senate Bill S6342

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child

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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 15, 2014 referred to children and families

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S6342 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8428
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Family Court Act
Laws Affected:
Amd §1012, Fam Ct Act; amd §371, Soc Serv L

S6342 - Bill Texts

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Relates to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child.

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BILL NUMBER:S6342

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the social
services law, in relation to the infliction of excessive corporal
punishment on a child

PURPOSE:

This bill reclassifies excessive corporal punishment of a child as
abuse, rather than neglect and thus, subjects more child protective
services cases to further scrutiny to ensue the safety of New York's
children.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: adds excessive corporal punishment to the definition of
abuse in section 1012 of the family court act.

Section 2: removes excessive corporal punishment from the definition
of neglect in section 1012 of the family court act.

Section 3: removes excessive corporal punishment from the definition
of neglect from subparagraph (B) of paragraph (i) of subdivision 4-a
of section 371 of the social services law

Section 4: adds a new paragraph (iv) to subdivision 4-b of section 371
of the social services law, defining excessive corporal punishment as
abuse.

Section 5: sets the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Under current law, reports of child abuse are classified as either
abuse or neglect - with cases of abuse receiving stricter scrutiny,
more in-depth investigations and carrying stronger penalties than
cases of neglect. This bill seeks to reclassify cases that involve
excessive corporal punishment as abuse, rather than neglect. By
reclassifying excessive corporal punishment - which can often involve
serious injury to the child - as abuse, Child Protective Services will
be able to more thoroughly investigate certain cases of serious harm
to young children.

Under New York State's current legal statutes, a report of a child who
is violently, senselessly and/or repeatedly hit by a legal guardian,
with bruises left behind in the wake of each strike, may still be
classified as neglect. Officials who work in the fields of child
advocacy, child protection, parents' rights and law enforcement have
long been clamoring for a change to this antiquated legal definition.

There have been numerous cases, including that of Eaih Brooks and
Abdifatah Mohamud from Erie County, where reports of excessive
corporal Punishment or abuse were made by either family members or
those mandated to report abuse and maltreatment. Unfortunately, due to
a gap in state law, many of these cases do not undergo the strictest
of scrutiny as they are classified as neglect cases. Tragically, in


both Eain's case and Abdifatah's case, these children were later
killed by their abuser.

By reclassifying excessive corporal punishment as abuse, New York
State law will keep pace with at least 33 other states who currently
classify excessive corporal punishment as abuse. Furthermore, Child
Protective Services and law enforcement officials will be better
geared to investigate reports of abuse and protect children like Ecin
and Abdifatah throughout New York State.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

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
________________________________________________________________________

    S. 6342                                                  A. 8428

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                            January 15, 2014
                               ___________

IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered print-
  ed,  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and
  Families

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES --  read  once  and
  referred to the Committee on Children and Families

AN  ACT  to  amend  the family court act and the social services law, in
  relation to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child

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

  Section  1.  Paragraph (iii) of subdivision (e) of section 1012 of the
family court act, as amended by chapter 320 of  the  laws  of  2006,  is
amended and a new paragraph (iv) is added to read as follows:
  (iii) commits, or allows to be committed an offense against such child
defined  in article one hundred thirty of the penal law; allows, permits
or encourages such child to engage in  any  act  described  in  sections
230.25,  230.30  and  230.32  of  the penal law; commits any of the acts
described in sections 255.25, 255.26 and 255.27 of  the  penal  law;  or
allows  such child to engage in acts or conduct described in article two
hundred sixty-three of the penal law provided,  however,  that  (a)  the
corroboration  requirements  contained  in the penal law and (b) the age
requirement for the application of article two  hundred  sixty-three  of
such law shall not apply to proceedings under this article[.], OR
  (IV)  INFLICTS OR ALLOWS TO BE INFLICTED EXCESSIVE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
UPON SUCH CHILD.
  S 2. Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (i) of subdivision (f)  of  section
1012  of  the family court act, as amended by chapter 984 of the laws of
1981, is amended to read as follows:
  (B) in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by
unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or a  substan-
tial  risk  thereof[,  including  the  infliction  of excessive corporal
punishment]; or by misusing a drug or drugs; or  by  misusing  alcoholic
beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions; or by
any  other  acts  of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13153-01-3

S. 6342                             2                            A. 8428

court; provided, however, that where the respondent is  voluntarily  and
regularly  participating  in a rehabilitative program, evidence that the
respondent has repeatedly misused a drug or drugs or alcoholic beverages
to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions shall not estab-
lish  that  the  child  is  a neglected child in the absence of evidence
establishing that the child's physical, mental  or  emotional  condition
has  been  impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as set
forth in paragraph (i) of this subdivision; or
  S 3. Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (i) of subdivision 4-a  of  section
371 of the social services law, as amended by chapter 984 of the laws of
1981, is amended to read as follows:
  (B) in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by
unreasonably  inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or a substan-
tial risk thereof[,  including  the  infliction  of  excessive  corporal
punishment];  or  by  misusing a drug or drugs; or by misusing alcoholic
beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions; or by
any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the  aid  of  the
court;  provided,  however, that where the respondent is voluntarily and
regularly participating in a rehabilitative program, evidence  that  the
respondent has repeatedly misused a drug or drugs or alcoholic beverages
to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions shall not estab-
lish  that  the  child  is  a neglected child in the absence of evidence
establishing that the child's physical, mental  or  emotional  condition
has  been  impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as set
forth in paragraph (i) of this subdivision; or
  S 4. Paragraph (iii) of subdivision 4-b of section 371 of  the  social
services  law,  as  added by chapter 782 of the laws of 1971, is amended
and a new paragraph (iv) is added to read as follows:
  (iii) commits, or allows to be  committed,  an  act  of  sexual  abuse
against such child as defined in the penal law[.], OR
  (IV)  INFLICTS OR ALLOWS TO BE INFLICTED EXCESSIVE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
UPON SUCH CHILD.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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