HB614 (2018) Detail

Relative to forfeiture of personal property.


HB 614-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0615

08/10

 

HOUSE BILL 614-FN

 

AN ACT relative to forfeiture of personal property.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Sylvia, Belk. 6; Rep. Burt, Hills. 39

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill limits the conditions under which seized property may be transfered to a federal agency.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0615

08/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to forfeiture of personal property.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Section; Forfeiture of Personal Property.  Amend RSA 617 by inserting after section 11 the following new section:

617:12  Limiting Federal Forfeiture Litigation under Equitable Sharing to Seizures That Include More than $100,000 in Currency.

I.  No state, county or municipal law enforcement agency or prosecuting authority may enter into an agreement to transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency directly, indirectly, by adoption, through an intergovernmental joint taskforce or by other means for the purposes of forfeiture litigation unless the seized property includes United States currency in excess of $100,000.

II.  All state, county or municipal law enforcement agencies shall refer seized property to the appropriate state, county or municipal prosecuting authority for forfeiture litigation under this chapter unless the seized property includes United States currency in excess of $100,000.  If seized property includes United States currency in excess of $100,000, the state, county or municipal law enforcement agency has the option but is not required to refer or transfer the seized property to a federal agency for forfeiture litigation under federal law.

III.  Nothing in paragraph I or II shall be construed to restrict state, county or municipal law enforcement agencies from collaborating with a federal agency to seize contraband or property that the law enforcement agency has probable cause to believe is the proceeds or instruments of a crime through an intergovernmental joint taskforce.

2  New Section; Anti-Circumvention of State Forfeiture Jurisdiction.  Amend RSA 318-B by inserting after section 17-f the following new section:

318-B:17-g  Limiting Federal Forfeiture Litigation under Equitable Sharing to Seizures That Include More than $100,000 in Currency.

I.  No state, county or municipal law enforcement agency or prosecuting authority may enter into an agreement to transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency directly, indirectly, by adoption, through an intergovernmental joint taskforce or by other means for the purposes of forfeiture litigation unless the seized property includes United States currency in excess of $100,000.

II.  All state, county or municipal law enforcement agencies shall refer seized property to the appropriate state, county or municipal prosecuting authority for forfeiture litigation under this chapter unless the seized property includes United States currency in excess of $100,000.  If seized property includes United States currency in excess of $100,000, the state, county or municipal law enforcement agency has the option but is not required to refer or transfer the seized property to a federal agency for forfeiture litigation under federal law.

III.  Nothing in paragraph I or II shall be construed to restrict state, county or municipal law enforcement agencies from collaborating with a federal agency to seize contraband or property that the law enforcement agency has probable cause to believe is the proceeds or instruments of a crime through an intergovernmental joint taskforce.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.

 

LBAO

17-0615

1/23/17

 

HB 614-FN- FISCAL NOTE

as introduced

 

AN ACT relative to forfeiture of personal property.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill limits the conditions under which local, county, and state law enforcement agencies can transfer seized personal property to the federal government for forfeiture litigation under its equitable sharing program for currency in excess of $100,000.  The Department of Justice states when property or cash is forfeited under RSA 318-B:17-b as proceeds of drug trafficking, of the first $500,000, 10 percent is deposited in a special nonlapsing account in the Department of Health and Human Services, 45 percent is returned to the law enforcement agency(ies) that participated in the underlying criminal investigation, and 45 percent is deposited in the Attorney General's Drug Forfeiture Fund, which is used to support controlled drug investigations and prosecutions.  For any remaining amounts in excess of $500,000, 10 percent is deposited into the Department of Health and Human Services special account and 90 percent goes to the drug forfeiture fund.  If property is forfeited by a federal agency, 20 percent is retained by the federal agency and 80 percent is returned to the participating law enforcement agency(ies).  The Department of Justice is the prosecuting authority for all forfeitures of property seized pursuant to RSA 318-B:17-b.  The Department anticipates this bill would result in an increase in the number of forfeitures the Department would be required to handle.  This could increase state expenditures and restricted revenue and would decrease local revenue.  The Department is unable to estimate the fiscal impact relative to additional workload and additional revenue.    

 

The Department of Safety states the majority of seizures made involve less than $100,000.  When cases are brought to the US Attorney's office for federal prosecution, any forfeitures involved would accompany the case.  This may no longer be allowed under this bill, which would require the Department of Justice to prosecute in such cases, which the Department assumes would increase state costs.  Under existing state guidelines, agencies are allowed a 45 percent return on forfeitures.  Federally, the amount allowed is 80 percent.  The Department assumes there would be a decrease in the amount of money from forfeitures being returned to the county and local agencies.  Alternatively, state restricted revenue could increase.  This would impact a number of programs, including funding for drug law enforcement operations, training and equipment.  The Department of Safety states this bill would negatively impact law enforcement but the fiscal impact cannot be determined.

 

The Department of Administrative Services states there would be no impact on its operations as it does not deal with seized currency.  Non-currency state-seized property is processed through the State surplus process.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association states it does not have sufficient information to determine the effect on local revenue and expenditures.

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill will not impact county revenue or expenditures.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services states this bill will have no impact on its operating budget.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Administrative Services, New Hampshire Municipal Association, New Hampshire Association of Counties, Department of Safety, and Department of Justice

 

 

Links

HB614 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 1, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 14, 2017 House Exec Session
Feb. 21, 2017 House Exec Session
March 8, 2017 House Floor Vote
March 28, 2017 Senate Hearing
May 11, 2017 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB614 Revision: 2442 Date: Jan. 25, 2017, 2:26 p.m.

Docket


Jan. 3, 2018: Refer to Interim Study, RC 19Y-4N, MA; 01/03/2018; SJ 1


Jan. 3, 2018: Sen. Sanborn Moved to Remove HB 614 from the Consent Calendar; 01/03/2018; SJ 1


Jan. 3, 2018: Committee Report: Referred to Interim Study, 01/03/2018; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 48


May 11, 2017: Sen. Bradley Moved to Rerefer, MA, VV; 05/11/2017; SJ 16


May 11, 2017: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate, 05/11/2017; SC 22


March 28, 2017: Hearing: 03/28/2017, Room 100, SH, 09:00 am; SC 16


March 9, 2017: Introduced 03/09/2017 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 9


March 9, 2017: Ought to Pass: MA RC 219-139 03/09/2017 HJ 10 P. 28


: Minority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate


March 8, 2017: Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 03/08/2017 (Vote 9-8; RC)


Feb. 21, 2017: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 02/21/2017 10:00 AM LOB 208


Feb. 14, 2017: ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 02/14/2017 01:00 PM LOB 208


Feb. 1, 2017: Public Hearing: 02/01/2017 01:30 PM LOB 208


Jan. 5, 2017: Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Judiciary HJ 3 P. 22