HB1685 (2020) Detail

Providing for the appointment of special conservators of the peace.


HB 1685-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2573

05/01

 

HOUSE BILL 1685-FN

 

AN ACT providing for the appointment of special conservators of the peace.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Sylvia, Belk. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a procedure for appointment of special conservators of the peace.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2573

05/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT providing for the appointment of special conservators of the peace.

 

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

 

1  New Chapter; Special Conservators of the Peace.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 456-B the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 456-C

SPECIAL CONSERVATORS OF THE PEACE

456-C:1  Special Conservators of the Peace; Appointment.

I.  Upon the submission of an application, which shall include the results of the background investigation conducted pursuant to RSA 461-C:2, from (a) any sheriff or chief of police of any county, city, or town; (b) any corporation authorized to do business in New Hampshire; (c) the owner, proprietor, or authorized custodian of any place within New Hampshire; or (d) any museum owned and managed by New Hampshire, the superior court shall appoint a special conservator of the peace who shall serve as such for such length of time as the court may designate, but not exceeding 4 years under any one appointment.  The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that the appointment is necessary for the security of property or the peace, and shall present a valid registration from the secretary of state confirming the individual's eligibility to serve as a special conservator of the peace.  Upon an application made pursuant to subparagraphs (b), (c), or (d), the court shall, prior to entering the order of appointment, transmit a copy of the application to the county attorney and the local sheriff or chief of police, who may submit to the court a sworn, written statement indicating whether the order of appointment should be granted.  However, the court may deny the appointment for good cause, and shall state the specific reasons for the denial in writing in the order denying the appointment.

II.  The court may revoke an appointment order for good cause shown, upon the filing of a sworn petition by the attorney general, county attorney, sheriff, or chief of police for any locality in which the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve or by the secretary of state.  Prior to revocation, a hearing shall be set and the special conservator of the peace shall be given notice and the opportunity to be heard.  The court may temporarily suspend the appointment pending the hearing for good cause shown.  A hearing on the petition shall be heard by the court as soon as practicable.  If the appointment order is suspended or revoked, the clerk of court shall notify the secretary of state, the division of state police, the applicable local law-enforcement agencies in all cities and counties where the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve, and the employer of the special conservator of the peace.

III.  The order of appointment shall provide that a special conservator of the peace may perform only the duties specified in the order and for which the person is qualified.  The order of appointment shall provide that such duties shall be exercised only within geographical limitations specified by the court, which shall be within the confines of the county, city or town that makes application or on the real property where the corporate applicant is located, or any real property contiguous to such real property, limited, except as provided in RSA 461-A:3 to the city or county wherein application has been made, and only when such special conservator of the peace is engaged in the performance of his or her duties as such; however, a court may, in its discretion, specify in the order of appointment additional jurisdictions in which a special conservator of the peace may exercise his or her duties.  The order may provide that the special conservator of the peace shall have the authority to make an arrest outside of such geographical limitations if the arrest results from a close pursuit that was initiated when the special conservator of the peace was within the confines of the area wherein the person has been authorized to have the powers and authority of a special conservator of the peace; the order shall further delineate a geographical limitation or distance beyond which the special conservator of the peace may not effectuate such an arrest that follows from a close pursuit.  The order shall require the special conservator of the peace to comply with the provisions of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of New Hampshire.  The order shall not identify the special conservator of the peace as a law-enforcement officer.  However, the order may provide limited police powers, including the power of arrest.  Such designation shall not qualify the special conservator of the peace as a "qualified law-enforcement officer" or "qualified retired law-enforcement officer" within the meaning of the federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act, 18 U.S.C. section 926(B) et seq., and the order of appointment shall specifically state this.  The order may also provide that a special conservator of the peace who has completed the minimum training standards established by the secretary of state, has the authority to affect arrests, using up to the same amount of force as would be allowed to a law-enforcement officer employed by New Hampshire or any of its political subdivisions when making a lawful arrest.  The order shall prohibit blue flashing lights, but upon request and for good cause shown may provide that the special conservator of the peace may use flashing lights and sirens on any vehicle used by the special conservator of the peace when he or she is in the performance of official duties.  Prior to granting an application for appointment, the superior court shall ensure that the applicant has met the registration requirements established by the secretary of state.

IV.  All applications and orders for appointments of special conservators of the peace shall be submitted on forms developed by the supreme court in consultation with the secretary of state.  The applications and orders shall specify the duties for which the applicant is qualified and the applicable geographic limitations of the appointment.

461-C:2  Registration.  No person shall seek appointment as a special conservator of the peace from a court without possessing a valid registration issued by the secretary of state, except as provided in this section.  A temporary registration may be issued in accordance with rules established by the secretary of state under RSA 541-A while awaiting the results of a state and national fingerprint search.  However, no person shall be issued a valid registration or temporary registration until the person has:

(a)  Complied with, or been exempted from, the compulsory minimum training standards as set forth in this section;

(b)  Submitted fingerprints on a form provided by the secretary of state to be used for the conduct of a national criminal records search and a New Hampshire criminal history records search;

(c)  Submitted the results of a background investigation, performed by any state or local law-enforcement agency, which may, at its discretion, charge a reasonable fee to the applicant and which shall include a review of the applicant's criminal history records and may include a review of the applicant's school records, employment records, or interviews with persons possessing general knowledge of the applicant's character and fitness for such appointment; and

(d)  Met all other requirements of this chapter.

II.  No person shall be eligible for registration or appointment as a special conservator of the peace who:

(a)  Has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving:

(1)  Moral turpitude;

(2)  Assault and battery;

(3)  Damage to real or personal property;

(4)  Controlled substances or imitation controlled substances;

(5)  Prohibited sexual behavior; or

(6)  Firearms; or

(b)  Has been convicted of a felony; or

(c)  Is required to register as a sex offender; or

(d)  Is prohibited from possessing, transporting, or purchasing a firearm.

III.  If a special conservator of the peace is arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any misdemeanor or felony offense or becomes ineligible for registration or appointment as a special conservator of the peace pursuant to this section, the special conservator of the peace shall report this fact to the secretary of state and the chief law-enforcement officer of all localities in which he or she is authorized to serve within 3 days of such arrest or of becoming ineligible for registration or appointment as a special conservator of the peace.  Any appointment for a special conservator of the peace may be suspended or revoked after a hearing pursuant to RSA 456-C:1 if the special conservator of the peace is convicted of any offense listed in this section or becomes ineligible for registration or appointment as a special conservator of the peace pursuant to this section.  All appointments for special conservators of the peace shall become void unless they have obtained a valid registration issued by the secretary of state.

IV.  Each person registered as or seeking registration as a special conservator of the peace shall be covered by a policy of personal injury liability insurance; property damage liability insurance; and miscellaneous casualty insurance, which includes professional liability insurance that provides coverage for any activity within the scope of the duties of a special conservator of the peace.  The secretary of state shall establish the amounts of coverage required under this paragraph.

V.  Any person who is aggrieved by the misconduct of any person registered as a special conservator of the peace and recovers a judgment against the registrant, which is unsatisfied in whole or in part, may bring an action in his or her own name against the insurance policy of the registrant.

VI.  All persons currently appointed or seeking appointment or reappointment as a special conservator of the peace are required to register with the secretary of state.  The employer of any special conservator of the peace shall notify the court, the secretary of state, the division of state police, and the chief law-enforcement officer of all localities in which the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve within 30 days after the date such individual has left employment and all powers of the special conservator of the peace shall be void.  Failure to provide such notification shall be punishable by a fine of $250 plus an additional $50 per day for each day such notice is not provided.

VII.  The secretary of state shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, regarding the registration and training requirements required for special conservators of the peace.

456-C:3  Jurisdiction.  When the application is made by any sheriff or chief of police, the court shall specify in the order of appointment the name of the applicant authorized under RSA 456-C:1 and the geographic jurisdiction of the special conservator of the peace.  Such appointments shall be limited to the city or county wherein application has been made.  When the application is made by any corporation authorized to do business in New Hampshire, any owner, proprietor, or authorized custodian of any place within New Hampshire, or any museum owned and managed by New Hampshire, the court shall specify in the order of appointment the name of the applicant authorized under RSA 456-C:1 and the specific real property where the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve.  Such appointments shall be limited to the specific real property within the county, city, or town wherein application has been made.  In the case of a corporation or other business, the court appointment may also include, for good cause shown, any real property owned or leased by the corporation or business, including any subsidiaries, in other specifically named cities and counties, but shall provide that the powers of the special conservator of the peace do not extend beyond the boundaries of such real property.  The clerk of the appointing court shall transmit to the division of state police, the clerk of the court of each locality where the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve, and the sheriff or chief of police of each such locality a copy of the order of appointment that shall specify the following information: the person's complete name, address, date of birth, social security number, gender, race, height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes, firearm authority or limitation as set forth in RSA 456-C:4, date of the order, and other information as may be required by the division of state police.  The division of state police may charge a fee not to exceed $10 to cover its costs associated with processing these orders.  Each special conservator of the peace so appointed on application shall present his or her credentials to the chief of police or sheriff or his or her designee of all jurisdictions where he or she has conservator powers.  If the powers are limited to certain areas of real property owned or leased by a corporation or business, the person shall also provide notice of the exact physical addresses of those areas.  Each special conservator shall provide to the circuit court a temporary registration letter issued by the secretary of state to include the results of the background check prior to seeking an appointment by the court.  Once the applicant receives the appointment from the court the applicant shall file the appointment order and a copy of the application with the secretary of state in order to receive the special conservator of the peace registration document.

(a)  If the court appointment includes any real property owned or leased by the corporation or business in other specifically named cities and counties not within the city or county wherein application has been made, the clerk of the appointing court shall transmit a copy of the order of appointment to:

(1)  The clerk of the court for each jurisdiction where the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve; and

(2)  The sheriff or chief of police of each jurisdiction where the special conservator of the peace is authorized to serve.

(b)  If any such special conservator of the peace is the employee, agent, or servant of another, his or her appointment as special conservator of the peace shall not relieve his or her employer, principal or master from civil liability to another arising out of any wrongful action or conduct committed by such special conservator of the peace while within the scope of employment.

(c)  No person employed by a local school board as a school security officer, shall be eligible for appointment as a conservator for purposes of maintaining safety in a public school in New Hampshire.

456-C:4  Authority to Carry Weapons; Enter Into Mutual Aid Agreements.

I.  The court may not limit or prohibit the carrying of weapons by any special conservator of the peace, while the appointee is within the scope of employment as such.

II.  The governing body of any locality or the sheriff of a county where no police department has been established may enter into mutual aid agreements with any entity employing special conservators of the peace that is located in such locality for the use of their joint forces and their equipment and materials to maintain peace and good order.  Any law-enforcement officer or special conservator of the peace, while performing his or her duty under any such agreement, shall have the same authority as lawfully conferred on him or her within his or her own jurisdiction.

III.  No special conservator of the peace shall display or use the word "police" on any uniform, badge, credential, or vehicle in the performance of the duties of a special conservator of the peace.  Other than special conservators of the peace employed by a state agency, no special conservator of the peace shall use the seal of New Hampshire on any uniform, badge, credential, or vehicle in the performance of his or her duties.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

20-2573

Revised 1/8/20

 

HB 1685-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT providing for the appointment of special conservators of the peace.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] 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

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

The Judicial Branch was originally contacted on October 18, 2019 and again on December 20, 2019 for fiscal note worksheets, which they have not provided as of January 8, 2020.

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill establishes procedures for appointment of special conservators of the peace.  The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates the appointment of a special conservator of the peace may involve municipal expenditures, but such appointments would be undertaken voluntarily by the  municipality requesting the appointment.  The Association assumes this bill is merely enabling and its enactment would not affect municipal expenditures or revenues.

 

The Department of State indicates the Secretary of State would be charged with registering special conservators of the peace prior to appointment.  The registration process would include:  reviewing applications and information gathered in background checks,  establishing standards, and implementing rules for registration.  The Department states the impacts on revenue and expenditures are indeterminable because the bill does not specially mention fees associated with registration, and the impact on expenditures would depend on the number of registrants.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Department of State, and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

Links

HB1685 at GenCourtMobile
HB1685 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 5, 2020 House Hearing
March 4, 2020 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB1685 Revision: 7761 Date: Jan. 13, 2020, 3:44 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Judiciary
Feb. 5, 2020 Public Hearing: 02/05/2020 02:00 pm LOB 208
March 4, 2020 Executive Session: 03/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 208