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)

        |COMMITTEE VOTE:  |6-0  |(August 28, 2008)   |RECOMMENDATION: |concur    |
        |(Public Safety)  |     |                    |                |          |

        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 where 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  

        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  


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          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 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, non-laboratory 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 household.

        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 misdemeanor.


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         EXISTING LAW  : 

        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  
             co-resident 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 co-resident of that person, in a manner that places the  
             person identified or the co-resident in objectively reasonable  
             fear for his or 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  
          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  

        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/her own safety or for  
          his/her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by  


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          imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by  
          imprisonment in the state prison.

        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 or 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 or 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 or her agent, or the  
          person in lawful possession thereof, is guilty of a six month  

         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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