TIMBER LARCENY/STRENGTHEN LAWS.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 327 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 20, 2019
AN ACT TO INCREASE THE PUNISHMENT FOR COMMITTING LARCENY OF TIMBER.
Intro. by McInnis, Sawyer, Burgin.

Status: Re-ref to the Com on Judiciary, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Jun 6 2019)
S 327

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 2 2019 - More information

    Senate amendment #1 to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Modifies the proposed changes to GS 14-135 to add a qualification to the offense of larceny of timber by means of knowingly and willfully cutting down, injuring, or removing any timber owned by another person, to specify that the offense is limited to instances where the person did not have consent of the owner of the land or the owner of the timber or did not have a lawful easement running with the land. Modifies the proposed provisions regarding the offense of larceny of timber by nonpayment to the owner to refer to the owner of the timber rather than the owner of the land. Makes organizational and clarifying changes to the proposed restitution provisions. Adds that restitution must also include the cost incurred by the owner to determine the value of the timber. Requires the value of the timber as used in calculating restitution to be based on the stumpage rate of the timber. 


  • Summary date: Apr 30 2019 - More information

    Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Amends proposed GS 14-135 to make the offense of larceny of timber a Class G felony instead of a Class E felony. 


  • Summary date: Mar 20 2019 - More information

    Deletes the existing language of GS 14-135 and retitles the statute Larceny of timber (was Cutting, injuring, or removing another's timber). Creates the offense larceny of timber, making it a Class E felony for a person to knowingly and willfully cut down, injure, or remove any timber owned by another person, or to buy timber directly from the owner of the land on which the timber is grown and fail to make payment to the owner in full by the date specified in the written timber sales agreement or, if no agreement, within 60 days from the date the buyer removes the timber from the property. Mandates the defendant be ordered to make restitution to the timber owner triple the amount of the value of the timber cut, injured, removed, or bought but unpaid. Allows an owner owed payment to notify the timber buyer in writing of demand for payment, as specified, and deems the timber buyer's failure to make payment in full within ten days after the mailing or personal delivery of the notice to constitute prima facie evidence of the timber buyer's intent to commit larceny of timber. Provides exceptions for persons who remit payment in full within the time period of the sales agreement or 60 days of removal to a person he or she believes in good faith to be the rightful owner of the timber, or remits payment in full to the owner of the land within the ten-day period following the owner's notice to the buyer demanding payment. Clarifies that the statute does not affect civil remedies available.

    Amends GS 1-539.1, increasing the damages for unlawful cutting, removal, or burning of any valuable wood, timber, shrub, or tree on the lands of another to triple the value (was, double the value) of the wood, timber, shrubs, or trees injured, cut, removed, damaged, or destroyed.

    Amends GS 1-539.2B, increasing the damages for injury to agricultural commodities or production systems of another to triple the value (was, double the value) of the commodities or production system injured or destroyed.

    Amends GS 106-897, adding GS 14-135, as amended, to the definition of forest laws as it applies to Article 75 (Protection and Development of Forests; Fire Control).


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