BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

                                                                  AB 2194
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          Date of Hearing:  April 17, 2012
          Counsel:       Sandy Uribe

                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                 AB 2194 (Gaines) - As Introduced:  February 23, 2012
           SUMMARY  :  Adds clarifying language enabling the Department of 
          Justice (DOJ) to perform a federal-level criminal offender 
          record information check on a humane officer applicant.  
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires the DOJ to forward to the Federal Bureau of 
            Investigation (FBI) requests for federal summary criminal 
            history information received for purposes of seeking 
            confirmation of the appointment of a humane officer.

          2)Requires the DOJ to review the information returned from the 
            FBI and to compile and disseminate a fitness determination 
            regarding the humane-officer applicant to the Humane Society 
            or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Requires the DOJ to maintain state summary criminal history 
            information, as defined, and to provide that information to 
            persons holding specified occupations including, to any humane 
            society, or SPCA for the specific purpose of appointing humane 
            officers.  ›Penal Code Section 11105.]  

          2)Specifies that "state summary criminal history information" 
            does not refer to records and data compiled by criminal 
            justice agencies other than the Attorney General.  ›Penal Code 
            Section 11105(a)(2)(B).]  

          3)Provides that an agency, officer, or official of the state, or 
            any city or county, city and county, district, or any officer 
            or official thereof, authorized to receive state summary 
            criminal history information may also transmit fingerprint 
            images and related information to the DOJ to be transmitted to 
            the FBI.  ›Penal Code Section 11105(b)(10) and (11).]  


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          4)Authorizes the DOJ to disseminate federal level criminal 
            history information received or compiled by the DOJ to 
            specified entities.  ›Penal Code Section 11105.]

          5)States that the provisions of Title 28 Section 50.12 of the 
            Code of Federal Regulations are to be followed in processing 
            federal criminal history information requests.  ›Penal Code 
            Section 11105(s).] 

          6)Provides that only a humane society or SPCA is eligible to 
            petition for confirmation of an appointment of an individual 
            as a humane officer.  The duty of a humane officer is to 
            enforce the laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  
            ›Corporations Code Section 14502(a)(1)(A).]

          7)Requires that the humane society or SPCA seeking confirmation 
            of a humane officer's appointment to comply with the following 

             a)   Submit to DOJ fingerprint images and related information 
               of all applicants for the purpose of obtaining information 
               as to the existence and content of a record of state 
               conviction and state arrests and also information as to the 
               existence and content of a record of state arrests for 
               which the DOJ establishes that the person is free on bail 
               or on his or her own recognizance.  

             b)   Serve a copy of the petition for order confirming 
               appointment of a humane officer to specified parties.  

             c)   File the petition seeking confirmation of the officer in 
               the superior court in the county in which the principle 
               office of the organization is located.  ›Corporations Code 
               Section 14502(b).]

          8)Requires the DOJ to provide the Humane Society or SPCA with 
            state response regarding summary criminal history information 
            as provided by Penal Code Section 11105.  ›Corporations Code 
            Section 14502(b)(1)(A).]

          9)Requires the court to review the appointee's qualifications 
            and fitness to act as a humane officer and either confirm or 
            deny the appointment.  ›Corporations Code Section 


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          10)Describes 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.  
            ›Corporations Code Section 14502(h).]

          11)Requires that all humane officers submit fingerprints to the 
            DOJ and the FBI.  ›Corporations Code Section 14502(h).]

          12)Requires a classifiable set of the fingerprints of every 
            person employed as a peace officer of the state, or of a 
            county, city, city and county, or other political subdivision, 
            whether with or without compensation, to be furnished to the 
            DOJ and to the FBI by the appropriate appointing authority of 
            the agency by whom the person is employed.  (Government Code 
            Section 1030.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "AB 2194 
            includes the specific and correct language for the FBI and 
            Attorney General's office so that the criminal background 
            information on humane officer applicants can be obtained and 
            the backlog cleared. 

            "Humane officers play a key role in the health and safety of 
            animals. These well trained individuals have been in limbo due 
            to a technicality leading to backlog."

           2)Background  :  Humane officers have an unusual status in 
            California between purely private actors and public peace 
            officers.  Humane officers work to enforce the state's animal 
            welfare laws, but may be appointed only by a private, 
            non-profit humane society formed under California's 
            Corporations Code.  Appointment must be followed by judicial 
            confirmation of the appointment petition before a person 
            enjoys humane officer authority under the law.  Existing law 
            explicitly provides that "a humane officer is not a peace 
            officer, but may exercise the powers of a peace officer at all 
            places within the state."  A humane officer's scope of powers 
            can vary, depending on the level of training and animal 
            welfare education, but can include the ability to exercise the 
            powers of a peace officer in order to prevent animal cruelty, 


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            make arrests, serve search warrants, and carry firearms.  

           3)Arguments in Support  :  According to the  State Humane Society 
            of California  (the sponsor of this bill), "Under prior law, 
            only level 1 humane officers had to obtain federal criminal 
            background checks from the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
            (FBI) prior to appointment.  SB 1417 extended this requirement 
            to all humane officers.

          "For the DOJ to implement the requirement for federal background 
            checks, it needs specific statutory language granting it 
            authority to do so.  That specific language was not included 
            in the final version of SB 1417, creating a temporary backlog 
            of criminal background checks for humane officers.

          "AB 2194 includes the specific and proper language required by 
            the DOJ to obtain summary criminal history information from 
            the FBI.  Humane officers play a key role in the health and 
            safety of animals and the general public.  It is important 
            that their appointment process be streamlined to enable the 
            DOJ to obtain summary criminal history information from the 
            FBI, just as it is authorized to do for peace officers."

           4)Prior Legislation :  

             a)   SB 1417 (Cox), Chapter 652, Statutes of 2010, 
               established new procedures and requirements for the 
               appointment and confirmation of humane officers by 
               non-profit humane societies.

             b)   SB 477 (Craven), Chapter 84, Statutes of 1994 imposed 
               increased training requirements on humane officers.

             c)   AB 1571 (Caldera) Chapter 806, Statutes of 1995, 
               provided that humane officers may only enforce laws inside 
               the county in which their appointing agency is incorporated 
               unless they receive consent from the sheriff of another 


          State Humane Society of California (Sponsor)
          California State Sheriffs' Association


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          County of Placer Board of Supervisors


          Analysis Prepared by :    Sandy Uribe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744