Recently Enacted Legislation Requires New York Institutions to Report Violent Felonies and Missing Students

February 16, 2015

By: Paul J. Avery

university-arch-300x200Governor Cuomo has signed into law amendments to New York’s Campus Safety Act requiring institutions to notify law enforcement within 24 hours after receipt of a report of a violent felony or a report that a student residing in institutional housing is missing. Under prior law, such reporting was not required. Instead, institutions were obligated only to adopt and implement plans providing for the investigation of such incidents. As noted in a prior post, the legislation provides that institutions’ reporting obligations are subject to the rights of sexual assault victims under federal law to decide whether or not to report such incidents to law enforcement. Governor Cuomo’s approval memorandum issued in connection with the bill reiterates that the law will not alter victims’ rights under federal law, and further indicates that he signed the bill based on the legislature’s agreement to pass further legislation “making clear that sexual assault victims will retain the right to choose whether to report a crime to law enforcement.”