BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1407
                                                                  Page  1


          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 1407 (Judiciary Committee)
          As Amended March 31, 2011
          Majority vote 

           JUDICIARY           10-0                                        
           
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          |Ayes:|Feuer, Wagner, Atkins,    |     |                          |
          |     |Dickinson, Hagman, Huber, |     |                          |
          |     |Huffman, Jones, Monning,  |     |                          |
          |     |Wieckowski                |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Clarifies the Ralph Civil Rights Act.  Specifically, 
           this bill  finds and declares that Civil Code Section 51.7 was 
          enacted as part of the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976, in 
          Chapter 1293, Statutes of 1976.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides pursuant to the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976 that 
            all persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the 
            right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat 
            of violence, on account of their sex, race, color, religion, 
            ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, 
            marital status, or sexual orientation.  

          2)Provides pursuant to the Unruh Civil Rights Act that all 
            persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and 
            equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, 
            ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, 
            marital status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full 
            and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, 
            or services in all business establishments of every kind 
            whatsoever.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None
           
          COMMENTS  :  In support of the bill the author notes that 
          California's primary civil rights statutes include the Unruh 
          Civil Rights Act and the Ralph Civil Rights Act.  These laws 
          deal with related but distinct issues and have overlapping but 








                                                                  AB 1407
                                                                  Page  2


          unique application to various kinds of disputes.  Because they 
          are codified next to each other - Civil Code Sections 51 and 
          51.7 - litigants and courts have frequently confused them, most 
          frequently believing mistakenly that the Ralph Act is part of 
          the Unruh Act.  This confusion is natural because Section 51 
          begins by declaring that it is the Unruh Civil Rights Act.  By 
          contrast, there is no similar identification of the Ralph Act at 
          Section 51.7.  A reader may therefore fail to note that one act 
          has concluded and another begun.  This bill would simply 
          identify the Ralph Act by name in order to prevent further 
          confusion, consistently with the advice of a recent appeals 
          court decision.  

          The Second District Court of Appeal has observed that 
          misunderstanding of the Unruh and Ralph acts has been common 
          among courts and parties.  (Stamps v. Superior Court (2006) 136 
          Cal. App. 4th 1441.) 

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Kevin G. Baker / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 

                                                                FN: 0000570