Bill Summary for H 249 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Mar 2 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 249 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 2, 2017
AN ACT TO CREATE THE CRIMINAL OFFENSE OF ECONOMIC TERRORISM, TO ESTABLISH CIVIL LIABILITY FOR ECONOMIC TERRORISM, TO CREATE A DUTY FOR A RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC OFFICIAL TO TAKE ACTION TO CLEAR TRAFFIC OBSTRUCTIONS RESULTING FROM UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES, TO INCREASE CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC WHILE PARTICIPATING IN UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES, AND TO PROVIDE CIVIL LIABILITY FOR THE COSTS OF RESPONDING TO TRAFFIC OBSTRUCTIONS AND CERTAIN OTHER UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES.
Intro. by Torbett.

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Bill summary

Enacts new GS 14­10.1(b1). Creates a new crime of  economic terrorism,  defined as when a person willfully and maliciously or with reckless disregard commits a criminal offense that impedes or disrupts the regular course of business, resulting in damages of more than $1,000, with the intent to either intimidate the civilian population or an identifiable group of the civilian population, or to influence, through intimidation, the conduct or activities of the government of the United States, a state, or any unit of local government. Economic terrorism is a Class H felony, and is a separate offense from the underlying offense, and shall not merge with other offenses. Renames the pre­existing crime of terrorism, defined at GS 14­10.1(b), to be  violent terrorism . Makes conforming changes.

Amends GS 1­539.2D to authorize a civil action by any person whose property or person is injured by persons who violate new GS 14­10.1(b1) against the perpetrators of those actions, and makes conforming changes. Enacts new Article 53, Liability for Public Safety Response Costs, in GS Chapter 1.

Enacts new GS 1­640 (Liability for public safety response costs). Holds persons convicted under GS 14­288.2 (Riot; inciting to riot; punishments) or GS 14­274.1 (probably refers to GS 20­174.1 (Standing, sitting or lying upon public streets prohibited)) civilly liable to state agencies or political subdivisions of the State for public safety response costs (defined as costs incurred for the purpose of responding to the unlawful assembly, riot, or obstruction of traffic) incurred by the political subdivision. Authorizes state agencies or political subdivisions of the State to bring civil action to recover public safety costs and related legal, administrative, and court costs.

Amends GS 14­159.13 (Second degree trespass) to hold persons, except the owner or lessee of the premises, the family and nonrioting guests of the owner or lessee, and public officers and persons assisting them, who remain at the place of any riot or unlawful assembly after having been lawfully warned to disperse, guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Enacts new GS 20­174.3 (Duty to clear roads). Directs responsible public officials (defined as mayors, with respect to an incident that occurs in a municipality, and sheriffs, with respect to incidents that occur in the unincorporated area of a county), upon learning of a  mass traffic obstruction  (defined as an incident in which, as part of, or as the result of a protest, riot, or other assembly, at least 10 persons obstruct vehicular traffic in violation of GS 20­174.1) to dispatch available law enforcement officers to clear the roads of persons unlawfully obstructing vehicular traffic.

Amends GS 20­174.1 (Standing, sitting or lying upon highways or streets prohibited). Holds that a violation of subsection (a), which prohibits willfully standing, sitting, or lying on the highway or street in a manner that impedes the traffic, by participation in a riot or other unlawful assembly is a Class A1 misdemeanor. Makes a conforming change.

Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

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