Proposed Legislative Amendment on Rights

Amendment Purpose: 
1967 Constitutional Convention Amendment: Inserts stricter controls over wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping
Summary of Amendment: 
  • Inserts stricter controls over wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping.

Article I

Bill of Rights

Section 2. The article grants equal protection of the laws, and prohibits discrimination in civil rights on grounds of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex or physical or mental handicap. Unreasonable searches and seizures and unreasonable interception of telephone and other communications are forbidden, except that statutes may permit the interception of such communications upon court orders under conditions specified. Such article forbids deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law and sets forth basic procedural rights in criminal proceedings.


Legislative Amendment Text: 

Article I

Bill of Rights

§ 4. a. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

b. The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable inter­ception of telephone, telegraph and other electronic communications and against unreasonable interception of oral and other communi­cations by electric or electronic methods shall not be violated, and no order for such interception shall issue but upon probable cause supported by the non-delegable, personal oath or affirmation of the attorney general or a district attorney and the affidavit of a person having personal knowledge of the facts, showing reasonable grounds to believe that evidence of a particular crime or information leading to the apprehension of the perpetrator thereof may be thus and not otherwise reasonably obtained, and particularly describing the person or persons whose private communications are to be overheard and the place and reason for such interception.

Such an order may be issued only by the presiding judge of the appellate division in the judicial department where it is to be exe­cuted, or by one associate judge thereof designated by the presiding judge for such purpose, or by one supreme court judge so designated in each judicial district.

Orders or warrants issued pursuant hereto shall be limited to a reasonable period of time, and no such order shall authorize an interception except as permitted by statute.

c. Evidence obtained in violation of this section shall not be admissible in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceedings.
Legislative History: 

In 1967, the New York State Constitutional Convention proposed a whole new Constitution that contained this provision and these changes to a vote of the people of the State of New York at the General Election asking "Shall the proposed new Constitution, adopted by the Constitutional Convention, and the Resolution submitting same, be approved?"  The Constitution as a whole was voted down by the people, which included these changes. 

Learn more on our page devoted to the 1967 Convention.  The Proceedings of the Convention are available from the New York State Library and you can download; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: initial; background-position: 100% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; "> a PDF copy of the Constitution proposed by the 1967 Constitutional Convention. 




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