Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Intro. 639-B into law. Sponsored by Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader, the bill will require the New York Police Department (NYPD) to provide quarterly reports to the Mayor’s Office and City Council on criminal and civil summonses issued. The data will be categorized into number of summons by offense, race, gender, age, borough and patrol precinct or housing police / transit district the summons was issued in.

“We know police disproportionately issue summons in historically disenfranchised communities,” said Council Member Williams. “This bill will allow us to track, document and have on record these unfair practices, which will allow us to advocate and implement a change. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their support and leadership on this bill.”

In enforcing misdemeanors and non-criminal offenses, the NYPD may either arrest, issue a desk appearance ticket, or issue either a criminal or civil summons. The difference between a desk appearance and a summons is that issuing a desk appearance ticket requires the offender to be fingerprinted and booked, typically at a police precinct. The difference between a criminal summons and a civil summons is that a criminal summons requires the offender to appear in criminal court, while a civil summons requires the offender to appear in a civil tribunal such as the Environmental Control Board. The failure to appear for a criminal summons leads automatically to a warrant, whereas the failure to appear at a civil tribunal leads to a monetary judgment being entered against the offender.

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