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A10387 Summary:

BILL NOA10387A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08074
 
SPONSORPerry
 
COSPNSRSepulveda
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 79-o, Civ Rts L
 
Relates to recording certain law enforcement activities; provides that a person not under arrest or in the custody of a law enforcement official has the right to record police activity and to maintain custody and control of that recording and of any property or instruments used by that person to record police activities, however, a person in custody or under arrest does not, by that status alone, forfeit such right to record.
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A10387 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A10387A
 
SPONSOR: Perry
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to recording certain law enforcement activities   PURPOSE: The purpose of this legislation is to unambiguously affirm, by statutory enactment, the right of New Yorkers to record, with expressed exceptions, the actions of persons acting under the color of law.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section, 79-o, entitled "Recording certain activities." Section one of the bill provides that the act shall be known as the "New Yorker's right to monitor act." Section two of the bill includes: definitions; delineates the right to record law enforcement related activities; creates a right of action for persons who suffer an unlawful abridgement of their right to record and an affirmative defense for persons charged with a violation of this right; and preservation of rights. Section two of the bill includes a severability clause. Section three of the bill is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Several Federal Circuit Courts, the First, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, have issued clear and consistent opinions finding that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution openly confers and protects the right of ordinary civilians to record police activity. The right of people to document the public activities of law enforcement helps to ensure that the police and others engaged in law enforcement activities are accountable to the public.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.
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A10387 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                        10387--A
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      May 25, 2016
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. PERRY, SEPULVEDA -- read once and referred to the
          Committee  on Codes -- reported and referred to the Committee on Rules
          -- Rules Committee discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as
          amended and recommitted to the Committee on Rules
 
        AN  ACT  to amend the civil rights law, in relation to recording certain
          law enforcement activities

          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 "New
     2  Yorker's right to monitor act".
     3    § 2. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section  79-o  to
     4  read as follows:
     5    §  79-o. Recording certain activities. 1. Definitions. For purposes of
     6  this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
     7    (a) "Officer" means any peace officer, police officer, security  offi-
     8  cer, security guard or similar official who is engaged in a law enforce-
     9  ment activity;
    10    (b) "Law enforcement activity" means any activity by an officer acting
    11  under the color of law; and
    12    (c)  "Record"  means  to  capture  or attempt to capture any moving or
    13  still image, sound, or impression  through  the  use  of  any  recording
    14  device,  camera,  or any other device capable of capturing audio, moving
    15  or still images, or by way of written notes or observations.
    16    2. Right to record law enforcement related activities.  A  person  not
    17  under  arrest  or  in  the custody of a law enforcement official has the
    18  right to record law enforcement activity and  to  maintain  custody  and
    19  control  of  that  recording  and of any property or instruments used by
    20  that person to record law  enforcement  activities,  provided,  however,
    21  that a person in custody or under arrest does not, by that status alone,
    22  forfeit  the  right  to have any such recordings, property and equipment
    23  maintained and returned to him or her. Nothing in this subdivision shall
    24  be construed to permit a person to engage  in  actions  that  physically
    25  interfere  with law enforcement activity or otherwise constitute a crime
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD15592-03-6

        A. 10387--A                         2
 
     1  defined in the penal law  involving  obstructing  governmental  adminis-
     2  tration.
     3    3.  Private right of action. (a) A claim of unlawful interference with
     4  recording a law enforcement activity is established under  this  section
     5  when  a  person  demonstrates  that  he or she exercised or attempted to
     6  exercise the right established in subdivision two  of  this  section  to
     7  record a law enforcement activity and an officer acted to interfere with
     8  that person's recording of a law enforcement activity, including but not
     9  limited to, by:
    10    (i) intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent that person from
    11  recording law enforcement activity;
    12    (ii) threatening that person for recording a law enforcement activity;
    13    (iii)  commanding  that  the  person  cease  recording law enforcement
    14  activity when the  person  was  nevertheless  authorized  under  law  to
    15  record;
    16    (iv)  stopping, seizing, searching, ticketing or arresting that person
    17  because that person recorded a law enforcement activity; or
    18    (v) unlawfully seizing property or instruments used by that person  to
    19  record  a  law enforcement activity, unlawfully destroying, or seizing a
    20  recorded image or recorded images of  a  law  enforcement  activity,  or
    21  copying  such  a recording of a law enforcement activity without consent
    22  of the person who recorded it or approval from an appropriate court.
    23    (b) It shall be an affirmative defense to a civil action under subpar-
    24  agraphs (i), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision that at
    25  the time of such conduct by an officer, such officer had probable  cause
    26  to  arrest  the  person  recording such a law enforcement activity for a
    27  crime defined in the penal law involving obstructing governmental admin-
    28  istration.
    29    (c) A person subject  to  unlawful  interference  with  recording  law
    30  enforcement activities as described in paragraph (a) of this subdivision
    31  may  bring  an  action for any violation of this section in any court of
    32  competent jurisdiction for  damages,  including  punitive  damages,  for
    33  declaratory  and injunctive relief, and such other remedies as the court
    34  may deem appropriate.
    35    (d) In any action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section,  the
    36  court  may  allow  a prevailing plaintiff reasonable attorney's fees and
    37  expert fees as a part of the costs which may be recovered.
    38    (e) Any action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section shall be
    39  commenced no later  than  three  years  after  the  date  on  which  the
    40  violation of this section is committed.
    41    4.  Preservation  of  rights. This section shall be in addition to all
    42  rights, procedures, and  remedies  available  under  the  United  States
    43  Constitution, 42 USC 1983, the constitution of the state of New York and
    44  all  other  federal  law,  state law, law of the city of New York or the
    45  administrative code of the city of New York, and all other  civil  reme-
    46  dies,  including  monetary damages, created by statute, ordinance, regu-
    47  lation or common law.
    48    § 3. Severability.  If  any  provision  of  this  bill  or  any  other
    49  provision  of  this  local law, or any amendments thereto, shall be held
    50  invalid or ineffective in whole or in part or inapplicable to any person
    51  or situation, such holding shall not affect, impair  or  invalidate  any
    52  portion of or the remainder of this act, and all other provisions there-
    53  of shall nevertheless be separately and fully effective and the applica-
    54  tion  of  any such provision to other persons or situations shall not be
    55  affected.

        A. 10387--A                         3
 
     1    § 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
     2  have become a law.
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