Provides that when a person is under arrest or otherwise in custody of a police officer, peace officer or other law enforcement representative or entity, such officer, representative or entity shall have a duty to provide attention to the medical and mental health needs of such person.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8226B
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to medical attention
for persons under arrest
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The act amends the Civil Rights Law by adding a new section. This legis-
lation affirms the duty of police officers, peace officers, and other
law enforcement representatives and entities to provide attention to
medical and mental health needs of persons in custody.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the Civil Right Law by adding a new section. Section
2: Effective date.
In recent years, in New York State and nationally, there have been many
disturbing reports and news accounts concerning individuals who have
come into law enforcement custody and been injured, been injured by law
enforcement incident to arrest, or become ill subsequent to their
arrest. In far too many of these cases, adequate medical assistance has
been denied to these individuals or been so delayed that individuals
have suffered needless pain and suffering. In the most egregious cases,
indifference or neglect of some persons' conditions have even led to
senseless deaths. By specifically mandating a duty of care, this bill
seeks to redress these wrongs and, in the future, prevent such persons
from having to endure the infliction of distress and harm.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
June 7, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. FERNANDEZ, REYES, PICHARDO, EPSTEIN, TAYLOR,
RICHARDSON, JEAN-PIERRE, HYNDMAN, BLAKE, O'DONNELL, PERRY, HEVESI,
SIMOTAS, AUBRY, JAFFEE, CRUZ, RIVERA, WALKER, FALL, D'URSO, SAYEGH,
NIOU, DE LA ROSA, ORTIZ, L. ROSENTHAL, HUNTER, GANTT, MOSLEY,
BICHOTTE, CARROLL, JOYNER, GLICK, LIFTON, VANEL -- Multi-Sponsored by
-- M. of A. BARRON -- 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 -- recommitted to the Committee on Codes in
accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill
amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to medical attention
for persons under arrest
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section 28
2 to read as follows:
3 § 28. Medical attention for persons under arrest. When a person is
4 under arrest or otherwise in the custody of a police officer, peace
5 officer or other law enforcement representative or entity, such officer,
6 representative or entity shall have a duty to provide attention to the
7 medical and mental health needs of such person, and obtain assistance
8 and treatment of such needs for such person, which are reasonable and
9 provided in good faith under the circumstances. Any person who has not
10 received such reasonable and good faith attention, assistance or treat-
11 ment and who, as a result, suffers serious physical injury or signif-
12 icant exacerbation of an injury or condition shall have a cause of
13 action against such officer, representative, and/or entity. In any such
14 civil action, the court, in addition to awarding actual damages and
15 costs, may award reasonable attorneys' fees to a successful plaintiff.
16 The provisions of this section are in addition to, but shall not super-
17 sede, any other rights or remedies available in law or equity.
18 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.