HBA-NIK H.B. 1828 76(R)         BILL ANALYSIS

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


Game wardens currently 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 grants the justice of the peace the authority to seize any
property believed to be used in the commission of  a crime concerning
poaching or the illegal taking of wildlife.   


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 12.1106, Parks and Wildlife Code, by amending
Subsections (b) and (d) and adding Subsection (e), as follows: 

(b) Requires the warden or officer to give notice of the seizure, including
a description of the seized property, location and date of seizure, to the
justice court, a county judge, or a judge of a county court at law or
district court of the county where the seizure occurred. 

(d) Requires the court to prescribe the manner of disposition of the seized
property, on a motion filed by the warden or officer, if: the property
remains unclaimed for 30 days; no case is filed; the identity of the
property owner is unknown after the warden or officer has exercised due
diligence to identify the property owner; and the warden or officer has
provided notice in the same manner as required for the disposition of
property under Subsections (c) and (d), Article 18.17(Disposition of
Abandoned or Unclaimed Property), Code of Criminal Procedure. 

(e)  Requires that, if the disposition of property under Subsection (d)(3)
is by sale of the property, the sale proceeds be deposited in the game,
fish, and water safety account. 

SECTION 2.  Emergency clause.
  Effective date: upon passage.