Judiciary Committee Report – Week 15, 2018

HF 2342 – Seizure and disposition of property by DNR;
HF 2397 – Employee’s criminal history and employer liability;
HF 2443 – Confidentiality of juvenile records and juvenile court jurisdiction.


HF 2342 prohibits the state from confiscating any fish, furs, birds or animals, or mussels, clams or frogs that were seized because it was suspected that they were illegally possessed, taken, transported, etc., if the person suspected of and charged with illegal possession, etc., is not convicted. If there is no conviction, seized property must be returned within 30 days of a “not guilty” verdict, within 30 days of dismissal or within 30 days of the statute of limitations.

“Convicted” means a finding of guilt, payment of a scheduled fine, plea of guilty, deferred judgment, deferred or suspended sentence or delinquency adjudication, or when no charge is filed because the person agrees to provide information about another person’s criminal activity.

In addition, the state may only condemn property seized as a public nuisance (property used to illegally capture, kill, etc., wildlife, such as illegally shooting a bald eagle with a gun) if the person from whom the property was seized is convicted. If there is no conviction, the property must be returned.

Under current law, if property seized as a public nuisance is condemned pursuant to Chapter 483A, proceeds from the sale of the property go to the fish and game protection fund.

The bill requires the Department of Natural Resources to report to the Oversight Committees how much is deposited in the fund each year. In addition, the bill requires the seizing public agency to adopt a policy for detailed records on acquired property, the date it was acquired, how and when it was disposed, and financial records for property sold. The bill prohibits employees of the seizing agency or immediate family from purchasing condemned property, including weapons.

Under a Senate amendment, no fish or wildlife can be returned if it is illegal to possess, including those taken, possessed or transported unlawfully; and a purchaser at a sale of seized and confiscated property (held by the DNR) must sign a declaration that they are not an employee of a seizing agency or family member.
[4/16: 30-18 (No: Allen, Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Danielson, Dotzler, Dvorsky, Hart, Hogg, Horn, Jochum, D. Johnson, Lykam Mathis, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan; Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach)]


HF 2397 prohibits the criminal history of an employee or former employee as evidence in a civil action against an employer, its employees or agents if it does not bear a direct relationship to the facts underlying the case, the record has been sealed, the employee has been granted a pardon, there was no conviction, or there was successful completion of a deferred judgment sentence.

A Senate amendment takes a different approach to employer liability protection. It creates a new Code Chapter 671A – Limitation on Liability for Negligent Hiring or Supervision of an Employee, Agent, or Independent Contractor Convicted of a Public Offense. Under the amendment:

Section 1:

  • There is no cause of action against a private employer, general contractor or premises owner solely for negligently hiring or failing to adequately supervise an employee, agent or independent contractor, based on evidence that they have been convicted of a public offense.
  • Employers still can conduct criminal history background checks and consider criminal history records in the employment process for some types of employment.
  • This new chapter does not create a cause of action, expand an existing cause of action or apply to the cause of action of negligent retention.

Section 2:

  • Liability protection is not applicable:
    • If the private employer, general contractor or premises owner knew or should have known of the conviction and the employee was convicted of any of these crimes:
  • A public offense committed while performing acts substantially similar to the employment or conditions that they was performed for the private employer. Factors to be considered are outlined in the amendment.
  • The conviction was for a sexually violent offense.
  • The conviction was for 1st degree murder.
  • The conviction was for 2nd degree murder.
  • The conviction was for 1st degree kidnapping.
  • The conviction was for 1st degree robbery.
  • The conviction was for the manufacture of drugs on real property or possessing controlled substances within 1000 feet of a school, public park or public swimming pool.
  • The conviction related to using or displaying a dangerous weapon while committing a felony.

There is no liability protection if the suit involves misuse of funds or property other than that of the employer, general contractor or premises owner, if the employee had been convicted of fraud, misuse of funds or property prior to the hiring, and the misuse was foreseeable because the employee was hired for work involving management of funds or property.
[4/16: 46-3 (No: Carlin, Quirmbach, Taylor; Absent: Zumbach)]


HF 2443 relates to the delinquency jurisdiction of juvenile court and the confidentiality and disclosure of certain juvenile court records. The bill:

  • Expands the definition of a delinquent act to include trespass violations.
  • Provides that a hearing for a child alleged to have committed a delinquent act must be held within two working days of their admission to a shelter care facility and within one working day of their admission to a detention facility. Current law requires hearings be held within 48 hours and 24 hours respectively.
  • Creates a new Code section in which official juvenile court records, except those alleging delinquency, must be confidential and are not public records. However, such confidential records must be disclosed without a court order to judges and professional court staff, the child and the child’s counsel, the child’s parent, guardian ad litem and members of a reviewing child advocacy board or a local citizen foster care review board, county attorney or designees, and other entities and individuals whose duties require access to the information.
  • Expands the list of those who may receive juvenile court records online or in an electronic customized data report prior to delinquency adjudication when the records pertain to an act that would be a forcible felony if committed by an adult. This includes those operating a juvenile diversion program who also receive police reports and related information.
  • Provides that maintaining or destroying sealed juvenile records will be prescribed by the state court administrator.
  • Requires the district court to dismiss charges and the clerk to seal any records if the charges were erroneously filed in district court, and juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction.
  • Requires records for cases that initially filed in district court but transferred to juvenile court to be sealed after they have been forwarded to the juvenile court.
  • Provides that, without an order making juvenile court records public, the Department of Public Safety must not release the records.

[4/16: 48-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach)]