S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
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                                         10345
                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y
                                     May 23, 2012
                                      ___________
       Introduced by M. of A. O'DONNELL, WEINSTEIN -- (at request of the Office
         of Court Administration) -- read once and referred to the Committee on
         Judiciary
       AN  ACT  to  amend the family court act, in relation to the authority of
         support magistrates  in  family  court  to  adjudicate  child  support
         license suspension proceedings
         THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
    1    Section 1. Subdivision (a) of section 439 of the family court act,  as
    2  amended  by  section 1 of chapter 576 of the laws of 2005, is amended to
    3  read as follows:
    4    (a) The chief administrator of the courts shall provide, in accordance
    5  with subdivision (f) of this section, for the appointment  of  a  suffi-
    6  cient  number  of  support  magistrates  to  hear  and determine support
    7  proceedings. Except as hereinafter provided, support  magistrates  shall
    8  be  empowered  to hear, determine and grant any relief within the powers
    9  of the court in  any  proceeding  under  this  article,  articles  five,
   10  five-A,  and five-B and sections two hundred thirty-four and two hundred
   11  thirty-five of this act, and objections raised pursuant to section  five
   12  thousand  two  hundred  forty-one  of  the civil practice law and rules.
   13  Support magistrates shall not be empowered to hear, determine and  grant
   14  any  relief  with  respect  to  issues specified in [subdivision five of
   15  section four hundred fifty-four or] section four hundred  fifty-five  of
   16  this  [act]  ARTICLE,  issues of contested paternity involving claims of
   17  equitable  estoppel,  custody,  visitation  including  visitation  as  a
   18  defense,  and  orders of protection or exclusive possession of the home,
   19  which shall be referred to a judge as provided in subdivision (b) or (c)
   20  of this section. Where an order of filiation is issued by a judge  in  a
   21  paternity  proceeding  and  child  support  is  in  issue, the judge, or
   22  support magistrate upon referral from the judge, shall be authorized  to
   23  immediately make a temporary or final order of support, as applicable. A
   24  support  magistrate  shall have the authority to hear and decide motions
   25  and issue summonses and subpoenas to produce persons pursuant to section
   26  one hundred fifty-three of this act, hear  and  decide  proceedings  and
        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD14891-02-2
       A. 10345                            2
    1  issue  any  order authorized by subdivision (g) of section five thousand
    2  two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules, issue subpoe-
    3  nas to produce prisoners pursuant to section two thousand three  hundred
    4  two  of  the  civil practice law and rules and make a determination that
    5  any person before the support magistrate is in violation of an order  of
    6  the  court  as  authorized  by section one hundred fifty-six of this act
    7  subject to confirmation by a judge of the court  who  shall  impose  any
    8  punishment  for  such violation as provided by law. A determination by a
    9  support magistrate that a person is in willful  violation  of  an  order
   10  under subdivision three of section four hundred fifty-four of this arti-
   11  cle  and that recommends commitment shall be transmitted to the parties,
   12  accompanied by findings of fact, but the  determination  shall  have  no
   13  force and effect until confirmed by a judge of the court.
   14    S  2.  Subdivision  (a)  of  section  439  of the family court act, as
   15  amended by section 2 of chapter 576 of the laws of 2005, is  amended  to
   16  read as follows:
   17    (a) The chief administrator of the courts shall provide, in accordance
   18  with  subdivision  (f)  of this section, for the appointment of a suffi-
   19  cient number of  support  magistrates  to  hear  and  determine  support
   20  proceedings.  Except  as hereinafter provided, support magistrates shall
   21  be empowered to hear, determine and grant any relief within  the  powers
   22  of  the  court  in  any  proceeding  under  this article, articles five,
   23  five-A, and five-B and sections two hundred thirty-four and two  hundred
   24  thirty-five  of this act, and objections raised pursuant to section five
   25  thousand two hundred forty-one of the  civil  practice  law  and  rules.
   26  Support  magistrates shall not be empowered to hear, determine and grant
   27  any relief with respect to issues  specified  in  section  four  hundred
   28  fifty-five  of this [act] ARTICLE, issues of contested paternity involv-
   29  ing claims of equitable estoppel, custody, visitation including  visita-
   30  tion  as  a defense, and orders of protection or exclusive possession of
   31  the home, which shall be referred to a judge as provided in  subdivision
   32  (b)  or  (c) of this section. Where an order of filiation is issued by a
   33  judge in a paternity proceeding and  child  support  is  in  issue,  the
   34  judge,  or  support  magistrate  upon  referral from the judge, shall be
   35  authorized to immediately make a temporary or final order of support, as
   36  applicable. A support magistrate shall have the authority  to  hear  and
   37  decide  motions  and  issue  summonses  and subpoenas to produce persons
   38  pursuant to section one hundred fifty-three of this act, hear and decide
   39  proceedings and issue any order authorized by subdivision (g) of section
   40  five thousand two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules,
   41  issue subpoenas to produce prisoners pursuant to  section  two  thousand
   42  three  hundred two of the civil practice law and rules and make a deter-
   43  mination that any person before the support magistrate is  in  violation
   44  of  an order of the court as authorized by section one hundred fifty-six
   45  of this act subject to confirmation by a judge of the  court  who  shall
   46  impose  any punishment for such violation as provided by law. A determi-
   47  nation by a support magistrate that a person is in willful violation  of
   48  an  order  under subdivision three of section four hundred fifty-four of
   49  this article and that recommends commitment shall be transmitted to  the
   50  parties,  accompanied  by  findings of fact, but the determination shall
   51  have no force and effect until confirmed by a judge of the court.
   52    S 3. Subdivision 5 of section 454 of the family court act, as  amended
   53  by chapter 601 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows:
   54    5.  The court may review a support collection unit's denial of a chal-
   55  lenge made by a support obligor pursuant to paragraph (d) of subdivision
   56  twelve of section one hundred eleven-b of the  social  services  law  if
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    1  objections  thereto  are  filed  by  a  support obligor who has received
    2  notice that the office of temporary and disability assistance intends to
    3  notify the department of motor vehicles that the support obligor's driv-
    4  ing  privileges  are  to  be suspended. Specific written objections to a
    5  support collection unit's denial may be filed  by  the  support  obligor
    6  within  thirty-five  days  of  the  mailing of the notice of the support
    7  collection unit's denial. A support obligor who  files  such  objections
    8  shall  serve  a copy of the objections upon the support collection unit,
    9  which shall have ten days from such service to file a  written  rebuttal
   10  to  such  objections  and  a  copy  of the record upon which the support
   11  collection unit's denial was made, including all documentation submitted
   12  by the support obligor. Proof of service shall be filed with  the  court
   13  at the time of filing of objections and any rebuttal. The court's review
   14  shall  be  based  upon the record and submissions of the support obligor
   15  and the support collection unit upon which the support collection unit's
   16  denial was made. Within forty-five days after the rebuttal, if  any,  is
   17  filed,  the  [family]  court  [judge]  shall (i) deny the objections and
   18  remand to the support collection unit or (ii) affirm the  objections  if
   19  the  court  finds  the  determination  of the support collection unit is
   20  based upon a clearly erroneous determination of fact or  error  of  law,
   21  whereupon  the  court  shall  direct  the support collection unit not to
   22  notify the department of motor vehicles to suspend the support obligor's
   23  driving privileges. Provisions set forth herein relating  to  procedures
   24  for  appeal  to the family court by individuals subject to suspension of
   25  driving privileges for failure to pay child support shall  apply  solely
   26  to such cases and not affect or modify any other procedure for review or
   27  appeal of administrative enforcement of child support requirements.
   28    S  4.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
   29  have become a law; provided, however, that:
   30    (a) the amendments to subdivision (a) of section  439  of  the  family
   31  court  act made by section one of this act shall be subject to the expi-
   32  ration and reversion of such subdivision pursuant to subdivision  19  of
   33  section  246  of  chapter  81 of the laws of 1995, as amended, when upon
   34  such date the provisions of section two of this act shall  take  effect;
   35  and
   36    (b) the amendments to subdivision 5 of section 454 of the family court
   37  act  made by section three of this act shall be subject to the repeal of
   38  such subdivision pursuant to subdivision 19 of section 246 of chapter 81
   39  of the laws of 1995, as amended.