TRIAD Of Rockland County

Reducing Crimes Against Seniors

To contact us:  Email us at info@rocklandcountytriad.org  or call us at (845) 638-5582

You Need To Know

PASSED & PENDING NY STATE CRIME LEGISLATION

Below are New York State passed and pending legislation impacting crimes against the elderly.   We suggest you periodically check this section of our TRIAD website for any updated information.

PASSED LEGISLATION

The Hate Crimes Act of 2000 was signed into law by then Governor Pataki in the year 2000 and is now incorporated into the New York State Penal Law as Section 485.05. This act increases penalties for crimes based on targeting factors such as race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and age.  The crime victim's age, as defined in the statute, is 60 and over.  When a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this section of law, and the specified initial offense is a misdemeanor or a class C, D or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified initial offense the defendant committed, or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.

Granny’s Law.  On March 18, 2008 The New York State Senate passed a bill to protect the elderly.  It will impose stiffer penalties for physical assaults on the elderly. Known as "Granny's Law", it was first introduced as a bill after the brutal attack on a 101-year-old Queens County, NY woman in 2007.  The original bill was co-sponsored by N.Y. State Senators Martin Golden and Serphin Maltese.  It raises a Class –A- Misdemeanor assault to a Class –D- Felony (Assault – 2nd Degree) when the victim is 65 or older, regardless of whether the defendant knows that. The attacker must be at least 10 years younger. The penalty is up to 7 years in prison.  Governor Paterson signed this bill into law on 05/02/08.

SILVER ALERT SYSTEM a system that will provide the rapid dissemination of information regarding missing senior citizens and other individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive disorders. Click here for full text.


PENDING LEGISLATION

Fraudulent Accosting (section 165.30 NYS Penal Law).  Under this existing law, a person is guilty of fraudulent accosting when he/she accosts a person in a public place with intent to defraud him/her of money or other property by means of a trick, swindle or confidence game.  This crime is defined as a Class A Misdemeanor.

Three bills have been introduced, that if passed, would modify the existing Fraudulent Accosting statute, elevating it to a felony under certain circumstances:

  • On January 3, 2007, NY State Assemblyman Seminerio introduced Assembly Bill # A00505.  This bill, if passed, would create a new additional section of Fraudulent Accosting (to be named as Penal Law Section 165.32).  Under this bill, a person would be guilty of a felony if the intended victim was age 65 or older.  The bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08. 
  • On January 16, 2007, NY State Senator Kruger introduced Senate Bill # S00977.  This bill, if passed, would elevate the existing Fraudulent Accosting statute to a felony, regardless of the victim’s age. The bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08.
  • On April 19, 2007, NY State Senator Morahan introduced Senate Bill # S04584.  This bill, if passed, would create a new additional section of Fraudulent Accosting (to be named as Penal Law Section 165.31).  Under this bill, a person would be guilty of a felony if the intended victim was age 75 or older.  The bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08.

On January 3, 2007, NY State Assemblyman Bing introduced Assembly Bill #A302.  This bill concerns the financial exploitation of the elderly (defined as age 60 or older) or a disabled person. If passed, it would amend the existing New York State Penal Larceny statutes PL 155.00; PL 155.05; PL 155.15 and expand the existing laws by adding the following two new subdivisions (10 & 11):  

10.         "ELDERLY" means any person who is 60 years of age or older and is suffering from a disease or infirmity associated with advanced age and who suffers from a mental disease, defect or condition which renders him or her incapable of approving whether to give or withhold consent to taking, obtaining or withholding of his or her property.

11.         Person in a position of trust” means a person who:

·         is the parent, spouse, adult child or other relative by blood or affinity of an elderly person, or

·         is a joint tenant or tenant in common with the elderly person, or,

·         has a fiduciary obligation to an elderly person, or

·         receives monetary or other valuable consideration for providing care for the elderly person, or

·         lives with or provides some component of home care services on a continuing basis to the elderly person, including, but not limited to a neighbor or friend who does not provide such services but has access to the elderly person based on such relationship.

The bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08.

 

On January 3, 2007, similar legislation had been proposed, also regarding the financial exploitation of the elderly, introduced by Assemblyman Clark, under Assembly Bill # A305.   This bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08.

 

On January 3, 2007, Assemblymen Clark and Ramos have introduced Assembly Bill # A330.  If passed, establishes the crime of criminal neglect of a vulnerable elderly person or a person with a disability as a class A misdemeanor; consists of a caregiver who knowingly acts in a manner likely to cause the person’s life to be endangered, health to be injured, or pre-existing physical or mental condition to deteriorate; or fails to perform acts which he or she knows or reasonably should know are necessary to maintain or preserve the life or health of the person and such failure causes said person’s life to be endangered, health to be injured or condition to deteriorate; or knowingly abandons said person; provides for a defense and for preservation of other remedies.  This bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08.

 

On February 12, 2007, Assemblyman Raia introduced Assembly Bill # A5027.  If passed,  defines the felonies of victimizing the elderly or physically disabled in the 3rd degree, 2nd degree and 1st degree and provides that a sentence of imprisonment must be imposed upon conviction of certain offenses against the elderly or physically disabled; provides that a juvenile offender shall include a person 14 or 15 years old who is criminally responsible for victimizing the elderly or physically disabled; includes within the category, "eligible youth" or youthful offender treatment, one who has been convicted of victimizing the elderly or the physically disabled in the 1st degree; restrictive placement may be ordered for victimizing the elderly or the physically disabled in the 1st or 2nd degree; provides certain plea restrictions and sentencing structure for persons convicted of such crimes.  This bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 1/9/08.

 

On April 28, 2008, State Senator Flanagan introduced Senate Bill # S07942.  If passed, establishes criminal penalties for defrauding a vulnerable elderly person as defined in subdivision three of section 260.30 of the penal law.  This proposed legislation would amend the existing Penal Law Section 190.65, making it a Class E felony, to wit:  A person is guilty of a scheme to defraud in the first degree when   he or she: (a) engages in a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud ten or more persons or to obtain property from ten or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, and so obtains property from one or more of such persons;  or  (b) engages in a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct with intent to  defraud  more  than one  person  or to obtain property from more than one person by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, and so obtains  property  with  a  value  in excess of one thousand dollars from one or more such persons.  This bill was referred to the Codes Committee on 4/28/08.

On April 8, 2008, State Senator Tom Morahan introduced Senate Bill # S8031. This bill is aimed at curbing identity theft and if passed, will amend the General Business  Law in  relation  to  limiting the permissible uses of social security identification numbers.  It will be known as the "Social Security Number Confidentiality Act".  Passage of this bill would prohibit a business from requiring a consumer’s Social Security number as a condition for a consumer to lease or purchase products, goods or services from the business.
 
On April 19, 2007, State Senator Tom Morahan introduced Senate Bill # S4592. This bill is also aimed at curbing identity theft.  If passed, it will amend the General Business Law, prohibiting the public posting or public display of a person’s Social Security number.
 
On January 3, 2007, State Senator Tom Morahan sponsored Senate Bill # S248.  Passage would amend the New York Penal Law and make it a crime to unlawfully possess an identity-scanning device.  This bill has been passed by the Senate and has been delivered to the Assembly.


Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility,
and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009

 

On  May 22, 2009, President Obama brought sweeping changes to credit card industry business practices by signing the federal  Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. The Consumer Protection Board (CPB) is now inviting consumers to report whether credit card companies have started to change terms, raise fees, assess higher interest rates or have taken other preemptive actions prior to the effective dates of the Act’s provisions.

 

The Act will Act will:

ü  Prevent unannounced interest rate hikes;

ü  Limit arbitrary fees and charges;

ü  Require consumer opt-in to be assessed over-the-limit fees;

ü  Eliminate inappropriate double-cycle billing;

ü  Increase protections for minors (under 21) from aggressive marketing tactics; and,

ü  Require greater disclosure to be provided to consumers.

 

“These changes in the law will help protect consumers who are struggling with the fallout from the national economic downturn and abusive practices by the credit card industry,” said Governor Paterson. “The Consumer Protection Board continues to advocate on behalf of New Yorkers who are dealing with unfair credit card charges and trying to restore their credit ratings due to unscrupulous practices. Their invaluable work is helping consumers throughout the Empire State.”

 

“Consumers have recently reported that despite good credit and payment histories, their credit card companies are arbitrarily increasing interest rates, hiking fees and lowering credit lines without adequate notice,” said Chairperson Bockstein. “The Act is intended to prevent abuses in the future, but in the interim, we’re concerned that consumers might bear the brunt of industry reaction. There are federal provisions for tracking the reform once it takes effect, but as the consumer watchdog in New York, we are asking for feedback to assist us in monitoring what happens between now and then. We are counting on the credit card industry to do the right thing, but just in case they don’t, we want and need to know about it.”

 

Therefore, as part of its Campaign for Change, the CPB is tracking credit card companies’ reactions communicated to us by consumers. The CPB’s new Credit Card Reform Survey can be accessed on the Agency website at: http://www.nysconsumer.gov/pdf/credit_card_survey_2009.pdf. The survey asks consumers to inform the CPB if their bank or issuer has changed the terms of their agreements, added any new fees, increased fees or interest rates, reduced the time available to pay bills, charged interest


from the time of purchase when that was not formerly their procedure, charged interest for previously paid balances, reduced credit limits for no apparent reason, changed the terms of a card’s rewards program or eliminated their card’s rewards program altogether. Consumers wishing to provide more detailed information are encouraged to e-mail their stories to creditcardstory@consumer.state.ny.us.

 

The CPB respects and advocates for strong and reasonable information privacy policies. Therefore, answers to the survey are completely anonymous. However, the CPB may publish survey results and portions of stories it receives to help illustrate the impact of credit card reform. In the interest of personal privacy, however, the CPB will never use the name of a consumer without expressed written permission. 

 

The CPB, established in 1970 by the New York State Legislature, is the State’s top consumer watchdog and think tank. The CPB’s core mission is to protect New Yorkers by publicizing unscrupulous and questionable business practices and product recalls; conducting investigations and hearings; enforcing the “Do Not Call” law; researching issues; developing legislation; creating consumer education programs and materials; responding to individual marketplace complaints by securing voluntary agreements; and, representing the interests of consumers before the Public Service Commission and other State and federal agencies.

 

 

Copyright © 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Designed & Maintained By Internet World Marketing, Inc.