BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1417|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 1417
          Author:   Cox (R), et al
          Amended:  5/18/10
          Vote:     21

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE  :  4-0, 4/20/10
          AYES:  Corbett, Harman, Hancock, Leno
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Walters

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8 

           SUBJECT  :    Corporations for prevention of cruelty to  

           SOURCE  :     Placer County Board of Supervisors
                      State Humane Association of California
                      California State Sheriffs Association

           DIGEST  :    This bill implements new procedures and  
          requirements for the appointment, and subsequent training,  
          of humane officers by non-profit organizations formed for  
          the purpose of preventing cruelty to animals. 

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law authorizes corporations for the  
          prevention of cruelty to children or animals, or both, to  
          be formed under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation  
          Law.  The articles of incorporation for these corporations  
          must be endorsed, as evidence of necessity, by the  
          Department of Justice or by a judge of the superior court  
          of the county in which the society's principal office is  


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          located.  (Corp. Code Sec. 10401.)  

          This bill eliminates the option of endorsement by the  
          Department of Justice and would require the society's  
          articles of incorporation to be endorsed by a judge.  

          This bill creates a formal judicial proceeding for the  
          endorsement of articles of incorporation designated as a  
          special proceeding. 

          This bill requires humane societies to serve a copy of the  
          application for endorsement to the State Humane Association  
          of California, the Department of Justice, California  
          Highway Patrol and city police departments, the sheriff's  
          department having jurisdiction in the county in which the  
          society is located, and on the animal control agencies in  
          that county.  This bill would authorize those parties to  
          file opposition to the application and for the filer to  
          reply, as specified.  Both the application and opposition  
          would be required to contain evidence to enable the court  
          to make a decision regarding the need for the corporation.

          This bill requires that a society's articles of  
          incorporation be endorsed for at least five years before a  
          humane society may submit an application for endorsement.   
          However, this would not apply to humane societies  
          incorporated before January 1, 2011.

          This bill also requires that the society have been  
          operating an animal shelter for at least three years or  
          have a written agreement with another entity such as a  
          public animal control shelter or licensed veterinary  
          clinic, that provides for the humane care and treatment of  
          any animals seized and the preservation of evidence.

          This bill requires that the society have been in compliance  
          with all applicable federal, state, and local laws for at  
          least five years.  

          Existing law requires a city, county, or city and county,  
          to pay up to $500 per month to a society actively engaged  
          in enforcing state laws for the prevention of cruelty to  
          animals or children.  (Corp. Code Sec. 14501.)


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          This bill instead authorizes local governments to enter  
          into contracts with humane societies for the enforcement of  
          laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and would  
          also permit these societies to enforce these laws without a  

          This bill deletes obsolete references to pertaining to  
          humane societies formed for the prevention of cruelty to  

          Existing law provides that only a society for the  
          prevention of cruelty to animals is eligible to apply for  
          an appointment of any individual to a level 1 or level 2  
          humane officer.  The duty of a humane officer is to enforce  
          the laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  (Corp.  
          Code Sec.14502(a)(1)(A).)

          Existing law requires that any corporation that has been  
          formed for the purpose of the prevention of cruelty to  
          animals and has insurance of at least $1 million for  
          liability for bodily injury or property damage may appoint  
          any amount of persons as humane officers, as long as those  
          individuals are California citizens and the training  
          guidelines have been met.  Appointment by the corporation  
          may only be done after the corporation has been  
          incorporated for 6 months, upon resolution by its board of  
          directors or trustees, and entered into its minutes.   
          (Corp. Code Secs. 14502(a)(2), 14502(a)(3).)

          Existing law requires that the humane society or society  
          for the prevention of cruelty to animals that proposes to  
          appoint a humane officer to submit an application for  
          appointment to a judge of the superior court for the county  
          in which the society is located, and must provide  
          documentation demonstrating that the individual has  
          completed specified training requirements.  Upon receipt of  
          a report from the Department of Justice of the appointee's  
          record, if any, existing law requires the judge to review  
          the appointee's qualifications and fitness to act as a  
          humane officer and either confirm or deny the appointment.   
          (Corp. Code Secs. 14502(a)(1)(B), 14502(i).)

          Existing law requires that before a humane society or  
          society for the prevention of cruelty to animals appoints a  


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          humane officer, the society must notify the sheriff of the  
          county in which the society is incorporated of the  
          society's intent to enforce laws pertaining to the  
          prevention of cruelty to animals.  (Corp. Code Sec.  

          Existing law provides that a corporation which has  
          appointed an officer may revoke that appointment at any  
          time upon filing with the county's clerk office in which  
          the appointment of the officer is recorded.  Additionally,  
          an authorized sheriff, local police agency, or the State  
          Humane Association of California may initiate a revocation  
          hearing by petition.  (Corp. Code Sec. 14502(g).)

          Existing law provides that all appointments of humane  
          officers automatically expire within three years from the  
          date a copy of the court order certifying his or her  
          appointment was filed with the county clerk.  Officers  
          whose appointments are about to expire may only be  
          reappointed after completing the continuing education and  
          training.  (Corp. Code Sec. 14502(f).)

          This bill further requires a society seeking reaffirmation  
          of an appointment of a humane officer to serve a copy of  
          the application on the parties that the society would be  
          required to serve with a copy of its application for  
          endorsement, and would provide comparable rights and  
          procedures for those parties to object in court.

          This bill requires the judge, in determining whether to  
          confirm the appointment, to consider any documentation  
          submitted to the judge in support of, or opposition to, the  
          proposed appointment. 

          This bill requires a party petitioning for a revocation of  
          the appointment of a humane officer to serve copies on the  
          State Humane Association of California, the Department of  
          Justice, and each law enforcement agency and animal control  
          agency having jurisdiction in the county in which the  
          society is located.  

          This bill prescribes specific law and motion requirements  
          for revocation hearings.


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          Existing law prescribes the powers and qualifications of  
          level 1 and level 2 humane officers.  Level 1 humane  
          officers are authorized to carry firearms, subject to  
          specified requirements, including background checks and  
          mental and physical evaluations.  (Corps. Code Sec. 14502.)

          This bill requires that all humane officers, both level 1  
          and level 2, to complete the background checks and physical  
          and mental evaluations currently only required of level 1  

          This bill requires that humane officers complete continuing  
          education and training requirements during each three-year  
          period following his or her appointment.  Level 1 humane  
          officers would additionally be required to complete weapons  
          training and range qualifications every six months.  All  
          humane officers would be required to file certificates of  
          compliance with the Department of Justice at the end of the  
          three-year or six-month period.  Failure to comply with the  
          ongoing training requirements would result in revocation of  
          the humane officer's appointment at the end of a three-year  

          This bill authorizes the Department of Justice and local  
          agencies to charge a fee to cover the reasonable costs of  
          maintaining the certificates of compliance.

          Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain  
          state summary criminal history information, as defined, and  
          to provide that information to persons holding specified  
          occupations including, without limitation, probation  
          officers and parole officers.

          Existing law requires local criminal justice agencies to  
          maintain similar information and provide that information  
          to specified agencies and persons holding specified  
          occupations.  (Pen. Code Secs. 11105, 13300.)

          This bill adds humane officers to the specified persons to  
          whom the Department of Justice and local criminal justice  
          agencies are required to provide the criminal history  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    


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          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/18/10)

          Placer County Board of Supervisors (co-source) 
          State Humane Association of California (co-source) 
          California State Sheriffs Association (co-source) 
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          California Animal Control Directors Association
          California State Association of Counties
          Humane Society of the United States
          Judicial Council
          Peace Officers Research Association of California

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/18/10)

          Animal Legal Defense Fund
          Antelope Valley Kennel Club, Inc.
          Humane Society of the Sierra Foothills
          League of Placer County Taxpayers
          National Animal Control Association
          Riverside Humane Society
          Riverside Humane Society Pet Adoption Center
          Social Compassion in Legislation

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office:

               A Placer County non-profit corporation that never  
               officially became a Humane Society attempted to  
               appoint Humane Officers.  The Sheriff was provided  
               with inadequate notice of this organization's  
               attempts, and consequently, had to resort to a  
               petition to revoke these [appointments] under  
               [Corporations Code] Section 14502(g)(2).  The  
               litigation took approximately two and a half years to  
               resolve.  During the course of the litigation, various  
               deficiencies and ambiguities in the statutes became  
               evident.  Upon hearing that Placer County intended to  
               sponsor legislation, the State Humane Association of  
               California provided additional, more comprehensive  
               amendments that would address various deficiencies and  
               ambiguities it has become aware of in its official  


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           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The opposition states that this  
          bill "is a harmful bill.  It would effectively abolish the  
          100 year old Humane Society/Humane Officer institution in  
          California.  It would also cost the State millions of  
          dollars, yet provide no positive benefits for any person in  
          the State other than animal abusers.  It would remove  
          irreplaceable, needed protections for abused animals in the  

          "For over 100 years, California law has provided for the  
          formation of Humane Societies (aka:  Societies for the  
          Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to assist government law  
          enforcement in enforcing animal abuse laws. Only Humane  
          Societies can appoint Humane Officers to act as enforcement  
          officers in enforcing animal abuse laws.  Over the last 100  
          years Humane Officers have provided countless hours of  
          animal abuse investigation and reporting that has prevented  
          and stopped terrible animal abuses - typically at no cost  
          to the State.

          "The Humane Society/Humane Officer codes were revised in  
          1995 to provide additional training and oversight  
          requirements for Humane Officer appointments.  Since that  
          time (and, in fact, since 1900) there have been essentially  
          no valid incidents of Humane Society/Humane Officer  
          misconduct.  There is no need for revisions in the code."

          Opponents further state that this bill "would impose  
          staggering legal procedures prior to its incorporation -  
          procedures not required for any other corporation type in  
          the State.  Present code requires 20 citizens to form and  
          seek an endorsement of the forming society's articles by  
          either the DOJ or the Court.   SB 1417 would require an  
          adversarial proceeding for endorsement - with every law  
          enforcement agency and every animal control agency in the  
          county as adversarial parties.  Few, if any, citizens  
          wishing to form a new Humane Society/ SPCA will have the  
          resources and fortitude to take on this battle.  No new  
          Humane Societies/SPCA's will form if SB 1417 passes.  SB  
          1417 discriminates against new Societies - in favor of  
          existing Societies. 

          "If a new Humane Society does pass the legal hurdles, under  
          SB 1417 it then must wait 5 years before it can appoint a  


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          Humane Officer.  Then, the appointment is again subject to  
          an adversarial proceeding facing all the law enforcement  
          and animal control agencies in the county - plus the  
          California Highway Patrol.  SB 1417 also requires onerous  
          reporting requirements - designed to make it impractical  
          for most existing Societies to appoint or maintain Humane  
          Officers.   The practical result of these provisions is  
          that no new Humane Officers from new Humane Societies will  
          be appointed.  Existing Humane Officers will dwindle from  
          attrition.  The Humane Society/ Humane Officer institution  
          in California will cease to exist.  (Note:  Most every  
          state has Humane Officers assisting in animal protection.  
          California would be unique in losing its Humane Officers.)"

          RJG:nl  5/18/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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