BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Senator Loni Hancock, Chair A 2011-2012 Regular Session B 7 1 6 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 2 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 3 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.) (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 4 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, (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 5 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 6 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 7 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 8 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: ÝO]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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 9 exclude passengers cited for certain offenses, helping to reduce passenger disruptions and improve overall service. . . .ÝT]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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 10 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 11 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. (More) 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 (More) AB 716 (Dickinson) Page 13 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. ***************