Assault; Use of Dangerous Dogs

Provides criminal penalties for persons who use a dangerous dog
as a weapon to commit an assault against another person.

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           2441
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT


 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that potentially dangerous
 2 and vicious dogs have become a serious and widespread threat to
 3 the safety and welfare of citizens of this State.  In recent
 4 years, they have assaulted without provocation and have seriously
 5 injured numerous individuals, especially children, and have
 6 killed other domesticated animals.  Many of these attacks have
 7 occurred in public places.  The legislature further finds that
 8 the number and severity of these attacks are attributable to the
 9 failure of owners to register, confine, and properly control
10 potentially dangerous and vicious dogs.  
11      In addition, the legislature believes that the necessity for
12 the regulation and control of potentially dangerous and vicious
13 dogs is a statewide problem, requiring statewide regulation, and
14 existing laws are inadequate to deal with the threat to public
15 health and safety posed by these dangerous and vicious dogs.
16      The purpose of this bill is to:
17      (1)  Create a new criminal offense for the possession of a
18           dog trained to attack or kill another person; and
19      (2)  Amend assault in the second degree to include the use
20           of a dangerous dog.

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 1      SECTION 2.  Chapter 707, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 2 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 3 read as follows:
 4      "707-    Possession of a dangerous dog.  (1) A person
 5 commits the offense of possesion of a dangerous dog if:
 6      (a)  The person owns or has custody or control of a dog
 7           trained to fight, attack, kill; and
 8      (b)  The person fails to exercise ordinary care that results
 9           in the dog biting a human being on two separate
10           occasions, or on one occasion causing serious bodily
11           injury.
12      (2)  Possession of a dangerous dog is a class C felony.
13      (3)  Following the conviction of an individual for a
14 violation of this section, the court shall hold a hearing to
15 determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of
16 the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bite
17 or bites have changed so as to remove the danger to other persons
18 presented by the animal.  The court, after hearing, may make any
19 order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an
20 incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the
21 animal from the area or its destruction, if necessary.
22      (4)  Nothing in this section shall authorize the bringing of
23 an action pursuant to subsection (1) based on a bite or bites

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 1 inflicted upon a trespasser, upon a person who has provoked the
 2 dog or contributed to the person's own injuries, or by a dog used
 3 in military or police work if the bite or bites occurred while
 4 the dog was actually performing in that capacity.
 5      (5)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect
 6 the liability of the owner of a dog under section 663-9.1 or any
 7 other provision of law."
 8      SECTION 3.  Section 707-710, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 9 amended to read as follows:
10      "707-711  Assault in the second degree.(1)  A person
11 commits the offense of assault in the second degree if:
12      (a)  The person intentionally or knowingly causes
13           substantial bodily injury to another;
14      (b)  The person recklessly causes serious bodily injury to
15           another person;
16      (c)  The person intentionally or knowingly causes bodily
17           injury to a correctional worker, as defined in section
18           710-1031(2), who is engaged in the performance of duty
19           or who is within a correctional facility;
20      (d)  The person intentionally or knowingly causes bodily
21           injury to another person with a dangerous instrument;
22           [or]

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 1      (e)  The person intentionally or knowingly causes bodily
 2           injury to an educational worker who is engaged in the
 3           performance of duty or who is within an educational
 4           facility.  For the purposes of this section,
 5           "educational worker" means any administrator,
 6           specialist, counselor, teacher, or employee of the
 7           department of education, or a person who is a volunteer
 8           in a school program, activity, or function that is
 9           established, sanctioned, or approved by the department
10           of education or a person hired by the department of
11           education on a contractual basis and engaged in
12           carrying out an educational function[.]; or
13      (f)  The person intentionally or knowingly causes
14           substantial bodily injury to another with a potentially
15           dangerous or vicious dog.  For the purposes of this
16           subsection, "potentially dangerous or vicious dog"
17           means any dog which, when unprovoked on two separate
18           occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in
19           any behavior that requires a defensive action by any
20           person to prevent substantial bodily injury when the
21           person and the dog are off the property of the owner or
22           keeper of the dog.
23      (2)  Assault in the second degree is a class C felony."

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                                     S.B. NO.           

 1      SECTION 4.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 2 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
 3 begun, before its effective date.
 4      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 5 New statutory material is underscored.
 6      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 9                           INTRODUCED BY:_________________________
11                                         _________________________