senate Bill S2333

Authorizes claiming authorities to retain certain property for law enforcement purposes in civil forfeiture actions for the proceeds of a crime

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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

  • 16 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 29 / May / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.777
  • 30 / May / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 03 / Jun / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 04 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 04 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 04 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 29 / Apr / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.464
  • 30 / Apr / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 05 / May / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Authorizes claiming authorities or agents to retain electronic, telecommunications or surveillance equipment or devices, computers, or office equipment for law enforcement purposes in civil forfeiture actions for the proceeds of a crime.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1503
Versions:
S2333
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Civil Practice Law and Rules
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง1349, CPLR
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S3829A, A6453A
2009-2010: S649, A6733
2007-2008: A110

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2333

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in
relation to authorizing a claiming authority to retain personal
property for law enforcement purposes

PURPOSE: This bill permits law enforcement officials to retain seized
property, such as electronic, telecommunications or surveillance
equipment or devices, computers, or office equipment that has been
seized and forfeited, after approval of the court, in order to utilize
such personal property for law enforcement purposes.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends Civil Practice Law and Rules section 1349 to add
property such as electronic, telecommunications or surveillance
equipment or devices, ox office equipment to items such as vehicles,
vessels, and aircraft which may be currently retained by state and
local law enforcement entities after forfeiture and used for law
enforcement purposes.

EXISTING LAW: This valuable equipment cannot now be used by law
enforcement officials.

JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, any vehicle, vessel or aircraft
that is seized by and forfeited to a state or local law enforcement
agency as a "proceeds of a crime" may be retained by the seizing
jurisdiction, after court approval, and then used for such office's
law enforcement activities, The current law enhances the ability of
state and local law enforcement officials to combat crime, while at
the same time saving taxpayer dollars by avoiding the need to purchase
these expensive items. Further, if such items were auctioned off at
public auction, the proceeds received from such auctions are generally
much less than the market value of such assets or the price to
purchase such assets new. Further, there is a cost to auction off such
assets and costs are incurred to store such vehicles, vessels or
aircraft before such auction.

Law enforcement agencies often seize valuable electronic equipment
such as computers, video equipment, telecommunications or office
equipment, fax machines, and surveillance equipment such as night
vision goggles which are superior to the equipment used by police
agencies. Further, this equipment could be used to help combat crime
or reduce auto theft. Unfortunately, under current law, such
electronic equipment cannot be forfeited. Instead, this valuable
equipment must be auctioned off in accordance CPLR Article 51 at very
low prices.

The auction process is slow and costly, and produces only a fraction
of the value of the goods, even when the electronic equipment is in
good condition. In addition, once possessed, such law enforcement
offices could share this equipment with other law enforcement agencies
to help reduce their operating and capital costs as well.

In addition, since the Federal Government has a more extensive civil
forfeiture law, often state and local law enforcement agencies will


allow a federal law enforcement agency to take the lead in an arrest
and seizure of property to take advantage of the Federal civil
forfeiture law. Hence, the current wide dichotomy between New York
State and Federal civil forfeiture laws, forces state and local law
enforcement to find willing federal partners to conduct arrests and
seize property. However, Federal Law enforcement agencies are already
taxed to the limit and are concentrating more resources on the war on
terror, hence other crimes that tend to be more state based in their
enforcement such as drug trafficking, auto theft, auto insurance
fraud, and others is not a Federal priority as much as it is for local
law enforcement agencies.

This bill would allow state and local law enforcement agencies to
retain more seized equipment, after court approval, reduce the cost of
state and local governments by reducing auction, inventory, and
storage costs of seized property and the cost to purchase new office
equipment and other seized. properties.

This bill was revised to take into consideration the comments of the
NYS Association of Chiefs of police, the NYS District Attorneys
Association, and the NYS Sheriffs Association, to update this law.
All of these law enforcement associations now endorse and support this
bill.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S. 3829-A - Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: This measure would
have a beneficial fiscal impact. This is because it would make such
sophisticated equipment free and available for use by law enforcement
officials, instead of forcing such law enforcement agency to auction
off this seized equipment at well below its market value. This bill
should save municipal and state law enforcement agencies funds that
otherwise would need to be expended to purchase such sophisticated
equipment.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill measure would positively help
the finances of municipal and state law enforcement agencies.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 30 days after it shall have become law.

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

                                  2333

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. KLEIN, CARLUCCI, GALLIVAN, SAVINO -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
  Codes

AN ACT to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to author-
  izing  a  claiming  authority  to  retain  personal  property  for law
  enforcement purposes

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

  Section  1.  The opening paragraph of subdivision 2 of section 1349 of
the civil practice law and rules, as added by chapter 655 of the laws of
1990, is amended to read as follows:
  If any other provision of law expressly governs the manner of disposi-
tion of property subject to the judgment or order  of  forfeiture,  that
provision  of  law shall be controlling.  Upon application by a claiming
agent for reimbursement of moneys directly expended by a claiming  agent
in  the underlying criminal investigation for the purchase of contraband
which were converted into a non-monetary form or  which  have  not  been
otherwise  recovered,  the  court  shall  direct such reimbursement from
money forfeited pursuant to this article. Upon application of the claim-
ing agent, the  court  may  direct  that  any  vehicles,  vessels  [or],
aircraft,  ELECTRONIC,  TELECOMMUNICATIONS  OR SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT OR
DEVICES, COMPUTERS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF  SECTION  156.00  OF
THE  PENAL LAW OR OFFICE EQUIPMENT forfeited pursuant to this article be
retained by the claiming agent for law enforcement purposes, unless  the
court  determines  that such property is subject to a perfected lien, in
which case the court may not direct that the property be retained unless
all such liens on the property to be retained  have  been  satisfied  or
pursuant  to  the  court's order will be satisfied. In the absence of an
application by the claiming agent, the claiming authority may  apply  to
the  court  to  retain  such property for law enforcement purposes. Upon
such application, the court may direct that such property be retained by

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02668-01-3

S. 2333                             2

the claiming authority for law enforcement purposes,  unless  the  court
determines  that such property is subject to a perfected lien. If not so
retained, the judgment or order shall direct the claiming  authority  to
sell  the property in accordance with article fifty-one of this chapter,
and that the proceeds of such sale and any other moneys  realized  as  a
consequence  of  any forfeiture pursuant to this article shall be appor-
tioned and paid in the following descending order of priority:
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
have  become a law and shall apply to forfeiture actions commenced on or
after such date.

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