25-3520B. Seizure — Costs — Forfeiture proceedings — Security deposit or bond — disposition — Procedural guidelines. (1) Any person having authority to enforce this chapter, in accordance with section 25-3501 or 25-3501A, Idaho Code, who has probable cause to believe there has been a violation of section 25-3504, 25-3505, 25-3506, 25-3507, 25-3510 or 25-3511, Idaho Code, may take custody of the animal involved.
(2) If any animal is seized under this section, the owner or keeper shall be liable for the reasonable costs of the seizure and the care, keeping and disposal of the animal. Reasonable costs shall include, but shall not be limited to, transportation, medical, board, shelter and farrier costs.
(3) If any animal is in the possession of, and being held by, a law enforcement agency or animal care and control agency pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, pending the outcome of a criminal action charging a violation of this chapter, and prior to final disposition of the criminal charge, the animal care and control agency or law enforcement agency may file a petition in the criminal case requesting that the court issue an order forfeiting the animal to the law enforcement agency or animal care and control agency. The petitioner shall serve a true copy of the petition upon the defendant.
(4) Upon receipt of a petition pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, the court shall set a hearing on the petition. The hearing shall be conducted within fourteen (14) days after the filing of the petition, or as soon as practicable. The hearing shall be limited to the question of forfeiture of the animal.
(5) At a hearing conducted pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, the petitioner shall have the burden of establishing probable cause to believe that the animal was subjected to a violation of this chapter. A prior finding of probable cause to proceed on the criminal case will create a permissive inference that probable cause exists for the forfeiture proceeding. After the hearing, if the court finds probable cause exists, the court shall order immediate forfeiture of the animal to the petitioner, unless the defendant, within seventy-two (72) hours of the hearing, posts a security deposit or bond with the municipal or county treasurer in an amount determined by the court to be sufficient to repay all reasonable costs incurred, and anticipated to be incurred, for the care of the animal for at least thirty (30) days inclusive of the day of the initial seizure and may order anticipated costs up to the time set for trial on the criminal case if requested by the petitioner. If, after the hearing, the court finds that no probable cause exists, the animal shall be returned to the owner or keeper of the animal, and the owner or keeper shall not be responsible for any costs of the seizure, care or treatment, unless the person later pleads guilty to or is found guilty of a violation of this chapter.
(6) At the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the security deposit or bond, if the person owning or keeping the animal desires to prevent disposition of the animal, the owner or keeper shall post a new security deposit or bond with the municipal or county treasurer which must be received before the expiration date of the previous security deposit or bond. The court may correct, alter or otherwise adjust the new security deposit or bond upon a motion made before the expiration date of the previous security deposit or bond, provided however, no person may file more than one (1) motion seeking an adjustment to the new security deposit or bond.
(7) If a security deposit or bond has been posted in accordance with this section, the law enforcement agency or animal care and control agency may draw from that security deposit or bond reasonable costs in keeping and caring for the animal from the date of the seizure to the date of final disposition of the animal in the criminal action.
(8) At the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the security deposit or bond, or if no security deposit or bond has been posted in accordance with this section, the law enforcement agency or animal care and control agency may determine disposition of the animal. The owner or keeper of the animal shall be liable for all unpaid reasonable costs of the care, keeping or disposal of the animal. Posting of the security deposit or bond shall not prevent the law enforcement agency or animal care and control agency from disposing of the seized or impounded animal before the expiration of the period covered by the security deposit or bond if the court orders the forfeiture of the animal or the owner relinquishes the animal.
(9) Upon resolution of the criminal action, remaining funds deposited with the municipal or county treasurer which have not, and will not be expended in the care, keeping or disposal of the animal shall be remitted to the owner or keeper of the animal.
(10) Irrespective of any other provision of this section, if in the written determination of a licensed veterinarian, the animal is experiencing extreme pain or suffering, or is severely injured or diseased, and therefore not likely to recover, it may be immediately euthanized.
(11) No proceeding under this section shall be used as a basis for a continuance or to delay the criminal case nor shall proceedings in the criminal case, other than dismissal, be used as a basis to delay or continue the forfeiture proceeding as provided for in this section. Proceedings under this section are of a civil nature and governed by the Idaho rules of civil procedure except as to limitations upon the discovery process. Due to the need to conduct any proceeding necessary under this section in an expeditious manner, and the right of any criminal defendant to avoid self-incrimination, any and all discovery requests shall be granted only under authority of the court. Discovery shall be authorized with the intent to provide the necessary information relating directly to the evidence for the probable cause proceeding. In no event shall discovery mechanisms be used to unreasonably burden the opposing party. Discovery mechanisms shall not include the deposition of any party, witness or representative, the use of interrogatories, or the demand to inspect any records outside the immediate reports and financial accountings for the animal in question.
[25-3520B, added 2006, ch. 170, sec. 8, p. 528.]