The ARs have yet another bad law, in their repeated attacks to keep the bad laws coming……….SB1500 by Lieu, is just another piece of BS legislation designed by ARs to seize, seize, seize those animals.
Existing law PC597.1 requires, when an officer seizes or impounds an animal based on a reasonable belief that prompt action is required to protect the health or safety of the animal or the safety of others, that prior to the commencement of any criminal proceedings, the officer provide the owner or keeper of the animal, if known or ascertainable after reasonable investigation, with the opportunity for a postseizure hearing to determine the validity of the seizure or impoundment, or both.
The bill would provide that, if an animal is seized pursuant to a search warrant, the owner or keeper is not entitled to an administrative postseizure hearing with the seizing agency.
As we well know, ARs are known for having search warrants that might not cut it………. and since their probable cause won’t and can’t be challenged at the outset, guess what? More storage fees for the owner.
This bill would provide that no animal properly seized pursuant to these provisions shall be returned to its owner until the owner can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the seizing agency or hearing officer that the owner can and will provide the necessary care and does not present a danger to the animal.
The bill would also authorize a seizing agency or prosecuting attorney, prior to final disposition of any criminal charges against the owner of an animal, to file a petition in the criminal proceeding requesting the court to issue an order forfeiting the animal to the city, county, or seizing agency prior to the final disposition of the criminal charge.
Existing law also authorizes the court to exempt owners of livestock from these restrictions if the defendant files a petition to establish that the imposition of these restrictions would result in substantial or undue economic hardship to the defendants livelihood and that the defendant has the ability to properly care for all livestock in his or her care.
This bill would require a defendant who files a petition seeking to reduce the duration of the mandatory ownership prohibition or an exemption, as described above, to establish the basis for granting the relief by a preponderance of the evidence.
Folks—-here is the AR problem. When ARs issue search warrants*, they are not necessarily valid. And if they are not valid, but premised upon some bogus allegations that they can get a magistrate to believe, then guess what happens? Owner will lose the animals based upon an invalid search warrant and likely won’t have the $$$$ for attorney funding and defense. Plus when there is NO postseizure hearing, the seizing agency does not have to prove valid facts during the administrative portion, and a lot more time goes by with seizure fees mounting up.
*We are aware of new cases that come up and some do involve responsible owners. Despite elitists believing that “they” are immune from seizure, they are very wrong. ALL breeders and those showing dogs or selling dogs are fair game to the ARs.
Being responsible does not make you immune... and when search warrants want all your receipts, your bank statements, your personal letters, your tax statements, your pink slip to your car, your tapes from answering machine, your keys to your cars, your photos, your computers, your cell phones, we ask you: what is left unturned?
We are not talking about drug operations, illegal XXX snuff videos, or child slavery. We are talking about seizing pets and animals.
This means the case can be prosecuted based upon an invalid seizure because there is no postseizure hearing at all. Thus it ends up that likely public defenders would later have to be filing suppression motions and quashing and traversing warrants.
Do we really think that public defenders will do that? Or will they just cut a deal? [Private attorneys for sure would be filing the motions quickly, but PDs are vastly overworked]
Have you ever been in criminal court? Most cases never see the light of day in court as far as trials go. They are nearly all pled out. We have seen multi-defendant cases where ALL of them take a plea. Part of the reason is that if the District Attorney wants to refile the charges and go for a higher charge that is not currently charged, they can do that. Then your client could be facing 20 years rather than 9. What client would want to take that chance? Probably none.