•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

A07495 Summary:

COSPNSRHevesi, McDonald, Weprin, Cruz, Alvarez, Epstein, Sayegh, Gunther, Dinowitz, Davila, Levenberg, Darling, Hyndman, Shimsky, Sillitti, Reyes, Walsh
Amd 270.15, CP L
Permits the court to withhold the names and addresses of jurors in certain proceedings; sets factors for determining good cause to issue protective orders for juries.
Go to top    

A07495 Actions:

05/25/2023referred to codes
01/03/2024referred to codes
05/09/2024advanced to third reading cal.460
05/14/2024passed assembly
05/14/2024delivered to senate
Go to top

A07495 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to protective orders for juries   PURPOSE GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To ensure the welfare of prospective jurors by allowing their names and addresses to remain anonymous when there-is reason to believe that a trial will pose a threat to their safety and wellbeing.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 270.15 of the criminal procedure law to allow for the juror anonymity if certain conditions listed in section two of the bill are met. Section 2 amends subdivision 1-a of section 270.15 of the criminal procedure law by allowing the court to issue a protective order and regulate the disclosure of juror names when there is good cause. The subdivision also denotes the factors a court may consider when determin- ing whether good cause exists. Those factors include whether the defend- ant or someone acting on their behalf previously bribed, tampered with, caused, or attempted to cause injury to or harassed a juror or prospec- tive juror; the seriousness of the charges and whether the defendant.is charged with participating in a large-scale criminal enterprise; and the extent of the pretrial publicity concerning the criminal action or proceeding. Section 3 amends the criminal procedure law by adding a new subdivision 1-b, which requires the court to instruct a jury to make no inference regarding the guilt or innocence of the defendant, based on the issuance of a protective order; it is no indication of the defendant's credibili- ty. Section 4 states the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This bill provides essential protection to jurors whose welfare may be at risk when serving the courts of New York. In this age of technology, it is effortless to find a person's personal information from their name alone. This information can be inherently dangerous if it reaches the hands of a defendant who holds hostility towards jurors. It is essential that the law take precautionary measures if the court finds that jurors may be at risk, and withhold the names of jurors in court proceedings. Federal law already allows courts to select anonymous juries. There are numerous cases where the 2nd circuit allowed for the names and addresses of jurors to be withheld, such as U.S v. Luna, 19-cr-576 (BMC) (E.D.N.Y. Jul. 2, 2022), U.S. v. Pica, 692 F: 3d 79,98 (2d Cir 2012), U.S. v. Stewart, 590 F .3d 93,124 (2d Cir. 2009, U.S. v. Paccione, 949 F.2d 1183. (2d Cir. 1991), U.S. v. Thomas, 757 F.2d 1359, 1365 (2d Cir. 1985), and U.S. v. Barnes, 604 F.2d 121 (2d Cir. 1979). In fact, New York-statute already acknowledges the dangers a defendant may pose, and allows judges to withhold juror addresses from public record. However, the law must expand and address jurors by number and not name, to fully safeguard their identities. This legislation obstructs a defendant from receiving the names, and consequentially, the personal information of jurors serving the fears of retaliation, but remain fair and objective. It prevents any harm from occurring to our jurors and strengthens the integrity of the New York State Court System.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the state.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective immediately.
Go to top

A07495 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      May 25, 2023
        Introduced by M. of A. LAVINE -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Codes
        AN  ACT  to  amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to protective
          orders for juries
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Paragraph  (a)  of subdivision 1 of section 270.15 of the
     2  criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 467 of the laws  of  1985,
     3  is amended to read as follows:
     4    (a)  If  no  challenge  to  the panel is made as prescribed by section
     5  270.10 of this article, or if such challenge is made and disallowed, the
     6  court shall direct that the names of not less than twelve members of the
     7  panel be drawn and called as prescribed by the judiciary law, except  as
     8  otherwise required by this section.  Such persons shall take their plac-
     9  es  in  the jury box and shall be immediately sworn to answer truthfully
    10  questions asked them relative to their qualifications to serve as jurors
    11  in the action. In its discretion,  the  court  may  require  prospective
    12  jurors  to complete a questionnaire concerning their ability to serve as
    13  fair and impartial jurors, including but not limited to place of  birth,
    14  current  address,  education,  occupation, prior jury service, knowledge
    15  of, relationship to, or contact with the court, any  party,  witness  or
    16  attorney in the action and any other fact relevant to his or her service
    17  on  the jury. An official form for such questionnaire shall be developed
    18  by the chief administrator of the courts in consultation with the admin-
    19  istrative board of the courts. A copy of questionnaires completed by the
    20  members of the panel shall be given to the court and each attorney prior
    21  to examination of prospective jurors.
    22    § 2. Subdivision 1-a of section 270.15 of the criminal procedure  law,
    23  as  added  by  chapter  684  of  the laws of 1983, is amended to read as
    24  follows:
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 7495                             2
     1    1-a. The court may for good cause shown, upon motion of  either  party
     2  or  any  affected  person or upon its own initiative, issue a protective
     3  order for a stated period regulating disclosure of  the  names  and  the
     4  business or residential address of any prospective or sworn juror to any
     5  person  or  persons,  other than to counsel for either party. [Such good
     6  cause shall exist where the court determines that there is a  likelihood
     7  of  bribery,  jury  tampering or of physical injury or harassment of the
     8  juror.] In determining whether good cause exists, the court may  consid-
     9  er:
    10    (a) whether the defendant or persons acting on behalf of the defendant
    11  have  bribed,  tampered  with,  or caused or attempted to cause physical
    12  injury to or harassed a juror or prospective juror in  another  criminal
    13  action or proceeding or in the instant criminal action or proceeding;
    14    (b)  the  seriousness  of the charges against the defendant, including
    15  whether the defendant is charged with  participating  in  a  large-scale
    16  criminal enterprise; and
    17    (c) the extent of pretrial publicity concerning the criminal action or
    18  proceeding.
    19    § 3. Section 270.15 of the criminal procedure law is amended by adding
    20  a new subdivision 1-b to read as follows:
    21    1-b.  If the court determines that a protective order should be issued
    22  and that all jurors or prospective jurors shall be  identified  by  some
    23  means  other than their names and business or residential addresses, the
    24  court shall instruct the jury that the fact that the jury  was  selected
    25  on an anonymous basis is not a factor from which any inference unfavora-
    26  ble to the defendant may be drawn.
    27    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top