Bill Text: NJ S1923 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Chaptered


Bill Title: Revises criteria for determining whether dog is vicious or potentially dangerous.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-1)

Status: (Passed) 2019-05-07 - Approved P.L.2019, c.82. [S1923 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S1923-Chaptered.html

 

 


P.L. 2019, CHAPTER 82, approved May 7, 2019

Senate, No. 1923 (First Reprint)

 


An Act concerning vicious dogs and potentially dangerous dogs, and amending P.L.1989, c.307.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1[1.  Section 6 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-22) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    a.  The municipal court shall declare the dog vicious if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog: 

     (1)   killed a person or caused serious bodily injury as defined in [N.J.S.2C:11-1(b)] subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:11-1 to a person; or 

     (2)   [has engaged in dog fighting activities as described in R.S.4:22-24 and R.S.4:22-26, and poses a threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    ,  c.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    A dog shall not be declared vicious for inflicting death or serious bodily injury as defined in [N.J.S.2C:11-1(b)] subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:11-1 upon a person if the dog was provoked.  The municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked. 

     c.     If the municipal court declares a dog to be vicious, and no appeal is made of this ruling pursuant to section 9 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-25), the court may order:

     (1)   the dog's owner to comply with certain restrictions to protect the public that are at least as stringent as the requirements for potentially dangerous dogs pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-24) and section 12 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-28); or

     (2)   the dog [shall] to be [destroyed] euthanized in a humane and expeditious manner, except that no dog may be [destroyed] euthanized during the pendency of an appeal. 

(cf:  P.L.1994, c.187, s.3)]1

 

     1[2.  Section 7 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-23) is amended to read as follows:

     7.    a.  The municipal court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:

     (1)   caused bodily injury as defined in [N.J.S.2C:11-1(a)] subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:11-1 to a person during an unprovoked attack, and poses a serious threat of bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or death to a person [,] ; or

     (2)   [severely injured or killed another domestic animal, and

     (a)   poses a threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person; or

     (b)   poses a threat of death to another domestic animal, or] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    ,  c.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

     (3)   has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited, or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons [or domestic animals].

     b.    A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous for:

     (1)   causing bodily injury as defined in [N.J.S.2C:11-1(a)] subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:11-1 to a person if the dog was provoked [or,] ;

     (2)   severely injuring or killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor;

     (3)   causing bodily injury to a person who was committing or attempting to commit a crime or offense upon the owner or person with custody or control of the dog or committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner or person with custody or control of the dog;

     (4)   causing bodily injury to a person or a domestic animal who was abusing, assaulting, or physically threatening the dog or the dog's offspring; or

     (5)   causing bodily injury to a person who was intervening between two or more dogs engaged in aggressive behavior or fighting.

     For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.

(cf: P.L.2002, c.24, s.1)]1

 

     11.   Section 6 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-22) is amended to read as follows:

     6.    a.  The municipal court shall declare the dog vicious if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog: 

     (1)   killed a person or caused serious bodily injury [as defined in N.J.S.2C:11-1(b)] to a person; or 

     (2)   [has engaged in dog fighting activities as described in R.S.4:22-24 and R.S.4:22-26, and poses a threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    ,  c.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    A dog shall not be declared vicious for inflicting death or serious bodily injury [as defined in N.J.S.2C:11-1(b)] upon a person if the dog was provoked.  The municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked. 

     c.     If the municipal court declares a dog to be vicious, and no appeal is made of this ruling pursuant to section 9 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-25), the court may order:

     (1)   the dog's owner to comply with certain restrictions to protect the public that are at least as stringent as the requirements for potentially dangerous dogs pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-24) and section 12 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-28); or

     (2)   the dog [shall] to be [destroyed] euthanized in a humane and expeditious manner, except that no dog may be [destroyed] euthanized during the pendency of an appeal.

     d.  As used in this section, "serious bodily injury" means serious bodily injury as defined in subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:11-1.1 

(cf: P.L.1994, c.187, s.3)

 

     12.   Section 7 of P.L.1989, c.307 (C.4:19-23) is amended to read as follows:

     7.    a.  The municipal court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:

     (1)   caused bodily injury [as defined in N.J.S.2C:11-1(a)] to a person during an unprovoked attack, and poses a serious threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person [, or] ;

     (2)   [severely injured] caused serious bodily injury to another domestic animal or killed another domestic animal, and

     (a)   poses a serious threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person[;] , or

     (b)   poses a serious threat of death to another domestic animal [,] ; or

     (3) [has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited, or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    ,  c.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous for:

     (1)   causing bodily injury [as defined in N.J.S.2C:11-1(a)] to a person if the dog was provoked [or,] ;

     (2)   [severely injuring] causing serious bodily injury to, or killing, a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor;

     (3)   causing bodily injury to a person who was committing or attempting to commit a crime or offense upon the owner or person with custody or control of the dog or committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner or person with custody or control of the dog;

     (4)   causing bodily injury to a person or a domestic animal who was abusing, assaulting, or physically threatening the dog or the dog's offspring; or

     (5)   causing bodily injury to a person who was intervening between two or more dogs engaged in aggressive behavior or fighting.

     For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.

     c.     As used in this section, "bodily injury" means bodily injury as defined in subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:11-1; and "serious bodily injury" means serious bodily injury as defined in subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:11-1.1

(cf:  P.L.2002, c.24, s.1)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

                                

 

     Revises criteria for determining whether dog is vicious or potentially dangerous.

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