Bill Text: NY S00425 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Exempts certain interested parties or people from civil arrest while going to, remaining at, or returning from the place of such court proceeding.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 25-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-11 - PRINT NUMBER 425A [S00425 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S00425-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         425--A

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                       (Prefiled)

                                     January 9, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced   by  Sens.  HOYLMAN,  BENJAMIN,  BIAGGI,  COMRIE,  GIANARIS,
          GOUNARDES, JACKSON, KAPLAN, KAVANAGH, KRUEGER, LIU, MONTGOMERY, MYRIE,
          PARKER, PERSAUD, RAMOS, RIVERA, SALAZAR, SEPULVEDA, SERRANO, STAVISKY,
          THOMAS -- read twice and ordered  printed,  and  when  printed  to  be
          committed  to  the  Committee  on  Codes -- committee discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
          tee

        AN  ACT to amend the civil rights law and the judiciary law, in relation
          to protecting certain interested parties or people from  civil  arrest
          while  going  to,  remaining  at,  or returning from the place of such
          court proceeding

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  This  act shall be known and may be cited as the "protect
     2  our courts act".
     3    § 2. The civil rights law is amended by adding a  new  section  28  to
     4  read as follows:
     5    §  28.  Civil  arrest; certain locations. 1. A person duly and in good
     6  faith attending a court proceeding in which such person is  a  party  or
     7  potential  witness, or a family or household member is a party or poten-
     8  tial witness, is privileged from civil arrest while going to,  remaining
     9  at,  and returning from, the place of such court proceeding, unless such
    10  civil arrest is supported  by  a  judicial  warrant  or  judicial  order
    11  authorizing such civil arrest.
    12    2. It is a contempt of the court and false imprisonment for any person
    13  to willfully violate subdivision one of this section, or an order of the
    14  court issued pursuant to section four-a of the judiciary law, by execut-
    15  ing  an  arrest prohibited by subdivision one of this section or section
    16  four-a of the judiciary law, or willfully assisting an arrest prohibited
    17  by subdivision one of this section or section four-a  of  the  judiciary

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05356-08-9

        S. 425--A                           2

     1  law;  provided,  however,  that nothing in this subdivision shall affect
     2  any right or defense of any person, police  officer,  peace  officer  or
     3  public  officer pursuant to article thirty-five of the penal law, or any
     4  unified court system personnel acting lawfully pursuant to their duty to
     5  maintain safety and order in the courts.
     6    3. Regardless of whether a proceeding for contempt of the court pursu-
     7  ant to subdivision two of this section has been initiated:
     8    (a)  a person described in subdivision one of this section may bring a
     9  civil action for appropriate equitable and declaratory  relief  if  such
    10  person has reasonable cause to believe a violation of subdivision one of
    11  this  section,  as  described  in  subdivision two of this section, or a
    12  violation of section four-a of the judiciary law, has  occurred  or  may
    13  occur; and
    14    (b)  the  attorney general may bring a civil action in the name of the
    15  people of the state of New York  to  obtain  appropriate  equitable  and
    16  declaratory  relief  if  the  attorney  general  has reasonable cause to
    17  believe that  a  violation  of  subdivision  one  of  this  section,  as
    18  described  in subdivision two of this section, or a violation of section
    19  four-a of the judiciary law, has occurred or may occur.
    20    4. In any successful action pursuant  to  subdivision  three  of  this
    21  section,  a  plaintiff  or  petitioner  may recover costs and reasonable
    22  attorney's fees.
    23    5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to narrow, or in any way
    24  lessen, any common law or other right or privilege of  a  person  privi-
    25  leged from arrest pursuant to this article or otherwise.
    26    6. As used in this section:
    27    (a) "civil arrest" shall mean an arrest that is not:
    28    (i) for the sole or primary purpose of preparing the person subject to
    29  such  arrest  for  criminal prosecution, for an alleged violation of the
    30  criminal law of:
    31    (A) this state, or another state, for which a sentence of  a  term  of
    32  imprisonment is authorized by law; or
    33    (B)  the United States, for which a sentence of a term of imprisonment
    34  is authorized by law, and for which  federal  law  requires  an  initial
    35  appearance  before a federal judge, federal magistrate or other judicial
    36  officer, pursuant to the federal rules of criminal procedure that govern
    37  initial appearances; or
    38    (ii) for contempt of the court in which the court proceeding is taking
    39  place or will be taking place;
    40    (b) "court proceeding" shall mean any appearance in a  court  of  this
    41  state  before  a  judge  or justice or judicial magistrate of this state
    42  ordered or scheduled by such judge or justice or judicial magistrate, or
    43  the filing of papers designed to initiate such an  appearance  before  a
    44  judge or justice or judicial magistrate of this state;
    45    (c)  "family  or  household  member" shall have the same meaning as in
    46  subdivision two of section  four  hundred  fifty-nine-a  of  the  social
    47  services law; and
    48    (d) "judicial warrant or judicial order authorizing such civil arrest"
    49  means  an arrest warrant or other judicial order, issued by a magistrate
    50  sitting in the judicial branch of a local or state government or of  the
    51  federal  government,  authorizing a civil arrest and issued by the court
    52  in which proceedings following such arrest will be heard and determined.
    53    7. No action or proceeding may be commenced pursuant to  this  section
    54  against  the  unified court system or any unified court system personnel
    55  acting lawfully pursuant to their duty to maintain safety and  order  in
    56  the courts.

        S. 425--A                           3

     1    §  3. The judiciary law is amended by adding a new section 4-a to read
     2  as follows:
     3    §  4-a. Certain powers of the courts regarding civil arrests. In order
     4  to maintain access to the court and open judicial  proceedings  for  all
     5  persons  in  their  individual capacity and to prevent interference with
     6  the needs of judicial administration, a court has  the  power  to  issue
     7  appropriate  judicial orders to protect the privilege from civil arrest,
     8  in accordance with article three of the civil rights law.
     9    § 4. Subdivision 2 of section 212 of the judiciary law is  amended  by
    10  adding a new paragraph (aa) to read as follows:
    11    (aa)  (i)  In  order to maintain access to the court and open judicial
    12  proceedings for all persons in their individual capacity and to  prevent
    13  interference  with the needs of judicial administration, consistent with
    14  section twenty-eight of the civil rights law and section four-a of  this
    15  chapter, shall promulgate rules to ensure the following:
    16    (A)  any  representative of a law enforcement agency who, while acting
    17  in an official capacity, enters a New York state courthouse intending to
    18  observe an individual or take an individual into custody shall  identify
    19  himself  or  herself  to  uniformed court personnel and state his or her
    20  specific law enforcement purpose and the proposed enforcement action  to
    21  be  taken; any such representative who has a warrant or order concerning
    22  such intended arrest shall provide a copy of such warrant  or  order  to
    23  such court personnel;
    24    (B)  any  such  warrant  or order concerning such intended enforcement
    25  action shall be promptly reviewed by a judge or court attorney;
    26    (C) information about any such proposed enforcement  action  shall  be
    27  transmitted  to  and  reviewed  by  appropriate  court system personnel,
    28  including the judge presiding over any case  involving  the  subject  of
    29  that enforcement action;
    30    (D)  except in extraordinary circumstances, no arrest may be made by a
    31  representative of a law enforcement agency in a courtroom  absent  leave
    32  of the court;
    33    (E)  no  civil arrest shall be executed inside a New York state court-
    34  house except pursuant to a judicial warrant or judicial order  authoriz-
    35  ing the arrest;
    36    (F)  an  unusual  occurrence  report  shall  be  filed by court system
    37  personnel for every enforcement  action  taken  inside  the  courthouse,
    38  including  the observation of court proceedings by a representative of a
    39  law enforcement agency acting in such person's official capacity; and
    40    (G) copies of all judicial warrants and judicial orders authorizing an
    41  arrest and provided to court personnel pursuant to  this  paragraph  and
    42  the rules promulgated thereunder shall be maintained by the chief admin-
    43  istrator  in a central record repository, appropriately indexed or filed
    44  alphabetically by name.
    45    (ii) The chief administrator shall publish on the unified court system
    46  website and provide to the governor, the speaker of the assembly and the
    47  temporary president of the senate an annual report compiling statistics,
    48  aggregated by county, setting forth the date each such judicial  warrant
    49  or  judicial  order  was  signed,  the judge and court which issued such
    50  judicial warrant or judicial order and the location  of  such  court  as
    51  shown by such document, the date such judicial warrant or judicial order
    52  was  presented to counsel for the unified court system, a description of
    53  the type of judicial warrant or judicial order and, to the extent  known
    54  to  court  personnel,  whether or not an arrest occurred with respect to
    55  such warrant and the date and specific location of such arrest.

        S. 425--A                           4

     1    § 5. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
     2  sion, section or part of this act shall be  adjudged  by  any  court  of
     3  competent  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
     4  impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
     5  its  operation  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
     6  or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
     7  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
     8  the legislature that this act would  have  been  enacted  even  if  such
     9  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
    10    § 6. This act shall take effect immediately.
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