BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 2743 (Nava)
          As Amended May 11, 2010
          Majority vote 

           JUDICIARY           9-0                                         
           
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          |Ayes:|Feuer, Tran, Brownley, Evans, | |                          |
          |     |                              | |                          |
          |     |Hagman, Jones, Monning, Nava, | |                          |
          |     |Skinner                       | |                          |
          |-----+------------------------------+-+--------------------------|
          |     |                              | |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits landlords from imposing conditions on  
          occupancy of real property that might cause an animal that is  
          allowed on the premises to be devocalized or declawed.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Defines "devocalizing" to mean performing, procuring, or  
            arranging for any nontherapeutic surgical procedure such as a  
            vocal cordectomy, to remove an animal's vocal chords or to  
            prevent the normal function of an animal's vocal chords. 

          2)Defines "declawing" to mean performing, procuring, or  
            arranging for any nontherapeutic surgical procedure, such as  
            an onychectomy, tendonectomy, or phalangectomy, to remove or  
            to prevent the normal function of an animal's claw or claws. 

          3)Prohibits a person or corporation that occupies, owns,  
            manages, or provides services in connection with any real  
            property, and that allows an animal on the premises, from  
            doing any of the following:

             a)   Advertise, through any means, the availability of real  
               property for occupancy in a manner designed to discourage  
               application for occupancy of that real property because the  
               applicant's animal has not been declawed or devocalized;

             b)   Refuse to allow the occupancy of any real property,  
               refuse to negotiate the occupancy of any real property, or  
               to otherwise make unavailable or deny to any other person  
               the occupancy of any real property because of that person's  








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               refusal to declaw or devocalize any animal;

             c)   Require any tenant or occupant of real property to  
               declaw or devocalize any animal allowed on the premises;

             d)   Give preferential treatment in the terms of the right of  
               occupancy or the provision of services to another person  
               because that person owns an animal that has been declawed  
               or devocalized; and,

             e)   Discriminate in the terms of occupancy or the provision  
               of services against another person because that person owns  
               an animal that has not been declawed or devocalized. 

          4)Establishes that, in addition to those harmed by violation of  
            this section, an organization, formed in compliance with  
            Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), that is dedicated to  
            the protection of animals has standing to enforce this act. 

          5)Provides for a civil penalty of not more than $2500 per animal  
            for a violation of this act that causes the declawing or  
            devocalization of the animal, to be paid to the person whose  
            animal was declawed or devocalized, or to an organization,  
            formed in compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section  
            501(c)(3), that is authorized to bring an action under this  
            act.

          6)Provides that violation of this section that has not caused  
            the declawing or devocalizing of an animal shall result in a  
            civil penalty of not more than $1,000 to be paid to the  
            plaintiff.

          7)Clarifies that nothing in this act shall prevent the inclusion  
            in an occupancy agreement of a provision that a present or  
            potential occupant may not declaw or devocalize an animal that  
            will be allowed on the premises.

          8)Makes legislative findings and declarations.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None
           
          COMMENTS  :  This bill, sponsored by the Paw Project, seeks to  
          prohibit landlords and other persons who own or manage real  
          property from imposing conditions on occupancy of the property  








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          that might cause an animal that is allowed on the premises to be  
          devocalized or declawed.  This bill broadly prohibits landlords  
          and property owners from taking any actions that might put  
          people in the untenable position of having to choose between  
          their housing accommodations or having a veterinarian perform  
          declawing or devocalizing surgery on their pet animal.  The bill  
          also seeks to protect prospective tenants and occupants by  
          broadly prohibiting discrimination, preferential treatment, and  
          advertising of property available for occupancy based on certain  
          debarking or declawing considerations.
           
           According to the author, this bill seeks to put an end to the  
          problematic practice of some landlords in California imposing  
          conditions on occupancy of their property that may cause some  
          prospective tenants or occupants in turn to have their animals  
          declawed or devocalized.  The author explains "A search of  
          rental listings throughout California produces a number of  
          properties with landlords and managers requiring that potential  
          owners will be considered only with declawed cats or devocalized  
          dogs.  Both of these practices can have unintended consequences  
          for property managers, physical complications for animals, and  
          emotional and financial consequences for pet owners. AB 2743  
          will rectify this situation by prohibiting this condition of  
          tenancy." 

          This bill only applies when the landlord, manager, or property  
          owner, as defined, already allows an animal to be on the  
          premises before imposing any condition or taking any action to  
          have that animal declawed or devocalized.  In other words, this  
          bill does not apply to any situation where the party making the  
          property available for occupancy specifically forbids an animal  
          on the premises.  This bill does not infringe upon a landlord's  
          ability to implement a "no-pets" policy or to forbid a tenant or  
          occupant from having an animal on the premises.

          There is no language in this bill limiting its application  
          prospectively to occupancy of property commencing after the date  
          the bill becomes effective.  Instead, once this bill becomes  
          effective it would seem to immediately apply to prohibit  
          landlords and property owners from imposing conditions on  
          existing tenants or occupants of property that might cause an  
          animal allowed on the premises to be declawed or devocalized.  

          This bill is intended to apply to all real property --  








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          commercial, residential, and mixed-use.  The bill proscribes  
          conduct not only by landlords, as that term is generally  
          defined, but by any "person or corporation that occupies, owns,  
          manages, or provides services in connection with any real  
          property."  The prohibited conduct could be within an ordinary  
          landlord-tenant relationship, but also applies to landlords and  
          occupants, tenants and subtenants, and between roommates or  
          co-occupants of real property.  

          The bill is also intended to cover situations where a landlord  
          or other person intimidates an occupant but does not go so far  
          as to expressly condition the right of occupancy on completion  
          of the declawing or devocalizing procedure.

          The bill provides for two levels of civil penalties.  First, if  
          a person requires a tenant or occupant of real property to  
          declaw or devocalize any animal allowed on the premises, and  
          that requirement causes the animal to be declawed or  
          devocalized, then that violation is punishable by a civil  
          penalty up to $2500.  Second, all other violations that do not  
          result in the declawing or devocalization of an animal allowed  
          on the premises are punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed  
          $1000.  These include, generally, advertising the availability  
          of real property for occupancy in a manner designed to  
          discourage application for occupancy, refusal to allow or  
          negotiate the occupancy of any real property, and any  
          discrimination or preferential treatment in the terms of  
          occupancy or the provision of services against another person  
          based on whether that person's animal has or has not been  
          devocalized or declawed.

          This bill authorizes any person harmed by a violation of this  
          act--including tenants, occupants, and a third party owner of an  
          animal that was devocalized or declawed-to have standing to  
          enforce the statute.  In addition, an organization, formed in  
          compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), that is  
          dedicated to the protection of animals has standing to enforce  
          this. According to the author, this will provide a mechanism for  
          potential enforcement in cases where a tenant or occupant cannot  
          or will not enforce the statute out of fear of retaliation by  
          the landlord.  When the statute is enforced by an individual, a  
          $2500 civil penalty is always paid to the person whose animal  
          was declawed or devocalized, while any $1000 civil penalty is  
          paid to the individual bringing the action.  When the statute is  








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          enforced by an authorized Internal Revenue Code Section  
          501(c)(3) organization, then any civil penalty is paid to the  
          organization itself, as an incentive to enforce the statute.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Anthony Lew / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 

                                                                FN: 0004269