BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2296
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          AB 2296 (Mullin)
          As Amended August 21, 2008
          2/3 vote.  Urgency
          |ASSEMBLY:  |     |(May 19, 2008)  |SENATE: |29-0 |(August 22,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2008)          |
                    (vote not relevant)

          Original Committee Reference:    JUD.  

          SUBJECT  :  Creates a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in  
          the county jail for any person who publishes information  
          describing, depicting, or location of an academic researcher or  
          his/her immediate family member, with the intent that another  
          person imminently use the information to commit a crime  
          involving violence or threat of violence against an academic  
          researcher or his/her immediate family member.

           The Senate amendments  delete the Assembly version of this bill,  
          and instead:

          1)Name this section the "Researcher Protection Act of 2008." 

          2)Declare that while individuals are entitled to express their  
            views on animal use in research and to mount protests that are  
            protected under the First Amendment to the United States  
            (U.S.) Constitution, the use of physical threats, violence, or  
            destruction of property is unacceptable and should not be  
            tolerated.  Unlawful acts that threaten and intimidate  
            researchers or their families at their personal residences are  
            not protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,  
            and are a direct threat to the academic researcher's  
            constitutional rights to academic freedom.

          3)Provide that any person who publishes information describing  
            or depicting an academic researcher or his/her immediate  
            family member, or the location or locations where an academic  
            researcher or an immediate family member of an academic  
            researcher may be found, with the intent that another person  
            imminently use the information to commit a crime involving  
            violence or a threat of violence against an academic  
            researcher or his/her immediate family member, and the  


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            information is likely to produce the imminent commission of  
            such a crime, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by  
            imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, a  
            fine of not more than $1,000, or by both a fine and  

          4)Define "publishes" as making the information available to  
            another person through any medium, including, but not limited  
            to, the Internet, the World Wide Web, or e-mail.

          5)Define "academic researcher" as any person lawfully engaged in  
            academic research who is a student, trainee, or employee of an  
            accredited California community college, a campus of the  
            California State University or the University of California,  
            or a Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredited,  
            degree granting, nonprofit institution. Academic research does  
            not include routine, nonlaboratory coursework or assignments.

          6)Define "immediate family" as any spouse, whether by marriage  
            or not, domestic partner, parent, child, any person related by  
            consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any  
            other person who regularly resides in the household, or who,  
            within the prior six months, regularly resided in the  

          7)Define "information" to include, but not be limited to, an  
            image film, filmstrip, photograph, negative, slide, photocopy,  
            videotape, video laser disc, or any other computer-generated  

          8)Allow an academic researcher about whom information is  
            published to seek a preliminary injunction enjoining any  
            further publication of that information.

          9)Exempt persons lawfully engaged in labor union activities that  
            are protected under state or federal law.

          10)Provide that any person who enters the residential real  
            property of an academic researcher for the purpose of  
            chilling, preventing the exercise of, or interfering with the  
            researcher's academic freedom is guilty of trespass, a  

           EXISTING LAW  : 


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          1)States no person, business, or association shall knowingly  
            publicly post or publicly display on the Internet the home  
            address, home telephone number, or image of any provider,  
            employee, volunteer, or patient of a reproductive health  
            services facility or other individuals residing at the same  
            home address with the intent to do either of the following:

             a)   Incite a third person to cause imminent great bodily  
               harm to the person identified in the posting or display, or  
               to a coresident of that person, where the third person is  
               likely to commit this harm; or,

             b)   Threaten the person identified in the posting or  
               display, or a coresident of that person, in a manner that  
               places the person identified or the coresident in  
               objectively reasonable fear for his/her personal safety.

          2)Mandates that very person who, with intent to cause, attempts  
            to cause, or causes, any officer or employee of any public or  
            private educational institution or any public officer or  
            employee to do, or refrain from doing, any act in the  
            performance of his/her duties, by means of a threat, directly  
            communicated to such person, to inflict an unlawful injury  
            upon any person or property, and it reasonably appears to the  
            recipient of the threat that such threat could be carried out,  
            is guilty of a public offense punishable upon a first  
            conviction by a fine not exceeding $10,000, or by imprisonment  
            in the state prison, or in a county jail not exceeding one  
            year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

          3)Punishes any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime  
            which will result in death or great bodily injury to another  
            person, with the specific intent that the statement, made  
            verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic  
            communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if  
            there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its  
            face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so  
            unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to  
            convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an  
            immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby  
            causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his  
            or her own safety or for his/her immediate family's safety,  
            shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to  
            exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.


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          4)Allows for prosecution against those who refuse or fail to  
            leave land, real property, or structures belonging to or  
            lawfully occupied by another and not open to the general  
            public, upon being requested to leave by a peace officer at  
            the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in  
            lawful possession, and upon being informed by the peace  
            officer that he/she is acting at the request of the owner, the  
            owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession or the  
            owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession.   

          5)States that every person other than a public officer or  
            employee acting within the course and scope of his/her  
            employment in performance of a duty imposed by law, who enters  
            or remains in any noncommercial dwelling house, apartment, or  
            other residential place without consent of the owner, his/her  
            agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof, is guilty  
            of a six month misdemeanor.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill created new civil remedies  
          for threats and other misconduct made against an "animal  
          enterprise" engaged in exercising its constitutional rights  
          pertaining to academic freedom in its use of animals for testing  
          and research.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "This bill seeks to deter  
          attacks against University of California (U.C.) animal research  
          employees and their families in their homes by animal rights  
          activists.  This bill was prompted by an attempted home invasion  
          that occurred in February 2008 upon a U.C. Santa Cruz faculty  
          member who had used mice for breast cancer research.  The  
          Berkeley police department has also identified several animal  
          rights activists who committed acts of vandalism at the  
          residence of six U.C. Berkeley scientists.  The names and  
          addresses of these scientists were reportedly posted on animal  
          activist Web sites, along with descriptions of their use of  
          animals in their research."

           Analysis Prepared by  :  Nicole J. Hanson / PUB. S. / (916)  


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