NOW Pushes for Changes to NY Discovery Laws

Press Releases / March 28, 2022

Domestic Violence Victims at Risk

New York- NOW-NYC in partnership with local women’s advocacy groups support changes to current NY State Discovery Laws as proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul. 

Currently, domestic violence cases are frequently dismissed on technical violations of discovery rules, leaving vulnerable survivors without urgently needed orders of protection. Just as alarming, we are seeing prosecutors plead down or adjourn in contemplation of dismissal of serious domestic violence cases because they are too overburdened with overwhelming discovery compliance to provide survivors at grave risk of danger with the protection they need. 

Governor Hochul’s proposal would allow prosecutors to be deemed in “substantial compliance” with their discovery obligations when they have disclosed all items and information required by the People to present their case at trial. Right now, domestic violence cases are being frequently dismissed for failure to timely turn over a single document, even when all of its contents have previously been provided to defense counsel in a different form.

Dismissal of a domestic violence case for a late disclosure of a single piece of paper in a voluminous record when that late or missing record causes no prejudice to the defendant—not only does not serve the interests of justice but often leaves victims in greater danger than they were in originally.

Read the full letter of support here

More information found here

NOW-NY advocates for laws that defend our rights and break barriers for women and girls. We work to advance economic opportunity and fairness in the workplace, protect and expand reproductive rights, and strengthen our criminal justice system for victims of gender-based violence.


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