Bill Details - SB262 (2019)



03/14/2019   0823s







AN ACT relative to the property interest in abandoned personal materials.


SPONSORS: Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill establishes a property interest in abandoned personal materials and procedures for government concerning such materials.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/14/2019   0823s 19-0875





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT relative to the property interest in abandoned personal materials.


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


1  New Section; Breach of Peace and Related Offenses; Violation of Property Interest in Abandoned Personal Materials.  Amend RSA 644 by inserting after section 22 the following new section:

644:23  Property Interest in Abandoned Personal Materials.

I.  In this section:

(a)  "Abandoned personal materials" means physical items owned, possessed or used by an individual and abandoned intentionally or unintentionally in private or public places.

(b)  "Government" means the federal government, the state government, and its political subdivisions, and state and municipal agencies and departments, including employees, agents, and contractors.

(c)  "Individual" means a living human being.

(d)  "Informational content" includes an individual's name, date or place of birth, social security number, address, employment history, credit history, financial information, account numbers, cellular telephone numbers, voice over Internet protocol or landline telephone numbers, biometric identifiers, including fingerprints, facial photographs, or images, retinal scans, DNA/RNA, genetic sequences, the content of messages, and other identifying data.

II.(a)  The informational content contained in or on abandoned personal material is the property of the individual to whom it pertains regardless of its abandonment.  

(b)  Subject to the exceptions in paragraph III, no government shall acquire, collect, retain, or use that informational content.  Nothing in this section shall prevent or exclude law enforcement, pursuant to existing legal authority, from taking physical possession of property containing abandoned personal material.

(c)  Informational content obtained in violation of this section shall not be admissible in a criminal, civil, administrative, or other proceeding, except as proof of a violation of this section.

III.  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph II, nothing in this section shall limit the acquisition, collection, retention, or use of the informational content of abandoned personal materials:

(a)  Pursuant to a warrant supported by probable cause pursuant to Part I, Art. 19 of the New Hampshire constitution or a judicially recognized exception to the warrant requirement;

(b)  By a law enforcement agency at a crime scene or through examination and analysis of such crime scene materials by forensic laboratories; or

(c)  By the judicial branch or any state regulatory or other agency within the branch's or agency's statutory adjudicatory or regulatory function.

IV.  If the government acquires, collects, retains, or uses the informational content pursuant to paragraph III, directly or indirectly, it shall acquire, collect, retain, or use such informational content only for the specific purpose for which it was acquired, collected, or retained.

V.  If federal law preempts any provision of this section, such provision shall not apply to the federal government.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.




Amended 3/21/19





AN ACT relative to the property interest in abandoned personal materials.


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




This bill, as amended, establishes a property interest in abandoned personal materials and procedures for government concerning such materials.  The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant states this bill has no fiscal impact on state, county, and local expenditures or revenue.






Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 4
Feb. 12, 2019 Hearing: 02/12/2019, Room 100, SH, 10:20 am; SC 10
March 14, 2019 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2019-0823s, 03/14/2019; SC 13
March 14, 2019 Committee Amendment # 2019-0823s, RC 14Y-10N, AA; 03/14/2019; SJ 8
March 14, 2019 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2019-0823s, RC 13Y-11N, MA; OT3rdg; 03/14/2019; SJ 8
March 20, 2019 Introduced 03/20/2019 and referred to Judiciary HJ 11 P. 71
April 17, 2019 Public Hearing: 04/17/2019 10:30 am LOB 208
April 23, 2019 Full Committee Work Session: 04/23/2019 11:00 am LOB 208
May 14, 2019 ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 05/14/2019 10:00 am LOB 208
May 28, 2019 ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 05/28/2019 10:00 am LOB 208

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 12, 2019 Senate Hearing
March 14, 2019 Senate Floor Vote
April 17, 2019 House Hearing
May 14, 2019 House Exec Session
May 28, 2019 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

SB262 Revision: 5235 Date: Jan. 25, 2019, 9:47 a.m.
SB262 Revision: 5551 Date: March 27, 2019, 8:55 a.m.