BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 2674|
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                                    CONSENT


          Bill No:  AB 2674
          Author:   Block (D), et al
          Amended:  As introduced
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  5-0, 6/15/10
          AYES:  Corbett, Harman, Hancock, Leno, Walters
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  71-0, 4/12/10 (Consent) - See last page  
            for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Family law:  exemplary damages

           SOURCE :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill provides that, when a spouse is  
          convicted of soliciting the murder of another spouse, the  
          injured spouse shall be entitled to an award of 100 percent  
          of the community property interest in the retirement and  
          pension benefits, and a prohibition of any awards for  
          spousal support or medical, life, or other insurance  
          benefits or payments from the injured spouse to the  
          convicted spouse.  

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law provides that, in addition to any  
          other remedy authorized by law, when a spouse is convicted  
          of attempting to murder the other spouse, as specified, the  
          injured spouse shall be entitled to 100 percent of the  
          community property interest in his or her retirement and  
          pension benefits, and a prohibition of specified support or  
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          insurance benefits from the injured spouse to the other  
          spouse.  Existing law defines injured spouse as the spouse  
          who has been the subject of the attempted murder for which  
          the other spouse was convicted, whether or not actual  
          physical injury occurred.  Existing law also authorizes a  
          court to award attorney's fees and costs in the form of a  
          sanction in these cases.  (Sections 782.5 and 4324 of the  
          Family Code)

          This bill expands these provisions to also apply when a  
          spouse is convicted of soliciting the murder of the other  
          spouse.

           Background

           Under current law, when a spouse is convicted of attempting  
          to murder the other spouse, the injured spouse is entitled  
          to 100 percent of the community property interest in the  
          retirement and pension benefits, and a prohibition of any  
          awards for spousal support or medical, life, or other  
          insurance benefits or payments from the injured spouse to  
          the convicted spouse.  However, current law is silent as to  
          whether these remedies apply when a spouse is convicted of  
          soliciting the murder of the other spouse.  This bill seeks  
          to address this apparent gap in current law, which was  
          brought to the author's attention by a constituent.  

          In background materials provided to the committee, the  
          constituent (a police detective) notes that his former wife  
          repeatedly solicited his murder following her unfortunate  
          descent into drug addiction.  She was subsequently  
          convicted of solicitation to commit murder, and sent to  
          prison.  In the divorce proceedings that followed, the  
          family court found that, because the detective's spouse did  
          not personally attempt his murder, but instead solicited  
          his murder, the spouse was entitled to one-half the  
          community property of the marriage, including the  
          detective's retirement benefits and insurance benefits from  
          life insurance policies.

          The court found this despite the Legislature's enactment of  
          pertinent family law legislation over 15 years ago, in the  
          form of AB 16 (Rainey), Chapter 364, Statutes of 1995,  
          which prohibited a spouse convicted of attempting to murder  







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          the other spouse him/herself from benefiting in any way  
          from his/her prior act.  This bill will provide that the  
          provisions in current law intending to prohibit a spouse  
          convicted of attempted murder of the other spouse from  
          benefiting from that act also apply in instances where a  
          spouse solicits the murder of another spouse.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author states:

            "When a husband or wife is convicted of solicitation for  
            murder of their spouse, current law does not prohibit the  
            convicted spouse of attempting to reap financial  
            benefits, such as community property in retirement and  
            pension benefits, from their injured spouse.  

            "AB 2674 protects the victim by eliminating access the  
            convicted partner may have to victim's benefits and  
            property rights and ceases all financial support or  
            insurance coverage the convicted spouse was receiving."


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Arambula, Beall, Bill Berryhill, Tom  
            Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford,  
            Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon,  
            DeVore, Emmerson, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes,  
            Fuller, Furutani, Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gilmore,  
            Hagman, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman,  
            Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal,  
            Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Skinner, Solorio, Audra Strickland,  
            Swanson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines, Yamada, John A.  
            Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Anderson, Bass, Evans, Hall, Harkey,  
            Norby, Smyth, Torlakson, Vacancy


          RJG:mw  6/23/10   Senate Floor Analyses 








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                       SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  NONE RECEIVED

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