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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Children; adverse information; notification
§ 215-b. Children; adverse information; notification. 1. For purposes
of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Child" means any person under the age of sixteen;

(b) "Parent" means the birth or adoptive parent, the guardian or other
adult having legal responsibility for the child;

(c) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation,
association or other business entity or any employee thereof which
regularly maintains a place of business which is open to the public and
which operates or is operated for the purpose of offering for sale,
whether at wholesale, retail or otherwise, a consumer commodity for
purchase by the public;

(d) "Adverse information file" means any written or other
communication of any information with respect to the alleged commission
by a child of an act of theft within or directly proximate to any place
of business operated by such person which alleged acts had they been
committed by an adult would constitute misdemeanor larcenies under the
penal law. Any information contained in such file on such child that is
likely to have an effect upon the ability or eligibility of such child,
either while he is a child or upon attaining a legal status other than a
child, to obtain credit, insurance, employment, or other benefits, goods
or services for which he may seek shall be deemed to be adverse
information within the meaning of such term. Any such information shall
be deemed to be adverse without regard to whether any legal action as
authorized by the family court act or the penal law was ever commenced
against such child with regards to the alleged act of theft;

(e) "Consumer reporting agency" means any person who, for monetary
fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in
whole or in part in gathering, assembling or evaluating consumer credit
information or other information on, about or relating to consumers,
employees or potential employees for the purpose of furnishing reports
to third parties.

2. Any person who opens or causes to be opened an adverse information
file shall:

(a) Open such adverse information file within seven days of the
alleged commission of a theft;

(b) Notify a parent of such child by regular mail within seventy-two
hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, of the time such file is
opened, and make known to such parent by such notice that an adverse
information file has been opened on his child by such person and such
notice shall be accompanied by copies of any documents in the file,
including the written statements of admission or denial signed by his
child. Such notice shall contain a telephone number for the parent to
call to arrange for an appointment and an address to mail additional
material for the file. Every person required to make the notification
required by this paragraph shall use reasonable diligence and effort to
ascertain the proper identity and location of a parent so as to assure
that the provisions of this subdivision shall be complied with. In the
event that a child divulges a false parent identity or location to a
person, the person shall be exempted from the notification requirements
of this paragraph unless the person has actual knowledge of the true
identity or location of a parent. The notification requirements of this
paragraph shall not apply if the child falsely reports or gives false
evidence of his age to be sixteen years or over to such person unless
the person has actual knowledge that such child is under the age of
sixteen. The notification required in this paragraph shall be made
without regard to whether any legal action as authorized by the family
court act or the penal law was ever commenced against such child with
regards to the alleged act of theft;

(c) Further notify the parent of such child in the notification
provided for in paragraph (b) of this subdivision that such parent shall
have the right to request that a written statement of two hundred and
fifty words or less to be prepared by the child or parent relevant to
the alleged act of theft be submitted and contained in such adverse
information file. Upon such request and submission the written statement
shall be attached to and included with such adverse information file.

3. No person shall provide access to, give, forward or make available
any adverse information file or any part thereof to any consumer
reporting agency.

4. Any person who fails to comply with the requirements of this
section applicable to such person shall be liable to the child in an
action commenced on behalf of such child in an amount equal to the sum

(a) Any actual damages sustained by the child as a result of any
violation of this section;

(b) Such amount of punitive damages as the court may allow; and

(c) In the case of any successful action to enforce any liability
under this section together with reasonable attorney's fees as
determined by the court.