Bill Text: NY S03032 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended

Bill Title: Relates to a civil cause of action for human trafficking.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-01-27 - RECOMMIT, ENACTING CLAUSE STRICKEN [S03032 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S03032-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    February 1, 2019

        Introduced  by  Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services -- commit-
          tee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and  recom-
          mitted to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to a civil cause of
          action for human trafficking

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

     1    Section 1. Subdivision (c) of section 483-bb of  the  social  services
     2  law,  as  amended by chapter 189 of the laws of 2018, is amended to read
     3  as follows:
     4    (c) (i) An individual who is a victim of  the  conduct  prohibited  by
     5  section  230.33, 230.34, 230.34-a, 135.35 or 135.37 of the penal law may
     6  bring a civil  action  against  the  perpetrator  or  whoever  knowingly
     7  advances  or  profits  from,  or whoever should have known he or she was
     8  advancing or profiting from, an act  in  violation  of  section  230.33,
     9  230.34,  230.34-a,  135.35 or 135.37 of the penal law to recover actual,
    10  compensatory and punitive damages [and], injunctive relief, any combina-
    11  tion of those or any other appropriate relief,  as  well  as  reasonable
    12  attorney's fees.
    13    (ii) An action brought pursuant to this subdivision shall be commenced
    14  within seven years of the date on which the trafficking victim was freed
    15  from  the  trafficking  situation or, if the victim was a minor when the
    16  act of human trafficking against the victim occurred, within  ten  years
    17  after the date the victim attains the age of majority.
    18    (iii)  If  a  person entitled to sue is under a disability at the time
    19  the cause of action accrues so that it is  impossible  or  impracticable
    20  for  him  or  her to bring an action under this subdivision, the time of
    21  the disability is not part of the time limited for the  commencement  of
    22  the  action.  Disability will toll the running of the statute of limita-
    23  tions for this action.

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

        S. 3032--A                          2

     1    (A) Disability includes being a minor, lacking legal capacity to  make
     2  decisions, imprisonment, or other incapacity or incompetence.
     3    (B) The statute of limitations shall not run against a victim who is a
     4  minor or who lacks the legal competence to make decisions simply because
     5  a guardian ad litem has been appointed. A guardian ad litem's failure to
     6  bring a victim's action within the applicable limitation period will not
     7  prejudice  the victim's right to do so after his or her disability ceas-
     8  es.
     9    (C) The perpetrator is estopped from asserting a defense of the  stat-
    10  ute  of limitations when the expiration of the statute is due to conduct
    11  by such perpetrator inducing the victim  to  delay  the  filing  of  the
    12  action,  or  due  to threats made by the perpetrator causing duress upon
    13  the victim.
    14    (D) The suspension of the statute of limitations  due  to  disability,
    15  lack of knowledge, or estoppel applies to all other related claims aris-
    16  ing out of the trafficking situation.
    17    (E)  The running of the statute of limitations is postponed during the
    18  pendency of criminal proceedings against the victim.
    19    (iv) The running of the statute of limitations may be suspended  if  a
    20  person entitled to sue could not have reasonably discovered the cause of
    21  action  due  to  circumstances resulting from the trafficking situation,
    22  such as psychological trauma, cultural and linguistic isolation, and the
    23  inability to access services.
    24    (v) A prevailing victim may also be awarded reasonable attorney's fees
    25  and litigation costs including, but not limited to, expert witness  fees
    26  and expenses as part of the costs.
    27    (vi)  Restitution paid by the perpetrator to the victim shall be cred-
    28  ited against a judgment, award, or settlement obtained  pursuant  to  an
    29  action under this subdivision.
    30    (vii)  A  civil  action  filed  under this subdivision shall be stayed
    31  during the pendency of any criminal  action  arising  out  of  the  same
    32  occurrence in which the claimant is the victim. As used in this subdivi-
    33  sion, a "criminal action" includes investigation and prosecution, and is
    34  pending until a final adjudication in the trial court or dismissal.
    35    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.