BILL NUMBER: AB 2475	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 28, 2010
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 22, 2010
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 8, 2010

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Beall

                        FEBRUARY 19, 2010

   An act to add Section 43.94 to the Civil Code, relating to
immunity.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2475, as amended, Beall. Judicial immunity.
   Existing law grants immunity from civil suit to judges for acts
performed in the exercise of their judicial functions. Under the
concept of quasi-judicial immunity, this absolute judicial immunity
has been extended to persons other than judges if those persons act
in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity, including neutral 3rd
parties engaged in attempts to settle disputes.
   This bill would provide that the doctrine of judicial immunity or
quasi-judicial immunity shall not apply to exonerate any  private
 3rd party  who is engaged in mediation, conciliation,
evaluation, or similar dispute resolution efforts under any statute
or contract relating to an action or proceeding under the Family Code
from liability for any act performed within that capacity. The bill
would apply only to private persons appointed by the courts for their
expertise, including mediators, guardians ad litem, therapists,
receivers, and bankruptcy trustees, and to persons involved in
alternative methods of dispute resolution who function apart from the
courts pursuant to private agreement, including mediators,
conciliators, evaluators, and marriage and family therapists
  appointed by the court in an advisory capacity based
on his or her professional expertise, who provides a report or
findings to the court in a proceeding under the Family Code, with the
intention that the court act in one way or another based on the
report or findings, from liability for acts performed within the
scope of his or her appointment in violation of law, rules of court,
or professional standards. The bill would provide for applicable
statutes of limitation to   be tolled, as specified. This
bill would require the Bureau of   State Audits to include a
dedicated compliance official or division whose function it is to
review compliance of family courts and public employees with
state-mandated family laws and procedures, and   to make
recommendations to the Legislature, Governor, and Judicial Council,
based thereon  .
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee:  no
  yes  . State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 43.94 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

   43.94.  (a) The doctrine of judicial immunity or quasi-judicial
immunity shall not apply to exonerate any third party who is engaged
in mediation, conciliation, evaluation, or similar dispute resolution
efforts under any statute or contract relating to an action or
proceeding under the Family Code from liability for any act performed
within that capacity.
   (b) This section shall apply only to the following:
   (1) A private person appointed by the courts for his or her
expertise, including mediators, guardians ad litem, therapists,
receivers, and bankruptcy trustees.
   (2) A person involved in alternative methods of dispute
resolution, such as mediation or neutral factfinding, who functions
apart from the court pursuant to a private agreement, including
mediators, conciliators, evaluators, and marriage and family
therapists.
   (c) This section does not apply to any of the following:
   (1) A judicial officer, subordinate judicial officer, or
arbitrator.
   (2) An individual employed by the court.
   (3) Any person whose work product comes into the judicial process
to be used by the court even though he or she was not court
appointed, such as social workers and probation department employees.
 
   43.94.  (a) The doctrine of judicial immunity or quasi-judicial
immunity shall not apply to exonerate any private third party
appointed by the court in an advisory capacity based on his or her
professional expertise, who provides a report or findings to the
court in a proceeding under the Family Code, with the intention that
the court act in one way or another based on the report or findings,
from liability for acts performed within the scope of his or her
appointment in violation of law, rules of court, or professional
standards.
   (b) This section shall apply to private individuals such as
special masters, minor's counsel, investigators, therapists,
evaluators, receivers, bankruptcy trustees, experts, factfinders, and
other persons specifically appointed by the court in an advisory
capacity based on their professional training or expertise.
   (c) This section does not apply to any judicial officer,
subordinate judicial officer, arbitrator, or public employee
protected by the doctrine of judicial immunity or quasi-judicial
immunity at the time this section was enacted.
   (d) During a civil, criminal, or administrative investigation or
proceeding in which a court appointee's alleged misconduct, as
described in subdivision (a), is at issue, any statutes of limitation
applicable to the underlying, or other related, civil litigation
shall be tolled.
   (e) Notwithstanding any other law, any applicable statutes of
limitation shall be tolled in an action for recovery of damages for
alleged misconduct perpetrated by a court appointee, as described in
subdivision (a), while the person seeking relief was a minor.
   (f) The Bureau of State Audits shall include a dedicated
compliance official or division whose function it is to review
compliance of family courts and public employees with state-mandated
family laws and procedures and, notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of
the Government Code, to make recommendations to the Legislature,
Governor, and Judicial Council, based thereon. Recommendations
submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in
compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.