HB 1532-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 1532-FN
This bill amends the criminal trespass statute in circumstances where the property is not posted with “no trespassing” signs.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve
AN ACT relative to trespass on land which is not posted.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Criminal Trespass. Amend RSA 635:2, I to read as follows:
I.(a) A person is guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, he or she enters or remains in any place for any purpose, except as authorized in this paragraph.
(b) A law enforcement officer may enter or remain on the property of another if invited to be there or when acting consistently with a recognized exception to the warrant requirement.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 1532-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to trespass on land which is not posted.
The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Justice, Department of Corrections, and New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill may increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the fiscal impact of this bill on local revenue and expenditures is indeterminable in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. There is no fiscal impact on state and county revenue.
The Judicial Branch states this bill amends the criminal trespass statute to add an exception that involves law enforcement officers. The Branch states it is not clear if the proposed bill will result in any change in the number of criminal trespass charges prosecuted. Depending on the circumstances, criminal trespass can be a violation, a misdemeanor or a class B felony. The Branch has no information to estimate how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in the bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures but does have information on the cost for processing a violation, a misdemeanor or a class B felony. All costs are estimated based on case weight information from the last needs assessment completed in 2005. The Branch states a violation will cost $41.92 per case in FY 2013, and $43.20 per case in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. A misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor. The Branch states a class A misdemeanor will cost $59.11 per case in FY 2013 and $61.31 per case in FY 2014 and each year thereafter, and a class B misdemeanor will cost $43.19 per case in FY 2013, and $44.54 per case in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. The Branch states the class B felony would be classified as an average routine felony and treated as an average routine criminal case in the Superior Court. The Branch states an average routine criminal case will cost $389.84 per case in FY 2013 and $401.48 per case in FY 2014 and each year thereafter. The possibility of appeals increases the likelihood the fiscal impact on the Branch will exceed $10,000.
The Judicial Council states this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor and $756.24 per felony is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge and $4,100 for a felony charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court appeals is $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap are seldom granted. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense of a case or during an appeal.
The Department of Justice states the criminal offense created by the bill will increase the Department’s expenditures by an indeterminable amount. The Department states the number of complaints the Department will have to respond to, investigate and potentially prosecute will increase under this bill. The Department is not able to estimate the extent of the increase to determine an exact fiscal impact.
The Department of Corrections states it is not able to determine the fiscal impact of this bill because it does not have sufficient detail to predict the number of individuals who would be subject to this legislation. The Department of Corrections states the average annual cost of incarcerating an individual in the general prison population for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 was $32,492. The cost to supervise an individual by the Department’s division of field services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 was $659.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent more individuals are charged, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration in a county correctional facility, the counties may have increased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who might be charged, convicted or incarcerated as a result of this bill to determine an exact fiscal impact. The average annual cost to incarcerate an individual in a county correctional facility is approximately $35,000. There is no impact on county revenue.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states the fiscal impact of this bill on municipalities is indeterminable. The Association states the fiscal impact is indeterminable because the bill may have an inherent constitutional conflict.