A05652 Summary:

BILL NO    A05652 

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Schimminger (MS)

COSPNSR    Skoufis, Braunstein

MLTSPNSR   McDonough

Amd SS70 & 85, add S70-a, Gen Bus L

Relates to licenses for private investigators, bail enforcement agents and
watch, guard or patrol agencies; separates licensing of private investigators
from that of bail enforcement agents and patrol agencies; increases punishment
for private investigation without a license.
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A05652 Actions:

BILL NO    A05652 

03/03/2015 referred to economic development
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A05652 Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A05652 Memo:

BILL NUMBER:A5652

TITLE OF BILL:  An act to amend the general business law, in relation
to licenses for private investigators, bail enforcement agents and
watch, guard or patrol agencies

PURPOSE OF THE BILL:

Increases the penalties for any person, firm, company, partnership or
corporation who violates any provisions of the private investigator
licensing law to a class E felony and allows a District Attorney to
prosecute such offenses.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill increases the penalties for any person, firm,
company, partnership or corporation who offers the services of a
private investigator without being duly licensed to do so.

Section 2 of the bill retains current penalties for persons offering
services in relation to bail enforcement agents and watch, guard, or
patrol agencies without being duly licensed to do so.

Section 3 of the bill allows a district attorney to prosecute
violations of this Article.

Section 4 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

By increasing current penalties, it is the sponsor's intent to deter
persons from offering and performing services of a private
investigator without being duly licensed to do so. Private
investigators offer a broad array of services, including but not
limited to, conducting private investigations to locate missing
persons, obtaining confidential information, locating and recovering
lost and stolen property, and/or ascertaining the cause and origin of,
or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, or injuries to
real or personal property. It is in the interest of the public to
require persons performing these important functions to be licensed to
do so. Current licensing laws require applicants for a license to file
an application, be at least 25 years of age, and have passed a written
examination. In order to ensure accuracy of these investigations and
public safety, violation of the licensing provisions should result in
a person being charged with a class E felony as opposed to a
misdemeanor.

EXISTING LAW:

Current law classifies violations of the private investigator, bail
enforcement agent, and watch, guard, or patrol agent licensing laws as
class B misdemeanors.

For most other professions licensed by New York State, unlicensed
practice already constitutes a class E felony.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2013-2014: A 6538/S.4000.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law.
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A05652 Text:

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

                                         5652

                              2015-2016 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                     March 3, 2015
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  M. of A. SCHIMMINGER, SKOUFIS, BRAUNSTEIN -- Multi-Spon-
         sored by -- M. of A.   McDONOUGH -- read  once  and  referred  to  the
         Committee on Economic Development

       AN  ACT  to  amend the general business law, in relation to licenses for
         private investigators, bail enforcement agents  and  watch,  guard  or
         patrol agencies

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

    1    Section 1. Section 70 of the general business law, as amended by chap-
    2  ter 562 of the laws of 2000 and subdivision  3  as  further  amended  by
    3  section  104  of part A of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to
    4  read as follows:
    5    S 70. [Licenses] PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR LICENSE.  1. The  department  of
    6  state  shall  have  the  power  to  issue [separate] licenses to private
    7  investigators[, bail enforcement agents and to watch,  guard  or  patrol
    8  agencies].  Nothing in this article shall prevent a private investigator
    9  licensed hereunder from performing the services of  a  watch,  guard  or
   10  patrol  agency  or  bail enforcement agent as defined herein; however, a
   11  watch, guard or patrol agency or bail enforcement agent may not  perform
   12  the services of a private investigator as defined herein.
   13    2. No person, firm, company, partnership, limited liability company or
   14  corporation shall engage in the business of private investigator[, busi-
   15  ness  of  bail  enforcement  agents  or  the business of watch, guard or
   16  patrol agency,] or advertise his, their or its business to  be  that  of
   17  private  investigator[, bail enforcement agent or watch, guard or patrol
   18  agency,] notwithstanding the name or title used in describing such agen-
   19  cy or notwithstanding the fact that other  functions  and  services  may
   20  also be performed for fee, hire or reward, without having first obtained
   21  from  the  department  of  state  a  license  so  to  do, as hereinafter
   22  provided, for each bureau, agency, sub-agency, office and branch  office
   23  to  be  owned,  conducted,  managed  or maintained by such person, firm,

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD02336-02-5
       A. 5652                             2

    1  company, partnership, limited liability company or corporation  for  the
    2  conduct of such business.
    3    3. No person, firm, company, partnership, limited liability company or
    4  corporation  shall engage in the business of furnishing or supplying for
    5  fee, hire or any consideration or reward information as to the  personal
    6  character  or  activities  of any person, firm, company, or corporation,
    7  society or association, or any person or group of persons, or as to  the
    8  character  or  kind  of the business and occupation of any person, firm,
    9  company or corporation, or own or conduct or maintain a bureau or agency
   10  for the above mentioned purposes, except exclusively as to the financial
   11  rating, standing, and credit responsibility of persons, firms, companies
   12  or corporations, or as to the personal habits and financial responsibil-
   13  ity of applicants for insurance, indemnity bonds or commercial credit or
   14  of claimants under insurance policies, provided the business so exempted
   15  does not embrace other activities as described in section seventy-one of
   16  this article, or except where such information is furnished or  supplied
   17  by  persons  licensed  under  the provisions of section twenty-four-a or
   18  subdivision three-b of section fifty of the workers' compensation law or
   19  representing employers or groups of employers insured under the workers'
   20  compensation law in the  state  insurance  fund,  without  having  first
   21  obtained  from the department of state, as hereafter provided, a license
   22  so to do as private investigator for each such bureau or agency and  for
   23  each  and  every  sub-agency,  office  and  branch  office  to be owned,
   24  conducted, managed or maintained by such persons, firm, limited  liabil-
   25  ity  company,  partnership  or corporation for the conduct of such busi-
   26  ness. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to  include  the
   27  business  of  adjusters  for  insurance  companies, nor public adjusters
   28  licensed by the superintendent of financial services under the insurance
   29  law of this state.
   30    4. Any person, firm, company, partnership or corporation who  violates
   31  any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class [B] A misdemea-
   32  nor.
   33    S  2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 70-a
   34  to read as follows:
   35    S 70-A. BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENTS AND WATCH, GUARD OR  PATROL  AGENCIES.
   36  1.  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE  SHALL  HAVE  THE POWER TO ISSUE SEPARATE
   37  LICENSES TO BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENTS AND TO WATCH, GUARD OR PATROL  AGEN-
   38  CIES.  NOTHING  IN  THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL  PREVENT A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
   39  LICENSED HEREUNDER FROM PERFORMING THE SERVICES OF  A  WATCH,  GUARD  OR
   40  PATROL  AGENCY  OR  BAIL  ENFORCEMENT  AGENT AS DEFINED IN THIS ARTICLE;
   41  HOWEVER, A WATCH, GUARD OR PATROL AGENCY OR BAIL ENFORCEMENT  AGENT  MAY
   42  NOT  PERFORM  THE  SERVICES OF A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR AS DEFINED IN THIS
   43  ARTICLE.
   44    2. NO PERSON, FIRM, COMPANY, PARTNERSHIP, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY OR
   45  CORPORATION SHALL ENGAGE IN THE BUSINESS OF BAIL ENFORCEMENT  AGENTS  OR
   46  THE  BUSINESS  OF WATCH, GUARD OR PATROL AGENCY, OR ADVERTISE HIS, THEIR
   47  OR ITS BUSINESS TO BE THAT OF BAIL ENFORCEMENT AGENT OR WATCH, GUARD  OR
   48  PATROL AGENCY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE NAME OR TITLE USED IN DESCRIBING SUCH
   49  AGENCY OR NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT OTHER FUNCTIONS AND SERVICES MAY
   50  ALSO BE PERFORMED FOR FEE, HIRE OR REWARD, WITHOUT HAVING FIRST OBTAINED
   51  FROM  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  STATE  A  LICENSE  SO  TO  DO, AS HEREINAFTER
   52  PROVIDED, FOR EACH BUREAU, AGENCY, SUB-AGENCY, OFFICE AND BRANCH  OFFICE
   53  TO  BE  OWNED,  CONDUCTED,  MANAGED  OR MAINTAINED BY SUCH PERSON, FIRM,
   54  COMPANY, PARTNERSHIP, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY OR CORPORATION  FOR  THE
   55  CONDUCT OF SUCH BUSINESS.
       A. 5652                             3

    1    3.  ANY PERSON, FIRM, COMPANY, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION WHO VIOLATES
    2  ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS B MISDEMEANOR.
    3    S  3.  Section 85 of the general business law, as added by chapter 349
    4  of the laws of 1938, is amended to read as follows:
    5    S 85. [Attorney-general to prosecute] PROSECUTION.    Criminal  action
    6  for  violation of this article shall be prosecuted by the [attorney-gen-
    7  eral] ATTORNEY GENERAL, [or his] HIS OR HER deputy, OR A DISTRICT ATTOR-
    8  NEY, in the name of the people of the state[, and in]. IN any such pros-
    9  ecution the [attorney-general] ATTORNEY GENERAL, or his OR  HER  deputy,
   10  shall  exercise all the powers and perform all duties which the district
   11  attorney would otherwise be authorized to exercise or to perform  there-
   12  in.  The  [attorney-general]  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  OR  A DISTRICT ATTORNEY
   13  shall, upon a conviction for a violation of any provision of this  arti-
   14  cle and within ten days thereafter, make and file with the department of
   15  state a detailed report showing the date of such conviction, the name of
   16  the person convicted and the nature of the charge.
   17    S  4. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a
   18  law.
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