senate Bill S3806

Requires that individuals convicted of certain animal cruelty and animal fighting offenses reimburse the organizations caring for such animals

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 04 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 12 / Apr / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 07 / Jun / 2011
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE

Summary

Requires that individuals convicted of certain animal cruelty and animal fighting offenses reimburse the organizations caring for such animals.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A259
Versions:
S3806
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Agriculture
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง373, Ag & Mkts L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S3155, A3168, A9400
2007-2008: A9975B

Votes

3
1
3
Aye
1
Nay
5
aye with reservations
0
absent
1
excused
0
abstained
show Agriculture committee vote details
nay (1)
excused (1)

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3806 REVISED 03/16/11

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to orders of
restitution in certain cases

PURPOSE:
To require courts to hold a hearing to determine whether the person
from whom an animal is seized, or the owner of the animal, should be
ordered to post a security to reimburse the impounding organization
such as a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to
animals, humane society, pound, animal shelter, or any authorized
agents thereof for the cost of care for the seized animal.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one provides the legislative purpose.

Section two amends paragraph a of subdivision 6 of section 373 of the
agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 586 of the laws
of 2008 by providing that the court shall, within a reasonable time
after arraignment, hold a hearing to determine if the person from whom
an animal is seized, or the owner of the animal, should be ordered to
post a security to reimburse a duly incorporated society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal
shelter, or any authorized agents thereof for the cost of care for
the seized animal.

Section three amends paragraphs band c of subdivision 6 of section 373
of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 256 of the
laws of 1997, subparagraph 2 of paragraph has amended by section 24 of
part T of chapter 59 of the laws of 2010, by providing certain
procedural changes regarding service and filing of papers. This
section provides that the district attorney rather than the
petitioner shall have the burden of proof, unless the impounding
organization appears at the hearing and requests to present evidence
and meet such burden on its own behalf.

JUSTIFICATION:
Often in cases of animal cruelty, animals are seized by a law
enforcement agent(s). Afterward, housing and care for such animals
must be found. Historically, organizations such as shelters, humane
societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and
rescue organizations have assisted law enforcement by providing care
for such animals. Through their vital services, the animals are safe
and the "evidence" in criminal trials is preserved. Such
organizations have provided services often with little or no
reimbursement.

The financial burden of caring for many animals, often for lengthy
periods of time, is forcing some organizations to decline assisting
law enforcement, refusing to place seized animals. Where there is no
organization to care for seized animals, law enforcement is less
likely to conduct seizures and animals remain in abusive situations
and conditions.


Although New York's current security posting law is intended to
alleviate some of the financial burden on agencies and organizations,
it does not always achieve that result. Currently, security posting
is discretionary and courts sometimes do not require it, even when
the requisite burden of proof has been met. Impounding organizations,
currently, must file a petition to obtain a security posting. Often,
however, they do not have legal counsel and are unaware that they
have the option to seek a security posting.

By requiring courts to automatically hold a hearing to determine
security postings when the state is bringing animal cruelty charges,
it will be more likely that impounding organizations will be
compensated for their services and will continue to provide places of
care for abused animals.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Referred to Agriculture (S.3155 C.Johnson), 2009.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
The ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3806

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              March 4, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  BALL  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture

AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation  to  orders
  of restitution in certain cases

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Legislative purpose. Animal cruelty and animal fighting are
serious crimes in New York state. Because crimes against  animals  often
involve  the  seizure of the victimized animals, these cases pose unique
challenges to law enforcement agencies throughout New York state.  These
challenges  involve  arranging  for  the housing and care of the animals
while the criminal case is pending. Private organizations, such as shel-
ters, humane societies and societies for the prevention  of  cruelty  to
animals  have traditionally assisted law enforcement agencies by provid-
ing care for these animals (which preserves  the  "evidence"  seized  in
criminal matters) with little or no reimbursement.
  It  is imperative to the continued prosecution of animal cruelty cases
that these private organizations be reimbursed for the  care  that  they
provide  to  these  victimized  animals.  Many private organizations are
declining to offer assistance in these cases  because  of  the  enormous
financial  burden  of  caring for a large number of animals for extended
time periods with no assurance of reimbursement for these  services.  If
there are no resources to care for the animals once they are seized, law
enforcement  is  less likely to conduct the seizures in the first place.
The legislature therefore intends to  implement  legislation  that  will
improve  the state's ability to ensure proper security and reimbursement
for impounding organizations providing care on behalf of  the  state  of
abused animals.
  S  2.  Paragraph  a of subdivision 6 of section 373 of the agriculture
and markets law, as amended by chapter 586  of  the  laws  of  2008,  is
amended to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00744-01-1

S. 3806                             2

  a. If any animal is seized and impounded pursuant to the provisions of
this  section,  section  three  hundred fifty-three-d of this article or
section three hundred seventy-five of this article for any violation  of
this  article,  upon arraignment of charges, OR WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME
THEREAFTER,  THE  COURT  SHALL  ORDER A HEARING TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE
PERSON FROM WHOM AN ANIMAL IS SEIZED OR THE OWNER OF THE  ANIMAL  SHOULD
BE ORDERED TO POST A SECURITY TO REIMBURSE the duly incorporated society
for  the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal
shelter or any authorized agents thereof, hereinafter  referred  to  for
the purposes of this section as the "impounding organization", [may file
a petition with the court requesting that the person from whom an animal
is  seized or the owner of the animal be ordered to post a security. The
security] FOR THE COSTS OF CARING FOR SAID SEIZED ANIMALS. ANY  SECURITY
ORDERED  FOLLOWING  SUCH  A  HEARING shall be in an amount sufficient to
secure payment for all reasonable expenses expected to  be  incurred  by
the impounding organization in caring and providing for the animal pend-
ing  disposition  of the charges. Reasonable expenses shall include, but
not be limited to, estimated medical care and boarding of the animal for
at least thirty days. The amount of  the  security,  if  any,  shall  be
determined by the court after taking into consideration all of the facts
and  circumstances  of the case including, but not limited to the recom-
mendation of the impounding organization having custody and care of  the
seized  animal  and the cost of caring for the animal. If a security has
been posted in accordance with this section, the impounding organization
may draw from the security the actual reasonable costs to be incurred by
such organization in caring for the seized animal.
  S 3. Paragraphs b and c of subdivision 6 of section 373 of  the  agri-
culture  and markets law, as amended by chapter 256 of the laws of 1997,
subparagraph 2 of paragraph b as amended by section  24  of  part  T  of
chapter 59 of the laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows:
  b.  (1)  [Upon  receipt  of a petition pursuant to paragraph a of this
subdivision the] THE court shall set a hearing [on the petition]  to  be
conducted  within ten business days of [the filing of such petition] ITS
HEARING ORDER PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH A OF THIS  SUBDIVISION.  The  [peti-
tioner]  COURT  shall  serve a true copy of the [petition] HEARING ORDER
upon THE IMPOUNDING ORGANIZATION, the defendant and the district  attor-
ney.   The [petitioner] COURT shall also serve a true copy of the [peti-
tion] HEARING ORDER on any  interested  person.  For  purposes  of  this
subdivision,  interested  person  shall mean an individual, partnership,
firm, joint stock company, corporation, association,  trust,  estate  or
other  legal entity who the court determines may have a pecuniary inter-
est in the animal which is the subject of the [petition] HEARING  ORDER.
The [petitioner] DISTRICT ATTORNEY shall have the burden of proving by a
preponderance  of  the evidence that the person from whom the animal was
seized violated a provision  of  this  article,  UNLESS  THE  IMPOUNDING
ORGANIZATION  APPEARS  AT  THE  HEARING  AND  REQUESTS  TO  PRESENT SUCH
EVIDENCE AND MEET SUCH BURDEN ON ITS OWN BEHALF.   The court  may  waive
for good cause shown the posting of security.
  (2)  If the court orders the posting of a security, the security shall
be posted with the clerk of the court within five business days  of  the
[hearing provided for in subparagraph one of this paragraph] ORDER.  The
court  may  order  the  immediate forfeiture of the seized animal to the
impounding organization if the person ordered to post the security fails
to do so. Any animal forfeited shall be made available for  adoption  or
euthanized  subject to subdivision seven-a of section one hundred seven-

S. 3806                             3

teen of this chapter or section three hundred seventy-four of this arti-
cle.
  (3)  In the case of an animal other than a companion animal or pet, if
a person ordered to post security fails to do  so,  the  court  may,  in
addition  to  the  forfeiture  to  a  duly  incorporated society for the
prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal  shelter
or  any  authorized  agents  thereof, and subject to the restrictions of
sections three hundred fifty-four, three hundred fifty-seven  and  three
hundred  seventy-four  of  this  article, order the animal which was the
basis of the order to be sold,  provided  that  all  interested  persons
shall  first be provided the opportunity to redeem their interest in the
animal and to purchase the interest of the person ordered to post  secu-
rity,  subject  to  such  conditions  as  the court deems appropriate to
assure proper care and treatment of the animal.  The court may reimburse
the person ordered to post security and any interested persons any money
earned by the sale of the animal  less  any  costs  including,  but  not
limited  to, veterinary and custodial care. Any animal determined by the
court to be maimed, diseased, disabled or infirm so as to be  unfit  for
sale  or  any  useful  purpose shall be forfeited to a duly incorporated
society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or a duly  incorporated
humane  society  or  authorized  agents  thereof,  and  be available for
adoption or shall be euthanized subject to section three hundred  seven-
ty-four of this article.
  (4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or restrict in
any  way the rights of a secured party having a security interest in any
animal described in this section. This section expressly does not impair
or subordinate the rights of such a secured  lender  having  a  security
interest in the animal or in the proceeds from the sale of such animal.
  c.  In no event shall the security prevent the impounding organization
having custody and care of the  animal  from  disposing  of  the  animal
pursuant  to section three hundred seventy-four of this article prior to
the expiration of the thirty day period covered by the security  if  the
court  makes a determination of the charges against the person from whom
the animal was seized prior thereto. [Upon receipt of  a  petition  from
the  impounding  organization,  the] THE court may order the person from
whom the animal was seized or the owner of the animal to post  an  addi-
tional security with the clerk of the court to secure payment of reason-
able  expenses  for an additional period of time pending a determination
by the court of the charges against the person from whom the animal  was
seized. The person who posted the security shall be entitled to a refund
of  the  security in whole or part for any expenses not incurred by such
impounding organization upon adjudication of the charges. The person who
posted the security shall be entitled to a full refund of the  security,
including  reimbursement  by  the  impounding organization of any amount
allowed by the court to be expended, and the return of the animal seized
and impounded upon acquittal or dismissal of the charges,  except  where
the dismissal is based upon an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal
pursuant  to  section  215.30  of  the criminal procedure law. The court
order directing such refund and reimbursement shall provide for  payment
to  be  made within a reasonable time from the acquittal or dismissal of
charges.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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