Bill S5878-2013

Establishes a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means

Establishes a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means and for issuance of such orders ex parte by audio-visual means.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO RULES
  • Jan 8, 2014: returned to senate
  • Jan 8, 2014: died in assembly
  • Jun 21, 2013: referred to codes
  • Jun 21, 2013: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 21, 2013: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 21, 2013: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1587
  • Jun 18, 2013: REFERRED TO RULES

Votes

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5878                REVISED 6/26/13

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the judiciary law, in relation to establishing a pilot program for the filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection by electronic means and for issuance of such orders ex parte by audio-visual means and to amend the executive law, in relation to review and reports by the chief administrator of the courts

Purpose:

This bill would enact part of the New York Women's Agenda, which would break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender. New York State has a proud history and tradition of leading the nation in progressive ideals and reforms This is especially so with respect to women's rights in 1843, the women's suffrage movement was born at the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. From that moment in time and continuing through today, the state has been the home of female leaders and visionaries, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton who initiated the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements, to Audre Lorde, a leading African-American poet and essayist who gave voice to women's issues, and Gloria Steinem, the journalist, author and activist. These New Yorkers have served as role models for not only their generation but for every generation to come.

Over the years, New York has fallen behind in its role as a progressive leader on women's rights. Today, statistics clearly show that women in New York State are not treated equally to men.

The New York Women's Agenda will break down barriers that perpetuate discrimination and inequality based on gender. New York has served as a model for equality and fairness on several issues including women's rights. The New York Women's Agenda will return the State to its rightful place as a leader on women's equality.

Summary of Bills:

7) Pilot Program for Remote Petitioning of Temporary Orders of Protection

This bill would amend the Family Court Act and the Judiciary Law to allow for the development and establishment of a pilot program in family courts for the remote petitioning and issuance by audio-visual means of temporary orders of protection. It would also amend the Executive Law to require that the Chief Administrator of the Courts submit regular reports to the Governor and the Legislature on court practices, procedures and services with respect to the adequacy and appropriateness of its services for crime victims.

Existing Law:

This bill would impact existing protections that are available under the Executive Law. They would also impact existing provisions of law regarding orders of protection.

Statement in Support:

*Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order of Protection

Women face too many obstacles in securing protection from their abusers. For example some victims of domestic violence require immediate temporary orders of protection, but have, no means to travel to the appropriate family court. To protect victims of domestic violence,and ensure that they are able to secure much-needed orders of protection, this provision would allow the Office of Court Administration to develop a pilot program to allow victims to petition for temporary orders of protection remotely.

Budget Implications:

This bill has no budget implications for the State.

Effective Date:

This bill would take effect on April 1, 2014.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5878 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 18, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. YOUNG, SAVINO, LITTLE, RITCHIE, MARCHIONE, ROBACH, HANNON -- (at request of the Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the family court act and the judiciary law, in relation to establishing a pilot program for the filing of petitions for tempo- rary orders of protection by electronic means and for issuance of such orders ex parte by audio-visual means and to amend the executive law, in relation to review and reports by the chief administrator of the courts THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 153-c of the family court act, as added by chapter 416 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: S 153-c. Temporary order of protection. (A) Any person appearing at family court when the court is open requesting a temporary order of protection under any article of this act shall be entitled to file a petition without delay on the same day such person first appears at the family court, and a hearing on that request shall be held on the same day or the next day that the family court is open following the filing of such petition. (B) AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION, THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OF THE COURTS, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD OF THE COURTS, MAY PROMULGATE RULES TO ESTABLISH AND IMPLEMENT A PILOT PROGRAM FOR THE FILING OF PETITIONS FOR TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION BY ELECTRONIC MEANS AND FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH ORDERS EX PARTE BY AUDIO-VISUAL MEANS IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE LITIGANTS FOR WHOM ATTENDANCE AT COURT TO FILE FOR, AND OBTAIN, EMERGENCY RELIEF WOULD CONSTITUTE AN UNDUE HARDSHIP OR TO ACCOMMODATE LITIGANTS, FOR WHOM TRAVELING TO AND APPEARING IN THE COURTHOUSE TO OBTAIN EMERGENCY RELIEF, CREATES A RISK OF HARM TO SUCH LITIGANT. (1) DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS SECTION:
(I) "ELECTRONIC MEANS" MEANS ANY METHOD OF TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION BETWEEN COMPUTERS OR OTHER MACHINES DESIGNED FOR THE PURPOSE OF SENDING AND RECEIVING SUCH TRANSMISSIONS, AND WHICH ALLOWS THE RECIPIENT TO REPRODUCE THE INFORMATION TRANSMITTED IN A TANGIBLE MEDIUM OF EXPRESSION. (II) "INDEPENDENT AUDIO-VISUAL SYSTEM" MEANS AN ELECTRONIC SYSTEM FOR THE TRANSMISSION AND RECEIVING OF AUDIO AND VISUAL SIGNALS, ENCOMPASSING ENCODED SIGNALS, FREQUENCY DOMAIN MULTIPLEXING OR OTHER SUITABLE MEANS TO PRECLUDE THE UNAUTHORIZED RECEPTION AND DECODING OF THE SIGNALS BY COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE TELEVISION RECEIVERS, CHANNEL CONVERTERS, OR OTHER AVAILABLE RECEIVING DEVICES. (III) "ELECTRONIC APPEARANCE" MEANS AN APPEARANCE IN WHICH ONE OR MORE OF THE PARTIES ARE NOT PRESENT IN THE COURT, BUT IN WHICH, BY MEANS OF AN INDEPENDENT AUDIO-VISUAL SYSTEM, ALL OF THE PARTICIPANTS ARE SIMUL- TANEOUSLY ABLE TO SEE AND HEAR REPRODUCTIONS OF THE VOICES AND IMAGES OF THE JUDGE, COUNSEL, PARTIES, WITNESSES, IF ANY AND OTHER PARTICIPANTS. (2) DEVELOPMENT OF A PILOT PROGRAM. A PLAN FOR A PILOT PROGRAM PURSU- ANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEVELOPED BY THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR OF THE COURTS OR HIS OR HER DELEGATE IN CONSULTATION WITH ONE OR MORE LOCAL PROGRAMS PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, THE OFFICE FOR THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND ATTORNEYS WHO REPRE- SENT FAMILY OFFENSE PETITIONS. THE PLAN SHALL INCLUDE, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO: (I) IDENTIFICATION OF ONE OR MORE FAMILY JUSTICE CENTERS OR ORGANIZA- TIONS OR AGENCIES OR OTHER SITES OUTSIDE OF THE LOCAL FAMILY COURT THAT ARE EQUIPPED WITH, OR HAVE ACCESS TO, AN INDEPENDENT AUDIO-VISUAL SYSTEM AND ELECTRONIC MEANS FOR FILING DOCUMENTS THAT ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE EQUIPMENT IN THE LOCAL FAMILY COURT, WITH CONSIDERATION GIVEN TO THE LOCATION OF SUCH SITE OR SITES AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES; AND (II) IDENTIFICATION OF ONE OR MORE LICENSED AND CERTIFIED ORGANIZA- TIONS, AGENCIES OR ENTITIES WITH ADVOCATES FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WHO ARE TRAINED, AND AVAILABLE TO ASSIST PETITIONERS IN PREPAR- ING AND FILING PETITIONS FOR TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION AND IN THEIR ELECTRONIC APPEARANCES BEFORE THE FAMILY COURT TO OBTAIN SUCH ORDERS; AND (III) IDENTIFICATION OF THE EXISTING RESOURCES AVAILABLE IN LOCAL FAMILY COURTS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION AND OVERSIGHT OF THE PILOT PROGRAM; AND (IV) DELINEATION OF PROCEDURES FOR FILING OF THE PETITIONS AND DOCU- MENTS, IF ANY, BY ELECTRONIC MEANS, SWEARING IN THE PETITIONERS AND ANY WITNESSES, PREPARATION OF A VERBATIM TRANSCRIPTION OF TESTIMONY PRESENTED AND A RECORD OF EVIDENCE ADDUCED AND PROMPT TRANSMISSION OF ANY ORDERS ISSUED TO THE PETITIONERS; AND (V) A TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PILOT PROGRAM AND PLAN FOR INFORMING THE PUBLIC OF ITS AVAILABILITY; AND (VI) A DESCRIPTION OF DATA TO BE COLLECTED IN ORDER TO EVALUATE AND, IF NECESSARY, MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO THE PILOT PROGRAM. (3) FILING BY ELECTRONIC MEANS. IN CONJUNCTION WITH AN ELECTRONIC APPEARANCE UNDER THIS SECTION, PETITIONERS FOR EX PARTE TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION MAY, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF TRAINED ADVOCATES, COMMENCE THE PROCEEDINGS BY FILING PETITIONS BY ELECTRONIC MEANS. (I) A PETITIONER WHO SEEKS A TEMPORARY ORDER OF PROTECTION EX PARTE BY USE OF AN ELECTRONIC APPEARANCE MUST FILE A PETITION IN ADVANCE OF SUCH APPEARANCE AND MAY DO SO BY ELECTRONIC MEANS. THE PETITIONER SHALL SET FORTH THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH TRAVELING TO OR APPEARING IN THE COURT-
HOUSE WOULD CONSTITUTE AN UNDUE HARDSHIP, OR CREATE A RISK OF HARM TO THE PETITIONER. IN GRANTING OR DENYING THE RELIEF SOUGHT BY THE PETI- TIONER, THE COURT SHALL STATE THE NAMES OF ALL PARTICIPANTS, AND WHETHER IT IS GRANTING OR DENYING AN APPEARANCE BY ELECTRONIC MEANS AND THE BASIS FOR SUCH DETERMINATION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO COMPEL A PARTY TO FILE A PETITION OR OTHER DOCUMENT BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OR TO TESTIFY BY MEANS OF AN ELECTRONIC APPEARANCE. (II) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL AFFECT OR CHANGE ANY EXISTING LAWS GOVERNING THE SERVICE OF PROCESS, INCLUDING REQUIREMENTS FOR PERSONAL SERVICE, OR THE SEALING AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF COURT RECORDS IN FAMILY COURT PROCEEDINGS, OR ACCESS TO COURT RECORDS BY THE PARTIES TO SUCH PROCEEDINGS. (4) (I) ALL ELECTRONIC APPEARANCES BY PETITIONERS SEEKING TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION EX PARTE UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE STRICTLY VOLUNTARY AND THE CONSENT OF SUCH PETITIONERS SHALL BE GIVEN ON THE RECORD AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF EACH APPEARANCE. (II) APPEARANCES TAKEN THROUGH THE USE OF AN ELECTRONIC APPEARANCE UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE RECORDED AND PRESERVED FOR TRANSCRIPTION. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, IF ANY, REFERRED TO BY A PARTY OR WITNESS OR THE COURT MAY BE TRANSMITTED AND SUBMITTED AND INTRODUCED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS. S 2. Subdivision 2 of section 212 of the judiciary law is amended by adding a new paragraph (s) to read as follows: (S) HAVE THE POWER TO ESTABLISH PILOT PROGRAMS FOR THE FILING OF PETITIONS FOR TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION BY ELECTRONIC MEANS AND FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH ORDERS BY AUDIO-VISUAL MEANS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVI- SION (B) OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE-C OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT. THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR SHALL MAINTAIN AN UP-TO-DATE AND PUBLICLY-AVAIL- ABLE LISTING OF THE SITES, IF ANY, AT WHICH SUCH APPLICATIONS FOR EX PARTE TEMPORARY ORDERS OF PROTECTION MAY BE FILED, AND AT WHICH ELEC- TRONIC APPEARANCES IN SUPPORT OF SUCH APPLICATIONS MAY BE SOUGHT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH SECTION ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE-C OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT. IN DEVELOPING SUCH PILOT PROGRAM, THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR SHALL STRIVE FOR A PROGRAM THAT IS REGIONALLY DIVERSE, AND TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE AVAILABILITY OF PUBLIC TRANSPOR- TATION, POPULATION DENSITY AND THE AVAILABILITY OF FACILITIES FOR CONDUCTING SUCH PROGRAM. S 3. Section 648 of the executive law, as added by chapter 893 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: S 648. Review; report and implementation. 1. The chief administrator of the unified court system shall review court practices, procedures, services, regulations and laws to determine the adequacy and appropri- ateness of its services with respect to crime victims, including victims with special needs, particularly the elderly, disabled or victims of child abuse, domestic violence, SEX TRAFFICKING or sex-related offenses. Such review shall include reasonable opportunity for public comment and consultation with crime victims or their representatives, and may include public hearings. 2. After the review, and not later than two hundred seventy days after the effective date of this section, AND NO LATER THAN TWO HUNDRED SEVEN- TY DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOU- SAND THIRTEEN WHICH AMENDED THIS SECTION, AND EVERY FIVE YEARS THEREAFT- ER, the chief administrator of the unified court system shall submit a report to the governor and the legislature, setting forth the findings of the review, including a description of the services provided by the
components of the unified court system and recommendations for changes in its procedures, services, regulations and laws to improve its services to crime victims and to establish and implement fair treatment standards for crime victims. 3. Subject to the direction of the chief administrator, the components of the unified court system shall expeditiously implement the recommen- dations of its report. S 4. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi- sion, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by a court of compe- tent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its opera- tion to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the legislature that this act would have been enacted even if such invalid provisions had not been included herein. S 5. This act shall take effect April 1, 2014.

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