Summary of the House Committee Version of the Bill


SPONSOR:  Wiggins (Kreider)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on
Miscellaneous Bills and Resolutions by a vote of 8 to 1.

This substitute makes a number of changes to the Criminal
Activity Forfeiture Act (CAFA).  The substitute:

(1)  Defines "seizing agency" as the agency that is the primary
employer of the officer or agent seizing the property and
"seizure" as the point at which any law enforcement officer or
agent discovers and exercises control over property believed to
be associated with criminal activity (Section 513.605, RSMo);

(2)  Prohibits seized property from being disposed of pursuant
to unclaimed property provisions, unless a CAFA proceeding is
unsuccessful (Section 513.607);

(3)  Requires the prosecuting attorney or Attorney General to
submit an annual report detailing information about seizures to
the State Auditor.  Currently, this report must only be
submitted to the Department of Public Safety.  The substitute
further requires the State Auditor to make an annual report
compiling this data to be presented annually to the General
Assembly (Section 513.607);

(4)  Makes intentional or knowing failure to comply with seizure
reporting requirements a class A misdemeanor, punishable with a
fine of up to $1,000 (Section 513.607);

(5)  Specifies that property seized may not be transferred to a
federal agency for forfeiture under federal law without court
approval, regardless of the identity of the seizing agency
(Section 513.647);

(6)  Changes the requirements for the prosecuting attorney or
circuit judge to approve a transfer of seized property.  The
substitute prohibits a transfer unless the activity producing
the seizure involves more than one state or is reasonably likely
to result in criminal charges filed based on a statement of
intent to prosecute from the U.S. attorney with jurisdiction.
Current law prohibits a transfer unless the activity involves
more than one state or the nature of the investigation or
seizure would be better pursued under federal forfeiture
statutes (Section 513.647); and

(7)  Makes it a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up
to $1,000, for law enforcement agencies using the federal
forfeiture system to intentionally or knowingly fail to comply
with statutory audit requirements (Section 513.653).

FISCAL NOTE:  Increase to School Building Revolving Fund of
Unknown in FY 2002, FY 2003, and FY 2004.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the bill attempts to rectify
the forfeiture process.  Proceeds from forfeitures have been
by-passing the schools which, according to the Missouri
Constitution, are supposed to receive them.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Wiggins; Missouri
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Cooperating School
Districts of Suburban Kansas City; Missouri Council of School
Administrators; Missouri Federation of Teachers; Missouri State
Teachers Association; and Platte County Sheriff's Department.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Donna Schlosser, Legislative Analyst

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Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated November 26, 2001 at 11:47 am