A05552 Summary:

BILL NOA05552
 
SAME ASSAME AS S03707
 
SPONSORPaulin
 
COSPNSREnglebright, Buttenschon, Arroyo, Zebrowski, McDonald, Mosley, Stirpe, Gottfried, Cruz, Williams, Sayegh, D'Urso, McDonough, DeStefano, Montesano, Miller B, Salka, Lawrence, Colton, Walczyk, Steck
 
MLTSPNSRGriffin, Simon
 
Amd 373, Ag & Mkts L
 
Relates to the proper venue for an impounding organization to file a petition for a security to be paid by the owner of a seized animal currently in the care of such organization.
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A05552 Actions:

BILL NOA05552
 
02/13/2019referred to agriculture
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A05552 Committee Votes:

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A05552 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A05552 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A5552
 
SPONSOR: Paulin
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the posting of security by a person against whom certain criminal charges are pending   PURPOSE: This bill seeks to improve the process for animal sheltering organiza- tions to responsibly meet the costs associated with caring for the victims of animal cruelty during a criminal investigation.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends section 373 of the agriculture and markets law to authorize an impounding organization, holding live animals as evidence on behalf of any political subdivision of government during a criminal investigation, to petition the court of jurisdiction for the posting of security upon the issuance of an appearance ticket under certain circum- stances, or within a reasonable time thereafter. This section also provides that service can be completed personally or through certified mail when a petition is filed after the issuance of an appearance tick- et, but prior to arraignment on charges. If a petition is filed after the issuance of an appearance ticket, but prior to arraignment on charg- es, if the defendant does not have counsel at the time of arraignment, the court may appoint counsel for purposes of the petition if such defendant is otherwise eligible for appointed counsel for the underlying criminal offense. Section two provides the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Not-for-profit humane societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals and other sheltering organizations are often left to care for the victims of animal abuse when such animals are seized from their alleged abusers. The security posting process in current law plays an essential role in helping to cover the significant costs associated with caring for these victims by authorizing courts to require the accused to place funds in an account that can be accessed by the sheltering organ- ization to assist with providing this essential service. Under current law, once cruelty or animal fighting charges are filed, it can be several months or even longer before the criminal case is resolved - either by a plea bargain or by criminal trial. Depending upon the specifics of the case and the jurisdiction, arraignment may not occur for several days, several weeks, or in many cases much longer. In New York City, for example, the typical wait for an arraignment to occur is at least six to eight weeks after the issuance of an appearance tick- et. This creates a clear and serious delay in the ability to petition the court for security, thereby placing the financial burden of caring for such animals squarely upon the impounding organization until arraignment occurs. This legislation would authorize the security posting petition to be filed upon the issuance of an appearance ticket or within a reasonable time thereafter. It would not affect or confuse the current petition process where an alleged abuser is brought into physical custody. In doing so, it will benefit not just the impounding organization and the seized animals but also the defendant, who will be assured prompter access to the judicial forum to ensure retention of his animals while criminal charges are resolved. This would greatly improve the process for animal shelters and the local governments they serve to responsibly meet the costs associated withcaring for the victims of animal cruelty. Unable to shoulder the costs associated with caring for these animals alone, many shelters are forced to limit the assistance they can offer. This creates an obstacle to effective enforcement of cruelty and anti- fighting laws, which are serious misdemeanor and felony-level crimes in New York State. If there is no place for the seized animals to go, law enforcement often has little choice but to weigh against seizing them in the first place, an outcome that must be avoided wherever possible.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.7969-A of 2015 and 2016, referred to agriculture. Same as S. 5727-A, referred to agriculture in 2015 and advanced to a third reading in 2016.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: On the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law
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A05552 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5552
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 13, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. PAULIN -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Agriculture
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  agriculture and markets law, in relation to the
          posting of security by a person against whom certain criminal  charges
          are pending
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Paragraph a and subparagraph 1 of paragraph b  of  subdivi-
     2  sion 6 of section 373 of the agriculture and markets law, paragraph a as
     3  amended  by  chapter 289 of the laws of 2018 and subparagraph 1 of para-
     4  graph b as amended by chapter 531 of the laws of 2013,  are  amended  to
     5  read as follows:
     6    a. If any animal is seized and impounded pursuant to the provisions of
     7  this  section,  section three hundred fifty-three-d [of this article] or
     8  [section] three hundred seventy-five of this article for  any  violation
     9  of  this  article,  [upon arraignment of charges, or within a reasonable
    10  time thereafter,] the duly incorporated society for  the  prevention  of
    11  cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, animal shelter or any author-
    12  ized  agents  thereof,  hereinafter referred to for the purposes of this
    13  section as the "impounding organization", may file a petition  with  the
    14  court  in  which  criminal  charges  have been filed requesting that the
    15  person [from whom an animal is  seized  or  the  owner  of  the  animal]
    16  against  whom  criminal charges are pending ("the defendant") be ordered
    17  to post a security. If the defendant is issued an appearance ticket,  as
    18  defined in subdivision twenty-six of section 1.20 of the criminal proce-
    19  dure law, the petition may be filed upon the issuance of such appearance
    20  ticket  or  within  a  reasonable  time thereafter. In all other circum-
    21  stances, the petition may be filed upon arraignment of charges or within
    22  a reasonable time thereafter.  The  district  attorney  prosecuting  the
    23  charges  may  file  and  obtain  the  requested  relief on behalf of the
    24  impounding organization if requested to do so by the  impounding  organ-
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09642-01-9

        A. 5552                             2
 
     1  ization. The security shall be in an amount sufficient to secure payment
     2  for  all  reasonable  expenses expected to be incurred by the impounding
     3  organization in caring and providing for the animal pending  disposition
     4  of  the  charges.  Reasonable expenses shall include, but not be limited
     5  to, estimated medical care and boarding of the animal for at least thir-
     6  ty days. The amount of the security, if any, shall be determined by  the
     7  court after taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances
     8  of  the  case  including,  but  not limited to the recommendation of the
     9  impounding organization having custody and care of the seized animal and
    10  the cost of caring for the animal. If a  security  has  been  posted  in
    11  accordance  with this section, the impounding organization may draw from
    12  the security the actual reasonable costs to be incurred by  such  organ-
    13  ization in caring for the seized animal.
    14    (1)  Upon receipt of a petition pursuant to paragraph a of this subdi-
    15  vision the court shall set a hearing on the  petition  to  be  conducted
    16  within  ten business days of the filing of such petition. The petitioner
    17  shall serve a true copy of the  petition  upon  the  defendant  and  the
    18  district attorney if the district attorney has not filed the petition on
    19  behalf  of  the petitioner.  If the petition is filed after the issuance
    20  of an appearance ticket but prior to arraignment on charges, service may
    21  be effectuated by serving  a  true  copy  thereof  personally  upon  the
    22  defendant,  or  by  sending a true copy thereof by certified mail to the
    23  address of the defendant. The petitioner shall also serve a true copy of
    24  the petition on any interested person. For purposes of this subdivision,
    25  interested person shall mean an  individual,  partnership,  firm,  joint
    26  stock  company,  corporation,  association, trust, estate or other legal
    27  entity who the court determines may have [a] an ownership  or  pecuniary
    28  interest  in the animal which is the subject of the petition.  Provided,
    29  that, if a petition is filed after the issuance of an appearance  ticket
    30  but  prior  to  arraignment  on charges, and the defendant does not have
    31  counsel at the time of arraignment, the court  may  assign  counsel  for
    32  purposes  of  the  petition  if such defendant is otherwise eligible for
    33  appointed counsel for the underlying criminal offense. The petitioner or
    34  the district attorney acting on behalf of the petitioner, shall have the
    35  burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence  that  the  [person
    36  from  whom the animal was seized] defendant violated a provision of this
    37  article. The court may waive for good cause shown the posting of securi-
    38  ty.
    39    § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    40  have become a law.
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