N.Y. General Business Law Section 554
Retention of forged, counterfeit or spurious documents or negotiable instruments permitted

Any bank, banker, transfer agent, railroad, warehouseman or any other person charged with the issue, reissue, transfer or payment of any of the documents hereinafter described, in any spurious, counterfeit, forged, altered note, stock certificate, bond, debenture, check, draft, warrant, traveler’s check, letter of credit, money order, warehouse receipt, negotiable bill of lading, evidence of indebtedness, certificate of interest or participation in any profit-sharing agreement, collateral-trust certificate, preorganization certificate or subscription, transferable share, investment contract, voting-trust certificate, certificate of interest in property, tangible or intangible; instrument or document or writing evidencing ownership of goods, wares, and merchandise; or transferring or assigning any right, title, or interest in or to goods, wares, and merchandise, or, in general, any instrument commonly known as a “security,” or any certificate of interest or participation in, temporary or interim certificate for, receipt for, warrant, or right to subscribe to or purchase any of the foregoing, is presented for payment or transfer or for the purpose of obtaining possession of goods or any property under or pursuant to the terms of such instrument, whether the same is presented through any clearing house or otherwise, and whether or not the owner, or purported owner or presentor of such instrument is within or without the state of New York, may without civil or other liability, retain such counterfeit, forged or spurious instrument or document for the purpose of preserving the same, and return in lieu thereof a photostatic copy with an affidavit setting forth the infirmity in the original, and the name and address of the person in whose custody such original remains; provided, however, that such act of retention shall not in any way vary the effect or alter the property or civil rights of any person in, to or by reason of such instrument or document or anything done with or pursuant to the same; and provided further, that such instrument shall be delivered within fourteen days to the district attorney within whose jurisdiction the same is retained and upon such surrender a receipt therefor shall be given to the custodian thereof; and provided further, that such instrument shall be produced for use in any court or by any public officer when required to do so under proper notice, demand or subpoena. The right to require the production of such document is hereby extended to all officers or courts whether within the state of New York or elsewhere.

Source: Section 554 — Retention of forged, counterfeit or spurious documents or negotiable instruments permitted, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/GBS/554 (updated Sep. 29, 2023; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 29, 2023

§ 554’s source at nysenate​.gov

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