New York State Consolidated Laws

Civil Rights




                                ARTICLE 5

                            Right of Privacy

Section  50.  Right of privacy.

    50-a. Personnel   records   of  police  officers,  firefighters  and

         correction officers.

    50-b. Right of privacy; victims of sex offenses.

    50-c. Private right of action.

    50-d. Personnel records of court officers.

    50-e. Personnel records of bridge and tunnel officers, sergeants and

         lieutenants.

    51.  Action for injunction and for damages.

    52.  Televising,  broadcasting or taking motion pictures  of certain

         proceedings prohibited.



    Sec.  50.   Right  of privacy.  A person, firm or corporation

that uses for advertising purposes, or for the purposes of trade,

the name, portrait or picture of any living person without having

first obtained the written consent of such person, or if a  minor

of his or her parent or guardian, is guilty of a misdemeanor.



  S  50-a.   Personnel  records  of  police  officers,  firefighters and

correction officers.   1.   All  personnel  records,  used  to  evaluate

performance  toward continued employment or promotion, under the control

of any police agency  or  department  of  the  state  or  any  political

subdivision thereof including authorities or agencies maintaining police

forces of individuals defined as police officers in section 1.20 of  the

criminal procedure law and such personnel records under the control of a

sheriff`s department  or  a  department  of  correction  of  individuals

employed  as  correction  officers  and such personnel records under the

control of a paid fire department or force of  individuals  employed  as

firefighters  or firefighter/paramedics shall be considered confidential

and not subject to inspection or  review  without  the  express  written

consent  of  such  police officer, firefighter, firefighter/paramedic or

correction officer except as may be mandated by lawful court order.

  2.   Prior  to issuing such court order the judge must review all such

requests and give interested parties the opportunity to  be  heard.   No

such  order  shall  issue without a clear showing of facts sufficient to

warrant the judge to request records for review.

  3.   If, after such hearing, the judge concludes there is a sufficient

basis he shall sign an order requiring that  the  personnel  records  in

question  be  sealed and sent directly to him.  He shall then review the

file and make a determination as to whether the records are relevant and

material  in the action before him.  Upon such a finding the court shall

make those parts of  the  record  found  to  be  relevant  and  material

available to the persons so requesting.

  4.   The  provisions  of  this section shall not apply to any district

attorney or his assistants, the attorney  general  or  his  deputies  or

assistants,   a  county  attorney  or  his  deputies  or  assistants,  a

corporation counsel or his deputies or assistants, a  town  attorney  or

his  deputies  or  assistants,  a  village  attorney  or his deputies or

assistants, a grand jury, or any agency of government which requires the

records  described  in  subdivision  one,  in  the  furtherance of their

official functions.



  S  50-b.  Right of privacy; victims of sex offenses.  1.  The identity

of any victim of a sex offense, as defined in article one hundred thirty

or  section  255.25  of the penal law, shall be confidential. No report,

paper, picture, photograph,  court  file  or  other  documents,  in  the

custody   or  possession  of  any  public  officer  or  employee,  which

identifies such a victim shall be made available for public  inspection.

No  such  public  officer  or employee shall disclose any portion of any

police report, court file, or other document, which  tends  to  identify

such a victim except as provided in subdivision two of this section.

  2. The  provisions  of  subdivision  one  of this section shall not be

construed to prohibit disclosure of information to:

  a. Any person charged with the commission of a sex offense, as defined

in subdivision one of this section, against the same victim; the counsel

or  guardian  of  such person; the public officers and employees charged

with the duty of investigating, prosecuting, keeping records relating to

the offense, or any other act when done pursuant to the lawful discharge

of their duties; and any necessary witnesses for either party; or

  b. Any  person  who,  upon  application to a court having jurisdiction

over the alleged sex offense, demonstrates to the  satisfaction  of  the

court  that  good  cause  exists  for  disclosure  to that person.  Such

application shall be made upon notice to  the  victim  or  other  person

legally  responsible  for the care of the victim, and the public officer

or employee charged with the duty of prosecuting the offense; or

  c. Any  person  or agency, upon written consent of the victim or other

person legally responsible for the care of the victim, except as may  be

otherwise required or provided by the order of a court.

  3.   The  court  having  jurisdiction over the alleged sex offense may

order any restrictions upon disclosure authorized in subdivision two  of

this  section,  as  it  deems  necessary  and  proper  to  preserve  the

confidentiality of the identity of the victim.

  4. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require the

court to exclude the public from any stage of the criminal proceeding.



  S  50-c.  Private  right of action. If the identity of the victim of a

sex offense is  disclosed  in  violation  of  section  fifty-b  of  this

article,  any  person  injured by such disclosure may bring an action to

recover damages suffered by reason of such wrongful disclosure.  In  any

action  brought  under  this  section,  the  court  may award reasonable

attorney`s fees to a prevailing plaintiff.



  S  50-d.  Personnel  records  of  court  officers.  1. As used in this

section, "personnel records  of  court  officers"  means  all  personnel

records  of  court  officers  as  defined  in paragraph a of subdivision

twenty-one of section 2.10  of  the  criminal  procedure  law,  used  to

evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion, and under

the control of the office of court administration.

  2.  Personnel  records of court officers shall be disclosed in a court

action pursuant to the relevant provisions  of  the  criminal  procedure

law,  the  civil  practice  law and rules, or any other provision of law

governing such disclosure only after the court has notified the  subject

of  such  record that such record may be disclosed in a court action and

the court has given the subject of such  record  an  opportunity  to  be

heard  on  the  question  of whether the records sought are relevant and

material in the action before the court. If,  after  such  hearing,  the

court  determines  that  only a portion of such records are relevant and

material in the action before it, it  shall  make  those  parts  of  the

record  found  to  be  relevant and material available to the persons so

requesting.

  3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any grand jury or

any agency  of  government  which  requires  the  records  described  in

subdivision  one  of  this  section in the furtherance of their official

duties.



  S 50-e. Personnel records of bridge and tunnel officers, sergeants and

lieutenants. 1. As used in this section, "personnel  records  of  bridge

and  tunnel  officers,  sergeants  and  lieutenants" means all personnel

records of bridge and tunnel  officers,  sergeants  and  lieutenants  as

defined  in subdivision twenty of section 2.10 of the criminal procedure

law,  used  to  evaluate  performance  toward  continued  employment  or

promotion,  and  under  the  control of the Triborough bridge and tunnel

authority.

  2.  Personnel  records  of  bridge  and tunnel officers, sergeants and

lieutenants shall be  disclosed  in  a  court  action  pursuant  to  the

relevant  provisions  of  the criminal procedure law, the civil practice

law and rules, or any other provision of law governing  such  disclosure

only  after  the court has notified the subject of such record that such

record may be disclosed in a court action and the court  has  given  the

subject  of  such  record  an opportunity to be heard on the question of

whether the records sought are  relevant  and  material  in  the  action

before the court. If, after such hearing, the court determines that only

a portion of such records are relevant and material in the action before

it,  it  shall  make  those parts of the record found to be relevant and

material available to the persons so requesting.

  3. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any grand jury or

any agency  of  government  which  requires  the  records  described  in

subdivision  one  of  this  section in the furtherance of their official

duties.



    S  51.   Action  for  injunction  and for damages.  Any person whose

name, portrait or picture is used  within  this  state  for  advertising

purposes  or for the purposes of trade without the written consent first

obtained as above provided may  maintain  an  equitable  action  in  the

supreme  court  of this state against the person, firm or corporation so

using his name, portrait or picture, to prevent  and  restrain  the  use

thereof; and may also sue and recover damages for any injuries sustained

by reason of such use and if the defendant  shall  have  knowingly  used

such  person`s  name, portrait or picture in such manner as is forbidden

or declared to be unlawful by section fifty of this article,  the  jury,

in  its  discretion, may award exemplary damages.  But nothing contained

in this article shall be so construed as to prevent any person, firm  or

corporation   from   selling  or  otherwise  transferring  any  material

containing such name, portrait or picture in whatever medium to any user

of  such  name,  portrait  or picture, or to any third party for sale or

transfer directly or indirectly to such a user,  for  use  in  a  manner

lawful under this article; nothing contained in this article shall be so

construed as to prevent any person, firm or corporation, practicing  the

profession  of  photography,  from  exhibiting  in  or  about his or its

establishment specimens of the work of such  establishment,  unless  the

same  is  continued  by  such  person, firm or corporation after written

notice objecting thereto has been given by  the  person  portrayed;  and

nothing  contained  in  this article shall be so construed as to prevent

any person, firm or corporation from using the name, portrait or picture

of  any  manufacturer  or dealer in connection with the goods, wares and

merchandise manufactured, produced or dealt in by him which he has  sold

or  disposed  of  with such name, portrait or picture used in connection

therewith; or from using the name, portrait or picture  of  any  author,

composer  or artist in connection with his literary, musical or artistic

productions which he has sold or disposed of with such name, portrait or

picture used in connection therewith.



    Sec.  52.  Televising, broadcasting or taking motion pictures

of certain proceedings prohibited.  No person, firm,  association

or corporation shall televise, broadcast, take motion pictures or

arrange for the televising, broadcasting,  or  taking  of  motion

pictures within this state of proceedings, in which the testimony

of witnesses by subpoena or other compulsory process is or may be

taken,    conducted    by   a   court,   commission,   committee,

administrative agency or other tribunal  in  this  state;  except

that the prohibition contained in this section shall not apply to

public hearings conducted by the public service  commission  with

regard to rates charged by utilities, or to proceedings by either

house of the state legislature or committee or joint committee of

the legislature or by a temporary state commission which includes

members of the legislature, so long as any testimony of witnesses

which  is  taken  is  taken  without  resort to subpoena or other

compulsory process, if (1) the consent of the temporary president

of  the senate or the speaker of the assembly, in the case of the

respective houses of the state legislature, or the  chairman,  in

the case of such a committee or commission, and a majority of the

members thereof present at  such  proceedings,  shall  have  been

first obtained, provided, however, that in the case of the public

rate hearings of the  public  service  commission,  it  shall  be

sufficient  to  obtain  the consent of the presiding officer, (2)

the written consent of the witness testifying at the  time  shall

have  been obtained, prior to the time of his testifying, and (3)

it has been determined by such presiding officer or chairman  and

such majority of the members that it is in the public interest to

permit the televising, broadcasting or taking of motion pictures.

    Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.




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