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This entry was published on 2021-01-01
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Recording certain activities
Civil Rights (CVR) CHAPTER 6, ARTICLE 7
* § 79-p. Recording certain activities. 1. Definitions. For purposes
of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Officer" means any peace officer, police officer, security
officer, security guard or similar official who is engaged in a law
enforcement activity;

(b) "Law enforcement activity" means any activity by an officer acting
under the color of law; and

(c) "Record" means to capture or attempt to capture any moving or
still image, sound, or impression through the use of any recording
device, camera, or any other device capable of capturing audio, moving
or still images, or by way of written notes or observations.

2. Right to record law enforcement related activities. A person not
under arrest or in the custody of a law enforcement official has the
right to record law enforcement activity and to maintain custody and
control of that recording and of any property or instruments used by
that person to record law enforcement activities, provided, however,
that a person in custody or under arrest does not, by that status alone,
forfeit the right to have any such recordings, property and equipment
maintained and returned to him or her. Nothing in this subdivision shall
be construed to permit a person to engage in actions that physically
interfere with law enforcement activity or otherwise constitute a crime
defined in the penal law involving obstructing governmental

3. Private right of action. (a) A claim of unlawful interference with
recording a law enforcement activity is established under this section
when a person demonstrates that he or she exercised or attempted to
exercise the right established in subdivision two of this section to
record a law enforcement activity and an officer acted to interfere with
that person's recording of a law enforcement activity, including but not
limited to, by:

(i) intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent that person from
recording law enforcement activity;

(ii) threatening that person for recording a law enforcement activity;

(iii) commanding that the person cease recording law enforcement
activity when the person was nevertheless authorized under law to

(iv) stopping, seizing, searching, ticketing or arresting that person
because that person recorded a law enforcement activity; or

(v) unlawfully seizing property or instruments used by that person to
record a law enforcement activity, unlawfully destroying, or seizing a
recorded image or recorded images of a law enforcement activity, or
copying such a recording of a law enforcement activity without consent
of the person who recorded it or approval from an appropriate court.

(b) It shall be an affirmative defense to a civil action under
subparagraphs (i), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision
that at the time of such conduct by an officer, such officer had
probable cause to arrest the person recording such a law enforcement
activity for a crime defined in the penal law involving obstructing
governmental administration.

(c) A person subject to unlawful interference with recording law
enforcement activities as described in paragraph (a) of this subdivision
may bring an action for any violation of this section in any court of
competent jurisdiction for damages, including punitive damages, for
declaratory and injunctive relief, and such other remedies as the court
may deem appropriate.

(d) In any action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section, the
court may allow a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorney's fees and
expert fees as a part of the costs which may be recovered.

(e) Any action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section shall be
commenced no later than three years after the date on which the
violation of this section is committed.

4. Preservation of rights. This section shall be in addition to all
rights, procedures, and remedies available under the United States
Constitution, 42 USC 1983, the constitution of the state of New York and
all other federal law, state law, law of the city of New York or the
administrative code of the city of New York, and all other civil
remedies, including monetary damages, created by statute, ordinance,
regulation or common law.

* NB There are 2 § 79-p's