BILL NUMBER: SB 962	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Senator Liu

                        FEBRUARY 5, 2010

   An act to amend Section 2625 of the Penal Code, relating to
prisoners.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 962, as introduced, Liu. Prisoners: adjudication of parental
rights: participation.
   (1) Existing law requires notice of, and the opportunity for an
incarcerated parent to be physically present in, proceedings
terminating his or her parental rights or seeking to adjudicate the
child of a prisoner a dependent child of the court. These proceedings
may not be adjudicated without the physical presence of the parent
unless the court receives a knowing waiver from the parent of his or
her right to be physically present at the proceedings, or an
affidavit signed by a person in charge of the incarcerating
institution that the prisoner does not intend to appear at the
proceeding.
   This bill would require that an incarcerated parent who has waived
the right to be physically present at the proceeding be given the
opportunity to participate in the proceeding by videoconference, if
that technology is available.
   (2) Existing law provides that for all other kinds of actions not
specified above in which an incarcerated parent's parental rights are
adjudicated that the court may order the physical presence of the
parent at the proceeding.
   This bill would require, if the court does not order the physical
presence of the parent at one of those proceedings, that the parent
be allowed to participate by videoconference, if that technology is
available, and so long as the parent's participation otherwise
complies with the law. This bill would require the Judicial Council
to specify a process whereby incarcerated parents are informed of
dependency court hearings and of their right to participate by
videoconference.
   (3) Because this bill would require county jails to allow inmates
to participate in proceedings via videoconference, this bill would
impose a state-mandated local program.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates
determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state,
reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these
statutory provisions.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


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

  SECTION 1.  Section 2625 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   2625.  (a) For the purposes of this section only, the term
"prisoner" includes any individual in custody in a state prison, the
California Rehabilitation Center, or a county jail, or who is a ward
of the Department of the Youth Authority or who, upon a verdict or
finding that the individual was insane at the time of committing an
offense, or mentally incompetent to be tried or adjudged to
punishment, is confined in a state hospital for the care and
treatment of the mentally disordered or in any other public or
private treatment facility.
   (b) In any proceeding brought under Part 4 (commencing with
Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code, and Section 366.26
of the Welfare and Institutions Code, where the proceeding seeks to
terminate the parental rights of any prisoner, or any proceeding
brought under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, where
the proceeding seeks to adjudicate the child of a prisoner a
dependent child of the court, the superior court of the county in
which the proceeding is pending, or a judge thereof, shall order
notice of any court proceeding regarding the proceeding transmitted
to the prisoner.
   (c) Service of notice shall be made pursuant to Section 7881 or
7882 of the Family Code or Section 290.2, 291, or 294 of the Welfare
and Institutions Code, as appropriate  and shall inform the
prisoner of his or her right to participate by videoconference 
.
   (d) Upon receipt by the court of a statement from the prisoner or
his or her attorney indicating the prisoner's desire to be present
during the court's proceedings, the court shall issue an order for
the temporary removal of the prisoner from the institution, and for
the prisoner's production before the court. No proceeding may be held
under Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of the
Family Code or Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
and no petition to adjudge the child of a prisoner a dependent child
of the court pursuant to subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f),
(i), or (j) of Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code may
be adjudicated without the physical presence of the prisoner or the
prisoner's attorney, unless the court has before it a knowing waiver
of the right of physical presence signed by the prisoner or an
affidavit signed by the warden, superintendent, or other person in
charge of the institution, or his or her designated representative
stating that the prisoner has, by express statement or action,
indicated an intent not to appear at the proceeding.
   (e) In any other action or proceeding in which a prisoner's
parental or marital rights are subject to adjudication, an order for
the prisoner's temporary removal from the institution and for the
prisoner's production before the court may be made by the superior
court of the county in which the action or proceeding is pending, or
by a judge thereof. A copy of the order shall be transmitted to the
warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of the institution
not less than 15 days before the order is to be executed. The order
shall be executed by the sheriff of the county in which it shall be
made, whose duty it shall be to bring the prisoner before the proper
court, to keep the prisoner safely, and when the prisoner's presence
is no longer required, to return the prisoner to the institution from
which he or she was taken. The expense of executing the order shall
be a proper charge against, and shall be paid by, the county in which
the order shall be made.
   The order shall be to the following effect:

   County of ____ (as the case may be).
   The people of the State of California to the warden of ____:
   An order having been made this day by me, that (name of prisoner)
be produced in this court as a party in the case of ____, you are
commanded to deliver (name of prisoner) into the custody of ____ for
the purpose of (recite purposes).
   Dated this ____ day of ____, 20__.

   (f) When a prisoner is removed from the institution pursuant to
this section, the prisoner shall remain in the constructive custody
of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of the
institution.
    (g) A prisoner who is a parent of a child involved in a
dependency hearing described in subdivision (b) who has waived his or
her right to physical presence at the hearing pursuant to
subdivision (d) shall be given the opportunity to participate in the
hearing by videoconference if that technology is available. The
notice of the hearing required by subdivision (c) shall include
notice of the prisoner's right to participate in the hearing by
videoconference. 
    (h) In any other action involving the adjudication of a
prisoner's parental rights, as described in subdivision (e), in which
the court has not ordered the prisoner's production before the
court, the prisoner shall be given the opportunity to participate in
the hearing by video-conference if that technology is available and
that participation otherwise complies with the law. Because of the
significance of dependency court hearings for parental rights and
children's long-term care, physical attendance by the parent at the
hearings is preferred to participation by videoconference. The
Judicial Council shall specify a clear process whereby incarcerated
parents are informed of dependency court hearings held pursuant to
subdivision (e) and of their right to participate by videoconference
so long as participation by the prisoner otherwise complies with the
law. 
    (i) A prisoner subject to this section shall not lose
internal job placement opportunities, be removed from a court-ordered
course, or be denied any privilege as a result of his or her
participation in the proceedings described in this section, whether
in person or by videoconference. This section only applies to an
incarcerated parent's participation in court proceedings involving
parental rights and does not replace in-person family visits with
telephone calls or videoconferencing.  
   (g) 
    (j)  Notwithstanding any other law, a court may not
order the removal and production of a prisoner sentenced to death,
whether or not that sentence is being appealed, in any action or
proceeding in which the prisoner's parental rights are subject to
adjudication.
  SEC. 2.  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this
act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local
agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant
to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of
the Government Code.