|SAME AS||SAME AS S00339|
|Amd Art 65 §§65.00 - 65.30, CP L|
|Authorizes use of closed-circuit television for the testimony of domestic violence victim witnesses in a criminal proceeding subject to the same restrictions as are applicable to child witnesses.|
|01/17/2017||referred to codes|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2129 SPONSOR: Peoples-Stokes
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to authorizing the use of closed-circuit television for vulner- able domestic violence victim witnesses   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Article 65 of the criminal procedure law is amended to permit the use of closed circuit television for the testimony of victims of alleged domes- tic violence.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends article 65 of the criminal procedure law to include a domestic violence victim witness as a vulnerable person who may testify in a criminal proceeding, concerning an offense defined in subdivision 1 of section 530.11 of the criminal procedure law or an offense committed by a member of such individual's immediate family as defined in subdivision 4 of section 120.40 of the penal law.   JUSTIFICATION: Over two-thirds of violent victimizations against women were committed by someone known to them. Approximately 28% were intimates such as husbands or boyfriends, 35% were acquaintances, and the remaining 5% were other relatives. Females accounted for 38% of the hospital emergency department visits for violence-related injuries in 1994 while 84% of these persons were treated for injuries inflicted by intimates. 31,260 women were murdered by an intimate from 1976-1996. Very often, vulnerable witnesses are reluctant to testify about crimes that have been committed against them out of fear; allowing these witnesses to testify in the physical absence of their abuser may help facilitate their willingness to come forward and testify.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.3676 of 2012. A.4338 of 2010. A.7381 of 2013. A.8911 of 2014   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Nominal.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2129 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 17, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES -- read once and referred to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to authorizing the use of closed-circuit television for vulnerable domestic violence victim witnesses The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Article 65 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chap- 2 ter 505 of the laws of 1985, subdivision 1 of section 65.00, and subdi- 3 vision 7 and paragraph (k) of subdivision 10 of section 65.20 as amended 4 by chapter 320 of the laws of 2006, subdivisions 11 and 12 of section 5 65.20 as amended by chapter 455 of the laws of 1991, subdivision 1 of 6 section 65.10 as amended, subdivision 2 of section 65.20 as added, the 7 opening paragraph of subdivision 10 of section 65.20 as amended, and 8 subdivisions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of section 65.20 as 9 renumbered by chapter 548 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as 10 follows: 11 ARTICLE 65 12 USE OF CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEVISION FOR 13 CERTAIN [ CHILD] WITNESSES 14 Section 65.00 Definitions. 15 65.10 Closed-circuit television; general rule; declaration of 16 vulnerability. 17 65.20 Closed-circuit television; procedure for application and 18 grounds for determination. 19 65.30 Closed-circuit television; special testimonial [ proce-20 dure] procedures. 21 § 65.00 Definitions. 22 As used in this article: EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00103-01-7A. 2129 2 1 1. "Child witness" means a person fourteen years old or less who is or 2 will be called to testify in a criminal proceeding, other than a grand 3 jury proceeding, concerning an offense defined in article one hundred 4 thirty of the penal law or section 255.25, 255.26 or 255.27 of such law 5 which is the subject of such criminal proceeding. 6 2. "Domestic violence victim witness" means an individual who is a 7 victim of a family offense, as defined in subdivision one of section 8 530.11 of this chapter, or an offense committed by a member of such 9 individual's immediate family as defined in subdivision four of section 10 120.40 of the penal law. 11 3. "Vulnerable [ child] witness" means a child witness or a domestic 12 violence victim witness whom a court has declared to be vulnerable. 13 [ 3.] 4. "Testimonial room" means any room, separate and apart from the 14 courtroom, which is furnished comfortably and less formally than a 15 courtroom and from which the testimony of a vulnerable child witness can 16 be transmitted to the courtroom by means of live, two-way closed-circuit 17 television. 18 [ 4.] 5. "Live, two-way closed-circuit television" means a simultaneous 19 transmission, by closed-circuit television, or other electronic means, 20 between the courtroom and the testimonial room in accordance with the 21 provisions of section 65.30 of this article. 22 [ 5.] 6. "Operator" means the individual authorized by the court to 23 operate the closed-circuit television equipment used in accordance with 24 the provisions of this article. 25 [ 6.] 7. A person occupies "a position of authority with respect to a 26 child" when he or she is a parent, guardian or other person responsible 27 for the custody or care of [ the] a child at the relevant time or is any 28 other person who maintains an ongoing personal relationship with such 29 parent, guardian or other person responsible for custody or care, which 30 relationship involves his or her living, or his or her frequent and 31 repeated presence, in the same household or premises as the child. 32 § 65.10 Closed-circuit television; general rule; declaration of vulner- 33 ability. 34 1. A child witness or a domestic violence victim witness shall be 35 declared vulnerable when the court, in accordance with the provisions of 36 section 65.20 of this article, determines by clear and convincing 37 evidence that it is likely that such child witness or such domestic 38 violence victim witness will suffer serious mental or emotional harm if 39 required to testify at a criminal proceeding without the use of live, 40 two-way closed-circuit television and that the use of such live, two-way 41 closed-circuit television will diminish the likelihood or extent of, 42 such harm. 43 2. When the court declares a child witness or a domestic violence 44 victim witness to be vulnerable, it shall, except as provided in subdi- 45 vision four of section 65.30 of this article, authorize the taking of 46 the testimony of the vulnerable [ child] witness from the testimonial 47 room by means of live, two-way closed-circuit television. Under no 48 circumstances shall the provisions of this article be construed to 49 authorize a closed-circuit television system by which events in the 50 courtroom are not transmitted to the testimonial room during the testi- 51 mony of the vulnerable [ child] witness. 52 3. Nothing [ herein] in this article shall be [ contrued] construed to 53 preclude the court from exercising its power to close the courtroom or 54 from exercising any authority it otherwise may have to protect the well- 55 being of a witness and the rights of the defendant.A. 2129 3 1 § 65.20 Closed-circuit television; procedure for application and grounds 2 for determination. 3 1. Prior to the commencement of a criminal proceeding[ ;], other than a 4 grand jury proceeding, either party may apply to the court for an order 5 declaring that a child witness or a domestic violence victim witness is 6 vulnerable. 7 2. A child witness or a domestic violence victim witness should be 8 declared vulnerable when the court, in accordance with the provisions of 9 this section, determines by clear and convincing evidence that the child 10 witness or the domestic violence victim witness would suffer serious 11 mental or emotional harm that would substantially impair the child 12 witness' or the domestic violence victim witness' ability to communicate 13 with the finder of fact without the use of live, two-way closed-circuit 14 television. 15 3. A motion pursuant to subdivision one of this section must be made 16 in writing at least eight days before the commencement of trial or other 17 criminal proceeding upon reasonable notice to the other party and with 18 an opportunity to be heard. 19 4. The motion papers must state the basis for the motion and must 20 contain sworn allegations of fact which, if true, would support a deter- 21 mination by the court that the child witness or the domestic violence 22 victim witness is vulnerable. Such allegations may be based upon the 23 personal knowledge of the deponent or upon information and belief, 24 provided that, in the latter event, the sources of such information and 25 the grounds for such belief are stated. 26 5. The answering papers may admit or deny any of the alleged facts and 27 may, in addition, contain sworn allegations of fact relevant to the 28 motion, including the rights of the defendant, the need to protect the 29 child witness or the domestic violence victim witness and the integrity 30 of the truth-finding function of the trier of fact. 31 6. Unless all material facts alleged in support of the motion made 32 pursuant to subdivision one of this section are conceded, the court 33 shall, in addition to examining the papers and hearing oral argument, 34 conduct an appropriate hearing for the purpose of making findings of 35 fact essential to the determination of the motion. Except as provided in 36 subdivision [ six] seven of this section, it may subpoena or call and 37 examine witnesses, who must either testify under oath or be permitted to 38 give unsworn testimony pursuant to subdivision two of section 60.20 of 39 this article and must authorize the attorneys for the parties to do the 40 same. 41 7. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the child witness or 42 the domestic violence victim witness who is alleged to be vulnerable may 43 not be compelled to testify at such hearing or to submit to any psycho- 44 logical or psychiatric examination. The failure of the child witness or 45 the domestic violence victim witness to testify at such hearing shall 46 not be a ground for denying a motion made pursuant to subdivision one of 47 this section. Prior statements made by the child witness relating to any 48 allegations of conduct constituting an offense defined in article one 49 hundred thirty of the penal law or incest as defined in section 255.25, 50 255.26 or 255.27 of such law, or prior statements made by the child 51 witness or the domestic violence victim witness relating to any allega- 52 tion of words or conduct constituting an attempt to prevent, impede or 53 deter [ the child] such witness from cooperating in the investigation or 54 prosecution of the offense shall be admissible at such hearing, 55 provided, however, that a declaration that a child witness or a domesticA. 2129 4 1 violence victim witness is vulnerable may not be based solely upon such 2 prior statements. 3 8. (a) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of article forty-five of 4 the civil practice law and rules, any physician, psychologist, nurse or 5 social worker who has treated a child witness or a domestic violence 6 victim witness may testify at a hearing conducted pursuant to subdivi- 7 sion [ five] six of this section concerning the treatment of such child 8 witness or such domestic violence victim witness as such treatment 9 relates to the issue presented at the hearing, provided that any other- 10 wise applicable statutory privileges concerning communications between 11 the child witness or the domestic violence victim witness and such 12 physician, psychologist, nurse or social worker in connection with such 13 treatment shall not be deemed waived by such testimony alone, except to 14 the limited extent of permitting the court alone to examine in camera 15 reports, records or documents, if any, prepared by such physician, 16 psychologist, nurse or social worker. If upon such examination the court 17 determines that such reports, records or documents, or any one or 18 portion thereof, contain information material and relevant to the issue 19 of whether the child witness or the domestic violence victim witness is 20 a vulnerable [ child] witness, the court shall disclose such information 21 to both the attorney for the defendant and the district attorney. 22 (b) At any time after a motion has been made pursuant to subdivision 23 one of this section, upon the demand of the other party the moving party 24 must furnish the demanding party with a copy of any and all of such 25 records, reports or other documents in the possession of such other 26 party and must, in addition, supply the court with a copy of all such 27 reports, records or other documents which are the subject of the demand. 28 At any time after a demand has been made pursuant to this paragraph, the 29 moving party may demand that property of the same kind or character in 30 possession of the party that originally made such demand be furnished to 31 the moving party and, if so furnished, be supplied, in addition, to the 32 court. 33 9. (a) Prior to the commencement of the hearing conducted pursuant to 34 subdivision five of this section, the district attorney shall, subject 35 to a protective order, comply with the provisions of subdivision one of 36 section 240.45 of this chapter as they concern any witness whom the 37 district attorney intends to call at the hearing and the child witness 38 or the domestic violence victim witness. 39 (b) Before a defendant calls a witness at such hearing, he or she 40 must, subject to a protective order, comply with the provisions of 41 subdivision two of section 240.45 of this chapter as they concern all 42 the witnesses the defendant intends to call at such hearing. 43 10. The court may consider, in determining whether there are factors 44 which would cause the child witness or the domestic violence victim 45 witness to suffer serious mental or emotional harm, a finding that any 46 one or more of the following circumstances have been established by 47 clear and convincing evidence: 48 (a) The manner of the commission of the offense of which the defendant 49 is accused was particularly heinous or was characterized by aggravating 50 circumstances. 51 (b) The child witness or the domestic violence victim witness is 52 particularly young or otherwise particularly subject to psychological 53 harm on account of a physical or mental condition which existed before 54 the alleged commission of the offense. 55 (c) At the time of the alleged offense, the defendant occupied a posi- 56 tion of authority with respect to the child witness.A. 2129 5 1 (d) The offense or offenses charged were part of an ongoing course of 2 conduct committed by the defendant against the child witness or the 3 domestic violence victim witness over an extended period of time. 4 (e) A deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was allegedly used during 5 the commission of the crime. 6 (f) The defendant has inflicted serious physical injury upon the child 7 witness or the domestic violence victim witness. 8 (g) A threat, express or implied, of physical violence to the child 9 witness or the domestic violence victim witness, or a third person if 10 [ the child] such witness were to report the incident to any person or 11 communicate information to or cooperate with a court, grand jury, prose- 12 cutor, police officer or peace officer concerning the incident has been 13 made by or on behalf of the defendant. 14 (h) A threat, express or implied, of the incarceration of a parent or 15 guardian of the child witness or the domestic violence victim witness, 16 the removal of the child witness or the domestic violence victim witness 17 from the family or the dissolution of the family of the child witness or 18 the domestic violence victim witness if [ the child] such witness were to 19 report the incident to any person or communicate information to or coop- 20 erate with a court, grand jury, prosecutor, police officer or peace 21 officer concerning the incident has been made by or on behalf of the 22 defendant. 23 (i) A witness other than the child witness or the domestic violence 24 victim witness has received a threat of physical violence directed at 25 such witness or to a third person by or on behalf of the defendant. 26 (j) The defendant, at the time of the inquiry, (i) is living in the 27 same household with the child witness or the domestic violence victim 28 witness, (ii) has ready access to the child witness or the domestic 29 violence victim witness or (iii) is providing substantial financial 30 support for the child witness or the domestic violence victim witness. 31 (k) The child witness or the domestic violence victim witness has 32 previously been the victim of an offense defined in article one hundred 33 thirty of the penal law or incest as defined in section 255.25, 255.26 34 or 255.27 of such law. 35 (l) According to expert testimony, the child witness or the domestic 36 violence victim witness would be particularly [ suceptible] susceptible 37 to psychological harm if required to testify in open court or in the 38 physical presence of the defendant. 39 11. Irrespective of whether a motion was made pursuant to subdivision 40 one of this section, the court, at the request of either party or on its 41 own motion, may decide that a child witness or a domestic violence 42 victim witness may be vulnerable based on its own observations that a 43 child witness or a domestic violence victim witness who has been called 44 to testify at a criminal proceeding is suffering severe mental or 45 emotional harm and therefore is physically or mentally unable to testify 46 or to continue to testify in open court or in the physical presence of 47 the defendant and that the use of live, two-way closed-circuit tele- 48 vision is necessary to enable [ the child] such witness to testify. If 49 the court so decides, it must conduct the same hearing that subdivision 50 [ five] six of this section requires when a motion is made pursuant to 51 subdivision one of this section, and it must make findings of fact 52 pursuant to subdivisions [ nine and eleven] ten and twelve of this 53 section, before determining that the child witness or the domestic 54 violence victim witness is vulnerable. 55 12. In deciding whether a child witness or a domestic violence victim 56 witness is vulnerable, the court shall make findings of fact whichA. 2129 6 1 reflect the causal relationship between the existence of any one or more 2 of the factors set forth in subdivision [ nine] ten of this section or 3 other relevant factors which the court finds are established and the 4 determination that the child witness or the domestic violence victim 5 witness is vulnerable. If the court is satisfied that the child witness 6 or the domestic violence victim witness is vulnerable and that, under 7 the facts and circumstances of the particular case, the defendant's 8 constitutional rights to an impartial jury or of confrontation will not 9 be impaired, it may enter an order granting the application for the use 10 of live, two-way closed-circuit television. 11 13. When the court has determined that a child witness or a domestic 12 violence victim witness is a vulnerable [ child] witness, it shall make a 13 specific finding as to whether placing the defendant and the child 14 witness or the domestic violence victim witness in the same room during 15 the testimony of the child witness or the domestic violence victim 16 witness will contribute to the likelihood that [ the child] such witness 17 will suffer severe mental or emotional harm. If the court finds that 18 placing the defendant and the child witness or the domestic violence 19 victim witness in the same room during the testimony of the child 20 witness or the domestic violence victim witness will contribute to the 21 likelihood that [ the child] such witness will suffer severe mental or 22 emotional harm, the order entered pursuant to subdivision [ eleven] 23 twelve of this section shall direct that the defendant remain in the 24 courtroom during the testimony of the vulnerable [ child] witness. 25 § 65.30 Closed-circuit television; special testimonial procedures. 26 1. When the court has entered an order pursuant to section 65.20 of 27 this article, the testimony of the vulnerable [ child] witness shall be 28 taken in the testimonial room and the image and voice of the vulnerable 29 [ child] witness, as well as the image of all other persons other than 30 the operator present in the testimonial room, shall be transmitted live 31 by means of closed-circuit television to the courtroom. The courtroom 32 shall be equipped with monitors sufficient to permit the judge, jury, 33 defendant and attorneys to observe the demeanor of the vulnerable 34 [ child] witness during his or her testimony. Unless the courtroom has 35 been closed pursuant to court order, the public shall also be permitted 36 to hear the testimony and view the image of the vulnerable [ child] 37 witness. 38 2. In all instances, the image of the jury shall be simultaneously 39 transmitted to the vulnerable [ child] witness in the testimonial room. 40 If the court order issued pursuant to section 65.20 of this article 41 specifies that the vulnerable [ child] witness shall testify outside the 42 physical presence of the defendant, the image of the defendant and the 43 image and voice of the person examining the vulnerable [ child] witness 44 shall also be simultaneously transmitted to the vulnerable [ child] 45 witness in the testimonial room. 46 3. The operator shall place herself or himself and the closed-circuit 47 television equipment in a position that permits the entire testimony of 48 the vulnerable [ child] witness to be transmitted to the courtroom but 49 limits the ability of the vulnerable [ child] witness to see or hear the 50 operator or the equipment. 51 4. Notwithstanding any provision of this article, if the court in a 52 particular case involving a vulnerable [ child] witness determines that 53 there is no live, two-way closed-circuit television equipment available 54 in the court or another court in the county or which can be transported 55 to the court from another county or that such equipment, if available, 56 is technologically inadequate to protect the constitutional rights ofA. 2129 7 1 the defendant, it shall not permit the use of the closed-circuit tele- 2 vision procedures authorized by this article. 3 5. If the order of the court entered pursuant to section 65.20 of this 4 article requires that the defendant remain in the courtroom, the attor- 5 ney for the defendant and the district attorney shall also remain in the 6 courtroom unless the court is satisfied that their presence in the 7 testimonial room will not impede full and private communication between 8 the defendant and his or her attorney and will not encourage the jury to 9 draw an inference adverse to the interest of the defendant. 10 6. Upon request of the defendant, the court shall instruct the jury 11 that they are to draw no inference from the use of live, two-way closed- 12 circuit television in the examination of the vulnerable [ child] witness. 13 7. The vulnerable [ child] witness shall testify under oath except as 14 specified in subdivision two of section 60.20 of this article. The exam- 15 ination and cross-examination of the vulnerable [ child] witness shall, 16 in all other respects, be conducted in the same manner as if the vulner- 17 able [ child] witness had testified in the courtroom. 18 8. When the testimony of the vulnerable [ child] witness is transmitted 19 from the testimonial room into the courtroom, the court stenographer 20 shall record the [ textimony] testimony in the same manner as if the 21 vulnerable [ child] witness had testified in the courtroom. 22 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all 23 criminal actions and proceedings commenced prior to the effective date 24 of this act but still pending on such date as well as all criminal 25 actions and proceedings commenced on or after such effective date. 26 Provided that the amendments to article 65 of the criminal procedure 27 law, made by section one of this act, shall not affect the expiration 28 and repeal of such article and shall be deemed repealed therewith.