Bill S7304-2013

Relates to when booking photographs taken after arrest of a person or the defendant shall be made publicly available

Relates to when booking photographs taken after arrest of a person or the defendant shall be made publicly available.

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  • May 9, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES

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BILL NUMBER:S7304

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law and the civil rights law, in relation to when booking photographs shall be made available

PURPOSE:

To prevent booking photographs, also known as "mug shots," from being made available to the public, with certain exceptions.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Amends Subdivision 3 of Section 160.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law, which permits a booking photograph and palmprints to be taken of an arrested person or defendant. The amendment to this section requires that a photograph taken pursuant to this subdivision may not be made publicly available during the pendency of the charge or charges brought with respect to the arrest. However, there are three exceptions.

The first exception is release to a person, agency or entity performing a criminal justice function, as defined in subdivision 10 of section 835 of the executive law; the second exception is release of the photograph pursuant to a court order directing the release of such photograph; and the third exception is release to the arrested person or defendant, upon his request.

Section 2. Amends Section 51 of the Civil Rights Law to correct a reference to Section 50 of the Civil Rights Law. This change is non-substantive.

Section 3. Contains the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

In recent years, booking photographs, or "mug shots" as they are commonly known, have become available on the Internet. The mug shots are often released by police departments to local newspapers and other media. Following the release of mug shots to the press, Internet website owners and operators search local newspapers for mug shots to post on their websites. These owners may also obtain the mug shots from filing requests for public records. These websites are often the first results when an individual is looked up on search engines.

It is important to note that mug shots are not proof of a conviction. Many of the individuals whose mug shots are on the Internet were not charged or have not been convicted. In 2012 in New York, 44% percent of individuals arrested were not convicted. However, because of the mug shots, they may be prevented from obtaining or keeping their jobs, and there could be other negative consequences as a result. Mug shot website owners have been taking advantage of these individuals by charging exorbitant fees for the removal of these photographs from their websites and this legislation would help to prevent such extortion from taking place.

This legislation would prohibit mug shots from becoming publicly available until conviction, with certain exceptions for criminal justice functions and compliance with court orders. A valid law enforcement purpose also includes use by defense attorneys, and allows for publication by newspapers to aid in the arrest or apprehension of wanted criminals. The mug shots are also available upon request to the arrested person.

Persons who use any image for purposes of advertising or trade without consent may, under existing law, be subject to civil suit.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The sixtieth day after the section shall become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7304 IN SENATE May 9, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law and the civil rights law, in relation to when booking photographs shall be made available THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 160.10 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 762 of the laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows: 3. Whenever fingerprints are required to be taken pursuant to subdivi- sion one or permitted to be taken pursuant to subdivision two, the photograph and palmprints of the arrested person or the defendant, as the case may be, may also be taken. DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE CHARGE OR CHARGES BROUGHT WITH RESPECT TO SUCH ARREST, SUMMONS OR APPEARANCE TICKET, A PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION MAY NOT BE MADE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE, BUT SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE (A) TO A PERSON, AGENCY OR ENTITY PERFORMING A CRIMINAL JUSTICE FUNCTION, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI- SION TEN OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW, UPON ITS REQUEST, FOR ANY SUCH FUNCTION, WHICH MAY WHEN APPROPRIATE INCLUDE PUBLIC RELEASE OF SUCH PHOTOGRAPH; (B) PURSUANT TO A COURT ORDER DIRECT- ING THE RELEASE OF SUCH PHOTOGRAPH; AND (C) TO THE ARRESTED PERSON OR DEFENDANT, UPON HIS OR HER REQUEST. S 2. Section 51 of the civil rights law, as amended by chapter 674 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows: S 51. Action for injunction and for damages. Any person whose name, portrait, picture or voice is used within this state for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade without the written consent first obtained as [above] provided IN SECTION FIFTY OF THIS ARTICLE may main- tain an equitable action in the supreme court of this state against the person, firm or corporation so using his name, portrait, picture or voice, to prevent and restrain the use thereof; and may also sue and recover damages for any injuries sustained by reason of such use and if the defendant shall have knowingly used such person's name, portrait, picture or voice in such manner as is forbidden or declared to be unlaw-
ful by section fifty of this article, the jury, in its discretion, may award exemplary damages. But nothing contained in this article shall be so construed as to prevent any person, firm or corporation from selling or otherwise transferring any material containing such name, portrait, picture or voice in whatever medium to any user of such name, portrait, picture or voice, or to any third party for sale or transfer directly or indirectly to such a user, for use in a manner lawful under this arti- cle; nothing contained in this article shall be so construed as to prevent any person, firm or corporation, practicing the profession of photography, from exhibiting in or about his or its establishment speci- mens of the work of such establishment, unless the same is continued by such person, firm or corporation after written notice objecting thereto has been given by the person portrayed; and nothing contained in this article shall be so construed as to prevent any person, firm or corpo- ration from using the name, portrait, picture or voice of any manufac- turer or dealer in connection with the goods, wares and merchandise manufactured, produced or dealt in by him which he has sold or disposed of with such name, portrait, picture or voice used in connection there- with; or from using the name, portrait, picture or voice of any author, composer or artist in connection with his literary, musical or artistic productions which he has sold or disposed of with such name, portrait, picture or voice used in connection therewith. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the copyright owner of a sound recording from disposing of, dealing in, licensing or selling that sound recording to any party, if the right to dispose of, deal in, license or sell such sound recording has been conferred by contract or other written document by such living person or the holder of such right. Nothing contained in the foregoing sentence shall be deemed to abrogate or otherwise limit any rights or remedies otherwise conferred by federal law or state law. S 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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