NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2505
SPONSOR: Weinstein (MS)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to claims
relating to consumer goods
PURPOSE OF BILL:
This bill would proscribe venue limitations in contracts relating to the
adjudication or arbitration of disputes concerning consumer goods.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:
This bill defines consumer goods in the same manner as exists in current
law, e.g. General Business Law, § 399-C, and states that contracts
purporting to limit or set venue for the adjudication or arbitration of
disputes concerning same are deemed void.
All too often, consumers who seek judicial or arbitral relief concerning
contracts involving consumer goods are limited by contractual boilerp-
late which purports to set venue in far flung locations which are incon-
venient or impossible for consumers to attend. E.g. Karlsberg v. Hunter
Mtn. Ski Bowl, Inc., 131 AD 3d 1121 (2nd Dept 2015). While parties to
arms-length transactions should be free to fashion venue requirements to
their satisfaction, the inequities involved in consumer transactions
warrant a legislative determination that boilerplate clauses which
create hardship to consumers should not be enforced.
2019-20: A.5607/S.429 - A.Cal/S.Judi
2018: A.1328/S.1533 - A.Cal/S.Judi
2017: A.1328/S.1533 - A.Codes/S. Judi
2016: A.9995/S.7954 - PA/S. Judi
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
The thirtieth day after it shall have become a law, and shall apply to
all actions and arbitration proceedings which have not been commenced
prior to such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 19, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. WEINSTEIN, DINOWITZ, SEAWRIGHT, ENGLEBRIGHT,
GOTTFRIED, ZEBROWSKI, TAYLOR -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. SIMON
-- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary
AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to claims
relating to consumer goods
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 501 of the civil practice law and rules, as amended
2 by chapter 532 of the laws of 1963, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 501. Contractual provisions fixing venue. Subject to the provisions
4 of subdivision two of section  five hundred ten and section five
5 hundred fourteen of this article, written agreement fixing place of
6 trial, made before an action is commenced, shall be enforced upon a
7 motion for change of place of trial.
8 § 2. The civil practice law and rules is amended by adding a new
9 section 514 to read as follows:
10 § 514. Actions relating to consumer goods. 1. For the purposes of this
11 section, "consumer goods" shall mean goods, wares, paid merchandise or
12 services purchased or paid for by a consumer, the intended use or bene-
13 fit of which is intended for the personal, family or household purposes
14 of such consumer.
15 2. In any contract involving the sale, lease or otherwise providing of
16 consumer goods, any portion of the contract or any clause which purports
17 to designate, restrict, or limit the venue in which a claim shall be
18 adjudicated or arbitrated shall be deemed void as against public policy.
19 Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect the validity of any
20 other aspect of a contract.
21 § 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
22 have become a law, and shall apply to all actions and arbitration
23 proceedings which have not been commenced prior to such effective date.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.