senate Bill S2665B

Signed by Governor

Authorizes DA on behalf of impounding organizations to file a petition seeking a security for the reasonable costs for caring for seized animals from individuals convicted of certain animal cruelty

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Bill Status


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

  • 23 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 01 / Mar / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 01 / Mar / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 2665A
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 2665B
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1430
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A5113A
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.685
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 06 / Dec / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 18 / Dec / 2013
    • SIGNED CHAP.531

Summary

Authorizes DA on behalf of impounding organizations to file a petition seeking a security for the reasonable costs for caring for seized animals from individuals convicted of certain animal cruelty and animal fighting offenses.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5113A
Versions:
S2665
S2665A
S2665B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง373, Ag & Mkts L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S3806
2009-2010: S3155

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2665B

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

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To require courts to hold a hearing within a reasonable time to deter-
mine 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 expenses for the seized
animal.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC 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 within a reasonable time after arraignment, the
impounding organization may file a petition with the court requesting
that the owner of the seized animal be ordered to post a security for
the reasonable expenses. The district attorney prosecuting the charges
may file and obtain the requested relief on behalf of the impounding
organization if requested to do so by the impounding organization.

Section three amends paragraph b of subdivision 6 of section 373 of the
agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 256 of the laws of
1997 by providing certain procedural changes regarding service and
filing of papers. This section provides that the district attorney or
the petitioner shall have the burden of proof.

Section four provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Often in cases of animal cruelty, animals are seized by a law enforce-
ment agent and placed in the care of organizations such as shelters,
humane societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals
(SPCA) and rescue organizations for the durations of criminal
proceedings. Such organizations have provided costly services to house
and care for these animals, often with little or no reimbursement.

The financial burden of caring for many animals, often for lengthy peri-
ods of time, is forcing some organizations to stop assisting law
enforcement with housing 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.

New York law gives courts discretion to require the defendant in an
animal cruelty case to post a security with the court to cover the cost
to the shelter for the animal's care. Especially if impounding organiza-
tions must first petition the court to order the security posting, many
impounding organizations do not have legal counsel and are unaware that
they have the option to seek this reimbursement.

For example in 2010, 73 horses and over 50 cats were seized from an
individual from Erie County. These animals were placed in the care of
the Erie County SPCA in March of that year, but had to wait for 9 months
until there was a hearing for the security to be set. By the time of the
hearing in December 2010, the SPCA had spent about $600,000 caring for
the horses alone. As of January 2013, the SPCA has spent $1.4 million
and received approximately $300,000 from the defendant.

This bill seeks to ease the financial burden on impounding organizations
that are caring for such animals. It requires that upon arraignment of
charges or within a reasonable time after, the court holds a hearing to
order the owner of the animal(s) to post a security to cover the reason-
able costs of care for the animals from the time of seizure and impound-
ment. For impounding organizations that lack the resources, the district
attorney shall have the burden of proof of evidence, unless the impound-
ing organization requests to do it on its own behalf.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

A.9400, 2010 passed Assembly. A.3166 (Bradley), 2009 passed Assembly.
Same as S.3155 (Johnson C.), 2010, 2009 referred to Agriculture Commit-
tee. A.259, 2011 and 2012, passed Assembly. Same as S.3806 (Ball), 2011
reported and committed to Rules and 2012 referred to Agriculture.

FISCAL IMPLICATION:

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                 2665--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 23, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. BALL, AVELLA, ESPAILLAT, HOYLMAN -- read twice and
  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on
  Agriculture  --  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted
  as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee  discharged,
  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said
  committee

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  this  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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07156-07-3

S. 2665--B                          2

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:
  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 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] THE DISTRICT
ATTORNEY PROSECUTING THE CHARGES  MAY  FILE  AND  OBTAIN  THE  REQUESTED
RELIEF ON BEHALF OF THE IMPOUNDING ORGANIZATION IF REQUESTED TO DO SO BY
THE  IMPOUNDING  ORGANIZATION. THE SECURITY shall be in an amount suffi-
cient to secure payment for  all  reasonable  expenses  expected  to  be
incurred  by the impounding organization in caring and providing for the
animal pending 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 recommendation 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. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph b of subdivision 6 of section 373 of
the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 256 of  the  laws
of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  (1)  Upon receipt of a petition pursuant to paragraph a of this subdi-
vision the court shall set a hearing on the  petition  to  be  conducted
within  ten business days of the filing of such petition. The petitioner
shall serve a true copy of the  petition  upon  the  defendant  and  the
district attorney IF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAS NOT FILED THE PETITION ON
BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER. The petitioner shall also serve a true copy of
the petition 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 interest in the
animal which is the subject of  the  petition.  The  petitioner  OR  THE
DISTRICT  ATTORNEY  ACTING  ON  BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER, 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.
The court may waive for good cause shown the posting of security.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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