Sunday, November 8, 2009


From The Empire Justice Center web site:

"Despite the well-publicized legislative challenges of last summer, a great many bills addressing domestic violence and other issues of interest or concern to families were, ultimately, enacted. The summaries below include much of the new legislation that was passed by the New York legislature and signed into law by Governor Paterson last session:

1.Employment Discrimination [A.755-A/ S.958-B]: Adds status as a “victim of domestic violence or stalking” to the existing classes of person against whom employment discrimination is prohibited under New York’s Human Rights Law in Executive Law §§296, 292. Of note, under the Governor’s Omnibus DV Program Bill (below), the Division of Human Rights staff will now receive training in order to facilitate implementation of this new anti-discrimination law. This new law became effective on July 7, 2009. Chapter Number 80.

2.Governor Paterson’s Omnibus Domestic Violence Program Bill [A.9017/S.55306 and S.5031-A]: This law, arguably the most comprehensive since the passage of the landmark 1994 Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act, contains many long-awaited and important criminal and civil components including:

a.Mandatory domestic violence training for both new and veteran lawyers for children under Family Court Act §249-b (effective December 15, 2009);

b.Addition of four (4) enumerated sexual assault-based family offenses (Sexual Misconduct, Forcible Touching, Sexual Abuse 3rd and 2nd) to the Family Court Act §§812,821 and the Criminal Procedure Law §530.11 (effective December 15, 2009);

c.New requirement under Domestic Relations Law §240 that courts addressing custody and visitation issues must now state on the record how the findings, facts, and circumstances factored into their best interests determination in cases involving domestic violence (effective December 15, 2009);

d.A report of a domestic violence incident involving a person known by the law enforcement officer as a person under supervision of the parole or probation supervision shall be forwarded to the agency as soon as practicable (effective January 14, 2010);

e.Multiple provisions regarding unsealing of records involving criminal convictions for Harassment in the 2nd Degree as against a member of the same “family or household” (effective January 14, 2010);

f.Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law §§provisions related to issuance of orders of protection during the time period defendant was incarcerated (effective December 15, 2009 ) ; and

g.Training for the Division of Human Rights staff to facilitate implementation of the 2009 employment discrimination against domestic violence and stalking victims law (see above) (effective December 15, 2009) .

This legislation was signed by the Governor on September 16, 2009 under Chapter Number 47b."

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