Expands instances when a person may use physical force to protect his or her dwelling to include areas surrounding such dwelling; includes common areas owned by a cooperative or condo association.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to justification for the use of physical force
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill amends §35.15 of the Penal Law, authorizing the use of deadly physical force on the surrounding grounds of one's residence.
JUSTIFICATION: The Penal Law strictly limits those instances which justify the use of physical force by non-police personnel. In short, §35.15 of the Penal Law requires an individual faced with deadly physical assault to retreat, if a safe retreat exists. A crime victim is permitted to stand his ground against an assault only if in his own dwelling and he is not the initial aggressor. A crime victim must make the split-second decision if a safe retreat does or does not exist. Clearly, present statute does not favor the crime victim.
Prior to the recodification of the Penal Law (1967), a crime victim had an absolute right to self-defense. "To avoid the felonious aggression against his person a crime victim was justified in standing his ground and, if necessary, destroying the person making the felonious assault. People v. Liquori. 284 NY 309,317 (1940).
The amended version includes common areas of condominiums and co-operative apartment buildings.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 1995-96: Assembly Codes Cmte. 1997-98: Assembly Codes Cmte. 1999-00: Assembly Codes Cmte. 2001-02: Assembly Codes Cmte. 2003-04: Senate Codes Cmte. 2005-06: Senate Codes Cmte. 2009-10: Senate Codes Cmte.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4389 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 4, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to justification for the use of physical force THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 35.15 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 511 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: (i) in his or her dwelling OR ON SURROUNDING GROUNDS and not the initial aggressor. SURROUNDING GROUNDS IS DEFINED, FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH, AS REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE OWNER OF THE DWELLING OR IN ANY COMMON AREAS OWNED BY A COOPERATIVE OR CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION; or S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06632-01-1