BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              S
                             2011-2012 Regular Session               B

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          SB 425 (Calderon)                                           
          As Amended March 21, 2011 
          Hearing date:  March 29, 2011
          Penal Code
          MK:dl

                             CRUELTY TO ANIMALS: FIGHTING  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  The Humane Society of the United States

          Prior Legislation: SB 318 (Calderon) - Chapter 302, Stats. 2009
                       SB 1775 (Calderon) - Failed in Senate Public Safety 
          2008
                       SB 1349 (Soto) - Chapter 430, Stats. 2006
                       SB 156 (Soto) - Moved to Assembly Inactive File 
                        then Amended to different subject 2005-2006.
                       SB 732 (Soto) - Chapter 256, Stats. 2003
                       SB 196 (Knight) - Chapter 422, Stats. 1997
                                  SB 1587 (Roberti) - 1989, not chaptered


          Support: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
                   Animals; California Police Chiefs Association; Paw PAC; 
                   California Animal Control Directors Association

          Opposition:A number of individuals

                                           
                                      KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD MINIMUM FINES BE CREATED FOR PEOPLE CONVICTED OF 




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                                                          SB 425 (Calderon)
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          COCKFIGHTING AND DOG FIGHTING RELATED CRIMES?

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          SHOULD THE FINE FOR A MINOR UNDER 16 YEARS OF AGE ATTENDING A 
          COCKFIGHT OR BEING ADMITTED TO A COCKFIGHT BE INCREASED?

          SHOULD PROPERTY ACQUIRED THROUGH COCKFIGHTING BE SUBJECT TO 
          FORFEITURE?


                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to provide for minimum fines for 
          specified dog fighting and cockfighting violations and to allow 
          for forfeiture of property acquired through cockfighting.

           Existing law  makes it a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not 
          exceeding $100 or by imprisonment in the county jail for not 
          more than 25 days for any minor under the age of 16 years to 
          visit or attend any prizefight, cockfight or place where any 
          prizefight or cockfight is advertised and for any owner, 
          lessee or proprietor of any place where any prizefight or 
          cockfight is advertised to admit any minor or to sell or five 
          to any such minor a ticket to a place where a prizefight or 
          cockfight is advertised to take place.  (Penal Code  310)

           This bill  provides that any minor under 16 years of age who 
          visit or attends any cockfight or place where any cockfight is 
          advertised to take place, and any owner lessee, or proprietor, 
          or the agent of any owner, lessee or proprietor of any place 
          where any cockfight is advertised or represented to take place 
          who admits any minor to a place where any cockfight is 
          advertised or represented to take place or who admits, sells, 
          or gives to any minor a ticket or other paper by which that 
          minor may be admitted to a place where a cockfight is 
          advertised to take place, is guilty of a misdemeanor 




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                                                          SB 425 (Calderon)
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          punishable by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in 
          the county jail for not more than 25 days.
           
          Existing law  provides that any person who does any of the 
          following is guilty of a felony and is punishable by 
          imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, 2 or 3 years 
          or by a fine not exceeding $50,000:

                 Owns, possesses, keeps, or trains any dog, 
               with the 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 either of the above to be done on any 
               premises under his or her charge or control, or 
               aids, or abets that act.  (Penal Code  597.5 
               (a).)

           This bill  provides for a minimum fine of $10,000 for a 
          violation of Penal Code  597.5(a) except in unusual 
          circumstances where the interests of justice would be better 
          served by imposition of a lesser sentence.

           Existing law  provides that any person who 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 exhibitions or at 
          any other fighting or injuring with the intent to be present 
          at that exhibition, fighting or injuring, is guilty of a 
          misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or 
          a fine not to exceed $5,000.  (Penal Code  597.5 (b).)

           This bill  provides for a minimum fine of $1,000 for a 
          violation of Penal Code  597.5(b).
           
          Existing law  provides that any person, who for amusement or 
          gain, causes any bull, bear, or other animal, not including 
          any dog, to fight with the like kind of animal or creature, or 




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          causes any animal, including any dog, to fight with a 
          different kind of animal or creature, or with any human being; 
          or who, for amusement or gain, worries or injures any bull, 
          bear, dog, or other animal, or causes any bull, bear or other 
          animal, not including any dog, to worry or injure each other; 
          and any person who permits the same to be done on any premises 
          under his or her charge or control; and any person who aids, 
          abets, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year 
          in jail and/or a fine of $5000.  (Penal Code  597b(a).)

           This bill  provides for a minimum fine of $1,000 for a 
          violation of Penal Code  597b(a).)

           Existing law  makes it a misdemeanor to cause, for amusement or 
          gain, an animal to fight a like or different animal.  The 
          penalty for a first offense is up to one year in county jail 
          and/or a fine of $5,000.  (Penal Code  597b(b).)

           This bill  provides for a minimum fine of $1,000 for a 
          violation of Penal Code  597b.

           Existing law  provides that any person who is knowingly 
          present as a spectator at any place, building, or tenement 
          for an exhibition of animal fighting, or who is knowingly 
          present where preparations are being made for animal 
          fighting is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 
          months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.  (Penal Code  
          597c.)

           This bill  provides that the penalty for a violation of Penal 
          Code  597c is imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 
          6 months, or by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than 
          $1,000 or by both imprisonment or fine.

           Existing law  provides that it is a misdemeanor  punishable 
          by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000 for any 
          person to tie or attach or fasten any live animal to any 
          machine or device propelled by any power for the purpose of 
          causing such animal to be pursued by a dog or dogs. (Penal 
          Code  597h)




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           This bill  provides that the penalty for Penal Code  597h 
          shall be a fine of $2,500 and/or by imprisonment in the 
          county jail not exceeding six months.

           Existing law  provides that it is a misdemeanor punishable by up 
          to one year in county jail and/or a fine up to $5,000 for any 
          person to manufacture, buy, sell, barter, exchange or to have in 
          his or her possession any of the implements commonly known as 
          gaffs or slashers, or any other sharp implement designed to be 
          attached in place of the natural spur of a gamecock or other 
          fighting bird.

           This bill  provides for a minimum fine of $1,000 for a violation 
          of Penal Code  597i.

           Existing law  makes it a misdemeanor for any person to own, 
          possess, keep or train any bird or animal with the intent that 
          it be used in an exhibition of fighting.  The penalty for a 
          first offense is up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of 
          $5000. (Penal Code 597j(a).)
           
          This bill  provides for a minimum fine of $1,000 for a violation 
          of Penal Code  597j(a).   

           Existing law  provides that second or subsequent violation of 
          Penal Code Sections 597j is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up 
          to one year in county jail and/or a fine up to $25,000.  (Penal 
          Code  597j.)

           This bill  provides a minimum fine of $10,000 for a second or 
          subsequent violation of Penal Code  597j.
           
          Existing law  provides that the prosecuting agency in a criminal 
          proceeding where a person has been charged with dog fighting may 
          file a petition for forfeiture of any property interest, whether 
          tangible or intangible, that was acquired through the commission 
          of the crimes and sets forth procedures for such forfeiture.  
          (Penal Code  598.1)





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           This bill  adds cockfighting to those provisions for which 
          forfeiture may be sought. 

            
                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
          
          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's 
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation. 
           As these cases have progressed, prison conditions have 
          continued to be assailed, and the scrutiny of the federal courts 
          over California's prisons has intensified.  

          On June 30, 2005, in a class action lawsuit filed four years 
          earlier, the United States District Court for the Northern 
          District of California established a Receivership to take 
          control of the delivery of medical services to all California 
          state prisoners confined by the California Department of 
          Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR").  In December of 2006, 
          plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against CDCR sought a 
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the 
          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a 
          three-judge federal panel issued an order requiring California 
          to reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design 
          capacity -- a reduction at that time of roughly 40,000 inmates 
          -- within two years.  The court stayed implementation of its 
          ruling pending the state's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

          On Monday, June 14, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear 
          the state's appeal of this order and, on Tuesday, November 30, 
          2010, the Court heard oral arguments.  A decision is expected as 
          early as this spring.  

          In response to the unresolved prison capacity crisis, in early 
          2007 the Senate Committee on Public Safety began holding 
          legislative proposals which could further exacerbate prison 
          overcrowding through new or expanded felony prosecutions.     

           This bill  does not appear to aggravate the prison overcrowding 
          crisis described above.





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                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

              Animal fighting-dogfighting and cockfighting remain 
              pervasive, insidious, and dangerous threats to 
              California communities. In spite of increased attention 
              from media, law enforcement and the legislature, these 
              underground organized criminal activities continue to 
              thrive across urban, rural, coastal and inland, northern 
              and southern California.






























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          2.   Fines and Penalty Assessments in General  

          Added to every fine imposed are approximately 280% in penalty 
          assessments.<1>  Thus, a $100 fine is really about $380; a $500 
          fine is $1,900; a $1,000 fine is $3,800; a $2,500 fine is 
          $7,000; a $5,000 fine is $14,000; a $10,000 fine is $28,000; 
          $25,000 fine is $70,000; and, a $50,000 fine is $140,000.  In 
          addition to fines a defendant also pays court ordered 
          restitution to the victim.

          3.   Increased Fine for Minor at a Cockfight  

          Under existing law the penalty for a minor under 16 years of age 
          attending a prizefight or a cockfight, or selling a ticket or 
          admitting a minor under 16 years of age to a prizefight or a 
          cockfight is the same, up to 25 days in the county jail or a 
          fine not exceeding $100 ($380 with penalty assessments).  This 
          bill makes the penalty for  a minor under 16 years of age 
          attending a cockfight or selling a ticket or admitting a minor 
          under 16 years of age to a cockfight $500 ($1,900 with penalty 
          assessments) or up to 25 days in the county jail.

          4.   Possessing and Training of Dogs for Fighting  

          This bill creates a new minimum fine of $10,000 ($28,000 with 
          penalty assessments) to the felony of possessing training or 
          causing dogs to fight. The current maximum fine is $50,000 
          ($140,000 with penalty assessments) with penalty assessments. 
          This bill does provide that an imposition of a lesser sentence 
          can occur in "unusual circumstances" where the interests of 
          justice would be better served.  One concern with high minimum 
          ---------------------------
          <1> Until the budget year 2002-2003, there was 170% in penalty 
          assessments applied to every fine, the current penalty 
          assessments are approximately 280% plus an additional $4 per 
          fine. (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  76000.10; 
          Government Code  76104.6 )  




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          fines is that it may limit the amount of money a defendant has 
          to pay restitution.  In the case of dogs trained to fight, it is 
          possible for the court to order restitution to care for the dogs 
          who are the victims in the case.    A court may be reluctant to 
          order the maximum restitution if the person is already required 
          to pay a high fine.

          5.   Additional Minimum Fines  

          This bill creates minimum fines of $1,000 ($3,800 with penalty 
          assessments) for being present at a dogfighting; causing any 
          animal to fight for amusement or gain; causing a cock to fight 
          for amusement or gain; being a spectator at a cockfight; owning 
          implements of cockfighting; and possessing or training a cock to 
          fight.  

          This bill also increases the fine from $1,000 ($3,800 with 
          penalty assessments) to $2,500 ($7,000) for tieing or attaching 
          or fastening any live animal to a device propelled by any power 
          for the purpose of causing that animal to be pursued by dogs.

          In addition this bill creates a minimum fine of $10,000 ($28,000 
          with penalty assessments) for a second conviction of owning or 
          possessing any bird or animal for the purpose of fighting.  The 
          current maximum fine is $25,000 ($70,000 with penalty 
          assessments).

          Are these minimum fines appropriate taking into consideration 
          the penalty assessments and potential restitution?  The courts 
          currently have the discretion to order these fines, should the 
          courts retain the discretion in determining the appropriate 
          balance between fines and restitution?

          6.  Forfeiture  

          In 2009, SB 318 (Calderon) created forfeiture procedures for 
          property acquired through the commission of dog fighting.  The 
          property that can be forfeited includes personal and real 
          property, profits, proceeds and instrumentalities acquired, 
          accumulated or used by dogfighting participants, organizers, 












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          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.  
          This bill extends these forfeiture provisions to cockfighting.

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