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SB3253 Summary:

Add §79-p, 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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SB3253 Actions:

03/10/2020PRINT NUMBER 3253A
06/08/2020referred to codes
06/08/2020substituted for a1360a
06/08/2020ordered to third reading cal.70
06/08/2020passed assembly
06/08/2020returned to senate
06/14/2020SIGNED CHAP.100
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SB3253 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    February 5, 2019
        Introduced by Sens. PARKER, SEPULVEDA -- read twice and ordered printed,
          and  when  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- recom-
          mitted to the Committee on Codes in accordance  with  Senate  Rule  6,
          sec.  8  --  committee  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
          amended and recommitted to said committee

        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-p to
     4  read as follows:
     5    § 79-p. 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
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 3253--A                          2
     1  maintained and returned to him or her. Nothing in this subdivision shall
     2  be  construed  to  permit  a person to engage in actions that physically
     3  interfere with law enforcement activity or otherwise constitute a  crime
     4  defined  in  the  penal  law involving obstructing governmental adminis-
     5  tration.
     6    3. Private right of action. (a) A claim of unlawful interference  with
     7  recording  a  law enforcement activity is established under this section
     8  when a person demonstrates that he or  she  exercised  or  attempted  to
     9  exercise  the  right  established  in subdivision two of this section to
    10  record a law enforcement activity and an officer acted to interfere with
    11  that person's recording of a law enforcement activity, including but not
    12  limited to, by:
    13    (i) intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent that person from
    14  recording law enforcement activity;
    15    (ii) threatening that person for recording a law enforcement activity;
    16    (iii) commanding that  the  person  cease  recording  law  enforcement
    17  activity  when  the  person  was  nevertheless  authorized  under law to
    18  record;
    19    (iv) stopping, seizing, searching, ticketing or arresting that  person
    20  because that person recorded a law enforcement activity; or
    21    (v)  unlawfully seizing property or instruments used by that person to
    22  record a law enforcement activity, unlawfully destroying, or  seizing  a
    23  recorded  image  or  recorded  images  of a law enforcement activity, or
    24  copying such a recording of a law enforcement activity  without  consent
    25  of the person who recorded it or approval from an appropriate court.
    26    (b) It shall be an affirmative defense to a civil action under subpar-
    27  agraphs (i), (iii) and (iv) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision that at
    28  the  time of such conduct by an officer, such officer had probable cause
    29  to arrest the person recording such a law  enforcement  activity  for  a
    30  crime defined in the penal law involving obstructing governmental admin-
    31  istration.
    32    (c)  A  person  subject  to  unlawful  interference with recording law
    33  enforcement activities as described in paragraph (a) of this subdivision
    34  may bring an action for any violation of this section in  any  court  of
    35  competent  jurisdiction  for  damages,  including  punitive damages, for
    36  declaratory and injunctive relief, and such other remedies as the  court
    37  may deem appropriate.
    38    (d)  In any action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section, the
    39  court may allow a prevailing plaintiff reasonable  attorney's  fees  and
    40  expert fees as a part of the costs which may be recovered.
    41    (e) Any action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section shall be
    42  commenced  no  later  than  three  years  after  the  date  on which the
    43  violation of this section is committed.
    44    4. Preservation of rights. This section shall be in  addition  to  all
    45  rights,  procedures,  and  remedies  available  under  the United States
    46  Constitution, 42 USC 1983, the constitution of the state of New York and
    47  all other federal law, state law, law of the city of  New  York  or  the
    48  administrative  code  of the city of New York, and all other civil reme-
    49  dies, including monetary damages, created by statute,  ordinance,  regu-
    50  lation or common law.
    51    § 3. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
    52  sion,  section  or  part  of  this act shall be adjudged by any court of
    53  competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,
    54  impair, or invalidate the reminder thereof, but shall be confined in its
    55  operation  to  the  clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or
    56  part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which  such  judge-

        S. 3253--A                          3
     1  ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
     2  the  legislature  that  this  act  would  have been enacted even if such
     3  invalid provisions had not been included herein.
     4    §  4.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
     5  have become a law.
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