Sen. Fred Dyson speaks to the Senate on HB 30.
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Sen. Dyson Bill to Return Seized Property Passes Senate
(Juneau) A bill that provides a process for victims of property crimes to petition the court for relief in recovering their property held as evidence passed the Senate today by a vote of 20-0. The bill, SB 30, introduced by Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, addresses an issue that has caused losses to individual victims and business owners whose property has been stolen and then held as evidence for months or years longer than necessary.
“Victims of property theft often face the burden of replacing the stolen items, in order to continue in business until their property is released by law enforcement,” Dyson said. “What SB 30 does is to require the return of that stolen property as soon as it is no longer necessary to prosecute the case. In some cases, business owners or tradesmen have had to replace costly specialized equipment – or face the prospect of going out of business – just because the bureaucracy wouldn’t let go of it.”
SB 30 will provide property owners a clearly identifiable process in the Alaska Code of Criminal Procedure to petition the court through the Office of Victims’ Rights for the recovery of their property if they are not otherwise able to reach agreement on the return of the property.
“Current law provides discretionary authority to the prosecution to release seized property, but does not clearly provide a right of hearing for a property owner to directly petition the court to get his or her property returned,” Dyson said. “This bill will rectify that situation, which, unfortunately, has become all too common.”
SB 30 will now go to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
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