Harlem State Senator Cordell Cleare’s ‘Hope Card’ Streamlines Protection Order Enforcement

October 24, 2023

Yesterday, in a private roundtable, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law, Senate Bill 5935, also known as the “Hope Card Act.”

The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Cordell Cleare, directs the New York State Office of Court Administration to develop a system, including an online portal, that will allow persons who have been granted final orders of protection, the ability to receive, free of charge, durable, wallet-sized cards that outline the details of the order.

“It is imperative that victims of domestic violence experience as few hurdles and challenges as possible when seeking to enforce protections from those who have already inflicted physical, emotional, psychological, and financial harm,” said Senator Cleare, who represents New York State’s 30th Senatorial District. “The last thing a person wants to go through when in an emergency, is having to go through the time and effort of going back to the court to show proof of such of protective order, to law enforcement. When an order needs to be recognized and followed, it is usually in a circumstance where time is of the essence and every second counts.”

In addition to listing the name of the perpetrator, the card will also list the names of any other individuals that are covered by the order, and the address of the places where the order should be enforced, like residences, places of employment, and schools. There will be no limit on how many cards a person may receive.      

“I applaud the Governor for recognizing the urgency and importance of signing this bill. Every survivor of domestic violence deserves the State’s support in achieving every protection available to them while healing from the pain they have experienced and living a life free of fear.”

State Senator Cordell Cleare

Senator Cleare is currently serving in her first full term from District 30, representing Central Harlem, East Harlem (El Barrio), West Harlem, a portion of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and the Washington Heights neighborhoods. Raised in Harlem, Cleare is the second woman in the State’s history to hold this seat in the State Senate. She is currently the Chair of the Senate Committee on Aging.  

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