Bill Text: NH SB569 | 2018 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relative to animal cruelty and establishing a commission to study cost of care for confiscated animals.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 12-5)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2018-05-17 - Conference Committee Report: Not Filed [SB569 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2018-SB569-Introduced.html

SB 569-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2018 SESSION

18-2862

08/03

 

SENATE BILL 569-FN

 

AN ACT relative to animal cruelty.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Gannon, Dist 23; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Innis, Dist 24; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Rep. S. Schmidt, Carr. 6; Rep. DesMarais, Carr. 6; Rep. Danielson, Hills. 7; Rep. Umberger, Carr. 2; Rep. W. Marsh, Carr. 8

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Defines "breeding female."

 

II.  Requires inspection of premises before issuance of a license to transfer animals or birds.

 

III.  Allows the suspension or revocation of a license to transfer animals or birds if conditions under which the license was issued are not maintained.

 

IV.  Allows for a person caring for an animal confiscated during an animal cruelty trial to petition the town for a bond to cover the cost of animal care.

 

V.  Makes an appropriation to the department of agriculture, markets, and food to increase oversight of commercial breeders.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

18-2862

08/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

 

AN ACT relative to animal cruelty.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Declaration of Purpose.

I.  The purpose of reforms to RSA 437 will better provide that the commercial breeding of dogs is performed in a manner that protects the health and welfare of the dogs and that there is the necessary oversight by the department of agriculture and local officials to ensure that dogs are treated humanely and that basic animal care standards are met.

II.  The purpose of reforms to RSA 644 will protect local property taxpayers from potentially significant expenses due to the cost of care of boarding and medical treatment for companion animals that have been lawfully removed from the owner due to allegations of abuse or neglect.  Pet owners whose animals have been removed can only be responsible for portions of board and care after a court order.

2  Transfer of Animals and Birds  RSA 437:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

437:1  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "Animal shelter facility'' means a facility, including the building and the immediate surrounding area, which is used to house or contain animals and which is owned, operated and maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals, and also a public pound for the housing of strays or a pound operated by any person, excluding veterinarians, who contracts with a municipality to serve that function.

II.  “Breeding female” means an unspayed female dog kept or maintained for the purpose of breeding and selling the dog’s offspring.

III.  "Commercial kennel'' means a person that keeps, maintains, or owns 5 or more breeding female dogs or transfers 10 or more litters or 50 or more puppies in any 12-month period.  "Commercial kennel" includes a person that keeps, maintains, or owns dogs on the same property as another person who also keeps, maintains, or owns dogs and the total number of breeding female dogs on the property is 5 or more.

IV.  "Commissioner'' means the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

V.  “Person” means any person, firm, business, corporation, or other entity.

VI.  "Pet vendor” means any person, firm, corporation, or other entity engaged in the business of transferring live animals or birds customarily used as household pets to the public, with or without a fee or donation required, and whether or not a physical facility is owned by the licensee in New Hampshire, when transfer to the final owner occurs within New Hampshire.

VII.  "Transfer'' means transfer of ownership of live animals or birds from any person to a member of the public.

3  Requirements; Transfer of Animals or Birds.  Amend RSA 437:3 to read as follows:

437:3  Requirements.  No pet vendor shall transfer animals or birds without a license.  A pet vendor shall apply to the commissioner for a license, giving such information as the commissioner shall require.  The application shall include proof that the zoning enforcement official of the municipality wherein any facility is to be maintained has certified that the facility conforms to the municipal zoning regulations.  The application shall be accompanied by a non-refundable $200 fee.  A license shall be issued if, after inspection, the department or a person appointed by the department finds that all premises, buildings, and other enclosures comply with the requirements of RSA 437:3, I.  If the premises, buildings, and other enclosures do not comply, the applicant may reapply within 30 days of the initial inspection.  If, after a second application and inspection, the premises, buildings, and other enclosures still do not comply with the requirements of RSA 437:3, I, no license shall be issued.  All licenses shall expire on June 30 of each year and be subject to renewal upon submission of a new application.  No licenses shall be transferable. The department shall suspend or revoke a license at any time, if in the judgment of the department the conditions under which the license was issued are not being maintained.  Upon receipt of a written complaint from a person or agency alleging violation of this subdivision, the department shall investigate said complaint within a reasonable time.  A pet vendor licensed under this subdivision shall:

I.  Maintain in a clean and sanitary condition all premises, buildings, and other enclosures used in the business of dealing in live animals or birds customarily used as household pets, and ensure that their use will not result in the inhumane treatment of such animals or birds.

II.  Submit premises, buildings and other enclosures to unannounced inspection, biennially and upon complaint, by department employees or local animal control, law enforcement, or health officials at reasonable times.  Licensees without a physical facility in New Hampshire shall be exempt from facility inspection, though an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection from the state of origin for every imported dog, cat, or ferret handled by the licensee shall be submitted to the department for review within one month of the date of writing of the certificate.

III.  Maintain, subject to inspection by the commissioner, his or her agent, local officials, law enforcement, or any member of the public, a proper record in which all live animals or birds customarily used as household pets obtained or transferred shall be listed, giving the breed, date the animal was obtained and transferred, and from whom the animal or bird was obtained and to whom the animal was transferred.  Such record shall also show the microchip, leg band, or tattoo number of each animal or bird, where applicable, and documentation of any veterinary examinations, treatments, or procedures.  Animals or birds that do not bear such identification shall be identified by recording markings, a physical description and any other information as the commissioner deems necessary to identify such animals or birds.  Such records shall be maintained for at least 3 years after the transfer of each animal or bird.

IV.  Keep records of all animals or birds intended for transfer indicating identification, point of origin, and recipient, maintain such records for at least 3 years after the transfer of each animal or bird, and shall submit said records to the commissioner upon request.

V.  Abide by such other rules as the commissioner may adopt to control disease.

4  Refusal to Issue; Suspension or Revocation of Licenses.  Amend RSA 437:4 to read as follows:

437:4  Refusal to Issue; Suspension or Revocation of License.

I.  The commissioner, after notice to the licensee and opportunity for hearing, as set forth in the rules adopted under RSA 437:9, may deny an application, suspend, or revoke a license for any of the following reasons:

[I.] (a)  The applicant or licensee violated the statutes of the state of New Hampshire or of the United States or any rule adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this chapter;  

[II.] (b)  The applicant made false or misleading statements in his or her application for a license;

[III.] (c)  The licensee knowingly transferred any animal affected with a communicable disease except as allowed under RSA 437:5 and [RSA 437:8, II] RSA 437:8, III;

[IV.] (d)  The licensee ceased to operate the business for which the license was issued; [or]

[V.] (e)  The applicant or licensee held any similar license issued in another jurisdiction or by the United States Department of Agriculture which was revoked or suspended by that jurisdiction as a result of engaging in conduct prohibited by RSA 437 during the preceding 5 years[.]; or

(f)  The applicant or licensee has been convicted of cruelty to animals in the state of New Hampshire or any other state.  The department shall conduct a background check of the applicant and submit the names, birth dates, and addresses of the applicant to the division of state police, for forwarding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Upon completion of the criminal record check, the division of state police shall forward the results to the department.  Information obtained from another state pursuant to this subparagraph shall be used only for the purposes of conducting the background checks.  The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the confidentiality of information collected under this section and to the release, if any, of such information.

II.  Decisions of the commissioner shall be subject to rehearing and appeal under RSA 541.

5  Prohibition; Transfer of Sick Animals; Cross Reference Change.  Amend RSA 437:5 to read as follows:

437:5  Prohibition.  No licensee under this subdivision shall transfer, other than to a qualified veterinarian or licensed animal shelter facility, any maimed, sick, or diseased animal or bird other than as permitted under RSA [437:8, II] 437:8, III nor shall any licensee treat inhumanely any animal or bird in his or her care or possession or under his or her control.

6  Health Certificates for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets  RSA 437:8 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

437:8  Health Certificates for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets.

I.  For purposes of this chapter, an official health certificate means a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian, containing the name and address of the entity transferring ownership of the dog, cat, or ferret, the age, gender, breed, microchip number, tattoo number, ear tag number, or physical description of the dog, cat, or ferret, and the certification of the veterinarian that the dog, cat, or ferret is free from evidence of communicable diseases or internal or external parasites.  A list of all vaccines and medication administered to the dog, cat, or ferret shall be included on or attached to the certificate.  A person who signs or alters a certificate knowing any of the information included to be false, or who falsifies any information required on the certificate, is guilty of unsworn falsification as prescribed by RSA 641:3.

II.  No dog, cat, or ferret shall be offered for transfer by a licensee or by any individual without first being protected against infectious diseases using a vaccine approved by the state veterinarian.  No dog, cat, or ferret shall be offered for transfer by a licensee or by any individual unless accompanied by an official health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian.  No transfer shall occur unless the transferred animal is accompanied by a health certificate issued within the prior 14 days.  Said certificate shall be in triplicate, one copy of which shall be retained by the signing veterinarian, one copy of which shall be for the licensee's records, and one copy of which shall be given to the transferee upon transfer as provided in paragraph III.  If an official health certificate is produced, it shall be prima facie evidence of transfer.

III.  The original of the official health certificate accompanying the dog, cat, or ferret offered for transfer by a licensee shall be kept on the premises where dogs, cats, and ferrets are displayed, and made available for inspection by the department, local officials, or a member of the public upon request up to one year after the animal has left the facility.  The public shall be informed of their right to inspect the health certificate for each dog, cat, or ferret by a sign prominently displayed in the area where dogs, cats, or ferrets are displayed.  Upon transfer of a dog, cat, or ferret, that animal’s health certificate shall be given to the transferee in addition to any other documents which are customarily delivered to the transferee.  The transferee may accept a dog, cat, or ferret that has a noncontagious illness, or feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus, which has caused it to fail its examination by a licensed veterinarian for an official health certificate.  The transferee shall sign a waiver that indicates the transferee has knowledge of such dog, cat, or ferret's noncontagious medical condition and then submit such waiver to the licensee who shall send a copy to the state veterinarian.

IV.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall ship or bring into the state of New Hampshire, to offer for transfer in the state of New Hampshire, any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall offer for transfer any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.

V.  Once a dog, cat, or ferret intended for transfer has entered the state, it shall be held at least 48 hours at a facility licensed under RSA 437 or at a facility operated by a licensed veterinarian separated from other animals on the premises before being offered for transfer.

VI.  Animal shelter facilities, as defined in RSA 437:1, I, are exempt from the requirements of this section relative to transferring dogs, cats, and ferrets except that:

(a)  All animal shelter facilities shall have on premises a microchip scanner and shall maintain a file of recognized pet retrieval agencies including but not limited to national tattoo or microchip registries.

(b)  Where an owner is not known, all animal shelter facilities shall inspect for tattoos, ear tags, or other permanent forms of positive identification and shall scan for a microchip upon admission of an unclaimed or abandoned animal as defined in RSA 437:18, IV and prior to transferring ownership of an unclaimed or abandoned animal.

(c)  All dogs, cats, or ferrets transferred out of an animal shelter facility located in the state of New Hampshire shall have a form of positive identification, including but not limited to a tattoo, collar, microchip, ear tag, or any other permanent form of identification approved by the commissioner and dogs, cats, and ferrets shall be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with RSA 436.

(d)  All dogs, cats, or ferrets shall be accompanied by an official health certificate if the dog, cat, or ferret was imported into the state for transfer with or without a fee.

(e)  All animal shelters shall comply with the provisions of RSA 437:8, V.

7  Penalty.  Amend RSA 437:10 to read as follows:

437:10  Penalty.

I.  [Any pet vendor who transfers live animals or birds customarily used as household pets in this state without having a license to do so as required by this chapter] Any person who violates any provision of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

II.  In addition to the penalty under paragraph I, any pet vendor who violates any of the provisions of this subdivision or rule adopted under it may be subject to an administrative fine levied by the commissioner, not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

III.  Once a license has been revoked under the provisions of RSA 437:4, the department may require that all animals and birds located on the premises for which such license was revoked shall be removed by the licensee from said premises within 3 working days after said revocation and be relocated to a safe and sanitary place approved by the department.

8  New Paragraph; Cruelty to Animals.  Amend RSA 644:8 by inserting after paragraph III-a the following new paragraph:

III-b.  A person is guilty of a class B felony if that person purposely commits an act listed in paragraph III and the conduct causes the death of the animal or caused the animal serious bodily injury as  defined in RSA 625:11, VI.  This paragraph shall not apply to customarily accepted animal husbandry practices and to humane slaughter under RSA 427.

9  Cost of Animal Care Bond.  Amend RSA 644:8, IV to read as follows:

IV.(a)  In addition to being guilty of crimes as provided in paragraphs III and III-a, any person charged with cruelty to animals may have his or her animal confiscated by the arresting officer and, if said person has failed to post a cost of animal care bond or other security in accordance with paragraph IV-b, or upon said person's conviction of cruelty to animals, the court may dispose of said animal in any manner it decides.  Courts shall give cases in which animals have been confiscated by an arresting officer priority on the court calendar.  The costs, if any, incurred in boarding and treating the animal, pending disposition of the case, and in disposing of the animal, [upon a conviction of said person for cruelty to animals,] shall be borne by the person charged with animal cruelty [so convicted].  In addition, the court may prohibit any person convicted of animal cruelty from having future ownership or custody of other animals for any period of time the court deems reasonable or impose any other reasonable restrictions on the person's future ownership or custody of animals as necessary for the protection of the animals.

(b)  If a person convicted of cruelty to animals appeals the conviction and any confiscated animal remains in the custody of the arresting officer or the officer's designee pending disposition of the appeal, in order for the appellant to maintain a future interest in the animal, the trial court may require the appellant to post a bond or other security in an amount not exceeding $2,000 in accordance with paragraph IV-b for each animal in custody for costs expected to be incurred for the board and care of the animal during the appeal.  If the conviction is affirmed on appeal, the costs incurred for the board and care of the animal shall be paid to the custodian from the posted security and the balance, if any, returned to the person who posted it.

10  New Paragraph; Cruelty to Animals; Cost of Care Petition and Bond.  Amend RSA 644:8 by inserting after paragraph IV-a the following new paragraph:

IV-b.(a)  Any officer confiscating an animal under paragraph IV, or any person providing care for a confiscated animal, shall have the right to file a cost of animal care petition with the superior court.  The petition shall contain:

(1)  The authority for, and purpose of, the confiscation, including the time, place, and circumstances of the confiscation, and the facts regarding any animal cruelty;

(2)  A description of the animal, including its current condition and any facts demonstrating the animal’s disease, injury, or suffering; and

(3)  If the person from whom the animal is confiscated is not the animal’s owner, the name and address of the owner, if such information is available to the petitioner upon reasonable investigation.  If the owner’s name and address is not available to the petitioner upon reasonable investigation, then the petition shall include the address of the premises where the animal was confiscated.

(b)  The petitioner shall serve a true and correct copy of the petition upon the animal’s owner.  If, after reasonable investigation, the name and address of the owner cannot be located, or the animal’s owner is unable to be located then the petition shall be conspicuously posted at the premises where the animal was confiscated.

(c)  Upon the court’s receipt of the petition, the court shall set the matter for hearing at the earliest practicable time, but not more than 21 days after the petition was filed with the court.  The court shall, not less than 5 days prior to the hearing, notify the petitioner and the animal’s owner, in writing, of the date and location of the hearing.  If no name and address for the owner is set forth in the petition, then such notice shall be conspicuously posted at the premises where the animal was confiscated.

(d)  If the court determines that there was probable cause to believe that the animal or animals has been or is being abused or neglected in violation of paragraphs III or III-a or when there is a clear and imminent danger to the animal’s health or life and there is not sufficient time to obtain a court order,  then the court shall set a renewable bond or other security in an amount sufficient to cover the reasonable costs of providing the confiscated animal with humane care and adequate and necessary veterinary services for a period of 30 days.

(e)(1)  If the court orders a bond or other security to be posted, then the amount of funds necessary for 30 days of the animal’s care, as determined by the court, shall be posted with the municipal or county treasurer.  The owner shall be ordered to deposit the same amount every 30 days thereafter until the final disposition of the criminal matter, unless he or she requests a hearing no less than 5 business days prior to the expiration of a 30-day period.  If the required funds are not deposited within 5 business days of the issuance of the order setting the amount of funds, or 5 business days after the expiration of a 30-day period, then the animal is forfeited to the petitioner by operation of law.

(2)  If a hearing is requested, the court may correct, alter, or otherwise adjust each new bond or other security upon a motion made at least 5 days before the expiration date of the previous bond.  The hearing shall be held within 10 days of the motion, and notice shall be provided to the petitioner and to the owner.  The bond or other security payment will be due 5 days after the court orders, or refuses to order, an adjustment.

(3)  If a bond or other security has been posted in accordance with this paragraph, then the entity caring for the animal may draw from that bond the actual reasonable costs incurred in keeping and caring for the animal from the date of the confiscation to the date of the final disposition of the animal in the criminal action.

(4)  Upon final disposition of the criminal action, remaining funds deposited with the municipal or county treasurer shall be returned to the depositor and, in the event the owner is convicted of animal cruelty, remaining funds shall be distributed by order of the court.  The court may return funds to the depositor or may be donated to municipality or an animal welfare organization to be held and used specifically and only for animal cruelty cases in New Hampshire.

(f)  Neither the result of a hearing provided for under this paragraph nor a statement of an owner made at any such hearing shall be admissible in any criminal prosecution related to the impoundment of the animal or animals.  If the court authorizes any discovery, there shall be no deposition of any party, witness, or representative, use of interrogatories, or demand to inspect any records outside the immediate reports and financial accountings concerning the animal or animals in question from the enforcement agency, animal care provider, owner of the animal, or person with custody or control of the animal at the time of the alleged violation.

(g)  Livestock, as defined in RSA 427:38, III shall be exempt from this paragraph, with the exception of horses not part of a commercial agricultural operation as defined under RSA 21:34-a, and chickens in cases alleging violations of RSA 644:8-a.

11  Appropriation.  In addition to any sums appropriated in the state operating budget, the sum of $200,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 is hereby appropriated to the state veterinarian, department of agriculture, markets, and food, to support the increase in oversight and inspections of commercial breeders.  The governor is authorized to draw a warrant for said sum out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

12  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

18-2862

1/5/18

 

SB 569-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to animal cruelty.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$200,000

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$16,000

$16,000

$16,000

$16,000

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

 

METHODOLOGY:

The Department of Agriculture indicates there are 267 licensed pet vendors in New Hampshire and estimates this bill would result in an additional 80 licenses for commercial kennels, for a total of 350 licensable premises.  Based on information and staffing from the Maine Animal Welfare Program, data on the average number of dogs per household from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and census data for the State of New Hampshire, the Department makes the following assumptions concerning additional resources needed to administer the requirements of the bill:

  • 2 Full-time inspectors for biennial inspection of 350 premises.  The Department assumes 255 inspections per year would be performed (175 mandatory and 80 based on complaints)
  • A full-time director would administer the program, supervise the staff, support the attorney and handle public communications, rulemaking, training and contract oversight.  
  • One part-time hearings officer.
  • One full-time attorney would handle all suspensions and revocation administrative proceedings.
  • One part-time administrative secretary.
  • Additional office space would be necessary as there is no space available in the Department.
  • Associated office equipment, including computers and current expense funds for telephone, utilities and supplies.
  • Three vehicles would be needed; two for the inspectors, and one to be shared by the director and the attorney.  Associated travel costs such as gasoline and vehicle maintenance.
  • License fee revenue would increase by $16,000 (80 commercial kennels x $200 license)

Based on these assumptions the Department provided the following cost estimates:

 

Estimated Costs

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

Director (Administrator I, LG 18,  Salary & Benefits)

$62,646

$65,608

$68,825

$72,246

2 Inspectors (Veterinary Technician I, LG 16, Salary & Benefits)

$118,518

$124,302

$130,408

$136,550

Part-time Administrative Secretary  (LG 12, Salary & Benefits x 50%))

$26,686

$27,945

$29,355

$30,750

Full-time Attorney Position  (Based on Administrative Prosecutions Unit Budget)

$95,196

$95,196

$95,196

$95,196

Part-time Hearings Officer ($50/hour x 1,000 hours)

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

$50,000

Total Salary and Benefits:

$353,046

$363,051

$373,784

$384,742

Other Expenses

 

 

 

 

Current Expenses

$875

$875

$875

$875

Equipment

$65,000

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

Office Space

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

Travel

$13,700

$13,700

$13,700

$13,700

Total Other Expenses:

$99,575

$35,575

$35,575

$35,575

Total Cost:  

$452,621

$398,626

$409,359

$420,317

Note: The Maine animal welfare program includes a part-time veterinarian.  The amounts above do not include additional veterinary services.

 

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

Judicial Branch

FY 2019

FY 2020

Class B Misdemeanor

(Proposed RSA 437:4,II and RSA 431:10, I)

$50

$51

Class A Misdemeanor   (Proposed RSA 437:4,II and RSA 431:10, I)  

$72

$73

Routine Criminal Felony Case

$457

$462

Complex Equity Case  (Animal care petition in the superior court)

$740

$746

Appeals

Varies

Varies

Appeals to the Supreme Court from decisions of the Commissioner of Agriculture

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2019 and FY 2020 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.  An unspecified misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption being a class B misdemeanor.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Contract Attorney – Felony

$825/Case

$825/Case

Contract Attorney – Misdemeanor

$300/Case

$300/Case

Assigned Counsel – Felony

$60/Hour up to $4,100

$60/Hour up to $4,100

Assigned Counsel – Misdemeanor

$60/Hour up to $1,400

$60/Hour up to $1,400

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2017 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$36,960

$36,960

FY 2017 Annual Marginal Cost of a General Population Inmate

$4,555

$4,555

FY 2017 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$557

$557

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

Many offenses are prosecuted by local and county prosecutors.  When the Department of Justice has investigative and prosecutorial responsibility or is involved in an appeal, the Department would likely absorb the cost within its existing budget.  If the Department needs to prosecute significantly more cases or handle more appeals, then costs may increase by an indeterminable amount.  

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates the addition of paragraph IV-b to RSA 644:8 may result in a fiscal impact to some municipalities.  The new language authorizes a local law enforcement agency, upon confiscating an animal from a person charged with animal cruelty, to petition the superior court to require the person to post a bond to cover the cost of care for the animal while it is in the custody of the law enforcement agency or another person or organization.  Currently, municipalities incur costs to care for such animals, although those costs are sometimes paid in part by animal care organizations.  By authorizing the law enforcement agency to obtain a bond from the person charged, the legislation may reduce municipal expenditures.  The Association indicates the amount of any reduction will depend on the facts of each case and it is impossible to estimate the impact on municipal expenditures.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Departments of Agriculture, Corrections and Justice, Judicial Council, New Hampshire Association of Counties and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

feedback