BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              A
                             2011-2012 Regular Session               B

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          AB 716  (Dickinson)                                         
          As Amended June 29, 2011 
          Hearing date: July 5, 2011
          Public Utilities Code
          SM:dl


                                  TRANSIT DISTRICTS: 

                                 PROHIBITION ORDERS  


                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Sacramento Regional Transit District

          Prior Legislation: SB 1561 (Steinberg) - Ch. 528, Stats. of 2008
                            AB 2324 (John Perez) - Ch. 675, Stats.of 2010
                            AB 343 (Huff) - Ch. 260, Stats. of 2006 
                            AB 630 (Oropeza) - Ch. 938, Stats. of 2002 

          Support: California Transit Association; Ridership for the 
                   Masses; San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District 
                   (BART) 

          Opposition:None

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes 66 - Noes 8

                                           
                                     KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD THE SUNSET BE ELIMINATED ON THE LAW THAT ALLOWS 



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          SACRAMENTO REGIONAL TRANSIT (RT) AND FRESNO AREA EXPRESS (FAX) 
          TO ISSUE PROHIBITION ORDERS BANNING PERSONS FROM ENTERING 
          DISTRICT PROPERTY FOR DETERMINED PERIODS OF TIME FOR SPECIFIED 
          OFFENSES?

          SHOULD THE SAME AUTHORITY BE GRANTED TO THE BAY AREA RAPID 
          TRANSIT DISTRICT TO ISSUE SUCH PROHIBITION ORDERS?

                                                                (CONTINUED)




          SHOULD THE SUNSET BE REMOVED FROM THE LAW ALLOWING SACRAMENTO 
          REGIONAL TRANSIT (RT) AND FRESNO AREA EXPRESS (FAX) TO CREATE 
          SPECIFIED INFRACTIONS BY ORDINANCE?

          SHOULD THE PROHIBITION ORDERS BE ALLOWED BASED ON THREE OR MORE 
          CITATIONS FOR SPECIFIED INFRACTIONS WITHIN 90 DAYS RATHER THAN 60 
          DAYS?  

          SHOULD THE CURRENT PROHIBITION ON TRESPASSING OR INTERFERING WITH 
          SAFE OPERATION OF A TRAIN ON RAIL TRANSIT-RELATED PROPERTIES BE 
          EXPANDED TO INCLUDE ALL TRANSIT-RELATED PROPERTY OR VEHICLES?

                                          
                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) eliminate the sunset on the 
          law that allows Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) and Fresno Area 
          Express (FAX) to issue prohibition orders banning persons from 
          entering district property for determined periods of time for 
          specified offenses; (2) grant the same authority to Bay Area 
          Rapid Transit District to issue such prohibition orders; (3) 
          allow a prohibition order to be issued to a person who has been 
          cited on at least three separate occasions within a period of 90 
          days, as opposed to 60 days, for specified infractions committed 
          in or on a vehicle, bus stop, or station of the transit 



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          district; (4) expand the current prohibition on trespassing or 
          interfering with safe operation of a train on rail 
          transit-related properties to include all transit-related 
          property or vehicles; (5) remove the sunset on the provision of 
          law allowing the Sacramento Regional Transit District board to 
          enact ordinances punishable as infractions, as specified; and 
          (6) recast provisions authorizing RT employees to issue 
          citations for specified infractions, requiring those employees 
          to receive specified training.

           Current law  allows Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) and Fresno 
          Area Express (FAX), until January 1, 2012, to issue prohibition 
          orders banning persons from entering the property, facilities, 
          or vehicles of the transit district for determined periods of 
          time for specified offenses.  Specifically, current law allows 
          RT and FAX to issue a prohibition order to a person who has been 
          cited on at least three separate occasions within a period of 60 
          days for any of the following infractions committed in or on a 
          transit vehicle, bus stop, or station of the transit district:

           Interfering with the operator or operation of a transit 
            vehicle, or impeding the safe boarding or alighting of 
            passengers.
           Committing any act or engaging in any behavior that may, with 
            reasonable foreseeability, cause harm or injury to any person 
            or property.
           Willfully disturbing others on or in a transit facility or 
            vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior.
           Carrying an explosive or acid, flammable liquid, or toxic or 
            hazardous material in a public transit facility or vehicle.
           Urinating or defecating in a transit facility or vehicle, 
            except in a lavatory. 
           Willfully blocking the free movement of another person in a 
            transit facility or vehicle. 
           Defacing with graffiti the interior or exterior of the 
            facilities or vehicles of a public transportation system. 
            (Public Utilities Code  99171.)




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           Current law  also allows RT and FAX to issue a prohibition order 
          to a person who has been arrested or convicted once for any of 
          the following misdemeanors or felonies committed in or on a 
          vehicle, bus stop, or station of the transit district:

           Acts involving violence, threats of violence, lewd or 
            lascivious behavior, or possession or sale of any illegal 
            substance.
           Loitering with the intent to engage in drug-related activity.
           Loitering with the intent to commit prostitution.

          The maximum duration of a prohibition order is as follows:

           30 days for a first order, 90 days for a second order within 
            one year, and 180 days for a third order within one year 
            related to infractions.
           30 days if issued pursuant to an arrest for a misdemeanor or 
            felony offense.  Upon conviction for the offense the order may 
            be extended to a total of 180 days for a misdemeanor and one 
            year for a felony.

          A prohibition order is effective eleven days after delivery is 
          deemed complete unless the person contests the proposed order 
          within 10 days in accordance with procedures adopted by the 
          transit district.  The procedures must include, among other 
          things, an opportunity to request an initial review and the 
          opportunity, if the person is dissatisfied with the results of 
          the initial review, to request an administrative hearing.  The 
          hearing must provide an independent, objective, fair, and 
          impartial review of the prohibition order, and the hearing 
          officer's employment and compensation may not be directly or 
          indirectly linked to the number of prohibition orders upheld.  
          If the transit district or hearing officer determines that the 
          person did not understand the nature and extent of his or her 
          actions or did not have the ability to control his or her 
          actions, the prohibition order shall be canceled.  If the person 
          is dependent upon the transit system for trips of necessity, 
          including travel to or from medical or legal appointments, 



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          school or training classes, places of employment, or obtaining 
          food, clothing, and necessary household items, the transit 
          district or hearing officer must modify the prohibition order to 
          allow for those trips.  If the person is dissatisfied with the 
          result of the administrative hearing, he or she may seek 
          judicial review of the administrative hearing decision within 90 
          days.  (Public Utilities Code  99171.)

           Current law  requires that, prior to implementing the prohibition 
          order program, the transit district must establish an advisory 
          commission that is tasked, among other things, with monitoring 
          the issuance of prohibition orders to ensure compliance with 
          anti-discrimination laws and with providing the governing board 
          of the transit district and the Legislature with an annual 
          report on the program. (Public Utilities Code  99172.)  

           Current law  makes it a misdemeanor for a person to enter or 
          remain upon without permission any rail transit related property 
          owned or operated by a county transportation commission or 
          transportation authority or for a person to interfere with, 
          interrupt, or hinder the safe and efficient operation of the 
          rail-related facility.  (Penal Code  369i.)

           Current law  also provides generally that a peace officer, when 
          arresting a person for an infraction, may only require the 
          arrestee to present his or her driver's license or 
          identification for examination and to sign a written promise to 
          appear.  (Penal Code  853.5.)  Until January 1, 2012, a person 
          "regularly employed" by Sacramento Regional Transit District as 
          an inspector or supervisor whose duties include enforcement of 
          district ordinances may arrest and issue citations pursuant to 
          the peace officer provisions but may not make custodial arrests. 
           (Public Utilities Code  102122.)

           Current law  authorizes several transit agencies to appoint or 
          contract with designated persons to act as its agents in the 
          enforcement of specific infractions relating to the operation of 
          a public transportation system if these persons complete 



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          specified training.  It specifies that these employees are 
          public officers but are not peace officers, that they may not 
          carry firearms and may not exercise the powers of arrest of a 
          peace officer but may issue citations for specified infractions 
          relating to operation of the transit service.  (Penal Code  
          830.14.)

           This bill  would eliminate the sunset on the law described above 
          that allows RT and FAX to issue prohibition orders banning 
          persons from entering district property for determined periods 
          of time for specified offenses.

           This bill  would grant the same authority to Bay Area Rapid 
          Transit District to issue such prohibition orders.  

           This bill  would allow the district to issue a prohibition order 
          to a person who has been cited on at least three separate 
          occasions within a period of 90 days, as opposed to 60 days, for 
          specified infractions committed in or on a vehicle, bus stop, or 
          station of the transit district.

           This bill  would expand the current prohibition on trespassing or 
          interfering with safe operation of a train on rail 
          transit-related properties to include all transit-related 
          property or vehicles.

           This bill  would remove the sunset on the provision of law 
          authorizing the Sacramento Regional Transit board to enact 
          ordinances, punishable as infractions, prohibiting: 

                 Knowingly giving false identification to a district 
               employee engaged in the enforcement of district ordinances 
               or state laws, or otherwise obstructing the issuance of a 
               citation for violation of district ordinances or state law;
                 Unauthorized operation of, interference with, entry 
               into, climbing upon, attaching to, or loitering on or in 
               transit facilities or other transit property;
                 The removal, displacement, injury, destruction, or 



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               obstruction of any part of any track, switch, turnout, 
               bridge, culvert, or any other district structure or 
               fixture;
                 Specifying conditions under which a passenger may board 
               a district vehicle with a bicycle and where the bicycle may 
               be stowed, and

          This provision authorizes the board to provide that a violation 
          of any such ordinance adopted is an infraction punishable by a 
          fine not exceeding $75, and that a violation by a person after 
          the second conviction is punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 
          and by community service for a total time not to exceed 48 hours 
          over a period not to exceed 30 days which do not conflict with 
          the violator's hours of school attendance or employment.

           This bill  would recast provisions in current law allowing 
          Sacramento Regional Transit District inspectors or supervisors 
          whose duties include enforcement of district ordinances to issue 
          citations for specified infractions, and require those persons 
          to receive specified training appropriate to those duties.

           This bill  makes other technical, non-substantive changes to 
          update cross-references to recently amended code sections.


                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
          
          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's 
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation. 
           As these cases have progressed, prison conditions have 
          continued to be assailed, and the scrutiny of the federal courts 
          over California's prisons has intensified.  

          On June 30, 2005, in a class action lawsuit filed four years 
          earlier, the United States District Court for the Northern 
          District of California established a Receivership to take 
          control of the delivery of medical services to all California 
          state prisoners confined by the California Department of 



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          Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR").  In December of 2006, 
          plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against CDCR sought a 
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the 
          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a 
          three-judge federal panel issued an order requiring California 
          to reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design 
          capacity -- a reduction at that time of roughly 40,000 inmates 
          -- within two years.  The court stayed implementation of its 
          ruling pending the state's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

          On May 23, 2011, the United States Supreme Court upheld the 
          decision of the three-judge panel in its entirety, giving 
          California two years from the date of its ruling to reduce its 
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity, subject 
          to the right of the state to seek modifications in appropriate 
          circumstances.  
            
          In response to the unresolved prison capacity crisis, in early 
          2007 the Senate Committee on Public Safety began holding 
          legislative proposals which could further exacerbate prison 
          overcrowding through new or expanded felony prosecutions.

           This bill  does not appear to aggravate the prison overcrowding 
          crisis described above.

                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

               O]ver the years RT has received a high number of 
               complaints from rider regarding the safety of RT 
               vehicles, parking lots, and passenger waiting areas.  
               To encourage ridership and to reduce emissions 
               associated with daily commuting, potential passengers 
               need to feel that transit services are a safe 
               alternative to driving.  SB 1561 allowed RT and FAX to 



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               exclude passengers cited for certain offenses, helping 
               to reduce passenger disruptions and improve overall 
               service. . . .T]he Legislature should make the 
               program permanent and improve the program by 
               authorizing prohibition orders for repeat offenses 
               over a longer period of time and, most importantly, 
               creating a consequence for failure to obey a 
               prohibition order.

          2.  Reports on Existing Programs  

          In its recent annual report, RT indicates that it issued nine 
          prohibition orders based on misdemeanor or felony arrests 
          between October 1, 2009 and October 31, 2010.   None of the 
          alleged violators contested the order.  In addition, RT issued 
          129 infractions over this same period for violations on the list 
          of infractions eligible for a prohibition order.  The top three 
          violations included:  

                 Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility 
               or vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior 
               (59%).  
                 Urinating or defecating in a system facility, except in 
               a lavatory (17%).  
                 Interfering with the operator of the transit vehicle and 
               impeding the safe boarding or alighting of passengers 
               (12%).

          None of the cited offenders repeated the violations three or 
          more times within the 60 day period.  

          FAX began implement its exclusion order program on February 1, 
          2010.  In its annual report for 2010, FAX stated that it has 
          issued 26 prohibition orders, all for misdemeanor and felony 
          acts, with over half relating to battery of public transit 
          employee or passenger.  None of the orders was appealed, however 
          FAX modified three orders and dismissed two.  In the cover 
          letter accompanying the report, FAX states, "It is very apparent 



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          to us that this law has helped reduce some of the behavioral 
          issues aboard FAX buses."  

          3.  Limited to Nuisance Behaviors

            The bill would eliminate the sunset and thus make permanent 
          the compromise reached in SB 1561 (SB 1561 (Steinberg), Chapter 
          528, Statutes of 2008), which allows RT and FAX to issue 
          prohibition orders only for specified offenses that relate to 
          behaviors that directly affect, disturb, or threaten other 
          riders.  The list does not include offenses, such as loitering 
          or open containers, that do not directly affect other riders per 
          se.  Nor does the list include offenses, such as fare evasion, 
          that negatively affect the district without directly harming 
          other riders.  This bill would also grant this authority to the 
          Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART).

          4.  Prohibition Orders Based on Arrests

           Current law allows RT and FAX to issue prohibition orders based 
          on three or more cited infractions within a period of 60 days 
          and based on a single arrest or conviction for certain 
          misdemeanors and felonies.  This bill would allow the 
          prohibition order if the 3 or more infractions occurred within 
          90 days.

          These prohibition orders may be based on arrests (and citations) 
          and do not require a conviction.  The sponsors state, however, 
          that district attorneys do not prosecute many nuisance offenses 
          committed on transit.  Current law provides that the maximum 
          length of an order based on arrest is 30 days or 90 days if a 
          second prohibition order is issued within one year or 180 days 
          if a third order is issued within a year.  Such an order may be 
          extended to up to 180 days if the person is then convicted of 
          specified misdemeanors committed on public transit property and 
          up to one year if convicted of a similar felony.  In addition, 
          current law requires, and this bill maintains, detailed due 
          process procedures for a person subject a prohibition order to 



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          contest that order and to seek limitations on the prohibition to 
          allow them to take public transit for specified critical 
          purposes, e.g., to school, work, or medical appointments..  

          This bill would remove the sunset clause from these provisions.




































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          SHOULD THE SUNSET CLAUSES ON THESE PROVISIONS BE REMOVED?

          5.  Authority to Issue Citations  

          Current law contains a statute authorizing Sacramento RT to 
          adopt ordinances related to interference with or destruction of 
          transit facilities or obstructing issuance of a citation.  This 
          bill removes the sunset on those provisions while recasting the 
          portion of that law that allows specified employees of RT to 
          issue citations for infractions related to disturbing other 
          passengers.  In doing so, this bill would require RT employees 
          issuing such citations to receive specified training currently 
          required of employees of other transit districts with these 
          duties.  The training includes, but is not limited to the 
          following topics:
                 An overview of barrier-free fare inspection concepts.
                 The scope and limitations of inspector authority.
                 Familiarization with the elements of the infractions 
               enumerated in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 640.
                 Techniques for conducting fare checks, including 
               inspection procedures, demeanor, and contacting violators.
                 Citation issuance and court appearances.
                 Fare media recognition.
                 Handling argumentative violators and diffusing conflict.
                 The mechanics of law enforcement support and interacting 
               with law enforcement for effective incident resolution.

          SHOULD THIS TRAINING BE REQUIRED OF RT EMPLOYEES ISSUING THESE 
          CITATIONS?

          6.  Technical Amendment  

          The author will be amending the bill in committee to make a 
          technical amendment to correct an erroneous cross-reference.  
          The amendment will read: 

            Section 99171 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

            99171. (a) (1) A transit district may issue a prohibition 



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            order to any person to whom either of the following applies:

            (A) On at least three separate occasions within a period of 90 
            consecutive days, the person is cited for an infraction 
            committed in or on a vehicle, bus stop, or train or light rail 
            station of the transit district for any act that is a 
                                                               violation of paragraph (2) or (5) of subdivision (a) of 
            Section 99170 of this code or paragraph (1), (2), (3) or (4) 
            of subdivision (d) of Section 640 or Section 640.5 of the 
            Penal Code.

          This portion of the bill is meant to update the existing 
          cross-reference to paragraphs (6), (7), (8) or (9) of 
          subdivision (b) of section 640 of the Penal Code.  These 
          provisions were renumbered in last year's AB 2324 and became 
          paragraphs (1) (2) (3) (4) of subdivision (d) of section 640 of 
          the Penal Code.  This technical amendment is necessary to 
          correctly update this cross-reference. 
           

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