Correction Law Section 168-P
Special telephone number
1.Pursuant to § 168-B (Duties of the division)section one hundred sixty-eight-b of this article, the division shall also operate a telephone number that members of the public may call free of charge and inquire whether a named individual required to register pursuant to this article is listed. The division shall ascertain whether a named person reasonably appears to be a person so listed and provide the caller with the relevant information according to risk as described in subdivision six of § 168-L (Board of examiners of sex offenders)section one hundred sixty-eight-l of this article. The division shall decide whether the named person reasonably appears to be a person listed, based upon information from the caller providing information that shall include (a) an exact street address, including apartment number, driver’s license number or birth date, along with additional information that may include social security number, hair color, eye color, height, weight, distinctive markings, ethnicity; or
(b)any combination of the above listed characteristics if an exact birth date or address is not available. If three of the characteristics provided include ethnicity, hair color, and eye color, other identifying characteristics shall be provided. Any information identifying the victim by name, birth date, address or relation to the person listed by the division shall be excluded by the division.
2.When the telephone number is called, a preamble shall be played which shall provide the following information:
(a)notice that the caller’s telephone number will be recorded;
(b)that there is no charge for use of the telephone number;
(c)notice that the caller is required to identify himself or herself to the operator and provide current address and shall be maintained in a written record;
(d)notice that the caller is required to be eighteen years of age or older;
(e)a warning that it is illegal to use information obtained through the telephone number to commit a crime against any person listed or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment against such person;
(f)notice that the caller is required to have the birth date, driver’s license or identification number, or address or other identifying information regarding the person about whom information is sought in order to achieve a positive identification of that person;
(g)a statement that the number is not a crime hotline and that any suspected criminal activity should be reported to local authorities;
(h)a statement that an information package which will include a description of the law and sex abuse and abduction prevention materials is available upon request from the division. Such information package shall include questions and answers regarding the most commonly asked questions about the sex offender registration act, and current sex abuse and abduction prevention material. 2-a.
(a)The division shall establish a program allowing non-profit and not-for-profit youth services organizations to pre-register with the division for use of the telephone number. Pre-registration shall include the identification of up to two officials of the organization who may call the telephone number and obtain information on behalf of the organization. A pre-registered certificate issued under this subdivision shall be valid for two years, unless earlier revoked by the division for good cause shown. No fee shall be charged to an applicant for the issuance of a pre-registered certificate pursuant to this subdivision.
(b)An organization granted a pre-registered certificate pursuant to this subdivision may, upon calling the telephone number, inquire whether multiple named individuals are listed on the sex offender registry. Notwithstanding any per call limitation the division may place on calls by private individuals, the division shall allow such pre-registered organizations to inquire about up to twenty prospective coaches, leaders or volunteers in each call to the telephone number.
(c)For purposes of this subdivision, “youth services organization” shall mean a formalized program operated by a corporation pursuant to subparagraph five of paragraph (a) of section one hundred two of the not-for-profit corporation law that functions primarily to:
(a)provide children the opportunity to participate in adult-supervised sporting activities; or
(b)match children or groups of children with adult volunteers for the purpose of providing children with positive role models to enhance their development. 2-b. The division shall maintain a program allowing a transportation network company (TNC), as defined in section one thousand six hundred ninety-one of the vehicle and traffic law, to electronically submit multiple names, and other necessary identifying information as required by the division and in accordance with subdivision one of this section, of applicants applying to be TNC drivers for the purpose of determining whether such applicants are listed on the sex offender registry pursuant to this article. The division shall respond to such inquiry electronically, within four business days, and notify such TNC of any such applicant who is listed on the registry pursuant to this article. A TNC shall pre-register with the division before the electronic submission of names and shall agree in writing that information obtained by a TNC pursuant to this subdivision be used only for the purposes of determining eligibility of an applicant for a TNC permit, pursuant to sections one thousand six hundred ninety-six and one thousand six hundred ninety-nine of the vehicle and traffic law, by designated employees of such TNC and that such information shall not be distributed or disclosed except as specifically authorized by law.
3.Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern or practice of misuse of the telephone number, the attorney general, any district attorney or any person aggrieved by the misuse of the number is authorized to bring a civil action in the appropriate court requesting preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or other order against the person or group of persons responsible for the pattern or practice of misuse. The foregoing remedies shall be independent of any other remedies or procedures that may be available to an aggrieved party under other provisions of law. Such person or group of persons shall be subject to a fine of not less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars.
4.The division shall submit to the legislature an annual report on the operation of the telephone number. The annual report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(a)number of calls received;
(b)a detailed outline of the amount of money expended and the manner in which it was expended for purposes of this section;
(c)number of calls that resulted in an affirmative response and the number of calls that resulted in a negative response with regard to whether a named individual was listed;
(d)number of persons listed; and
(e)a summary of the success of the telephone number program based upon selected factors.
Section 168-P — Special telephone number,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/COR/168-P (updated Jul. 7, 2017; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).