[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 3322

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 15, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† NICHOLAS P. SCUTARI

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Senator† TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Bateman, Addiego, Ruiz and Turner

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Provides for advocate in criminal cases concerning welfare or care of animal.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As amended by the Senate on December 16, 2019.

††


An Act concerning certain advocates and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† a.† In any criminal court proceeding pursuant to R.S.4:22-17 et seq. or pursuant to P.L.2015, c.85 (C.2C:33-31), or any other criminal proceeding that affects the welfare or care of 1[a cat or dog] an animal1, the court may order, upon its own initiative or upon request of 1the State or1 a party or counsel for a party, that a separate advocate be appointed to represent the best interests of 1, and justice for,1 the animal.† If a court orders an advocate to be appointed, the advocate shall be appointed from a list provided to the court by the Administrative Director of the Courts.† A decision by the court denying 1or approving1 a request to appoint a separate advocate to represent the best interests of 1, and justice for,1 the animal shall not be subject to appeal.†

†††† b.††† 1(1)1 The advocate 1[may] shall1: 1[(1)] (a)1 monitor the case; 1[(2)] (b)1 attend hearings; 1[(3) consult any individual with information relating to the welfare or care of the cat or dog; (4)] (c) share with attorneys for the State and defendant any information new to the case or prepared by the advocate; (d) have access to and1 review 1all1 relevant records concerning the condition of the animal and the defendantís actions, including, but not limited to, records from certified animal control officers, veterinarians and police officers; and 1[(5)] (e)1 present information or recommendations to the court that relate to the best interests of 1, and justice for,1 the animal 1, including placement of the animal1.

†††† 1(2) The advocate may: (a) consult any individual with information relating to the welfare or care of the animal; and (b) make, prior to sentencing, an in-person statement directly to the sentencing court regarding the impact of the crime upon the animal.1

†††† c.†††† The Administrative Director of the Courts shall maintain a list of attorneys with knowledge of animal issues and the legal system and a list of law schools that have students with an interest in animal issues and the legal system.† Such attorneys and law students shall be eligible to serve 1as advocates1 on a voluntary basis 1[as advocates]1 under this section.† 1In order to be eligible, attorneys and law students must (1) be authorized to make court appearances in the State of New Jersey; (2) be familiar with criminal court proceedings pursuant to R.S.4:22-17 et seq. or pursuant to P.L.2015, c.85 (C.2C:33-31), or any other criminal proceeding that affects the welfare or care of an animal; and (3) be familiar with an advocateís duties as set forth in this act.1 †The provisions of R.1:21-3 of the Rules of Court shall govern a law studentís participation as an advocate under this section.†

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately 1and apply to all cases initiated on and after that date1.†