Text: H.R.398 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/10/2017)


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 398


To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to civil forfeitures relating to certain seized animals.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 10, 2017

Mr. Katko (for himself, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Sensenbrenner, and Ms. Jackson Lee) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, with respect to civil forfeitures relating to certain seized animals.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Help Extract Animals from Red Tape Act of 2017” or the “HEART Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Reduced notice period.

(a) Notice timing for cases of animal seizure.—Section 983(a)(1)(A) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

“(vi) With respect to an animal seized under section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act or under section 1955 of this title, clauses (i), (ii), (iii), and (v), shall be applied by substituting ‘30-days’ for ‘60-days’.”.

(b) Notice procedures for cases of animal seizure.—Section 983(a)(1) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this Act, is amended—

(1) in subparagraph (B) by inserting “and with respect to an animal seized under section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act or section 1955 of this title, that the delay is warranted in light of the criteria in subparagraph (G)” after “if the official determines that the conditions in subparagraph (D) are present,”;

(2) in subparagraph (C) by inserting “and with respect to an animal seized under section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act or section 1955 of this title, that the delay is warranted in light of the criteria in subparagraph (G)” after “that the conditions in subparagraph (D) are present,”; and

(3) by adding after subparagraph (F), the following:

“(G) With respect to an animal seized under section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act or section 1955 of this title, the period for sending notice under this paragraph may be extended only after consideration of the following:

“(i) The cost to the government of caring and providing shelter for the animal.

“(ii) The psychological and physical health of the animal and the effect the delay will have on its rehabilitation.

“(iii) Any increased risk that the delay could necessitate the euthanasia of the animal.”.

SEC. 3. Seizures of animals.

(a) Payment for certain costs.—Section 524(c)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding after subparagraph (I), the following:

“(J) payment for the transportation, shelter, care, veterinary services, and where appropriate, humane euthanasia of an animal seized under section 26 of the Animal Welfare Act or under section 1955 of title 18.”.

(b) Reimbursement and proportionality.—Section 983(h) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end, the following:

“(4) In any civil forfeiture proceeding in which the Government prevails, the court shall require the claimant, to reimburse the United States for any actual and reasonable costs to the government for the transportation, shelter, care, veterinary services, or where appropriate, humane euthanasia of an animal that was the subject of the proceeding. The reimbursement shall be credited to the agency or fund that was used to pay the costs being reimbursed.

“(5) In any civil forfeiture proceeding in which an animal is subject of the proceeding, the court may reduce the size of a reimbursement based on any of the following factors:

“(A) The seriousness of the offense.

“(B) The culpability of the claimant.

“(C) The claimant’s prior record.

“(D) The claimant’s financial condition and need to support a family.

“(E) The purpose of the forfeiture statute in question.”.