Prohibits the release of victim information by police in stalking offenses.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to publication of victims' personal information in stalking offenses
PURPOSE: To require all police maintained reports and records related to stalking offenses be kept confidential.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. amends the Public Officers Law by adding a new section (66-b). All reports and records relating to any stalking offense shall not be disclosed to the public. Authorities shall withhold from public disclosure the name, address and all other personal information relating to the victim of the stalking offense.
Section 2. Provides that this act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: Stalking is an offense whereby an individual intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person. Due to the sensitive nature of these crimes, special attention must be paid to privacy and disclosure. Under current law, police reports are considered public information. This may be dangerous for stalking victims as personal information may even be accessed by their accused stalker.
Current law allows police authorities to release information of stalking victims to the public and can show up in a police blotter. Personal information of a victim can be found and used and this may threaten the victims safety. Crimes of stalking are horrifying for victims. It is frightening to be a victim of stalking and protecting victims personal information is one essential way to assure that victims are being protected.
This bill will prohibit police from releasing a victim's personal information relating to a stalking offenses. Under this legislation, police authorities will not be permitted to disclose information relating to the victim of a stalking offense. Information such as, the victims name, address, and all other personal information will no longer be open to public inspection.
Stalking victims are fearful that there personal information is made available for anyone to view and can be used against them. This bill will protect the safety of stalking victims by protecting their personal information.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act Shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5162 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to publication of victims' personal information in stalking offenses THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public officers law is amended by adding a new section 66-b to read as follows: S 66-B. REPORTS RELATED TO STALKING OFFENSES KEPT BY POLICE AUTHORI- TIES. ALL REPORTS AND RECORDS RELATING TO ANY STALKING OFFENSE, AS DEFINED IN SECTIONS 120.45, 120.50, 120.55 AND 120.60 OF THE PENAL LAW, KEPT OR MAINTAINED BY THE STATE POLICE OR BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OR FORCE OF ANY COUNTY, CITY, TOWN, VILLAGE OR OTHER DISTRICT OF THE STATE, SHALL NOT BE OPEN TO PUBLIC INSPECTION. SUCH POLICE AUTHORITIES SHALL WITHHOLD FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE THE NAME, ADDRESS AND ALL OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION RELATING TO THE VICTIM OF THE STALKING OFFENSE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08458-01-1