senate Bill S2876

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Permits certain out-of-court statements by a child less than twelve years old to be admitted

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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 08, 2014 referred to codes
Jan 24, 2013 referred to codes

S2876 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Add §60.47, CP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S3922
2009-2010: A4686

S2876 - Bill Texts

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Permits certain out-of-court statements by a child less than twelve years old to be admissible in court in cases of sex offenses and where the child is unavailable or unwilling to testify, among other criteria.

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BILL NUMBER:S2876

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation
to admissibility of certain out-of-court statements by a child less than
twelve years old

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To permit certain individuals to
testify in cases of alleged child sexual abuse, when the child is unable
to testify or when the testimony of an individual is relevant to the
case in question.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The bill would amend the criminal
procedure law by adding a new § 60.47, titled, Rules of Evidence; admis-
sibility of certain out-of-court statements of children less than twelve
years old.

JUSTIFICATION: In many criminal cases, testimony by one person about
what another person said is inadmissible as hearsay. However, a number
of state courts have recently relaxed their rules regarding hearsay to
make it possible for this type of evidence to be used in child abuse
cases in lieu of testimony by the child who has suffered such abuse.

An exception to the hearsay rule is extremely important in cases of
child abuse, particularly in cases of very young children who are unable
to testify or have been determined to suffer possible severe trauma by
testifying. Testimony presented by a law enforcement officer, medical
professional, or Office of Children and Family Services employee regard-
ing statements by a child less than twelve years of age which show spon-
taneity and if the child's mental state are consistent in terminology
with the age of the child, shall be deemed admissible, when the child is
unavailable or refuses to testify, unless there is evidence of personal
bias or prejudice. The jury should deem all hearsay admissible by virtue
of the fact that it is worthy of consideration by the jury.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.3922 of 2012 Referred to Transportation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The first of November after it has become a law.

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

                                  2876

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 24, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SMITH  -- 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 admissibility
  of certain out-of-court statements by a child less than  twelve  years
  old

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

  Section 1. The criminal procedure law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
section 60.47 to read as follows:
S 60.47 RULES  OF EVIDENCE; ADMISSIBILITY OF CERTAIN OUT-OF-COURT STATE-
          MENTS OF CHILDREN LESS THAN TWELVE YEARS OLD.
  THE COURT MAY DETERMINE THAT A STATEMENT OF THE COMPLAINING WITNESS IS
NOT MADE INADMISSIBLE BY THE HEARSAY RULE IF THE COURT FINDS ALL OF  THE
FOLLOWING:
  1.  THE  STATEMENT WAS MADE BY A CHILD LESS THAN TWELVE YEARS OLD, AND
THE CONTENTS OF THE STATEMENT WERE INCLUDED IN A  WRITTEN  REPORT  OF  A
LOCAL  OR  STATE  LAW  ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR OF AN EMPLOYEE OF A LOCAL
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES OR OF THE OFFICE OF  CHILDREN  AND  FAMILY
SERVICES.
  2.  THE  STATEMENT  DESCRIBES  THE  MINOR  CHILD  AS A VICTIM OF A SEX
OFFENSE INCLUDED IN ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THE PENAL LAW.
  3. THE STATEMENT SHOWED SPONTANEITY AND A CONSISTENT REPETITION OF THE
FACTS, WAS STATED IN THE TERMINOLOGY CONSISTENT  WITH  THE  AGE  OF  THE
CHILD, AND WAS REFLECTIVE OF THE MENTAL STATE OF THE CHILD.
  4.  THE  STATEMENT  WAS MADE BY A CHILD WHO HAD NO MOTIVE TO FABRICATE
SUCH STATEMENT. THE COURT SHALL VIEW WITH CAUTION  THE  TESTIMONY  OF  A
PERSON  RECOUNTING  HEARSAY  WHERE THERE IS EVIDENCE OF PERSONAL BIAS OR
PREJUDICE.
  5. THE CHILD IS FOUND TO BE UNAVAILABLE OR REFUSES TO TESTIFY.
  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.
                                                           LBD07218-01-3

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