Provides for notice of illegal restrictive covenant language in documents to be recorded and the recordation of restrictive covenant modification documents where conveyance instruments include language violative of civil rights laws; requires any title insurance company, title abstract company or escrow company to include such notice in title abstract reports and to inform purchaser/title insurance applicants of the availability from the county recorder of restrictive covenant modification documents.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property law, in relation to recording of restrictive covenant modification documents
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To provide a mechanism to allow home owners to remove current offensive, illegal and racists covenants that restrict owners from selling or conveying to any person based on one's race, color, religion, sex, familial status, disability, national origin, source of income, or ancestry that violates state and federal housing law.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would require any title insurance company, title abstract company, or escrow company to inform the buyer of a property whether the property in question contains a restrictive covenant based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, marital status, disability, national origin, source of income, or ancestry that violates state and federal housing law.
This bill would also provide a process to remove said offensive and racist language from the public record. Then, the person who holds an ownership interest of record in property can record a document to delete the illegal restrictive covenant from the county record.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently in New York State, there are still racial restrictive covenants on County records and such language such as, "No persons of any race other than the white or Caucasian race shall use or occupy any building or any lot except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race with an owner and tenant." It is still in existence in certain communities, such as Chappaqua and Nassau County. The Supreme Court ruled against racially restrictive covenants in 1948, and they were outlawed by the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. Nevertheless, these racially restrictive covenants are still part of the county records, and will continue to remain in the public record until removed by the home owner. Title companies do not show this language to buyers during their searches since they are legally unenforceable. Thus, most buyers do not know about its existence. However, the language should be removed from the public records because it is offensive, illegal, unenforceable, and only serves as a reminder of the painful racist American history, and as a stain on the progressive legislative history of the State of New York. Other States such as California and Missouri have either passed or introduced bills to eliminate the racist language from the records.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010 S.1933 2007-2008 S.1984 2005-2006 S.8134
To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1095 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. PARKER, DUANE, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judici- ary AN ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to recording of restrictive covenant modification documents THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The real property law is amended by adding a new section 291-i to read as follows: S 291-I. RECORDING OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT. 1. (A) IF ANY COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS EXIST IN A DOCUMENT TO BE RECORDED WHICH DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, FAMILIAL STATUS, MARITAL STATUS, DISABILITY, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SOURCE OF INCOME, OR ANCESTRY THEN ANY TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, TITLE ABSTRACT COMPANY OR ESCROW COMPANY, SHALL: (I) NOTIFY IN AT LEAST EIGHTEEN-POINT BOLDFACE TYPE ON A SEPARATE PAGE WITHIN THE TITLE ABSTRACT REPORT TO THE PURCHASER/TITLE INSURANCE APPLI- CANT, THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE: "THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS ILLEGAL RESTRICTIONS BASED ON RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, FAMILIAL STATUS, MARI- TAL STATUS, DISABILITY, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SOURCE OF INCOME, OR ANCESTRY, THAT VIOLATE STATE AND FEDERAL HOUSING LAW." THE PURCHASER/TITLE INSUR- ANCE APPLICANT OF REAL PROPERTY MAY HAVE SUCH ILLEGAL RESTRICTIONS REMOVED FROM SUCH DOCUMENT BY SUBMITTING A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFI- CATION DOCUMENT, WHICH SHALL BE AVAILABLE FROM THE COUNTY RECORDER, EITHER WITH THE DEED FOR RECORDING, OR SEPARATELY; (II) PROVIDE THE PURCHASER/TITLE INSURANCE APPLICANT WITH A LEGIBLE COPY OF THE ILLEGAL LANGUAGE ON A SEPARATE PAGE IN THE TITLE ABSTRACT REPORT; (III) PROVIDE THE PURCHASER/TITLE INSURANCE APPLICANT WITH A COPY OF THE APPROPRIATE RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT PRIOR TO OR AT THE CLOSING OF TITLE;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02154-01-1 S. 1095 2
(IV) RECORD THE RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT, WHICH PURCHASER SHALL PAY THE APPROPRIATE FILING FEES, UNLESS THE PURCHASER/TITLE INSURANCE APPLICANT OBJECTS IN WRITING. (B) THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY LAWFUL RESTRICTIONS UNDER STATE AND FEDERAL HOUSING LAW. 2. THE RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT SHALL BE INDEXED IN THE SAME MANNER AS ANY PREVIOUSLY RECORDED DOCUMENT OR DOCUMENTS TO WHICH THE MODIFICATION DOCUMENT REFERS AND SHALL REFERENCE THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT BY BOOK AND PAGE OR INSTRUMENT NUMBER AND THE DATE OF RECORD- ING. 3. SUBJECT TO COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, AND RESTRICTIONS RECORDED AFTER THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT CONTAINING UNLAWFUL RESTRICTIONS, AND SUBJECT TO COVENANTS, CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS RECORDED AFTER THE RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT, THE RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION, ONCE RECORDED, SHALL BE DEEMED THE ONLY RESTRICTIONS HAVING EFFECT ON THE PROPERTY. 4. ANY PERSON HOLDING AN OWNERSHIP INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY THAT HE OR SHE BELIEVES IS SUBJECT TO AN UNLAWFULLY RESTRICTIVE COVENANT IN VIOLATION OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITING RESTRICTION BASED ON RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, FAMILIAL STATUS, MARITAL STATUS, DISABILITY, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SOURCE OF INCOME, OR ANCESTRY MAY RECORD A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. SUCH RECORDING SHALL INCLUDE A COMPLETE COPY OF THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT CONTAINING THE ILLEGAL LANGUAGE WITH THE ILLEGAL LANGUAGE STRICKEN AND SHALL BE SIGNED UNDER PENALTY OF LAW. 5. THE COUNTY RECORDER SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC FORMS FOR PREPARATION OF A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT. 6. IF THE HOLDER OF AN OWNERSHIP INTEREST IN PROPERTY CAUSES TO BE RECORDED A RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION DOCUMENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION WHICH CONTAINS LANGUAGE NOT AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION, ANY LIABILITY WHICH DERIVES FROM SUCH RECORDING SHALL BE THE SOLE RESPONSI- BILITY OF THE HOLDER OF THE OWNERSHIP INTEREST OF RECORD AND THE COUNTY RECORDER SHALL NOT INCUR ANY LIABILITY FOR RECORDING SUCH DOCUMENT. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however that effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.