BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 318
                                                                  Page  1


          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 318 (Ron Calderon)
          As Amended  May 28, 2009
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :36-2  
           
           PUBLIC SAFETY       7-0                                         
           
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          |Ayes:|Arambula, Hagman,         |     |                          |
          |     |Ammiano, Furutani,        |     |                          |
          |     |Gilmore, Hill, Ma         |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Provides for forfeiture procedures for specified  
          property acquired through the crime of dog fighting, as  
          specified.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Provides that any property interest, whether tangible or  
            intangible, acquired through the commission of any of  
            specified dog fighting crimes shall be subject to forfeiture,  
            including both personal and real property, profits, proceeds,  
            and the instrumentalities acquired, accumulated, or used by  
            dog fighting participants, organizers, transporters of animals  
            and equipment, breeders and trainers of fighting dogs, and  
            persons who steal or illegally obtain dogs or other animals  
            for fighting, including bait and sparring animals.

          2)States that the prosecuting agency in a criminal proceeding in  
            which the defendant has been charged with the commission of  
            any specified dog fighting crime, in conjunction with the  
            criminal proceeding, file a petition for forfeiture.  If the  
            prosecuting agency has filed a petition for forfeiture and the  
            defendant is convicted of any of the specified dog fighting  
            crimes, the specified assets shall be subject to forfeiture  
            upon proof of the required legal elements.

          3)Excepts the following property from forfeiture under this  
            section:

             a)   Property solely owned by a bona fide purchaser for  
               value, who was without knowledge that the property was  
               intended to be used for a purpose which would subject it to  








                                                                  SB 318
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               forfeiture under this section, or is subject to forfeiture  
               under this section; and,

             b)   Property used as a family residence and owned by two or  
               more inhabitants, one of whom had no knowledge of its  
               unlawful use.

          4)Requires that the prosecuting agency shall make service of  
            process of a notice regarding that petition upon every  
            individual who may have a property interest in the alleged  
            proceeds, which notice shall state that any interested party  
            may file a verified claim with the superior court stating the  
            amount of the party's claimed interest and an affirmation or  
            denial of the prosecuting agency's allegation.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)States that if any person owning or having custody and control  
            of a mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully  
            suffers the animal to go at large, or keeps the animal without  
            ordinary care, and the animal, while at large or while not  
            kept with ordinary care, kills any human being who has taken  
            all precautions that the circumstances permitted, or which a  
            reasonable person would ordinarily take in a similar  
            situation, is guilty of a felony.  

          2)Provides that if any person owning or having custody of a  
            mischievous animal, knowing its propensities, willfully  
            suffers it to go at large, or keeps the animal without  
            ordinary care, and the animal, while at large or while not  
            kept with ordinary care, causes serious bodily injury to any  
            human being who has taken all the precautions that  
            circumstances permitted, or which a reasonable person would  
            ordinarily take in the same situation, is guilty of a  
            misdemeanor or a felony.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   None

           COMMENTS  :   According to the author, "[D]og fighting is an  
          insidious underground, organized crime and that has reached  
          epidemic proportions in urban communities and thrives in many  
          rural areas as well.  Many communities have been morally,  
          socially and culturally scarred by the continuing presence of  
          dog fighting.  Children who are exposed to the unfathomable  








                                                                  SB 318
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          violence of dog fighting are conditioned to believe that  
          violence is normal and are systematically desensitized to the  
          consequential suffering.  Dog fighters are often violent  
          criminals that engage in a whole host of peripheral criminal  
          activities, such as gangs, racketeering and drug trafficking.   
          These activities present a clear and present danger to public  
          order and safety and are not constitutionally protected.
           
           "In order to seek eradication of dog fighting by systematically  
          reducing the economic resources available to these criminals who  
          facilitate and support the crime of dog fighting, Senator  
          Calderon has introduced SB 1775.

          "The measure is a means of punishing and deterring the criminal  
          activities of dog fighters is through forfeiture of the  
          property, both personal and real, profits, proceeds and the  
          instrumentalities acquired, accumulated or used by dog fighting  
          participants, organizers, transporters of animals and equipment,  
          property owners who allow their premises to be used for dog  
          fighting and other activities in support of dog fighting,  
          breeders of, trainers of, and persons who steal and illegally  
          obtain dogs and other animals for fighting, including bait and  
          sparring animals.  

          "Proceeds acquired through the post-conviction forfeiture  
          process will be distributed to law enforcement agencies to help  
          reimburse the costs associated with investigating and  
          prosecuting dog fighting cases and animal-welfare organization  
          that care for and rehabilitate animals rescued from dog  
          fighters."

          Please see the policy committee for a full discussion of this  
          bill.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744 


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