ASSEMBLY, No. 1933

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman† CAROLINE CASAGRANDE

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblyman† GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman† DONNA M. SIMON

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Prohibits persons violating animal cruelty law from owning, keeping, or harboring animals; requires DHSS establish and maintain website list of such persons.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

††


An Act concerning cruelty to animals, amending P.L.2003, c.67, and supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† (New section)† a.† The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall establish and maintain a list of persons convicted of, or found civilly liable for, violations of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes for the purposes of enforcing subsections b. and c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a) and section 2 of P.L.††† , c.†††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). The list shall include the list established and maintained by the commissioner pursuant to subparagraph (b) of paragraph (1) of subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525.

†††† b.††† As soon as practicable after the effective date of P.L.   , c.     (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Department of Health and Senior Services shall establish a readily identifiable location on the departmentís website where the public may access the list established pursuant to subsection a. of this section.† The department shall post the current list online at that location as soon as practicable.† The department shall confirm there are no changes to the online list or update the online list at that location no less frequently than every 30 days.

†††† c.†††† Upon establishment of the list at the readily identifiable location of the departmentís website pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the department shall issue to the clerk of each municipality in the State, and to each kennel, shelter, pound, and pet shop known to the department, as soon as practicable, notice in writing of the availability of the list online, the website address at which it can be located, the provisions of P.L.†† , c.††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and the proper use and purpose of the list.

 

†††† 2.††† (New section) a.† No person who is convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes may own, keep, or otherwise harbor an animal in the State.

†††† b.††† No clerk of a municipality or other official with the authority to issue dog or cat licenses, registrations, or other similar instruments confirming ownership of an animal may issue a license, registration, or similar instrument to any person whose name is on the list established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.††† , c.†††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† c.†††† Any law enforcement officer, humane law enforcement officer, animal control officer, animal cruelty investigator, or other appropriate official of a municipality who determines or is notified that a dog, with or without a license, or any other animal, is owned, kept, or harbored by a person whose name is on the list established and maintained pursuant to section 1 of P.L.††† , c.†††††† (C.†††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall:

†††† (1) confirm that the person is on the list established and maintained pursuant to section 1 of P.L.††† , c.†††††† (C.†††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and owns, keeps, or harbors a dog or other animal;

†††† (2) seize and confiscate the dog or other animal; and

†††† (3) petition the appropriate court with jurisdiction for the proper disposition of the animal at the earliest opportunity following the seizure and confiscation.

 

†††† 3.††† Section 3 of P.L.2003, c.67 (C.4:22-57) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.††† a.† (1) For the purposes of establishing the list of persons not eligible to be certified animal control officers as required pursuant to subsections b. and c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a), [notice shall be provided,] the court or other official administrative entity maintaining records of any person who has been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, shall provide notice to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, within 90 days after the effective date of [this section, to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services of any person who has been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, by any court or other official administrative entity maintaining records] P.L.2003, c.67 of such violations adjudged on or before the effective date of [this section] P.L.2003, c.67.

†††† (2) For the purposes of establishing the list of persons prohibited from owning, keeping, or harboring a dog or other animal pursuant to sections 1 and 2 of P.L.†† , c.††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the court or other official administrative entity maintaining records of any person who has been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, shall provide notice to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, within 90 days after the effective date of P.L.†† , c.††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), of such violations adjudged on or before the effective date of P.L.†† , c.††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† b.††† For the purposes of maintaining the list of persons not eligible to be certified animal control officers as established pursuant to subsections b. and c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a), †or persons prohibited from owning, keeping, or harboring a dog or other animal pursuant to sections 1 and 2 of P.L.   ,c.    (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the court or other official adjudging the guilt or liability for a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, shall charge the prosecutor, officer of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other appropriate person, other than a certified animal control officer, with the responsibility to notify within 30 days the commissioner, in writing, of the full name of the person found guilty of, or liable for, an applicable violation, and the violation for which or of which that person was found guilty or liable, and the person charged with the responsibility shall provide such notice.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.372, s.21)

 

†††† 4.††† This act shall take effect on the 180th day after January 1 next following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill prohibits any person found guilty of, or liable for, a violation of the State animal cruelty laws from owning, keeping, or harboring an animal.† The bill prohibits any such person from licensing or registering a dog or cat.†† The bill also provides for the seizure and confiscation of animals from people convicted of, or liable for, a violation of the animal cruelty laws.

†††† The bill also directs the Department of Health and Senior Services to establish a readily identifiable location on the departmentís website where any member of the public may access the list of such violators.† The department is currently required to maintain such a list for persons ineligible to be animal control officers.† The bill further directs the department to confirm there are no changes to the online list or update the online list at that location at least every 30 days.† Finally, the bill directs the department to issue to each municipal clerk, and to each kennel, shelter, pound, and pet shop known to the department, as soon as practicable, a notice in writing with information about the list and how it can be accessed.