Provides for the inspection of family court proceedings records when a defendant who is the subject of such record is charged with a sex offense.
Ayes (59): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (4): Hassell-Thomps, Montgomery, Parker, Perkins
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act, in relation to the inspection of family court proceedings records when a defendant who is the subject of such records is charged with a sex offense
PURPOSE: This bill will allow the inspection of family court proceedings records when a defendant who is the subject of such records is charged with a sex offense.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - Amends Section 166 of the family court act.
Section 2 - Effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: In March of 2013, a 29 year man required to wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of his release from jail on child pornography charges, brought in federal Court, disabled the device, and traveled to a local mall in a Syracuse suburb, where he abducted a woman and ten year old child. He raped the ten-year old and then murdered the woman. During the investigation of this heinous crime it was discovered that the perpetrator had a sealed family Court record related to a previous sexual offense charge. Had those records been unsealed and reviewed at the time the child pornography charges were brought, this man may not have been granted the conditional release, and this tragic crime could have been prevented. By granting a Family Court officer the authority to review sealed records to determine if that record pertains to a sexual offense, and promptly provide them to a Court and/or prosecutor, future catastrophic events such as this could be prevented. However, the bill also continues to afford protections to juveniles for offenses which are not sexual offenses by requiring that those records continue to remain sealed, unless released after a hearing as current law allows.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4792 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 24, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. DeFRANCISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the family court act, in relation to the inspection of family court proceedings records when a defendant who is the subject of such records is charged with a sex offense THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 166 of the family court act is amended to read as follows: S 166. Privacy of records. 1. The records of any proceeding in the family court shall not be open to indiscriminate public inspection. However, the court in its discretion in any case may permit the inspection of any papers or records. Any duly authorized agency, associ- ation, society or institution to which a child is committed may cause an inspection of the record of investigation to be had and may in the discretion of the court obtain a copy of the whole or part of such record. 2. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, IN ANY CRIMINAL PROCEEDING IN WHICH THE DEFENDANT IS CHARGED WITH A SEX OFFENSE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OR THREE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-EIGHT-A OF THE CORRECTION LAW, AND SUCH DEFENDANT IS THE SUBJECT OF RECORDS OF A PRIOR PROCEEDING IN THE FAMILY COURT WHICH ARE NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC INSPECTION, THE FAMILY COURT SHALL, UPON REQUEST BY THE PROSECUTOR IN SUCH CRIMINAL PROCEEDING OR THE COURT WITH JURIS- DICTION OVER SUCH CRIMINAL PROCEEDING, INSPECT THE RECORDS OF SUCH PRIOR FAMILY COURT PROCEEDING. IF THE FAMILY COURT FINDS, AFTER INSPECTION, THAT SUCH RECORDS SHOW A SEX OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED BY SUCH DEFENDANT, THEN THE COURT SHALL MAKE SUCH RECORDS AVAILABLE TO THE PROSECUTOR, COURT AND ATTORNEY FOR THE DEFENDANT IN SUCH CRIMINAL PROCEEDING. IF THE FAMILY COURT FINDS THAT NO SEX OFFENSE WAS COMMITTED BY SUCH DEFENDANT, THEN SUCH RECORDS SHALL REMAIN CLOSED TO PUBLIC INSPECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10528-01-3