Bill Text: NJ S3200 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Expands purposes for which civil asset forfeiture funds may be used by law enforcement agency.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-11-19 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee [S3200 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S3200-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3200

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 19, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  MICHAEL L. TESTA, JR.

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Expands purposes for which civil asset forfeiture funds may be used by law enforcement agency.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning civil asset forfeiture and amending N.J.S.2C:64-6.

 

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

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:64-6 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:64-6.  Disposal of Forfeited Property.  a.  Property which has been forfeited shall be destroyed if it can serve no lawful purpose or it presents a danger to the public health, safety or welfare. All other forfeited property or any proceeds resulting from the forfeiture and all money seized pursuant to this chapter shall become the property of the entity funding the prosecuting agency involved and shall be disposed of, distributed, appropriated and used in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. 

     The prosecutor or the Attorney General, whichever is prosecuting the case, shall divide the forfeited property, any proceeds resulting from the forfeiture or any money seized pursuant to this chapter with any other entity where the other entity's law enforcement agency participated in the surveillance, investigation, arrest or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture, in proportion to the other entity's contribution to the surveillance, investigation, arrest or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture, as determined in the discretion of the prosecutor or the Attorney General, whichever is prosecuting the case. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such forfeited property and proceeds shall be used solely for law enforcement purposes, and shall be designated for the exclusive use of the law enforcement agency which contributed to the surveillance, investigation, arrest or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture. 

     The Attorney General is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement and enforce the provisions of this act. 

     b.    For a period of two years from the date of enactment of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13 et al.), [10%] 10 percent of the proceeds obtained by the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be deposited into the Hepatitis Inoculation Fund established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13). 

     c.     Beginning two years from the date of enactment of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13 et al.) and in subsequent years, [5%] five percent of the proceeds obtained by the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be deposited into the Hepatitis Inoculation Fund established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13). 

     d.    For the purposes of this section, "law enforcement purpose" means a purpose which is calculated to enhance a law enforcement agency's ability to conduct criminal investigations, surveillance, arrests and prosecutions and to respond more fully to the effects of crime beyond any amounts allocated by the law enforcement agency's annual budget. A law enforcement purpose shall include expenditures to: defray the costs of protracted or complex investigations; educate the public in crime prevention techniques; promote community outreach; provide diversity training for law enforcement officers; establish and implement minority selection and recruitment programs; provide additional technical assistance or expertise, which may include the purchase of surveillance and undercover transportation and investigation equipment, and computer hardware and software to enhance the coordination and sharing of information among the law enforcement agencies of a county and the State; provide matching funds to obtain federal law enforcement enhancement grants; or for such other purposes as the Attorney General may from time to time authorize.

(cf: P.L.1993, c.227, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill expands the purposes for which civil asset forfeiture funds may be used by a law enforcement agency.

     A civil asset forfeiture proceeding is an action by the government seeking ownership of personal property either used as an instrumentality of a crime or the fruits of criminal activity.  Under current law, forfeiture proceeds are required to be designated for the exclusive use of the law enforcement agency that contributed to the surveillance, investigation, arrest, or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture and are required to be used solely for law enforcement purposes. 

     "Law enforcement purpose" is defined under current law, pursuant to Standard Operating Procedures established by the Attorney General, to mean: a purpose which is calculated to enhance a law enforcement agency's ability to conduct criminal investigations, surveillance, arrests and prosecutions and to respond more fully to the effects of crime beyond any amounts allocated by the law enforcement agency's annual budget.  A law enforcement purpose includes expenditures to defray the costs of protracted or complex investigations; to educate the public in crime prevention techniques; to provide additional technical assistance or expertise, which may include the purchase of surveillance and undercover transportation and investigation equipment, and computer hardware and software to enhance the coordination and sharing of information among the law enforcement agencies of a county and the State; to provide matching funds to obtain Federal law enforcement enhancement grants; or for such other purposes as the Attorney General may from time to time authorize.

     This bill codifies and expands the definition of "law enforcement purpose" to include promoting community outreach; providing diversity training for law enforcement officers; and establishing and implementing minority selection and recruitment programs.

feedback