HB1602 (2020) Detail

Establishing a registry for persons convicted of animal cruelty.


HB 1602-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2178

08/04

 

HOUSE BILL 1602-FN-LOCAL

 

AN ACT establishing a registry for persons convicted of animal cruelty.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. St. Clair, Belk. 9

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a registry for persons convicted of animal cruelty.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2178

08/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT establishing a registry for persons convicted of animal cruelty.

 

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

 

1  New Chapter; Animal Cruelty Registry.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 651-F the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 651-G

ANIMAL CRUELTY REGISTRY

651-G:1  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  “Department” means the department of safety.

II.  “Division” means the division of state police, department of safety.

III.  “Local law enforcement agency” means the chief of police in the city or town where the person resides or is temporarily domiciled, or, if the municipality has no police chief or if the person resides in an unincorporated place, the division.

IV.  “Animal abuser” means a person who is over 18 years of age who has been convicted of cruelty to animals under RSA 644:8 or convicted of a comparable offense in another state.

V.  "Conviction" means a finding by a court that an individual is guilty of a criminal offense through adjudication or entry of a plea of guilt or no contest to the charge by the offender.

651-G:2  Registration.

I.  Every animal abuser who is within this state for more than 10 consecutive days shall report as required in RSA 651-G:3 with the county sheriff for the county in which the abuser is located.

II.  The sheriff of each county shall forward all registration information obtained under paragraph I to the division.

III.  Upon receipt of information pursuant to paragraph II concerning the presence of any animal abuser in the state, the division shall register such person and shall include the relevant information in the animal cruelty registry system.

IV.  Upon receipt from any out-of-state law enforcement agency of information that an animal abuser has moved to New Hampshire, the division shall register such person and shall include the relevant information in the animal cruelty registry system.

V.  The information that a person is required to register on the public list as an animal abuser, including his or her qualifying offense or offenses, shall be available to law enforcement through the offender’s criminal record and motor vehicle record.  If an animal abuser’s obligation to register terminates for any reason, the department shall notify the division of motor vehicles of the change and the offender’s motor vehicle record shall no longer reflect that the person is required to register as an animal abuser.

651-G:3  Reporting.

I.  Any animal abuser in this state for more than 10 consecutive days shall report in person to the sheriff of the county in which he or she is located.  The animal abuser shall report in person as set forth in this section by the end of his or her 11th day in New Hampshire.  The division shall notify the local law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction over the animal abuser’s other residences of the animal abuser’s address in their jurisdiction.  Thereafter, the animal abuser shall report annually prior to December 31 of each subsequent calendar year for a period of 15 years.

II.  Each time an animal abuser is required to report, the animal abuser shall provide the following information:

(a)  Name and any aliases.

(b)  Address of any permanent residence and address of any current temporary residence, within the state or out-of-state, and mailing address.  A post office box shall not be provided in lieu of a physical residential address.  If the animal abuser cannot provide a definite address, he or she shall provide information about all places where he or she habitually lives.

(c)  Name, address, and date of any employment or schooling.  For purposes of this section, the term “employment” includes volunteer work or work without remuneration.  If the animal abuser does not have a fixed place of work, he or she shall provide information about all places he or she generally works, and any regular routes of travel.

(d)  Date of birth, including any alias date of birth used by the animal abuser.

(e)  Social security number.

(f)  Physical description to include identifying marks such as scars and tattoos.

(g)  Telephone numbers for both fixed location and cell phones.

(h)  Passport, travel, and immigration documents.

(i)  A photograph taken by the law enforcement agency each time the person is required to report to the law enforcement agency under this section.

(j)  A set of major case prints, including fingerprints and palm prints of the offender.

(k)  The offense for which the animal abuser was convicted and the date and place of the conviction.

651-G:4  Change of Registration Information; Duty to Inform.

I.  When there is a change to any of the information that an animal abuser is required to report pursuant to this chapter, the animal abuser shall give written notification of the new information to the county sheriff to which he or she last reported under RSA 651-G:3 within 5 business days of such change of information.  In addition, any time an animal abuser changes residence, employment, or schooling, the animal abuser shall report in person to the county sheriff having jurisdiction over the animal abuser’s previous place of residence, place of employment, or school within 5 business days.  The county sheriff receiving notice of the change of registration information shall forward a copy to the division within 5 days after receipt.  The division shall notify the local law enforcement agency at the new place of residence, place of employment, or school, or the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency if the new place of residence, place of employment, or school is outside New Hampshire.  The division shall include any new information in the animal abuse registry system.

II.  Upon receipt of notice that an animal abuser has changed residence, employment, or schooling to a place outside New Hampshire, the division shall notify the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency of that information.  Within 10 business days after reporting the change of residence, employment, or schooling to the New Hampshire law enforcement agency, the animal abuser shall report to the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the new place of residence, place of employment, or school.  If the animal abuser fails to report to the appropriate out-of-state law enforcement agency the division shall maintain the offender’s information in the animal abuse registry system.

651-G:5  Availability of Information to the Public and Law Enforcement.

I.  Except as provided in this section, the records established and information collected pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall not be considered “public records” subject to inspection under RSA 91-A:4.  However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit any law enforcement agency from making any use or disclosure of any such information as may be necessary for the performance of a valid law enforcement function.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit an individual’s ability to obtain access to the individual’s own records, or to limit access to a person’s criminal record under the provisions of RSA 106-B:14, including address information obtained under the provisions of this chapter.

II.  The division shall maintain a list of all animal abusers required to register pursuant to this chapter.  The list shall also include all animal abusers about whom the division receives notice pursuant to RSA 651-G:2.  In addition to the information contained on the public list pursuant to paragraph III, the law enforcement list shall include all information reported to the local law enforcement agency or the department pursuant to RSA 651-G:3.  In addition, the information shall include the text of the statute under which the offender was convicted and the criminal history of the offender.  The list maintained pursuant to this paragraph shall not be available to the public but shall be available to law enforcement officials for valid law enforcement purposes.

III.  The division shall maintain a separate public list of all animal abusers required to register under RSA 651-G:3 and any animal abusers about whom the division receives notice pursuant to RSA 651-G:2.  The public list shall include all of the following information:

(a)  The animal abuser’s name, aliases, age, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, hair and eye color, and any other relevant physical description.

(b)  Address of any permanent residence and address of any temporary residence, within the state or out of state.

(c)  The offense for which the animal abuser is required to register and the text of the statute defining the offense.

(d)  The date and court of the adjudication of the offense for which the animal abuser is registered.

(e)  A photograph of the individual.

(f)  The address of any place where the individual is or will be a student.

651-G:6  Rules.  The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to forms and procedures for the administration of this chapter.

651-G:7  Penalties.

I.  An animal abuser who is required to register under this chapter and who negligently fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

II.  An animal abuser who is required to register under this chapter and who knowingly fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a class B felony.

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

 

LBAO

20-2178

12/4/19

 

HB 1602-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT establishing a registry for persons convicted of animal cruelty.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] 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           [ X ] Other - Cost of Collections*/Criminal Records Fund

*Pursuant to Part II, article 6-a of the New Hampshire constitution, any costs associated with the collection and administration of Highway Funds by the Department of Safety shall be deducted by the Department before such funds are credited to the Highway Fund as unrestricted revenue.

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill establishes a registry for persons convicted of animal cruelty.  The Department of Safety indicates the cost of a new animal cruelty database or upgrades to the current criminal history record database (CHRI) is unknown.  The Department estimates the cost to update the VISION system would be a minimum of $50,000 due to the effort required to coordinate the transfer of information from state police.  Information received from state police may be manually entered or via an interface depending on the volume.  The cost of an interface between the state police registry and the VISION system, is unknown at this time.  The Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) security and compliance measures will need to be evaluated and updated because the division would now receive information from sources outside of the NH Criminal Justice System.  This cost is not known as the scope of the changes needed are unknown and could be extensive.  Additional staff will be needed to maintain the registry, process all registration forms and act as the liaison to county and local law enforcement agencies.  At a minimum, a Program Assistant I (LG 12) will be required.  The cost of salary and benefits for this position is $38,000 in FY 202l, $58,000 in FY 2022, and $60,000 in FY 2023.  There will be no impact on state, county or local revenues.  The Department expects there will be an indeterminable impact to county government expenditures due to the requirement that offenders report and register at the county sheriff.  The sheriffs would be responsible for forwarding registrations to the state police and providing photographs of the offenders.  There could be an increase in local expenditures as the bill requires local law enforcement to be notified of offenders in their jurisdiction.

 

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.  

Judicial Branch

FY 2021

FY 2022

Class B Misdemeanor

$54

$56

Class A Misdemeanor

$77

$79

Simple Criminal Case

$300

$314

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$484

$498

Appeals

Varies

Varies

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Felony

$825/Case

$825/Case

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

Assigned Counsel – Felony

$60/Hour up to $4,100

$60/Hour up to $4,100

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2019 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$44,400

$44,400

FY 2019 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$5,071

$5,071

FY 2019 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$576

$576

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$105 to $120

$105 to $120

 

Many offenses are prosecuted by local and county prosecutors.  When the Department of Justice has investigative and prosecutorial responsibility or is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Departments of Safety, Justice and Corrections, Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Links

HB1602 at GenCourtMobile
HB1602 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 4, 2020 House Hearing
Feb. 5, 2020 House Exec Session
Feb. 5, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Feb. 19, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1602 Revision: 7239 Date: Dec. 4, 2019, 10:57 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Feb. 4, 2020 Public Hearing: 02/04/2020 11:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 5, 2020 Full Committee Work Session: 02/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 5, 2020 Executive Session: 02/05/2020 01:00 pm LOB 204
Feb. 19, 2020 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 02/19/2020 (Vote 20-0; CC) HC 7 P. 4
Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 20-0; CC)
Feb. 19, 2020 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/19/2020