HBA-NIK H.B. 1828 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1828 By: Christian State Recreational Resources 3/17/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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 BY SECTION ANALYSIS 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.