TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL THEFT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that thefts of agricultural products have plagued not only the commercial agricultural business, but residents as well. Many agricultural products produced on residential properties are sold at farmer's markets or roadside stands, or given as gifts.
The legislature further finds that the department of agriculture has contracted the prosecuting attorney's office of the county of Hawaii to investigate numerous calls and electronic mail from residents on thefts of agricultural products being grown on their properties, but such cases are difficult to effectively prosecute. A recent case involved the theft of avocados from a residential property that were intended to be given as gifts. At the preliminary hearing, the court determined that the avocados needed to be maintained by a commercial agricultural enterprise or research agency while owned by the enterprise or agency in order for it to be considered theft of an agricultural product.
The purpose of this Act is to clarify and strengthen the existing law to allow for the protection of agricultural products raised or produced by all people in the State.
SECTION 2. Section 708-800, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "agricultural equipment, supplies, or products" to read as follows:
equipment, supplies, or products" mean any agricultural equipment,
supplies, or [
commercial] agricultural products [ or commodities
raised, grown, or maintained by a commercial agricultural enterprise or
research agency while owned by the enterprise or agency.], including
fruits, nuts, and vegetables that are the food product of any tree, vine, or
plant or any horticultural, silvicultural, or floricultural product."
SECTION 3. Section 708-831, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (1) to read as follows:
"(1) A person commits the offense of theft in the second degree if the person commits theft:
(a) Of property from the person of another;
(b) Of property or services the value of which exceeds $750;
(c) Of an aquacultural product or part thereof from premises that are fenced or enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or there is prominently displayed on the premises a sign or signs sufficient to give notice and reading as follows: "Private Property", "No Trespassing", or a substantially similar message;
(d) Of agricultural
equipment, supplies, or products, or part thereof, the value of which exceeds
$100 but does not exceed $20,000, or of agricultural products that exceed
twenty-five pounds, from premises that are fenced, enclosed, or secured in a
manner designed to exclude intruders or there is prominently displayed on the
premises a sign or signs sufficient to give notice and reading as follows: "Private Property", "No
Trespassing", or a substantially similar message; or if at the point of
entry of the premise, a crop is visible[
The sign or signs, containing letters not less than two inches in
height, shall be placed along the boundary line of the land in a manner and in
such a position as to be clearly noticeable from outside the boundary
line. Possession of agricultural
products without ownership and movement certificates, when a certificate is
required pursuant to chapter 145, is prima facie evidence that the products are
or have been stolen]; or
(e) Of agricultural commodities that are generally known to be marketed for commercial purposes. Possession of agricultural commodities without ownership and movement certificates, when a certificate is required pursuant to section 145-22, is prima facie evidence that the products are or have been stolen; provided that "agriculture commodities" has the same meaning as in section 145-21."
SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2035.
Agricultural Theft; Agricultural Equipment, Supplies, or Products; Definition
Amends the definition of agricultural equipment, supplies, or products. Strengthens property right protections for persons who produce agricultural products on private residential property. Effective 7/1/2035. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.