BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 202|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                         |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                         |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                         |
          |327-4478                          |                         |
                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 202
          Author:   Harman (R), et al
          Amended:  5/14/09
          Vote:     21

           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMM.  :  10-0, 4/27/09
          AYES:  Negrete McLeod, Wyland, Aanestad, Corbett, Correa,  
            Florez, Oropeza, Romero, Walters, Yee

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  13-0, 5/11/09
          AYES:  Kehoe, Cox, Corbett, Denham, DeSaulnier, Hancock,  
            Leno, Oropeza, Runner, Walters, Wolk, Wyland, Yee

           SUBJECT  :    Private investigators:  continuing education

           SOURCE  :     California Association of Licensed  

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires licensed private  
          investigators, as a condition of license renewal, to  
          complete 12 hours of continuing education (CE) in privacy  
          rights, professional ethics, recent legal developments  
          relating to private investigators, and other subjects  
          related to private investigators.  This bill requires the  
          private investigator to submit to the Bureau of Security  
          and Investigative Services a sworn statement of completion  
          of the CE, requires retention of specified CE records by  
          providers and licensees, and requires providers to follow  
          certain specified standards.  In addition, this bill raises  
          the license fee to $195 and the license renewal fee to  


                                                                SB 202


           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Provides for the licensure and regulation of private  
             investigators (PIs) by the Bureau of Security and  
             Investigative Services (Bureau) within the Department of  
             Consumer Affairs (DCA).

          2. Defines a "private investigator" as a person who, for  
             any consideration, provides protective (bodyguard)  
             services or who makes any investigation for the purpose  
             of obtaining information regarding specified types of  
             information including crimes, information about persons,  
             the location of lost or stolen property, the cause or  
             responsibility for fires or damage or injury to persons  
             or property, securing evidence for judicial proceedings,  
             or information regarding employees' integrity, honesty,  
             breach of rules or other standards of job performance.

          3. Requires an applicant for licensure as a PI to:

             A.    Be 18 or older.

             B.    Undergo a criminal history background check  
                through the Department of Justice and the Federal  
                Bureau of Investigation.

             C.    Have three years (2,000 hours each year, totaling  
                6,000 hours) of compensated experience in  
                investigative work or a law or police science degree  
                plus two years (4,000 hours) of experience, or an  
                Associate of Arts degree in police science, criminal  
                law, or justice and two and one-half years (5,000  
                hours) of experience.  The experience must be  
                certified by the employer and have been received  
                while the applicant was employed as a sworn law  
                enforcement officer, military police officer,  
                insurance adjuster, employee of a licensed PI or  
                repossessor, arson investigator for a public fire  
                suppression agency, or employed by a public defender.


                                                                SB 202

             D.    Pass a two-hour multiple choice examination  
                covering laws and regulations, terminology, civil and  
                criminal liability, evidence handling, undercover  
                investigations and surveillance.

             E.    Pay an application and examination fee not to  
                exceed $50, and a license fee not to exceed $175  
                (currently set through regulation at the $175  
                statutory maximum).

          4. Provides that a PI license is valid for two years and  
             requires the licensee to pay a renewal fee of not more  
             than $125 (currently set through regulation at the $125  
             statutory maximum).

          5. Establishes the Private Investigator Fund (Fund), as a  
             separate "special fund" for the receipt of all revenue  
             generated under the PI licensing law.  Requires that all  
             money in the Fund be expended in accordance with the law  
             by the Bureau for the purpose of carrying out the  
             provisions of the PI licensing law when appropriated by  
             the Legislature.

          6. Provides that the Bureau shall consider requiring, and  
             may require, an applicant for initial licensure to  
             submit proof of satisfactory completion of a course in  
             professional ethics, and may specify which courses and  
             course providers satisfy the requirement.

          7. Provides that if the Bureau determines that a separate  
             professional ethics examination is necessary, the bureau  
             shall require that current licensees take the separate  
             professional ethics examination if appropriate.

          This bill:

          1. Requires licensed PIs, as a condition of license  
             renewal, beginning on or after January 1, 2013, to  
             complete 12 hours of CE in specified subjects:  two  
             hours on privacy rights, two hours on professional  
             ethics, two hours on recent legal developments relating  
             to PIs, and six hours on any subject relating to PIs.  

          2. Requires licensees renewing their licenses during 2012  


                                                                SB 202

             to complete six hours of CE in specified subjects:  two  
             hours on privacy rights, two hours on professional  
             ethics, and two hours on recent legal developments  
             relating to PIs.  However, this bill exempts PIs who are  
             retired peace officers, as defined by existing law, who  
             have been retired for less than one year, and whose PI  
             license is subject to renewal during 2012, from this CE  

          3. Requires a licensee to submit to DCA a signed statement  
             with the license renewal application attesting that  
             he/she has completed the specified CE requirements. 

          4. Requires a licensee to maintain copies of certificates  
             demonstrating completion of required CE courses for five  

          5. Authorizes DCA to suspend, for 60 days, the license of a  
             PI for failure to comply with the CE requirements, and  
             revoke the license at that time unless the required CE  
             is completed and documented.

          6. Authorizes DCA to audit the records of any licensee to  
             verify completion of the CE requirement.

          7. Exempts from the mandatory CE requirements:

             A.    Licensed individuals at least 70 or older who have  
                been licensed in good standing for a minimum of 25  
                consecutive years.

             B.    Inactive licensed investigators, defined as a  
                licensee who has informed DCA that he/she will not be  
                performing activities that require licensure, and who  
                does not perform such activities.  Permits an  
                inactive licensed investigator to become an active  
                licensee upon payment of the regular renewal fee and  
                submitting to DCA a signed statement of completion of  
                the specified 12 hours of required CE.

             C.    Peace officers, as specified.

          8. Requires DCA to develop a procedure for approving CE  
             providers (CEPs), convene a review panel to consult with  


                                                                SB 202

             to assist DCA in its consideration and approval of CEPs  
             and course content, and develop criteria for CEPs and CE  

          9. Requires DCA to establish and charge a fee, to be paid  
             by CEPs, in an amount not to exceed DCA's direct costs  
             in implementing the provisions of this bill that require  
             DCA to approve CEPs, to perform audits, and to  
             development criteria for course providers and course  

          10.Requires CEPs to obtain DCA approval to provide required  
             CE courses, submit a course description and curriculum  
             vitae of course instructors for review and approval by   
             DCA, maintain a record of course sign-in forms, sign-out  
             forms, student enrollment, copies of certificates of  
             completion, and course outlines for a period of five  
             years, and agree to audits performed by DCA.

          11.Authorizes the Director of DCA to revoke or deny the  
             right of a CEP to offer the required PI CE courses for  
             failure to comply with any of these requirements.

          12.Specifies that CEPs in good standing with courses  
             approved by the California Commission on Peace Officers  
             Standards and Training may offer CE without approval  
             from DCA.

          13.Specifies that a renewal applicant, or an inactive  
             licensee applying for an active license, who is required  
             to sign a statement attesting to their compliance with  
             the CE requirements of this bill, who knowingly signs a  
             false statement is subject to a civil penalty of up to  
             $10,000 and license suspension for up to one year.  Any  
             public prosecutor may bring the civil action.

          14.Increases the maximum limit for initial license fees  
             from $175 to $195 and for renewal license fees from $125  
             to $145.


          Currently there are over 25 classes of professions or  
          occupations licensed by the various licensing boards and  


                                                                SB 202

          bureaus within DCA that are required to complete CE courses  
          related to their profession.  However, PIs currently are  
          not required to take any CE as a condition of license  
          renewal.  Requiring mandatory CE for license renewal is  
          justified when it is considered necessary in order to  
          maintain a licensee's minimal satisfactory level of  
          competence in his/her occupation.

           Prior legislation  .  This bill is a reintroduction of last  
          year's SB 1282 (Margett) which was one of an unprecedented  
          number of bills that were vetoed by the Governor citing the  
          delay in passing the Budget.  The bill passed the Senate  
          with a vote of 35-3. 

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions          2009-10   2010-11    2011-12      Fund  

          Development of criteria for              $17         
          CE courses/course providers                         $212  

          Increase in license and         ($55)    ($110)      
          license renewal fees                     ($179 ongoing)

          * Private Investigator Fund

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/14/09)

          California Association of Licensed Investigators (source)
          Adelanto Committee of Los Angeles
          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          National Organization for Women, San Fernando  
            Valley/Northeast Los Angeles 
          Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/14/09)


                                                                SB 202

          Capitol City Investigations
          Numerous private investigators and private investigator  

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The California Association of  
          Licensed Investigators, Inc. (CALI) forwarded 130-plus  
          letters from various private investigation corporations,  
          individual licensed investigators, and lawyers expressing  
          support of this bill.  The backers argue that (1) many new  
          laws affecting PIs have been passed, (2) there is currently  
          no law mandating CE for PIs, and (3) PIs should be educated  
          in the new laws.

          According to CALI and other supporters, there are  
          significant legal changes which cover, among other things,  
          the protection of sensitive personal information,  
          prohibitions against false impersonation to obtain  
          information, and measures to prevent identity theft.  Since  
          most PIs received their licenses prior to the passage of  
          these new laws, CALI argues that CE is needed to make  
          investigators aware of ongoing evolution of the law.  CALI  
          argues that CE on the law and other topics, as required by  
          this bill, will result in better trained investigators,  
          benefiting the public by giving it some measure of  
          assurance that the PI knows relevant laws.  

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    Capitol City Investigations  
          state their opposition to this bill due to poor economic  
          timing, no recognition of law enforcement experience or  
          training, there is no recognized problem being addressed,  
          the bill might cause revenue short-falls, similar bills  
          were vetoed in the past, and general problems in DCA.  The  
          opposition also expresses concern that there are conflict  
          of interest issues with the sponsor of the bill. 

          JJA:mw  5/14/09   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                ****  END  ****