Bill Summaries: H606 ARSON LAW REVISIONS.

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  • Summary date: May 6 2019 - View Summary

    House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

    Part I.

    Adds to GS 14-64, which provides for the Class H felony offense of burning ginhouses and tobacco houses, to define ginhouse as any building or structure where cotton is ginned, and tobacco house as any barn, building, or other structure used for curing and aging tobacco. Makes organizational changes. 

  • Summary date: May 3 2019 - View Summary

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Adds a new Part to the act, as follows.

    Amends GS 58-79-1 to authorize the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner), through the Office of the State Fire Marshal (Office), and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), along with specified local fire departments and authorities (previously, the Director of the SBI through the SBI, the Office and the specified local entities) to investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of fires, as specified. Makes conforming changes to the statute and to GS 58-79-5 to transfer the previous duties and authorities regarding investigations of the SBI Director to the Commissioner.

    Amends GS 58-79-10 to assign the duties currently assigned to the SBI Director regarding fire investigations and arrests also to the Commissioner, except maintains that the Director only has the power to make arrests. Makes conforming changes and language gender-neutral. Makes conforming changes to GS 58-79-15 (Failure to comply with summons or subpoena).

    Amends GS 58-79-40 to authorize the Office to request any insurance company investigating a fire of real or personal property to release any information in its possession relative to that loss. Also requires insurance companies to notify, cooperate with, and provide relevant information to the Office if the company believes the property loss was caused by incendiary means.

    Effective October 1, 2019.

    Makes conforming changes to the act's long title.

  • Summary date: Apr 8 2019 - View Summary

    Part I.

    Repeals GS 14-60, which made the burning of schoolhouses or buildings of educational institutions a Class F felony. 

    Enacts new GS 14-62.3 to provide the penalties for wantonly and willfully setting fire to or burning or aiding, counseling, or procuring the burning of any commercial structure, defined as any building or structure that is not designed principally for residential purposes. Violations are a Class D felony if the structure was occupied at the time of the burning and a Class E felony if the structure was unoccupied at the time of the burning.

    Amends the following statutes to provide for the punishment stated in the statute unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law that provides for greater punishment: GS 14-61 (burning of certain bridges and buildings), GS 14-62 (burning of certain buildings), GS 14-62.1 (burning of building or structure in process of construction), GS 14-62.2 (burning of churches and certain other religious buildings), and GS 14-64 (burning of commercial structure).

    Part II.

    Amends GS 14-69.3 by adding that a person is guilty of a Class I felony for committing a felony under Article 15 (Arson and other burnings) where a firefighter, law enforcement officer, fire investigator, or emergency medical technician suffers physical injury while discharging (or attempting to do so) their official duties on the property, or proximate to the property, that is the subject of the individual's discharge of their respective duties.

    Part III. 

    Provides that prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of this act are not abated or affected by this act, and the statutes that would be applicable but for this act remain applicable to those prosecutions. 

    The act is effective December 1, 2019, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.