A07189 Summary:

BILL NO    A07189 

SAME AS    SAME AS S00003

SPONSOR    Dinowitz

COSPNSR    Otis, Bronson, Abinanti, Skoufis, Gottfried, Paulin, Galef,
           Rosenthal, Seawright, Kaminsky, Stec, Silver, Kavanagh

MLTSPNSR   Hooper, Kolb, Lupinacci, Simon

Amd SS297 & 296-a, Exec L

Relates to the provision of attorney's fees in cases of housing, employment or
credit discrimination.
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A07189 Actions:

BILL NO    A07189 

04/27/2015 referred to governmental operations
05/04/2015 reported referred to codes
05/04/2015 reported 
05/07/2015 advanced to third reading cal.335
05/13/2015 substituted by s3
           S00003  AMEND=  LITTLE
           01/07/2015 REFERRED TO RULES
           01/12/2015 ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.3
           01/12/2015 PASSED SENATE
           01/12/2015 DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
           01/12/2015 referred to governmental operations
           05/13/2015 substituted for a7189
           05/13/2015 ordered to third reading cal.335
           06/02/2015 passed assembly
           06/02/2015 returned to senate
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A07189 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         7189

                              2015-2016 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                    April 27, 2015
                                      ___________

       Introduced by M. of A. DINOWITZ -- read once and referred to the Commit-
         tee on Governmental Operations

       AN  ACT  to  amend  the  executive  law, in relation to the provision of
         attorney's fees in cases of housing, employment  or  credit  discrimi-
         nation;  to  amend  the  executive law, in relation to the awarding of
         reasonable attorney's fees

         THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section  1.  Subdivision  10  of  section 297 of the executive law, as
    2  added by section 17 of part D of chapter 405 of the  laws  of  1999,  is
    3  amended to read as follows:
    4    10.  With  respect  to ALL cases of HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AND housing
    5  RELATED CREDIT discrimination [only] in an action or proceeding  at  law
    6  under  this section or section two hundred ninety-eight of this article,
    7  the commissioner or the court may in  its  discretion  award  reasonable
    8  attorney's fees to any prevailing or substantially prevailing party; AND
    9  WITH RESPECT TO A CLAIM OF EMPLOYMENT OR CREDIT DISCRIMINATION WHERE SEX
   10  IS  A  BASIS  OF  SUCH DISCRIMINATION, IN AN ACTION OR PROCEEDING AT LAW
   11  UNDER THIS SECTION OR SECTION TWO HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT OF THIS  ARTICLE,
   12  THE  COMMISSIONER  OR  THE  COURT MAY IN ITS DISCRETION AWARD REASONABLE
   13  ATTORNEY'S FEES ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH  CLAIM  TO  ANY  PREVAILING  PARTY;
   14  provided, however, that a prevailing respondent or defendant in order to
   15  recover  such  reasonable  attorney's fees must make a motion requesting
   16  such fees and show that the action or proceeding brought was  frivolous;
   17  and  further  provided  that  in a proceeding brought in the division of
   18  human rights, the commissioner may only award attorney's fees as part of
   19  a final order after a public hearing held pursuant to  subdivision  four
   20  of  this  section.  In  no  case shall attorney's fees be awarded to the
   21  division, nor shall the division be liable to a prevailing  or  substan-
   22  tially  prevailing  party for attorney's fees, except in a case in which
   23  the division is a party to the action or the  proceeding  in  the  divi-

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD07115-01-5
       A. 7189                             2

    1  sion's  capacity as an employer.  IN CASES OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION,
    2  A RESPONDENT SHALL ONLY BE LIABLE FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES UNDER THIS  SUBDI-
    3  VISION  IF  THE RESPONDENT HAS BEEN FOUND LIABLE FOR HAVING COMMITTED AN
    4  UNLAWFUL  DISCRIMINATORY  PRACTICE.  In  order  to  find  the  action or
    5  proceeding to be frivolous, the court or the commissioner must  find  in
    6  writing one or more of the following:
    7    (a)  the  action or proceeding was commenced, used or continued in bad
    8  faith, solely to delay or prolong the resolution of the litigation or to
    9  harass or maliciously injure another; or
   10    (b) the action or proceeding was commenced or continued in  bad  faith
   11  without  any reasonable basis and could not be supported by a good faith
   12  argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.  If
   13  the  action  or  proceeding  was promptly discontinued when the party or
   14  attorney learned or should have learned that the  action  or  proceeding
   15  lacked such a reasonable basis, the court may find that the party or the
   16  attorney did not act in bad faith.
   17    S  2.  Paragraph  c of subdivision 7 of section 296-a of the executive
   18  law, as amended by chapter 632 of the laws of 1976, is amended  to  read
   19  as follows:
   20    c.  If  the  superintendent finds that a violation of this section has
   21  occurred, the superintendent shall issue an order which shall do one  or
   22  more of the following:
   23    (1)  impose a fine in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars for
   24  each violation, to be paid to the people of the state of New York;
   25    (2) award  compensatory  damages  to  the  person  aggrieved  by  such
   26  violation;
   27    (3)  FOR  A  CLAIM OF SEX DISCRIMINATION ONLY, AWARD REASONABLE ATTOR-
   28  NEY'S FEES ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH CLAIM TO ANY PREVAILING PARTY; PROVIDED,
   29  HOWEVER, THAT A PREVAILING RESPONDENT OR DEFENDANT IN ORDER  TO  RECOVER
   30  SUCH  REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES MUST MAKE A MOTION REQUESTING SUCH FEES
   31  AND SHOW THAT THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING BROUGHT WAS FRIVOLOUS. IN NO CASE
   32  SHALL ATTORNEY'S FEES BE  AWARDED  TO  THE  DEPARTMENT,  NOR  SHALL  THE
   33  DEPARTMENT BE LIABLE TO A PREVAILING PARTY FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES. IN ORDER
   34  TO  FIND  THE  ACTION  OR PROCEEDING TO BE FRIVOLOUS, THE SUPERINTENDENT
   35  MUST FIND IN WRITING ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
   36    (A) THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING WAS COMMENCED, USED OR CONTINUED  IN  BAD
   37  FAITH, SOLELY TO DELAY OR PROLONG THE RESOLUTION OF THE LITIGATION OR TO
   38  HARASS OR MALICIOUSLY INJURE ANOTHER; OR
   39    (B)  THE  ACTION OR PROCEEDING WAS COMMENCED OR CONTINUED IN BAD FAITH
   40  WITHOUT ANY REASONABLE BASIS AND COULD NOT BE SUPPORTED BY A GOOD  FAITH
   41  ARGUMENT  FOR AN EXTENSION, MODIFICATION OR REVERSAL OF EXISTING LAW. IF
   42  THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING WAS PROMPTLY DISCONTINUED  WHEN  THE  PARTY  OR
   43  ATTORNEY  LEARNED  OR  SHOULD HAVE LEARNED THAT THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING
   44  LACKED SUCH A REASONABLE BASIS, THE COURT MAY FIND THAT THE PARTY OR THE
   45  ATTORNEY DID NOT ACT IN BAD FAITH.
   46    (4) require the regulated creditor  to  cease  and  desist  from  such
   47  unlawful discriminatory practices;
   48    [(4)] (5) require the regulated creditor to take such further affirma-
   49  tive  action as will effectuate the purposes of this section, including,
   50  but not limited to, granting the credit which was  the  subject  of  the
   51  complaint.
   52    S 3. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
   53  sion, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by a court of compe-
   54  tent  jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair
   55  or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its opera-
   56  tion to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision,  section  or  part
       A. 7189                             3

    1  thereof  directly  involved  in  the  controversy in which such judgment
    2  shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of  the
    3  legislature  that  this act would have been enacted even if such invalid
    4  provisions had not been included herein.
    5    S  4.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    6  have become a law, and shall apply to actions commenced on or after such
    7  date.
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