Senator† PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Senator† LINDA R. GREENSTEIN
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
†††† Establishes asset forfeiture reporting requirements.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
†††† As introduced.
An Act concerning asset forfeiture and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
†††† 1.††† a.† A county prosecutor shall annually compile and submit to the Attorney General a report containing information of each individual seizure and forfeiture of funds or property completed by a law enforcement agency within the county pursuant to N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:41-1 et seq., or actions brought pursuant to P.L.1994, c.121 (C.2C:21-23 et seq.).† The report shall include:
†††† (1)†† information on the seizure of the property, including a description of the seized property, the date of seizure, the market value of the seized property, and the alleged criminal offense associated with the seizure;
†††† (2)†† the disposition of any criminal action related to the seizure;
†††† (3)†† information on forfeiture of the seized property, including:
†††† (a)†† whether the forfeiture involved prima facie contraband or was enforced by civil action pursuant to N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq., the forfeiture was a result of racketeering activity pursuant to N.J.S.2C:41-1 et seq., or the forfeited funds or property were obtained from an action involving financial facilitation of a crime pursuant to P.L.1994, c.121 (C.2C:21-23 et seq.); and
†††† (b)†† whether a person with a property interest in the seized property was represented by counsel at the forfeiture proceeding, if applicable;
†††† (4)†† information on the final disposition of the seized property, including whether the property was returned to the owner, destroyed, sold after forfeiture, or retained after forfeiture; and the date of disposition;
†††† (5)†† information on the value of forfeited property, including the gross amount received from forfeiture, the total expenses deducted as part of the forfeiture action, and the net amount received from the forfeiture;
†††† (6)†† whether the forfeiture resulted from an adoptive seizure; and
†††† (7)†† any other information the Attorney General requires.
†††† b.††† A county prosecutor shall include in the annual report information concerning any forfeiture funds or property received by a law enforcement agency within the county as a result of equitable sharing with a federal agency or other law enforcement agency including, the amount of forfeited funds or the value of forfeited property received by the agency.
†††† c.†††† A county prosecutor shall annually compile and submit to the Attorney General a report on information concerning the use of forfeited funds and property including:
†††† (1)†† the use of any forfeiture accounts in the county, including the specific law enforcement purpose for which an expenditure was made from an account and the date of the expenditure; and
†††† (2)†† the specific law enforcement purpose for which forfeited property is used.
†††† d.††† A county prosecutor may use forfeiture proceeds to pay the cost of compiling and reporting seizure and forfeiture information required pursuant to this section.
†††† 2.††† a.† The Attorney General shall develop an asset forfeiture reporting form to be completed by a county prosecutor pursuant to section 1 of P.L.††† ††††, c. †††††(C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).† The Attorney General shall compile annually the asset forfeiture reports, including a list of county prosecutors who failed to comply with the reporting requirement.† The report also shall provide recommendations for improving asset forfeiture proceedings to ensure fairness to crime victims, innocent property owners, secured interest holders, and other interested parties.† The Attorney General shall submit this report to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).
†††† b.††† Reports submitted by county prosecutors pursuant to section 1 of P.L.††† ††††, c.†† †††(C.††††† †††) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and the Attorney Generalís annual report pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be made available to the public on the Attorney Generalís website.†
†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month next following enactment.
†††† This bill requires a county prosecutor to compile and submit to the Attorney General information concerning asset forfeiture pursuant to N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:41-1 et seq., or P.L.1994, c.121 (C.2C:21-3 et seq.).† Specifically, these reports are to include information concerning the seizure of property, the disposition of any criminal action related to the seizure, information concerning the forfeiture of property, the final disposition of the seized property, the value of property seized and forfeited, whether the forfeiture resulted in an adoptive seizure, and any other information required by the Attorney General. †The bill also requires a county prosecutor to report information about the amount of forfeiture funds received or the value of forfeited property received through equitable sharing with a federal department or other law enforcement agency.
†††† The bill requires a county prosecutor to compile and submit to the Attorney General information concerning the law enforcement purpose for which forfeiture funds and forfeited property are used.† Forfeiture accounts may be used by a county prosecutor to pay the costs associated with submitting the asset forfeiture reports.
†††† Under the provisions of the bill, the Attorney General is required to: (1) develop an asset forfeiture form to be completed by a county prosecutor, (2) compile these reports, and (3) submit an annual report to the Legislature including a list of county prosecutors that failed to comply with the reporting requirement.† The Attorney General is also required to provide recommendations for improving asset forfeiture proceedings.† Additionally, the county prosecutorsí reports and the Attorney Generalís annual report are to be made publically available on the Attorney Generalís website.