HB1192 (2020) Detail

Relative to forfeiture of seized personal property.


HB 1192-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2270

04/10

 

HOUSE BILL 1192-FN

 

AN ACT relative to forfeiture of seized personal property.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Sylvia, Belk. 6; Rep. Edwards, Rock. 4; Rep. McGuire, Merr. 29

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill limits the ability of a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency to transfer personal property to a federal agency for federal forfeiture proceedings.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2270

04/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to forfeiture of seized personal property.

 

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

 

1  Forfeiture of Items Used in Connection With Drug Offense.  Amend RSA 318-B:17-b, II(e) to read as follows:

(e)  The department of justice shall, within 60 days of the seizure, file a petition in the superior court having jurisdiction under this section.  If no such petition is filed within 60 days of the seizure, the items or property interest seized shall be released or returned to the owners.

2  Forfeiture of Items Used in Connection With Drug Offense.  Amend RSA 318-B:17-b, IV(d) to read as follows:

(d)  At least 30 days prior to the hearing scheduled pursuant to subparagraph (c), the state shall identify the criminal proceedings which were brought against the party under this chapter and which arose from the transaction underlying the forfeiture proceedings.  At the request of any party to the forfeiture proceeding, the court [may] shall grant a continuance until the final resolution of any such criminal proceedings which were brought against a party under this chapter and which arose from the transaction which gave rise to the forfeiture proceeding.  No asset forfeiture may be maintained against a person's interest in property if that person [has been found not guilty of the underlying felonious charge] was not charged with or convicted of an underlying criminal offense under this chapter.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit the filing of a forfeiture petition or the issuance of a forfeiture order where a conviction or agreement of the parties is not possible due to the death, incompetence, or unavailability of a party, or if a party cannot be identified or is not within the jurisdiction of the court.

3  New Section; Controlled Drug Act; Limiting Federal Forfeiture Litigation Relating to Personal Property.  Amend RSA 318-B by inserting after section 17-f the following new section:

318-B:17-g  Limiting Federal Forfeiture Litigation Relating to Personal Property.

I.  No state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency or prosecuting authority shall enter into an agreement to transfer 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 transfer 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 may transfer the seized property to a federal agency for forfeiture litigation under federal law.

III.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency 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.

4  New Section; Forfeitures of Personal Property; Limiting Federal Forfeiture Litigation Relating to Personal Property.  Amend RSA 617 by inserting after section 12 the following new section:

617:13  Limiting Federal Forfeiture Litigation Relating to Personal Property.

I.  No state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency or prosecuting authority shall enter into an agreement to transfer 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 transfer 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 may transfer the seized property to a federal agency for forfeiture litigation under federal law.

III.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency 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.

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2021.

 

LBAO

20-2270

11/5/19

 

HB 1192-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to forfeiture of seized personal property.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill limits the ability of a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency to transfer personal property to a federal agency for federal forfeiture proceedings.  

 

The Department of Justice indicates the bill requires the State to inform the opposing party of the criminal proceedings that gave rise to the forfeiture within 30 days.  The bill prevents the State from forfeiture in circumstances where the defendant in the underlying criminal case has died, been declared incompetent, been deemed unavailable, or cannot be identified.  The bill also prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from entering into agreements allowing the federal government to take custody of property for forfeiture pursuant to federal law.  The Attorney General's Office handles all forfeiture proceedings.  The Department assumes this bill would increase the number of proceedings the Attorney General's Office would handle because state and local law enforcement agencies would no longer work with the federal government to forfeit money or property.  The Department has no information on which to estimate the number of additional cases.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Justice

 

Links

HB1192 at GenCourtMobile
HB1192 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 5, 2020 House Hearing
March 3, 2020 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB1192 Revision: 6831 Date: Dec. 2, 2019, 11:22 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Judiciary HJ 1 P. 13
Feb. 5, 2020 Public Hearing: 02/05/2020 01:00 pm LOB 208
March 3, 2020 Executive Session: 03/03/2020 01:00 pm LOB 208