ASSEMBLY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 1761

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  MARCH 7, 2016

 

      The Assembly Judiciary Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 1761.

      This bill would create a specific crime for fencing involving a stolen domestic companion animal.  A person would be guilty of such an act, referred to in the bill as “dealing in stolen domestic companion animals,” if the person “traffics in, or initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages or supervises trafficking in stolen property consisting of a domestic companion animal.”

      Unlike the existing crime of dealing in stolen property, graded anywhere from a disorderly persons offense up to a second degree crime based upon the value of the property involved, fencing involving a stolen domestic companion animal would be graded as a crime of the third degree.  This grading of the new fencing crime corresponds to the third degree grading of theft of a domestic companion animal as currently established under the law.  See subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:20-2. A crime of the third degree is generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.

      This bill was pre-filed for introduction in the 2016-2017 session pending technical review.  As reported, the bill includes the changes required by technical review, which has been performed.