OK Let’s Pretend we have a case and then apply this California AB1117 law….
Facts: Owner has 39 animals. We will pretend they are dogs. Owner realizes he is going to have trouble with the costs of feeding and vet expenses, etc, due to downturn in economy and personal circumstances and is trying to get help so as to place some dogs, maybe even donate them, perhaps to people or individuals, maybe a rescue or other such group.
Unknown to owner, he calls a rescue group for help, but is told there is no room for any dogs. However the rescue group is later used by AC, and AC notifies owner that the rescue can take some dogs. So owner gives up some dogs to rescue and away they go. Several months later, there is suddenly a seizure done on all of the rest of the dogs, claiming “exigent” circumstances.
As we know, exigent circumstances in California means you don’t need a warrant. And the new law in CA states that warrant seizures are not entitled to a post seizure hearing these days anyway. But, no warrant was used. So, we have warantless seizure alleged to be based upon probable cause with exigent circumstances. Now, when this is done, should there be a hearing? Answer: Yes.
California law says that if such seizure is based upon 597.1 with exigent medical as the reason, then a hearing must be performed within 48 hours of the seizure. Well, we don’t have a warrant but we have an exigent circumstance allegation so we would need the hearing, right? But no proper hearing is given in 48 hr at all. And when they had the hearing to gain permission to seize, there was no allowance for owner to produce any evidence.
Then we have the AB1117 law (PC 597.9) which tells us that even if one is acquitted, one doesn’t get the animals back UNLESS one pays all the storage/feed/treatment costs first, and THEN must prove one has the financial and actual ability to take care of animals, and is not a danger to animals. This applies even if one is acquitted.
What this all means is:
1. AC can seize your animals even if they do it wrong
2. AC can not give you a hearing, even if they are supposed to do so
3. AC can charge you for all costs in storage,feed,medical and you pay it
4. AC can charge you for #3 even if you had done absolutely nothing wrong
under the Penal Code, are acquitted, or otherwise absolved from charges
5. AC has the sole ability to charge, detain and keep your animals even if
they cannot prove the charges, and even if they don’t give you a hearing.
6.. Under SB917 (you knew we would bring it up right?) they will charge most people with 597 or 597.1 and then prosecute as misdemeanor or felony. Claiming that it is an “infraction” means nothing since they can charge you with whatever they want to charge you, IN ADDITION to the infraction. That element seems to have been lost on people. At the same time, “selling” is categorized as “abuse” whereas “adoption” is categorized as “legal.” We cannot find that whether it’s called non profit or not non profit–that it suddenly becomes “abuse.”
7. That immediately triggers the AB1117 which MANDATES that you cannot own an animal for 5-10 years AND only if you are talking about livestock (owned for a business or a living) can you try and assert in a hearing, which you must request, that the state should NOT mandate 5-10 years and instead let you off on less. So if you don’t have livestock, guess what? You won’t be owning or being in company of ANY animals for 5-10 years. The way the statute is worded, everyday people who aren’t owners of seized livestock do not get this ability to request a hearing.
AND do you really think that a public defender is even going to know anything about the Penal code involving animals? Very unlikely. Do you think they will even care? Not so much. Would they hire experts? Probably not. So you see why people get convicted in these cases. It always takes competent counsel to win these cases. One that DOES know how ARs work, lie, misrepresent, and will do almost anything to set you up and see you suffer.