Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1828
By: Christian
State Recreational Resources


Game wardens turn to justice of the peace courts for the adjudication of
offenses punishable by a fine, but seizures of property believed to have
been used in poaching must be handled in county courts.  County courts
often have crowded dockets, so cases can be left pending for two or three
years, or dropped before any action is taken. 

H.B. 1828 authorizes the justice courts to grant disposition of seized
property used in the commission of a crime concerning poaching or the
illegal taking of wildlife to the Parks and Wildlife Department.  

It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1. Amends Section 12.1105(c), Parks and Wildlife Code, to include
the justice court as one of the authorities to which the warden or other
peace officer is required to give notice of the seizure. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 12.1106(b), Parks and Wildlife Code, to make a
conforming change. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 62, Parks and Wildlife Code, by
adding Section 62.017, as follows: 

Sec. 62.017.  DISPOSITION OF SEIZED PROPERTY. (a) Authorizes a court
convicting a person of violating Section 62.003 (Hunting from Vehicles),
62.004 (Hunting at Night), or 62.005 (Hunting with Light) to order any
weapon or other personal property used in the commission of the offense
destroyed or forfeited to the Parks and Wildlife Department (department). 

(b) Authorizes the department to use the property in its normal operation,
sell or transfer the property, or destroy the property if the department
receives a forfeiture order from a court as authorized by this section. 

(c) Provides that this section does not apply to a vehicle, aircraft, or

(d) Requires the sale proceeds to be deposited in the game, fish, and water
safety account if the disposition of property under this section is by sale
of the property. 

SECTION 4.  Effective date: September 1, 1999.

SECTION 5.  Makes application of this Act prospective.

SECTION 6.  Emergency clause.