New York State Law

Penal Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's Penal code

Article 420 - NY Penal Law


Section Description
420.00Seizure and destruction of unauthorized recordings.
420.05Seizure and forfeiture of equipment used in the production of unauthorized recordings.
S 420.00 Seizure and destruction of unauthorized recordings.
  Any article produced in violation of article two hundred seventy-five
of this chapter may be seized by any police officer upon the arrest of
any individual in possession of same. Upon final determination of the
charges, the court shall, upon proper notice by the district attorney or
representative of the crime victim or victims, after prior notice to the
district attorney and custodian of the seized property, enter an order
preserving any goods manufactured, sold, offered for sale, distributed
or produced in violation of this article, as evidence for use in other
cases, including a civil action. This notice must be received within
thirty days of final determination of the charges. The cost of storage,
security, and destruction of goods so ordered for preservation and use
as evidence in a civil action, other than a civil action under article
thirteen-A of the civil practice law and rules initiated by the district
attorney, shall be paid by the party seeking preservation of the
evidence for a civil action. If no such order is entered within the
thirty day period, the district attorney or custodian of the seized
property must cause such articles to be destroyed. Destruction shall not
include auction, sale, or distribution of the items in their original

S 420.05 Seizure and forfeiture of equipment used in the production
               of unauthorized recordings.
  1. Any police officer of this state may seize any equipment, or
components, used in the manufacture or production of unauthorized
recordings and may seize any vehicle or other means of transportation,
other than a vehicle or means of transportation used by any person as a
common carrier in the transaction of business as such common carrier,
used in the distribution of such unauthorized recordings and such
equipment or vehicle or other means of transportation shall be subject
to forfeiture as provided in this section.
  2. The seized property shall be delivered by the police officer having
made the seizure to the custody of the district attorney of the county
wherein the seizure was made, except that in the cities of New York,
Yonkers and Buffalo, the seized property shall be delivered to the
custody of the police department of such cities, together with a report
of all the facts and circumstances of the seizure.
  3. It shall be the duty of the district attorney of the county wherein
the seizure was made, if elsewhere than in the city of New York, Yonkers
or Buffalo, and where the seizure is made in either such city, it shall
be the duty of the corporation counsel of the city, to inquire into the
facts of the seizure so reported to him and if it appears probable that
a forfeiture has been incurred for the determination of which the
institution of proceedings in the supreme court is necessary, to cause
the proper proceedings to be commenced and prosecuted, at any time after
thirty days from the date of seizure, to declare such forfeiture,
unless, upon inquiry and examination such district attorney or
corporation counsel decides that such proceedings cannot probably be
sustained or that the ends of public justice do not require that they
should be instituted or prosecuted, in which case, the district attorney
or corporation counsel shall cause such seized property to be returned
to the owner thereof.
  4. Notice of the institution of the forfeiture proceeding shall be
served either:
  (a) personally on the owners of the seized property; or
  (b) by registered mail to the owners` last known address and by
publication of the notice once a week for two successive weeks in a
newspaper published or circulated in the county wherein the seizure was
  5. Forfeiture shall not be adjudged where the owners established by
preponderance of the evidence that:
  (a) the use of such seized property was not intentional on the part of
any owner; or
  (b) said seized property was used by any person other than an owner
thereof, while such seized property was unlawfully in the possession of
a person who acquired possession thereof in violation of the criminal
laws of the United States, or of any state.
  6. The district attorney or the police department having custody of
the seized property, after such judicial determination of forfeiture,
shall, by a public notice of at least five days, sell such forfeited
property at public sale. The net proceeds of any such sale, after
deduction of the lawful expenses incurred, shall be paid into the
general fund of the county wherein the seizure was made except that the
net proceeds of the sale of property seized in the cities of New York,
Yonkers and Buffalo shall be paid into the respective general funds of
such cities.
  7. Whenever any person interested in any property which is seized and
declared forfeited under the provisions of this section files with a
justice of the supreme court a petition for the recovery of such
forfeited property, the justice of the supreme court may restore said
forfeited property upon such terms and conditions as he deems reasonable
and just, if the petitioner establishes either of the affirmative
defenses set forth in subdivision five of this section and that the
petitioner was without personal or actual knowledge of the forfeiture
proceeding. If the petition be filed after the sale of the forfeited
property, any judgment in favor of the petitioner shall be limited to
the net proceeds of such sale, after deduction of the lawful expenses
and costs incurred by the district attorney, police department or
corporation counsel.
  8. No suit or action under this section for wrongful seizure shall be
instituted unless such suit or action is commenced within two years
after the time when the property was seized.

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