Bill S6342-2013

Relates to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child

Relates to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child.

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  • Jan 15, 2014: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6342

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the social services law, in relation to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child

PURPOSE:

This bill reclassifies excessive corporal punishment of a child as abuse, rather than neglect and thus, subjects more child protective services cases to further scrutiny to ensue the safety of New York's children.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: adds excessive corporal punishment to the definition of abuse in section 1012 of the family court act.

Section 2: removes excessive corporal punishment from the definition of neglect in section 1012 of the family court act.

Section 3: removes excessive corporal punishment from the definition of neglect from subparagraph (B) of paragraph (i) of subdivision 4-a of section 371 of the social services law

Section 4: adds a new paragraph (iv) to subdivision 4-b of section 371 of the social services law, defining excessive corporal punishment as abuse.

Section 5: sets the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Under current law, reports of child abuse are classified as either abuse or neglect - with cases of abuse receiving stricter scrutiny, more in-depth investigations and carrying stronger penalties than cases of neglect. This bill seeks to reclassify cases that involve excessive corporal punishment as abuse, rather than neglect. By reclassifying excessive corporal punishment - which can often involve serious injury to the child - as abuse, Child Protective Services will be able to more thoroughly investigate certain cases of serious harm to young children.

Under New York State's current legal statutes, a report of a child who is violently, senselessly and/or repeatedly hit by a legal guardian, with bruises left behind in the wake of each strike, may still be classified as neglect. Officials who work in the fields of child advocacy, child protection, parents' rights and law enforcement have long been clamoring for a change to this antiquated legal definition.

There have been numerous cases, including that of Eaih Brooks and Abdifatah Mohamud from Erie County, where reports of excessive corporal Punishment or abuse were made by either family members or those mandated to report abuse and maltreatment. Unfortunately, due to a gap in state law, many of these cases do not undergo the strictest of scrutiny as they are classified as neglect cases. Tragically, in

both Eain's case and Abdifatah's case, these children were later killed by their abuser.

By reclassifying excessive corporal punishment as abuse, New York State law will keep pace with at least 33 other states who currently classify excessive corporal punishment as abuse. Furthermore, Child Protective Services and law enforcement officials will be better geared to investigate reports of abuse and protect children like Ecin and Abdifatah throughout New York State.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: :

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 6342 A. 8428 S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y January 15, 2014 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES -- read once and referred to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the family court act and the social services law, in relation to the infliction of excessive corporal punishment on a child THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (iii) of subdivision (e) of section 1012 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 320 of the laws of 2006, is amended and a new paragraph (iv) is added to read as follows: (iii) commits, or allows to be committed an offense against such child defined in article one hundred thirty of the penal law; allows, permits or encourages such child to engage in any act described in sections 230.25, 230.30 and 230.32 of the penal law; commits any of the acts described in sections 255.25, 255.26 and 255.27 of the penal law; or allows such child to engage in acts or conduct described in article two hundred sixty-three of the penal law provided, however, that (a) the corroboration requirements contained in the penal law and (b) the age requirement for the application of article two hundred sixty-three of such law shall not apply to proceedings under this article[.], OR (IV) INFLICTS OR ALLOWS TO BE INFLICTED EXCESSIVE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT UPON SUCH CHILD. S 2. Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (i) of subdivision (f) of section 1012 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 984 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: (B) in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or a substan- tial risk thereof[, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment]; or by misusing a drug or drugs; or by misusing alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions; or by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the
court; provided, however, that where the respondent is voluntarily and regularly participating in a rehabilitative program, evidence that the respondent has repeatedly misused a drug or drugs or alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions shall not estab- lish that the child is a neglected child in the absence of evidence establishing that the child's physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as set forth in paragraph (i) of this subdivision; or S 3. Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (i) of subdivision 4-a of section 371 of the social services law, as amended by chapter 984 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: (B) in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or a substan- tial risk thereof[, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment]; or by misusing a drug or drugs; or by misusing alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions; or by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court; provided, however, that where the respondent is voluntarily and regularly participating in a rehabilitative program, evidence that the respondent has repeatedly misused a drug or drugs or alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions shall not estab- lish that the child is a neglected child in the absence of evidence establishing that the child's physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as set forth in paragraph (i) of this subdivision; or S 4. Paragraph (iii) of subdivision 4-b of section 371 of the social services law, as added by chapter 782 of the laws of 1971, is amended and a new paragraph (iv) is added to read as follows: (iii) commits, or allows to be committed, an act of sexual abuse against such child as defined in the penal law[.], OR (IV) INFLICTS OR ALLOWS TO BE INFLICTED EXCESSIVE CORPORAL PUNISHMENT UPON SUCH CHILD. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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