BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Mark Leno, Chair                S
                             2009-2010 Regular Session               B
                                                                      
                                                                     1
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          SB 1277 (Florez)                                           7
          As Amended April 13, 2010 
          Hearing date: April 20, 2010
          Education Code
          MK:dl

                                ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY: 

                                INTERNET PUBLICATION  



                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Animal Legal Defense Fund; Social Compassion in  
          Legislation

          Prior Legislation: Not applicable

          Support: Born Free USA; In Defense of Animals; League of Human  
                   Voters California Chapter;  Fix Nation; Ashley & Hobie  
                   Animal Welfare, Inc.; Compassion for Animals;  
                   ACI-Animal Cruelty Investigations;  Take Me Home;  
                   YogaFit; Friends of Auburn/Tahoe Vista Placer County  
                   Animal Shelter; the STAND Foundation; Central Coast  
                   Border Collie Rescue; KM Veterinary Services

          Opposition:California Law Enforcement Association of Records  
                   Supervisors; ACLU; Irish Terrier Club; Pet Food  
                   Institute; California Federation of Dog Clubs; Irish  
                   Wolfhound Club of America, Inc.; California Retailer  
                   Association; California Manufacturers And Technology  
                   Association; California Grocers Association; California  




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                                                           SB 1277 (Florez)
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                   Independent Grocers Association; Sacramento Council of  
                   Dog Clubs, Inc.;  Sacramento Sierra Norwegian Elkhound  
                   Club, Inc.; PetPAC; Pet Industry Joint Advisory  
                   Council; Bull Terrier Club of America; California  
                   Outdoor Heritage Alliance; American Dog Breeders  
                   Association, Inc.; California Outdoor Heritage  
                   Alliance; California Grain & Feed Association;  
                   California Seed Association; Pacific Egg & Poultry  
                   Association;  California Bean Shippers Association;  
                   California Association of Wheat Growers; Pacific Coast  
                   Renderers Association;  California Pear Growers  
                   Association; California Farm Bureau Federation;  
                   California Warehouse Association; California State  
                   Floral Association; Grocery Manufacturers of America;  
                   The English Shepherd Club; California Responsible Pet  
                   Owners Coalition; Taxpayers for Improving Public  
                   Safety; San Lorenzo Dog Training Club, Inc.; Feline  
                   Friends International;  The Pet Care Foundation;   
                   United Schutzhund Clubs of America; Concerned Dog  
                   Owners of America; a number of individuals
           



                                        KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD A REGISTRY BE CREATED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) FOR  
          PERSONS CONVICTED OF SPECIFIED FELONY ANIMAL ABUSE OFFENSES?

          SHOULD THE INFORMATION ON THE REGISTRY BE AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET?

          SHOULD THE REGISTERY BE PAID FOR BY INCREASED PENALTIES ON SPECIFIED  
          MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY ANIMAL ABUSE OFFENSES?


                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to have the DOJ create a registry  
          for people convicted of specified animal abuse offenses.





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           Existing law  states, except as otherwise provided, every person  
          who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures or  
          wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills  
          an animal, is guilty of an offense punishable as a wobbler  
          (Penal Code 597(a))
           
           Existing law  states that any person who overdrives, overloads,  
          drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives  
          of necessary sustenance, drink or shelter, any animal, and  
          whoever, having the charge or custody of the animal either as  
          owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering,  
          or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any  
          manner abuses the animal or uses the animal when unfit for labor  
          is, for every such offense, guilty of a wobbler. (Penal Code   
          597 (b).)

           Existing law  states every person who maliciously and  
          intentionally maims, mutilates, or tortures any mammal, bird,  
          reptile, amphibian or fish is guilty of a wobbler. (Penal Code   
          597 (c))

           Existing law  provides that any person who causes any animal, not  
          including a dog, to fight with another animal, or permits the  
          same to be done on any property under his or her control, or  
          aids or abets the fighting of any animal is guilty of a  
          misdemeanor,  (Penal Code 597b(a).)
           
           Existing law  provides that any person who causes a cock to fight  
          with another cock, or permits the same to be done on any  
          property under his or her control, and any person who aid or  
          abets the fighting of any cock or is present as a spectator is  
          guilty of a misdemeanor,  (Penal Code  597b(b).)

           Existing law  provides that a second or subsequent offense of  
          Penal Code Section 975b is a wobbler.

           Existing law  provides that any person that does any of the  
          following is guilty of a felony:
                 Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, with the  




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               intent that the dog shall be engaged in an exhibition of  
               fighting with another dog.
                 For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with  
               another dog, or causes any dogs to injure each other.
                 Permits any of the above acts to be done on any premises  
               (Penal Code  597.5(a).)

           Existing law  states that any person that is knowingly present,  
          as a spectator, at any place, building, or tenement where  
          preparations are being made for an exhibition of the fighting of  
          dogs, with the intent to be present at those preparations, or is  
          knowingly present at the exhibition, fighting or injuring with  
          the intent to be present at the exhibition, fighting, or  
          injuring is guilty of a misdemeanor.  (Penal Code  597.5 (b).)

           Existing law  provides that any person who willfully and  
          maliciously and with no legal justification strikes, beats,  
          kicks, cuts, stabs, shoots with a firearm, administers any  
          poison or other harmful or stupefying substance to, or throws,  
          hurls, or projects at, or places any rock, object, or other  
          substance which is used in such a manner as to be capable of  
          producing injury and likely to produce injury on or in the path  
          of any horse being used by, or any dog under supervision of, any  
          peace officer is guilty of a misdemeanor if injury is inflicted  
          and a felony if serious injury is inflicted.  (Penal Code  600  
          (a).)

           Existing law  provides that any person who willfully and  
          maliciously and with no legal justification interferes with or  
          obstructs any horse or dog being used by any peace officer in  
          the discharge or attempted discharge of his or her duties by  
          frightening, teasing, agitating, harassing, or hindering the  
          horse or dog is guilty of a misdemeanor.  (Penal Code  600(b).)

           Existing law  provides that any person who with the intent to  
          inflict such injury or death, personally causes the death,  
          destruction, or serious physical injury the dog or horse shall  
          upon conviction of a felony also have an additional enhancement  
          of one year.  (Penal Code  600(c).)





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           Existing law  provides that if a person while in violation Penal  
          Code Section 600 causes great bodily injury to a person they are  
          subject to a two year enhancement.  (Penal Code  600(d).)

           This bill  provides that every person over 18 years of age  
          residing in or while located in California who has been  
          convicted of animal abuse shall be required to register for ten  
          years within 10 days of coming into this state or changing his  
          or her residence or location within the state as follows:
                 Register with the chief of police of the city where the  
               person is residing, or if the person has no residence where  
               the person is located;
                 Register with the sheriff of the county where the person  
               is residing, or if the person has no residence, where the  
               person is located in an unincorporated area or city that  
               has no police department.
                 In addition to the above, register with the chief of  
               police of a campus of the University of California, the  
               California State University of the California Community  
               Colleges where the person is residing, or if the person has  
               no residence, where the person is located upon the campus  
               or any of its facilities.

           This bill  defines "animal abuse" as a felony conviction of Penal  
          Code sections 597, 597b, 597.5,   or 600, or a felony conviction  
          for an attempt to commit one of those offenses, or a felony  
          conviction for a comparable offense in another state.

           This bill  provides that any person required to register who is  
          discharged or paroled from a jail, prison, school, road, camp or  
          other penal institution or from the Division of Juvenile Justice  
          where he or she was confined because of the commission of animal  
          abuse, shall, prior to the discharge, parole, or release, be  
          informed of his or her duty to register under this section by  
          the official in charge of the place of confinement.  The place  
          from which he or she is being released shall have him or her  
          sign a copy of a DOJ form explaining the duty to register and  
          obtain the address where he or she plans to live.  The place of  
          confinement shall notify the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the  
          address along with a copy of the form and send a copy of the  




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          form within 45 days to the appropriate law enforcement agency.   
          All forms shall be transmitted so they can be received by local  
          law enforcement agency 30 days prior to the discharge, parole or  
          release of the person.

           This bill  provides that the registration should be for a period  
          of ten years.

           This bill  provides that any person who is required to register  
          who is released on probation or discharged upon payment of a  
          fine shall, prior to the release or discharge, be informed of  
          his or her duty to register by the probation department of the  
          county in which he or she has been convicted.  The probation  
          officer shall have the person sign the DOJ form and obtain the  
          address where he or she will reside and forward both to the DOJ  
          within three days.

           This bill  provides that the registration shall consist of all  
          the following information:
                 A statement of  in writing signed by the person giving  
               all of the following information:
                  o         Date of birth.
                  o         The current address or location of the person.
                  o         Name and address of the employer.
                  o         Animal abuse offense for which the person was  
                    convicted.
                  o         The date and place of the animal abuse offense  
                    conviction of the person.
                  o         Any other information as may be required by  
                    the Department of Justice.
                 The complete set of fingerprints and a photograph of the  
               person
                 A description of any tattoos, scars, or other  
               distinguishing features on the person's body that would  
               assist in identifying the person.

           This bill  provides that within three days after registration,  
          the registering law enforcement agency shall electronically  
          forward the statement, fingerprints, and photograph to the  
          Department of Justice.




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           This bill  provides that if any person required to register  
          changes his or her residence address, he or she shall inform, in  
          writing within 10 days, the law enforcement agency with home he  
          or she last registered of his or her new address. The law  
          enforcement agency shall, within three days after receipt of the  
          information electronically forward it to the DOJ.  The DOJ shall  
          forward appropriate registration data to the law enforcement  
          agency having local jurisdiction of the new place of residence.

           This bill  provides that any person required to register who  
          violates any of the provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor.

           This bill  provides that any person who has been convicted of  
          animal abuses who is required to register who willfully violates  
          any of the provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be  
          sentenced to serve a term of no less than 90 days nor more than  
          one year in county jail.  In no event does the court have the  
          power to absolve a person who willfully violates this section  
          from the obligation of spending at least 90 days of confinement  
          in a county and jail and completing probation of at least one  
          year.

           This bill  provides that whenever a person is released on parole  
          or probation is required to register under this section but  
          fails to do so within the time prescribed, the Board of Parole  
          Hearings or the court shall order the parole or probation of  
          that person revoked.

           This bill  provides that certain information required by this  
          section shall be open to inspection by the public through the  
          use of the Internet Web site maintained by the DOJ or by  
          telephone or upon written request where practicable.

           This bill  provides that in any case in which a person who would  
          be required to register is to be temporarily sent outside the  
          institution where he or she is confined on any assignment within  
          the city or county, the local law enforcement agency having  
          jurisdiction over the place where that assignment shall occur  
          shall be notified within a reasonable time prior to removal from  




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          the institution.

           This bill  provides that a person can be released from a duty to  
          register if he or she obtains a certificate of rehabilitation  
          and that person shall be removed from the website.

           This bill  provides that on or before January 1, 2012 DOJ shall  
          make available to the public via a website information  
          concerning persons required to register for abuse of an animal.   
          The website shall include the following information:
                 The person's name, and known aliases.
                 The persons photograph.
                 A physical description including gender and race.
                 Date of birth.
                 Criminal history.
                 Address.
                 The year of conviction of his or her most recent offense  
               animal abuse offense requiring registration.
                 The year he or she was released from incarceration for  
               that offense.
                 Whether he or she was subsequently incarcerated for any  
               other felony, if that fact is reported to the department.
                 Year of conviction shall only be included if the DOJ can  
               also include year of release from incarceration.

           This bill  provides that the name and address of the person's  
          employer and criminal history other than the animal abuse shall  
          not be listed on the website.

           This bill  provides that the website shall be translated into  
          other languages.

           This bill  provides that any state facility that releases from  
          incarceration a person who is required to register shall submit  
          to within 30 days of release, the release date to DOJ whether it  
          was for the registerable offense or for a subsequent felony.

           This bill provides that the DOJ shall make a reasonable effort  
          to provide notification to persons who have been convicted of  
          the commission of an offense specified that on or before January  




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          1, 2012 that DOJ is required to make information about offenders  
          available to the public via the website.

           This bill  provides that a designated law enforcement entity may  
          make available information concerning persons who are required  
          to register via a website if it determines that the public  
          disclosure of the information about a specific offender by way  
          of the entity's website is necessary to ensure the public safety  
          based upon information available to the entity concerning that  
          specific offender.

           This bill  provides that DOJ shall also make information that is  
          available on the website also available by telephone and upon  
          written request.

           This bill  provides that any person who uses information  
          disclosed pursuant to the website to commit a misdemeanor shall  
          be subject in addition to any other penalty or fine imposed, a  
          fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000.

           This bill  provides that any person who uses information  
          disclosed pursuant to this section to commit a felony shall be  
          punished, addition and consecutive to any other punishment, by a  
          five-year term of imprisonment in state prison.

           This bill  provides that any person who is required to register  
          who enters a website established pursuant to this section shall  
          be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 and/or imprisonment  
          for up to 6 months.

           This bill  provides that a person is authorized to use the  
          information disclosed only to protect and animal at risk.

           This bill  provides that except as authorized use of any  
          information that is disclosed for purposes relating to any of  
          the following is prohibited:
                 Health Insurance.
                 Insurance.
                 Loans.
                 Credit.




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                 Employment.
                 Education, scholarships, or fellowships.
                 Housing or accommodations.
                 Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any  
               business establishment.

           This bill  provides that any use of information disclosed for  
          purposes other than those permitted shall make the user liable  
          fro the actual damages, and any amount that may be determined by  
          a jury or a court sitting without a jury, not exceeding three  
          times the amount of actual damage, and not less than $250, and  
          attorney's fees, exemplary damages, or a civil penalty not  
          exceeding $25,000.

           This bill  provides that whenever there is reasonable cause to  
          believe that any person or group of persons is engaged in a  
          pattern or practice of misuse of any information available via  
          website, the Attorney General, any district attorney, or city  
          attorney, or any person aggrieved by the misuse is authorized to  
          bring a civil action in the appropriate court requesting  
          preventative relief, including an application for a permanent or  
          temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order against  
          the person or group of persons responsible for the pattern or  
          practice of misuse  is authorized to bring a civil action in the  
          appropriate court requesting preventative relief, including an  
          application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining  
          order, or other order against the person or group of persons  
          responsible for the pattern and practice of misuse.

           This bill  provides that the public notification provisions of  
          this section are applicable to every person described without  
          regard to when his or her crimes were committed or his or her  
          duty to register arose, and to every offense described  
          regardless of when it was committed.

           This bill  provides that a designated law enforcement entity and  
          its employees shall be immune from liability for good faith  
          conduct.

           This bill  provides that the Attorney General, in collaboration  




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          with local law enforcement and others knowledgeable about animal  
          abuse offenders, shall develop strategies to assist members of  
          the public in understanding and using publicly available  
          information about registered animal abuse offenders to further  
          public safety.

           This bill  provides that any person convicted of Penal Code  
          Sections 597, 597b, 597.5, or 600 shall in addition to any other  
          penalty or fine imposed, be subject to a fine of $200 for each  
          misdemeanor conviction and a fine of $500 for each felony  
          conviction.
          

              RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION IMPLICATIONS
                                           
          
          The severe prison overcrowding problem California has  
          experienced for the last several years has not been solved.  In  
          December of 2006 plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against the  
          Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sought a  
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the  
          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a  
          federal three-judge panel issued an order requiring the state to  
          reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design capacity  
          -- a reduction of roughly 40,000 inmates -- within two years.   
          In a prior, related 184-page Opinion and Order dated August 4,  
          2009, that court stated in part:

               "California's correctional system is in a tailspin,"  
               the state's independent oversight agency has reported.  
               . . .  (Jan. 2007 Little Hoover Commission Report,  
               "Solving California's Corrections Crisis: Time Is  
               Running Out").  Tough-on-crime politics have increased  
               the population of California's prisons dramatically  
                                                                while making necessary reforms impossible. . . .  As a  
               result, the state's prisons have become places "of  
               extreme peril to the safety of persons" they house, .  
               . .  (Governor Schwarzenegger's Oct. 4, 2006 Prison  
               Overcrowding State of Emergency Declaration), while  
               contributing little to the safety of California's  




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               residents, . . . .   California "spends more on  
               corrections than most countries in the world," but the  
               state "reaps fewer public safety benefits." . . .  .   
               Although California's existing prison system serves  
               neither the public nor the inmates well, the state has  
               for years been unable or unwilling to implement the  
               reforms necessary to reverse its continuing  
               deterioration.  (Some citations omitted.)

               . . .

               The massive 750% increase in the California prison  
               population since the mid-1970s is the result of  
               political decisions made over three decades, including  
               the shift to inflexible determinate sentencing and the  
               passage of harsh mandatory minimum and three-strikes  
               laws, as well as the state's counterproductive parole  
               system.  Unfortunately, as California's prison  
               population has grown, California's political  
               decision-makers have failed to provide the resources  
               and facilities required to meet the additional need  
               for space and for other necessities of prison  
               existence.  Likewise, although state-appointed experts  
               have repeatedly provided numerous methods by which the  
               state could safely reduce its prison population, their  
               recommendations have been ignored, underfunded, or  
               postponed indefinitely.  The convergence of  
               tough-on-crime policies and an unwillingness to expend  
               the necessary funds to support the population growth  
               has brought California's prisons to the breaking  
               point.  The state of emergency declared by Governor  
               Schwarzenegger almost three years ago continues to  
               this day, California's prisons remain severely  
               overcrowded, and inmates in the California prison  
               system continue to languish without constitutionally  









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               adequate medical and mental health care.<1>

          The court stayed implementation of its January 12, 2010 ruling  
          pending the state's appeal of the decision to the U.S. Supreme  
          Court.  That appeal, and the final outcome of this litigation,  
          is not anticipated until later this year or 2011.

           This bill  does appear to aggravate the prison overcrowding  
          crisis described above.


                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

              Our communities have good reason to be concerned about  
              the whereabouts of animal abusers, including the high  
              rate of recidivism among animal hoarders, the various  
              dangers to a community that are associated with animal  
              fighting, and the well-established link between violence  
              towards animals and violence towards humans.

              Mandatory registration for convicted animal abusers  
              would aid dramatically in keeping offenders away from  
              potential new victims by alerting law enforcement and  
              the public to their whereabouts, and by allowing animal  
              shelters to thoroughly screen potential adopters for  
              criminal offenders.  
              Problems posed by repeat offenders:
                       Animal hoarders, who are frequently  
              responsible for causing hundreds of animals to suffer  
              -----------------------
          <1>   Three Judge Court Opinion and Order, Coleman v.  
          Schwarzenegger, Plata v. Schwarzenegger, in the United States  
          District Courts for the Eastern District of California and the  
          Northern District of California United States District Court  
          composed of three judges pursuant to Section 2284, Title 28  
          United States Code (August 4, 2009).




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              for many years, exhibit recidivism rates of nearly 100%.
                       Decades ago, the FBI recognized that many  
              serial killers started out abusing and killing animals  
              as children. Serial killers from the Boston Strangler to  
              Jeffrey Dahmer started out by torturing animals.
                       Ongoing animal abuse and even torture are  
              often the terrifying reality in homes plagued by  
              domestic violence.  
                       Criminals convicted of involvement in  
              dogfighting and cockfighting are usually involved in  
              other dangerous criminal activity, like drugs and  
              gambling, in their communities, and they will often go  
              on to abuse more animals in fighting rings following  
              convictions.
                       There is a high correlation between sexual  
              abuse of animals and sexual abuse of children. A 2002  
              study found that 96% of juveniles who had sexually  
              abused animals also admitted to sex offenses against  
              humans.

          2.  Registry for Animal Abusers 

          This bill creates within the Department of Justice (DOJ) a  
          public registry for people convicted of specified felony animal  
          abuse crimes.  The crimes for which a person will be required to  
          register are killing, maiming or abusing animals; worrying or  
          causing an animal to fight; dog fighting and harming,  
          interfering with or obstructing a police horse or dog.  A person  
          must register with local law enforcement within 10 days of  
          moving into or within the state for a period of 10 years.  The  
          bill requires the DOJ to make the registry information available  
          on a website as well as by phone and upon written request and  
          prohibits misuse.  The bill sets up procedures for the place of  
          incarceration or the probation officer to notify the person of  
          their duty to register upon release.  Failure to comply with the  
          registration requirements is a misdemeanor with a mandatory jail  
          sentence.

          3.  Reason for Registry  





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          According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund one of the sponsors,  
          this is an "essential crime-reducing and cost savings tool for  
          California."  They assert that this bill will, among other  
          things:

                 Help reduce the risk of new animal victims at the hands  
               of repeat offenders. And owing to the strong coalition  
               between those who abuse animals and those who are violent  
               toward humans, it will help reduce the risk of human  
               victims as well.
                 Provide shelters and humane societies with a new method  
               to screen potential adoptees of homeless animals, ensuring  
               convicted abusers are not able to easily gain access to new  
               would be victims.
                 Save California counties, cities and towns money by  
               helping to reduce the number of repeat offenders by animal  
               abusers. A single case involving the care and  
               rehabilitation of abused animals can easily cost a  
               municipality tens of thousands of dollars.

          Opponents ask whether registries really have an impact on  
          stopping crimes or whether they are more of a research tool for  
          law enforcement after a crime has been committed.  A public  
          registry seems unnecessary as a law enforcement tool and perhaps  
          there is a more appropriate way to help law enforcement use the  
          information they already have access to?

          DO REGISTRIES WORK TO STOP CRIME?

          4.  Retroactive but a Ten  Year Limitation  

          This bill has language that will make it retroactive by  
          providing that the public notification provision are applicable  
          to every person without regard to when his or her crimes were  
          committed or his or her duty to register arose and to every  
          offense, regardless of when it was committed.  However, as  
          amended it now limits the registration to ten years.  Ten years  
          from when?  When the person was convicted? Released?  What  
          happens to a person whose crime is more than ten years old,  
          would they now have to register for ten years or are they  




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          exempt?  Amendments should be taken to clarify the author's  
          intent.

          WHEN DOES THE 10 YEAR REGISTRATION REQUIREMENT COMMENCE?

          5.  Existing National Pet Abuse Registry  

          Many opponents point to the fact that a national pet registry on  
          people convicted of animal abuse exists at  www.pet-abuse.com  .   
          That website has a publicly accessible data base listing people  
          convicted of abuse by country, state, type of animal, type of  
          abuse and another of other factors.  It also shows cases in  
          which there were just allegations, cases that were not charged,  
          acquittals and civil cases.  The convictions listed for  
          California date back to the early 1990s.  It appears that if  
          users set up a login they can get additional information about  
          abuse cases.  The opponents argue that this existing database,  
          which costs California nothing, could serve the purpose of  
          helping humane societies and others screen potential adopters  
          for animal abuse.  While a name based system is not the most  
          accurate way to tell whether or not a person is the person who  
          has been convicted of the crime, there is some other general  
          information, it goes back more than ten years and does not rely  
          on a person complying with the registration requirement.   

          DO HUMANE AGENCIES CURRENTLY USE THE EXISTING NATIONAL PET ABUSE  
          REGISTRY?

          IS THE EXISTING REGISTRY SUFFICIENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS  
          BILL?

          6.  Funding by additional fine  

          This bill places an additional fine of $200 on each misdemeanor  
          conviction and $500 on each felony conviction for the crimes for  
          which a person must register under this bill.  The additional  
          money shall first to the DOJ for the creating, administering and  
          updating of the website and the rest may go to local spay and  
          neuter programs.





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          Existing fines for the relevant code sections are as follows:










































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                 Penal Code Section 597, killing, maiming or abusing  
               animals can be a felony or a misdemeanor with fines up to  
               $20,000 for either.   Penalty assessments are approximately  
               280% so the actual amount a person must pay is up to  
               $76,000.<2> In addition the person is liable to the  
               impounding agency for costs from the time of impound until  
               the animal is seized upon conviction.  If the person is  
               granted probation he or she must also attend and pay for  
               counseling.

                 Penal Code Section 597b-animal fights and worrying  
               animals-has a fine up to $5,000, $19,000 with penalty  
               assessments, if the person is convicted of a misdemeanor.   
               A second or subsequent conviction is a wobbler and the fine  
               can be up to $25,000, $95,000 including penalty  
               assessments.

                 Penal Code Section 597.5 dog fighting has a fine up to  
               $50,000, $190,000 with penalty assessment for the felony  
               and $5,000, $19,000 with penalty assessments, for the  
               misdemeanor spectator provision.  Specified property  
               associated with the dog fighting incident may also be  
               forfeited

                 Penal Code Section .600 harming, interfering with or  
               obstructing a peace officer's horse or dog when a felony  
               has a $2,000 fine,  $7,600 with penalty assessments, and  
               $1,000, $3,800 with penalty assessments,  when a  
               misdemeanor.

          In addition to the above fines there are always court costs,  
          probation costs and restitution.
          ---------------------------
          <2> Until the budget year 2002-2003, there was 170% in penalty  
          assessments applied to every fine, the current penalty  
          assessments are approximately 270%. (See Penal Code  1464;  
          Penal Code  1465.7; Penal Code  1465.8 Government Code   
          70372; Government Code  7600.5 Government Code  76000 et seq;  
          Government Code  76104.6)  




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          The fines in this bill do not appear to be on top of the base  
          fine but are intended to be an additional fee, thus the penalty  
          assessments would likely not be added to these fines.    In  
          general, criminal fines are often hard to collect and have not  
          been found to be a reliable source of funding.  These offenses  
          have very high fines under existing law.  Are the fees in this  
          bill intended to take a priority over these fines?  Over  
          restitution?  A defendant, especially one who goes to jail or  
          prison or who loses property in forfeiture has a limited amount  
          of money they will be able to pay in a fine.  Will the  
          imposition of these funds mean that the base fine and thus  
          penalty assessments will be lowered to take into consideration  
          the appropriate amount the court thinks the defendant should or  
          can pay?  If the base fine and thus penalty assessments are  
          lowered, those that currently rely on funding from these sources  
          will get less, is this appropriate?  Will enough of the  
          additional fines in this bill ever be collected to fund this new  
          registry at the DOJ?

          WITH THE EXISTING HIGH FINES FOR THESE CODE SECTIONS, WILL THE  
          ADDITIONAL FINES IN THIS BILL EVER REALLY FUND THIS REGISTRY?

          7.   ROCA issues  

          This bill contains the following provisions that violate this  
          Committee's ROCA policy:

                 This bill provides that a person who is on parole who  
               fails to register, shall have their parole revoked, thereby  
               adding to the prison overcrowding crisis.  (Page 6, lines  
               28-32)

                 This bill provides that any person who uses information  
               disclosed in the pet registry to commit a felony shall be  
               sentenced to an additional consecutive five years in  
               prison. (Page 9, lines 24-27)


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