senate Bill S5051

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to communications by retail stores attempting to settle civil actions deriving from larceny prosecutions

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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 consumer protection
May 07, 2013 referred to consumer protection

S5051 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2875
Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Add §349-e, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
A10120

S5051 - Bill Texts

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Relates to communications by retail stores attempting to settle civil actions deriving from larceny prosecutions.

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BILL NUMBER:S5051

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation
to communications by retail stores attempting to settle civil actions
deriving from larceny prosecutions

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to notify the defendant in a
larceny case that a settlement agreement in a civil case is unrelated
to any criminal prosecution.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend the general business law
by adding a new section 349-e. This new section would require a
merchant or retail store in seeking a settlement in larceny. This bill
includes required language which would notify the defendant that the
acceptance or refusal of the settlement will not affect any criminal
action arising from the events that led to the civil action.

JUSTIFICATION: Major stores are engaged in practicing deception in
collecting money from those accused of petty crimes. They are
informing these individuals that if they send them a check or provide
payment they will settle their case, inferring the misconception that
the criminal case will go away. What they are failing to inform these
individuals is that it is a settlement for a non-existent civil case,
which the store has no intention of initiating. The belief that the
person's criminal case has been settled has led to the issuance of
warrants, because of the misbelieve that their case has been settled.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 - A.10129

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  5051

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 7, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  DILAN  -- 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  communications
  by  retail  stores  attempting  to  settle civil actions deriving from
  larceny prosecutions

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

  Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
349-e to read as follows:
  S  349-E.  CIVIL  PROCEEDINGS  IN  LARCENY PROSECUTIONS. 1. WHENEVER A
MERCHANT OR RETAIL STORE ATTEMPTS TO  SETTLE  A  CIVIL  ACTION  THAT  IS
DERIVATIVE OF A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION COMMENCED UNDER ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED
FIFTY-FIVE  OF  THE  PENAL  LAW,  ALL  COMMUNICATIONS PERTAINING TO SUCH
ATTEMPTED SETTLEMENT SHALL CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, WHICH SHALL,
IF WRITTEN, BE IN A CONSPICUOUS PLACE, IN FONT LARGER THAN THE REMAINDER
OF THE COMMUNICATION, AND, IF SPOKEN, READ IN ITS ENTIRETY:
  THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO REACH A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN A  CIVIL  ACTION
FOR  SATISFACTION OF DAMAGES RELATED TO A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. YOU HAVE
THE RIGHT TO REFUSE THIS OFFER. YOUR ACCEPTANCE OR REFUSAL OF THIS OFFER
HAS NO EFFECT ON ANY CRIMINAL ACTION ARISING FROM THE EVENTS THAT LED TO
THIS CIVIL ACTION. FAILURE TO ACCEPT THIS AGREEMENT MAY RESULT IN  CIVIL
LITIGATION AGAINST YOU.
  2.  A MERCHANT OR RETAIL STORE THAT FAILS TO INCLUDE SUCH STATEMENT IN
ANY COMMUNICATION WITH DEFENDANT SHALL BE STRICTLY LIABLE FOR:
  (A) ANY ACTUAL DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY DEFENDANT  AS  A  RESULT  OF  SUCH
FAILURE;
  (B)  TREBLE  THE  AMOUNT SOUGHT BY THE MERCHANT OR RETAIL STORE IN ANY
SUCH SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT. IN THE CASE OF  MULTIPLE  SETTLEMENT  OFFERS,
THE  AMOUNT  TO BE TREBLED SHALL BE THE HIGHEST SETTLEMENT AMOUNT SOUGHT
BY SUCH MERCHANT OR RETAIL STORE;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07200-01-3

S. 5051                             2

  (C) IN THE CASE OF ANY SUCCESSFUL  ACTION  TO  ENFORCE  THE  FOREGOING
LIABILITY,  THE  COSTS  OF THE ACTION, TOGETHER WITH A REASONABLE ATTOR-
NEYS' FEE AS DETERMINED BY THE COURT. ON A FINDING BY THE COURT THAT  AN
ACTION  UNDER  THIS SECTION WAS BROUGHT IN BAD FAITH AND FOR THE PURPOSE
OF  HARASSMENT,  THE  COURT  MAY  AWARD TO THE DEFENDANT ATTORNEYS' FEES
REASONABLE IN RELATION TO THE WORK EXPENDED AND COSTS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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