[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 2379

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 6, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman  PAUL D. MORIARTY

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman  CONNIE WAGNER

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  SCOTT T. RUMANA

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Eustace

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes crimes of dog fighting and leader of a dog fighting network; amends RICO to add leader of a dog fighting network.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on March 14, 2013, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning animal fighting, supplementing chapter 33 of Title 2C and amending N.J.S.2C:41-1 and R.S.4:22-24.  

 

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

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  A person is guilty of dog fighting if that person knowingly:

     (1)   keeps, uses, is connected with or interested in the management of, or receives money for the admission of a person to, a place kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting a dog;

     (2)   owns, possesses, keeps, trains, promotes, purchases, breeds or sells a dog for the purpose of fighting or baiting that dog;

     (3)   for amusement or gain, causes, allows, or permits the fighting or baiting of a dog;

     (4)   permits or suffers a place owned or controlled by that person to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting a dog;

     (5)   is present and witnesses, pays admission to, encourages or assists in the fighting or baiting of a dog; or

     (6)   gambles on the outcome of a fight involving a dog.

     Dog fighting is a crime of the third degree.

     b.    In addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall order the seizure and forfeiture of any 1[dogs] animals1 used for fighting or baiting, and may upon request of the prosecutor or on its own motion, order any person convicted of a violation under this section to forfeit possession of: (1) any other animals in the person’s custody or possession; and (2) any other property involved in or related to a violation of this act.  The court may prohibit any such person from having future possession or custody of any animal for any period of time the court deems reasonable, including a permanent prohibition.

     c.     For the purposes of this section “bait” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass a dog with one or more 1[dogs] animals1 for the purpose of training the dog for, or to cause a dog to engage in, a fight with or among other dogs.

 

     2.    (New section) a. A person is a leader of a dog fighting network if he conspires with others in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully engage in dog fighting, as defined in section 1 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (now pending before the Legislature as section 1 of this bill), as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager of at least one other person.  Leader of a dog fighting network is a crime of the second degree.

     "Financier" means a person who, with the intent to derive a profit, provides money or credit or other thing of value in order to finance the operations of dog fighting.

     b.    In addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall order the seizure and forfeiture of any dogs used for fighting or baiting, and may upon request of the prosecutor or on its own motion, order any person convicted of a violation under this section to forfeit possession of: (1) any other animals in the person’s custody or possession; and (2) any other property involved in or related to a violation of this act.  The court may prohibit any such person from having future possession or custody of any animal for any period of time the court deems reasonable, including a permanent prohibition.

     c.     Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, a conviction of leader of a dog fighting network shall not merge with the conviction for any offense, nor shall such other conviction merge with a conviction under this section, which is the object of the conspiracy. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the court from imposing an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7; nor shall this section be construed in any way to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction of any person for conspiracy under N.J.S.2C:5-2, or any prosecution or conviction under N.J.S.2C:41-1 et seq. (racketeering activities) or subsection g. of N.J.S.2C:5-2 (leader of organized crime) or any prosecution or conviction for any such offense.

     d.    It shall not be necessary in any prosecution under this section for the State to prove that any intended profit was actually realized. The trier of fact may infer that a particular scheme or course of conduct was undertaken for profit from all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to the number of persons involved in the scheme or course of conduct, the actor's net worth and his expenditures in relation to his legitimate sources of income, or the amount of cash or currency involved.

     e.     It shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this section that the dog intended to be used for fighting was brought into or transported in this State solely for ultimate distribution or sale in another jurisdiction.

     f.     It shall not be a defense that the defendant was subject to the supervision or management of another, nor that another person or persons were also leaders of a dog fighting network.

 

     3.    N.J.S.2C:41-1 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:41-1. For purposes of this section and N.J.S.2C:41-2 through N.J.S.2C:41-6:

     a.     "Racketeering activity" means (1) any of the following crimes which are crimes under the laws of New Jersey or are equivalent crimes under the laws of any other jurisdiction:

     (a)   murder

     (b)   kidnapping

     (c)   gambling

     (d)   promoting prostitution

     (e)   obscenity

     (f)    robbery

     (g)   bribery

     (h)   extortion

     (i)    criminal usury

     (j)    violations of Title 33 of the Revised Statutes

     (k)   violations of Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes and Title 54 of the Revised Statutes

     (l)    arson

     (m)  burglary

     (n)   theft and all crimes defined in chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes

     (o)   forgery and fraudulent practices and all crimes defined in chapter 21 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes

     (p)   fraud in the offering, sale or purchase of securities

     (q)   alteration of motor vehicle identification numbers

     (r)    unlawful manufacture, purchase, use or transfer of firearms

     (s)   unlawful possession or use of destructive devices or explosives

     (t)    violation of sections 112 through 116 inclusive of the "Casino Control Act," P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-112 through 5:12-116)

     (u)   violation of N.J.S.2C:35-4, N.J.S.2C:35-5 or N.J.S.2C:35-6 and all crimes involving illegal distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, except possession of less than one ounce of marijuana

     (v)   violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:24-4 except for subparagraph (b) of paragraph (5) of subsection b.

     (w)  violation of section 1 of P.L.1995, c.405 (C.2C:39-16), leader of firearms trafficking network

     (x)   violation of section 1 of P.L.1983, c.229 (C.2C:39-14), weapons training for illegal activities

     (y)   violation of section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2), terrorism

     (z)   violation of section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8), human trafficking

     (aa) violation of N.J.S.2C:12-1 requiring purposeful or knowing conduct

     (bb) violation of N.J.S.2C:12-3, terroristic threats

     (cc) violation of section 2 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (now pending before the Legislature as section 2 of this bill), leader of dog fighting network

     (2)   any conduct defined as "racketeering activity" under Title 18, U.S.C.s.1961(1)(A), (B) and (D).

     b.    "Person" includes any individual or entity or enterprise as defined herein holding or capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property.

     c.     "Enterprise" includes any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business or charitable trust, association, or other legal entity, any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity, and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental as well as other entities.

     d.    "Pattern of racketeering activity" requires:

     (1)   Engaging in at least two incidents of racketeering conduct one of which shall have occurred after the effective date of this act and the last of which shall have occurred within 10 years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after a prior incident of racketeering activity; and

     (2)   A showing that the incidents of racketeering activity embrace criminal conduct that has either the same or similar purposes, results, participants or victims or methods of commission or are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated incidents.

     e.     "Unlawful debt" means a debt:

     (1)   Which was incurred or contracted in gambling activity which was in violation of the law of the United States, a state or political subdivision thereof; or

     (2)   Which is unenforceable under state or federal law in whole or in part as to principal or interest because of the laws relating to usury.

     f.     "Documentary material" includes any book, paper, document, writing, drawing, graph, chart, photograph, phonorecord, magnetic or recording or video tape, computer printout, other data compilation from which information can be obtained or from which information can be translated into useable form or other tangible item.

     g.     "Attorney General" includes the Attorney General of New Jersey, his assistants and deputies.  The term shall also include a county prosecutor or his designated assistant prosecutor if a county prosecutor is expressly authorized in writing by the Attorney General to carry out the powers conferred on the Attorney General by this chapter.

     h.     "Trade or commerce" shall include all economic activity involving or relating to any commodity or service.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.341, s.4)

 

     4.    R.S.4:22-24 is amended to read as follows:

     4:22-24.  A person who shall:

     a.     Keep, use, be connected with or interested in the management of, or receive money for the admission of a person to, a place kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting a living animal or creature;

     b.    Be present and witness, pay admission to, encourage or assist therein;

     c.     Permit or suffer a place owned or controlled by him to be so used;

     d.    For amusement or gain, cause, allow, or permit the fighting or baiting of a living animal or creature;

     e.     Own, possess, keep, train, promote, purchase, or knowingly sell a living animal or creature for the purpose of fighting or baiting that animal or creature; or

     f.     Gamble on the outcome of a fight involving a living animal or creature--

     Shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     For the purposes of this section “bait” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training the animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, a fight with or among other animals.

(cf: P.L.1989, c.35, s.1)

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.