  3. THE INFORMATION  IN  SUBDIVISION  TWO  OF  THIS  SECTION  SHALL  BE
PROVIDED IN THE RECRUIT'S PRIMARY LANGUAGE AND THE BASIC RIGHTS INFORMA-
TION PAMPHLET SHALL BE DISPLAYED SEPARATELY FROM ANY OTHER INFORMATION.
  4.  AN  INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER SHALL REFRAIN FROM PROVIDING ANY
FURTHER SERVICES TO  THE  RECRUIT  OR  CLIENT  UNTIL  THE  INTERNATIONAL

S. 1724                             3

MARRIAGE  BROKER  HAS  OBTAINED AND PROVIDED THE RECRUIT THE INFORMATION
DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISIONS ONE, TWO AND THREE OF THIS SECTION.
  S  472.  FINANCIAL  OBLIGATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKERS.  1.
PRIOR TO ENGAGING IN THE BUSINESS OF OR ACTING IN  THE  CAPACITY  OF  AN
INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER, EVERY INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER SHALL
FILE WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE A SURETY BOND TO THE PEOPLE OF NEW YORK
NOT  TO  EXCEED  A PENAL SUM OF FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS AND EXECUTED BY A
SURETY COMPANY DULY AUTHORIZED TO TRANSACT BUSINESS IN THE  STATE.  SUCH
SURETY  BOND  SHALL  BE  CONDITIONED  UPON  THE  INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE
BROKER'S COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH WITHIN THIS  ARTICLE
AND ANY OTHER RULES AND REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE
PURSUANT  TO  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS ARTICLE AND CONDITIONED UPON THE
PAYMENT OF ANY RESULTING FINES AND PENALTIES OF SUCH NONCOMPLIANCE  WITH
THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS ARTICLE. SUCH SURETY BOND SHALL ALSO BE CONDI-
TIONED UPON PAYMENT OF  JUDGMENTS  RENDERED  AGAINST  THE  INTERNATIONAL
MARRIAGE  BROKER,  OR PRINCIPAL OF THE BOND, FOR ANY ACTION BROUGHT BY A
PERSON FOR FRAUD, MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION, DECEIT, OR ANY  OTHER
UNLAWFUL  ACT  OR  OMISSION  OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER OR THE
AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES OF SUCH BROKER.   SUCH SURETY BOND  SHALL  BE  MAIN-
TAINED  FOR  THE DURATION OF THE BUSINESS AND FOR THREE YEARS SUCCEEDING
THE DISSOLUTION OF THE BUSINESS. PROOF OF SUCH BOND SHALL BE PROVIDED TO
THE SECRETARY OF STATE ON A BIANNUAL BASIS.
  2. UPON A FINAL JUDGMENT RENDERED AGAINST THE PRINCIPAL  OF  THE  BOND
FOR  FAILURE  OF  THE  INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE BROKER TO COMPLY WITH THE
REQUIREMENTS AND  CONDITIONS  SET  FORTH  IN  SUBDIVISION  ONE  OF  THIS
SECTION,  THE  SURETY BOND SHALL BE SATISFIED BY PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENT
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE AND SUCH MONEYS SHALL BE APPROPRIATED  SOLELY
FOR  THE  BENEFIT OF THE OBLIGEE AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPENSATING THE
OBLIGEE FOR DAMAGES AND COSTS INCURRED FROM THE  INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE
BROKER'S FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE.
  3. AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO FILE A SURETY
BOND  AND  A DISCLOSURE FORM WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE. THE DISCLOSURE
FORM SHALL CONTAIN ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION, INCLUDING  BUT  NOT
LIMITED TO:
  (A)  THE  INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE BROKER'S NAME, BUSINESS ADDRESS, AND
BUSINESS TELEPHONE NUMBER.
  (B) IF APPLICABLE, THE NAME, BUSINESS ADDRESS, AND BUSINESS  TELEPHONE
NUMBER  OF  THE CORPORATION OR PARTNERSHIP EMPLOYED BY THE INTERNATIONAL
MARRIAGE BROKER.
  (C) ALL INTERNET WEB SITE ADDRESSES AND DOMAIN NAMES OWNED OR OPERATED
BY THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER.
  (D) EACH PERSON, INCLUDING THE BROKER'S EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS,  ENGAGED
IN  THE  BUSINESS OR ACTING IN THE CAPACITY OF AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE
BROKER SHALL SUBMIT WITH THE DISCLOSURE FORM  A  COPY  OF  A  VALID  AND
CURRENT  PHOTO  IDENTIFICATION  TO  DETERMINE THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE
BROKER'S IDENTITY, SUCH AS A NEW YORK  STATE  DRIVER'S  LICENSE  OR  ANY
OTHER IDENTIFICATION ACCEPTABLE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE.
  (E)  A  COPY  OF EACH VERSION OF THE BASIC RIGHTS INFORMATION THAT HAS
BEEN TRANSLATED INTO A LANGUAGE  OTHER  THAN  ENGLISH,  AS  REQUIRED  BY
SECTION FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY OF THIS ARTICLE.
  4.  AN  INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE  BROKER SHALL NOTIFY THE DEPARTMENT OF
STATE IN WRITING WITHIN THIRTY  DAYS  FROM  THE  DATE  THE  SURETY  BOND
REQUIRED  BY  SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION IS RENEWED WITH THE SURETY
COMPANY OR OBTAINED WITH A NEW SURETY COMPANY,  AND  OF  ANY  CHANGE  OF
NAME,  ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, OR AGENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE
BROKER.

S. 1724                             4

  5. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL POST SUCH INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY  AN
INTERNATIONAL  MARRIAGE  BROKER ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEB SITE REQUIRED BY
SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION. THE SECRETARY OF STATE  SHALL  ENSURE
ONCE A YEAR THAT SUCH INFORMATION IS CURRENT.
  6.  THE  SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL DEVELOP THE DISCLOSURE FORM REQUIRED
TO FILE A BOND UNDER SUBDIVISION THREE  OF  THIS  SECTION  AND  MAKE  IT
AVAILABLE TO ANY INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER FILING A BOND PURSUANT TO
SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION.
  7.  THE  SECRETARY  OF  STATE SHALL CHARGE AND COLLECT A FILING FEE TO
COVER THE COST OF FILING THE BOND.
  S 473. PENALTIES. 1. (A) AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER WHO VIOLATES
THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A  CIVIL  PENALTY  NOT  TO  EXCEED  ONE
HUNDRED  THOUSAND  DOLLARS  FOR  EACH  VIOLATION,  TO  BE  ASSESSED  AND
COLLECTED IN A CIVIL  ACTION  BROUGHT  BY  ANY  PERSON  INJURED  BY  THE
VIOLATION  OR IN A CIVIL ACTION BROUGHT IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE
STATE OF NEW YORK BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OR THE  DISTRICT  ATTORNEY  OR
THE CITY ATTORNEY HAVING JURISDICTION OVER THE MATTER. AN ACTION BROUGHT
IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK SHALL NOT PRECLUDE AN
ACTION BEING BROUGHT BY AN INJURED PERSON.
  (B) ANY ACTION BROUGHT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION BY THE ATTORNEY GENER-
AL,  DISTRICT  ATTORNEY,  OR  CITY  ATTORNEY  MAY  SEEK  RELIEF  FOR ANY
VIOLATIONS OF THIS ARTICLE COMMITTED BY AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER
INCLUDING INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, RESTITUTION,  AND  OTHER  EQUITABLE  RELIEF
AGAINST  THE  INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF
THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
  2. A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE AGGRIEVED BY A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE BY
AN INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER MAY BRING A CIVIL ACTION FOR INJUNCTIVE
RELIEF OR DAMAGES, OR BOTH. IF THE COURT FINDS THAT  THE  DEFENDANT  HAS
VIOLATED  A  PROVISION  OF  THIS ARTICLE, IT SHALL AWARD ACTUAL DAMAGES,
PLUS AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO TREBLE THE AMOUNT OF ACTUAL DAMAGES OR ONE THOU-
SAND DOLLARS PER VIOLATION, WHICHEVER IS GREATER. THE COURT  SHALL  ALSO
GRANT  TO  THE PREVAILING PLAINTIFF REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES AND LEGAL
COSTS.
  3. WHEN ANY CLAIM OR CLAIMS AGAINST A BOND HAVE BEEN  PAID  SO  AS  TO
REDUCE  THE  PRINCIPAL  AMOUNT  OF  THE  BOND REMAINING AVAILABLE TO PAY
CLAIMS BELOW THE PRINCIPAL  AMOUNT  REQUIRED  BY  SECTION  FOUR  HUNDRED
SEVENTY-TWO  OF  THIS  ARTICLE,  THE INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE BROKER SHALL
CEASE TO CONDUCT ANY BUSINESS WITHIN THE STATE UNLESS AND UNTIL THE BOND
HAS BEEN REINSTATED UP TO THE MINIMUM AMOUNT REQUIRED  BY  SECTION  FOUR
HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S   474.  ENFORCEMENT.  THE  SECRETARY  OF  STATE  SHALL  ENFORCE  THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE THAT GOVERN THE  FILING  AND  MAINTENANCE  OF
SURETY  BONDS  AND SHALL PROMULGATE ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING
TO THE POSTING OF SUCH BONDS.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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