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      RS 56:39     


§39.  Forfeiture of quadrupeds, birds, and fish; Fish and Wildlife Violations Reward Fund, creation and use of fund monies

A.  In addition to all other penalties provided in this Chapter, violators subject to the provisions of R.S. 56:31 through R.S. 56:37.1 or R.S. 14:63(G)(5) shall upon conviction forfeit any quadrupeds, birds, fish, or other animals seized in connection with said violation.

B.(1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the first two dollars of any penalty or fine imposed for a violation of any provision of this Title shall be paid, monthly, into the state treasury for deposit into the Fish and Wildlife Violations Reward Fund, hereinafter referred to as the "fund", which is hereby created, as a special fund, in the state treasury.

(2)  Out of the funds remaining in the Bond Security and Redemption Fund after a sufficient amount is allocated from that fund to pay all obligations secured by the full faith and credit of the state that become due and payable within a fiscal year, the treasurer in each fiscal year shall pay into the fund an amount equal to the total amount of monies received from the first two dollars of any penalty or fine as provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.

C.  All unexpended and unencumbered monies in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall remain in the fund and be available for appropriation in the next fiscal year in the same manner as allocated herein.  Monies in the fund shall be invested as provided by law.  Interest earned on the investment of monies in the fund shall be credited to the state general fund.

D.  Subject to appropriation by the legislature, monies in the fund shall be used solely by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to pay rewards to individuals who provide information to the department on criminal activity, to operate a hotline to be used to receive such information, and such other purposes directly related to obtaining information on criminal activities involving the fish and wildlife of the state.

E.(1)  No person shall be required to disclose, by way of testimony or otherwise, a privileged communication between a person who submits a report of alleged criminal activity to the department and the person who accepts the report on behalf of the department nor shall any person be required to produce any records, documentary evidence, opinions, or decisions related to such privileged communication in connection with any criminal case or proceedings or by way of any discovery procedure.

(2)  Any person arrested or charged with a criminal offense may petition the court for an in camera inspection of the records of a privileged communication concerning such person made to the department.  The petition shall allege facts showing that such records would provide evidence favorable to the defendant and relevant to the issue of guilt or punishment.  If the court determines that the person is entitled to all or any part of such records, it may order production and disclosure as it deems appropriate.

(3)  As used in this Section, "privileged communication" means a statement by any person, in any manner whatsoever, to the department for the purpose of reporting alleged criminal activity.  Privileged communication shall include a statement by a person, in any manner whatsoever, to a nonprofit entity administering and implementing the department's fish and wildlife reward program pursuant to a cooperative endeavor agreement with the department.

F.  The department may execute a cooperative endeavor agreement with an appropriate nonprofit entity to administer and implement its fish and wildlife rewards program.  All public monies utilized pursuant to such cooperative endeavor agreement shall be subject to audit and oversight by the legislative auditor.

Acts 1989, No. 235, §1, eff. June 26, 1989; Acts 2004, No. 174, §1; Acts 2006, No. 715, §1; Acts 2012, No. 561, §2.

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