Relates to criminal history record searches and open warrants and when such warrants shall be excluded from reports.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to criminal history record searches and open warrants
PURPOSE: This bill will create a procedure to remove inaccurate information from an individual's permanent criminal record as maintained by the Division Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) as it relates to warrants issued as part of a criminal proceeding.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new section 845-c of the executive law creating a process whereby DCJS will exclude a warrant. that has not been recalled from a person's criminal history records where there has been a new court proceeding reported on the case but no warrant has been recalled. This section will not apply to criminal justice history records available to state agencies with access to the DCJS data base under. section 837(6) of the Executive Law or to law enforcement agencies, but will affect. criminal history background checks for civil purposes.
Section 2 provides an effective date.
EXISTING LAW: Under Subsection six of Executive Law § 837, the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is required to establish a repository to maintain a record of all arrests and prosecutions in New York State, creating an individual's rap sheet. The registry's data includes a record of all warrants issued as part of a criminal proceeding. Once these warrants are vacated by the court, this information should then be sent. to DCJS and recorded in the individual's rap sheet.
JUSTIFICATION: Due to failures in communication among the various criminal justice agencies, the process outlined in the Executive Law is not. always followed, resulting in many individuals having rap sheets that. list warrants as active that have actually been recalled. These mistakes can cause an individual to be denied employment, housing or. public benefits for which they are eligible.
Currently, in order to correct warrant-related mistakes of this sort, an individual must return to the court where his or her case was heard and ask the clerk of the court to forward information regarding the vacated warrant. to DCJS so that this information may be correctly reflected on the individual's criminal record. An individual must follow this process even when it is clear from the criminal record that further. proceedings occurred and that the warrant in question must have been previously cleared.
This process becomes more complex, or even impossible, where the phantom warrant involves an old case. Under the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule issued by the Office of Court Administration (OCA), courts are ordered to destroy records of all returned warrants within five years of the date of return or recall. Court case files, which may also contain records concerning warrants, are also scheduled to be destroyed after a period of time. This period can be as short a six years where the case was terminated in favor of the defendant or resulted in a violation disposition. Even records of cases that ended in a felony conviction are only retained for 25 years before they are
destroyed. As a result, once the courts no longer have any record of these warrants, these persons have no opportunity to have this inaccurate information removed from their record.
The proposed amendment provides a simple mechanism to have incorrect, outdated warrant information removed from criminal history records released for civil background checks. It will not affect the data seen by qualified state agencies, including the courts, or by law enforcement.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:; A10858-A referred to codes in 2007 and 2008. A.3665-A was referred to codes in 2009 and 2010. A.6473 was referred to codes in 2011 and 2012.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This shall take effect January 1, 2015.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3255--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 31, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to criminal history record searches and open warrants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 845-c to read as follows: S 845-C. CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SEARCHES; OPEN WARRANTS. 1. WHEN A CRIMINAL RECORD MAINTAINED BY THE DIVISION, PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE, CONTAINS A WARRANT THAT HAS NOT BEEN RECALLED AND THE DIVISION HAS SUBSEQUENTLY RECEIVED A REPORT OF A NEW COURT PROCEEDING ON THE CASE THAT CONTAINS THE WARRANT BUT NO REPORT THAT THE WARRANT HAS BEEN RECALLED, ALL REFER- ENCES TO SUCH A WARRANT CONTAINED IN THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD SHALL BE EXCLUDED FROM SUCH REPORT. 2. THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION (A) PROVIDED BY THE DIVISION TO QUALIFIED AGENCIES PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN OF THIS ARTICLE OR TO FEDERAL OR STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE PURPOSES; (B) PREPARED SOLELY FOR A BONA FIDE RESEARCH PURPOSE; OR (C) PREPARED FOR THE INTERNAL RECORDKEEPING OR CASE MANAGEMENT PURPOSES OF THE DIVISION. S 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06009-03-3