Bill Text: NY A02497 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Requires mandatory arbitration clauses in certain consumer contracts to be printed in large font type.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 11-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-05-23 - advanced to third reading cal.394 [A02497 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A02497-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 23, 2019
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. DINOWITZ, WEINSTEIN, WEPRIN, GALEF, WILLIAMS,
          M. G. MILLER, COLTON, GOTTFRIED, D'URSO, SEAWRIGHT --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  general  business law, in relation to requiring
          mandatory arbitration clauses in  certain  consumer  contracts  to  be
          printed in large font type
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 399-c of the general  business  law,  as  added  by
     2  chapter 946 of the laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows:
     3    §  399-c.  Mandatory arbitration clauses in certain consumer contracts
     4  [prohibited]. 1.  Definitions.
     5    a. The term "consumer" shall mean a natural person  residing  in  this
     6  state.
     7    b. The term "consumer goods" shall mean goods, wares, paid merchandise
     8  or  services  purchased  or  paid for by a consumer, the intended use or
     9  benefit of which is intended  for  the  personal,  family  or  household
    10  purposes of such consumer.
    11    c.  The  term  "mandatory  arbitration  clause"  shall  mean a term or
    12  provision contained in a written contract for the sale  or  purchase  of
    13  consumer goods which requires the parties to such contract to submit any
    14  controversy  thereafter arising under such contract to arbitration prior
    15  to the commencement of any legal action to  enforce  the  provisions  of
    16  such  contract  and  which  also further provides language to the effect
    17  that the decision of the arbitrator  or  panel  of  arbitrators  in  its
    18  application  to  the  consumer  party  shall be final and not subject to
    19  court review.
    20    d. The term "arbitration" shall mean the  use  of  a  decision  making
    21  forum  conducted  by  an  arbitrator  or panel of arbitrators within the
    22  meaning and subject to the provisions of  article  seventy-five  of  the
    23  civil practice law and rules.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 2497                             2
     1    e.  The  term  "large  print format" shall mean a printed font size of
     2  sixteen points or larger.
     3    2.  a.  Prohibition.  No  written contract for the sale or purchase of
     4  consumer goods, entered into on or after  the  effective  date  of  this
     5  section, to which a consumer is a party, shall contain a mandatory arbi-
     6  tration clause.  Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit
     7  a non-consumer party from incorporating a provision within such contract
     8  that  such non-consumer party agrees that the decision of the arbitrator
     9  or panel of arbitrators shall be final in its application to  such  non-
    10  consumer party and not subject to court review.
    11    b.  Mandatory  arbitration  clause  null and void. The provisions of a
    12  mandatory arbitration clause shall be null and void.  The  inclusion  of
    13  such  clause  in a written contract for the sale or purchase of consumer
    14  goods shall  not  serve  to  impair  the  enforceability  of  any  other
    15  provision of such contract.
    16    3.  Large print arbitration clauses in contracts. Each and every busi-
    17  ness shall, in each  initial  contract  for  goods  or  services,  which
    18  contains  an  arbitration clause provide the consumer with a copy of the
    19  contract in which the arbitration clause is  displayed  in  large  print
    20  format.
    21    4.  A violation by any person or business of subdivision three of this
    22  section, if such violation constitutes the first such  offense  by  such
    23  person, is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty
    24  dollars.  A  second  offense  and  any  offense  committed thereafter is
    25  punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars.
    26    § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    27  it shall have become a law.