8 Horses were lost in a forfeiture under The Humane Care for Animals Act (510 ILCS 70/3.04(a)). She challenged the constitutionality of the forfeiture.
Defendant lost her horses in a forfeiture to the State after initially being charged criminally under the Humane Care for Animals Act. See more Illinois crimes at the Crimes Index.
People v. Koy, 2014 IL App (2d) 130906 (July).
Forfeiture Under the Human Care for Animals Act
The State charged Koy pursuant to 510 ILCS 70/3.01 with four felony counts of cruel treatment of companion animals.
Before her criminal trial, the state took her horses away in a hearing operating under the civil standard of proof .
Defendant claimed the act violated the constitution because it only required the State to prove that she violated the Act by a preponderance of the evidence. Defendant claimed a jury and proof beyond a reasonable doubt was required by the Sixth Amendment.
Civil Forfeitures Are Not Guided by the Sixth Amendment
The court held that the forfeiture of companion animals before the criminal trial, is not a criminal proceeding. Therefore, it does not implicate the sixth amendment right to a jury trial.
Because the forfeiture under The Humane Care for Animals Act was civil, the sixth amendment was not implicated.