BILL NUMBER: AB 508	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 17, 2013
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 9, 2013

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Ian Calderon
   (Coauthor: Assembly Member Ammiano)

                        FEBRUARY 20, 2013

   An act to add Section 1463.012 to the Penal Code, relating to debt
collection.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 508, as amended, Ian Calderon. Debt collection: homeless
veterans.
   Existing law requires the Judicial Council to adopt guidelines for
a comprehensive program concerning the collection of moneys owed for
fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties, and assessments imposed by
court order. Existing law prohibits a court from garnishing wages or
levying a bank account for the enforcement and collection of fees,
fines, forfeitures, or penalties imposed by a court against a person
under 25 years of age who has been issued a citation for truancy,
loitering, curfew violations, or illegal lodging that is outstanding
or unpaid if the court obtains information that the person is
homeless or has no permanent address, as defined.
    This bill would prohibit  , for a period of five years, 
the issuance of an order for the garnishment of earnings or the levy
of a bank account or the earnings of a homeless veteran, as defined,
for the enforcement and collection of fees, fines, forfeitures, or
penalties imposed by a court due to the violation of state or local
law related to loitering, curfew violations, or illegal lodging
 for a period of 5 years, as specified  , if the
court has reason to believe that the debtor is a homeless veteran, as
defined. The bill would make related findings and declarations.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

   SECTION 1.    The Legislature finds and declares the
following:  
   (a) According to a new study, homeless veterans are more likely to
die on the streets than nonveteran homeless persons. Those who
return from serving and become homeless are 11 percent more likely to
develop life-threatening diseases than nonveteran homeless. 

   (b) According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development's most recent annual survey for point-in-time estimates
of homelessness, there were 16,461 homeless veterans in California in
January 2012, of whom 11,949 were considered unsheltered and living
on the streets.  
   (c) Homeless veterans are routinely ticketed for offenses that are
the inevitable symptoms of homelessness. These offenses include
loitering, curfew violations, and illegal lodging.  
   (d) If a homeless veteran fails to appear to contest or pay a
ticket, that homeless veteran's wages or bank accounts may be
garnished.  
   (e) Garnishment of the wages and savings of homeless veterans
makes it far more difficult for homeless veterans to rent their own
apartments and end their homelessness by their own willpower and
initiative.  
   (f) In many cases, taking money from homeless veterans makes it
more, and not less, likely that they will continue to be homeless,
and may actually encourage the commission of offenses the laws are
meant to dissuade, including illegal lodging and loitering. 

   (g) It is, therefore, in the best interest of the state to
discourage wage and bank account garnishment practices that make it
more difficult for veterans who are homeless to obtain housing
through their own hard work without being exculpated from the
offenses they commit. 
   SECTION 1.   SEC. 2.   Section 1463.012
is added to the Penal Code, to read: 
   1463.012.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
   (1) According to a new study, homeless veterans are more likely to
die on the streets than nonveteran homeless persons. Those who
return from serving and become homeless are 11 percent more likely to
develop life-threatening diseases than nonveteran homeless.
   (2) According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development's most recent annual survey for point-in-time estimates
of homelessness, there were 16,461 homeless veterans in California in
January 2012, of whom 11,949 were considered unsheltered and living
on the streets.
   (3) Homeless veterans are routinely ticketed for offenses that are
the inevitable symptoms of homelessness. These offenses include
loitering, curfew violations, and illegal lodging.
   (4) If a homeless veteran fails to appear to contest or pay a
ticket, that homeless veteran's wages or bank accounts may be
garnished.
   (5) Garnishment of the wages and savings of homeless veterans
makes it far more difficult for homeless veterans to rent their own
apartments and end their homelessness by their own willpower and
initiative.
   (6) In many cases, taking money from homeless veterans makes it
more, and not less, likely that they will continue to be homeless,
and may actually encourage the commission of offenses the laws are
meant to dissuade, including illegal lodging and loitering.
   (7) It is therefore in the best interest of the state to
discourage wage and bank account garnishment practices that make it
more difficult for veterans who are homeless to obtain housing
through their own hard work without being exculpated from the
offenses they commit.
   (b) 
    1463.012.    (a)  Notwithstanding any other
law, if a court, during the course of its routine process to collect
fees, fines, forfeitures, or other penalties imposed by a court due
to a citation issued for the violation of a state or local law,
obtains information indicating that a person who has been issued a
citation for loitering, curfew violations, or illegal lodging that is
outstanding or unpaid served in the military within the last eight
years and is homeless or has no permanent address, the court shall
not garnish the wages or levy against bank accounts of that person
for five years from the date that the court obtained that
information. 
   (c) 
    (b)  For purposes of this section, a person is
considered to be "homeless" or as having "no permanent address" if
that person does not have a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime
residence, or has a primary nighttime residence that is one of the
following:
   (1) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed
to provide temporary living accommodations, including, but not
limited to, welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional
housing for the mentally ill.
   (2) An institution that provides a temporary residence for
individuals intended to be institutionalized.
   (3) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used
as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. 
   (d) 
    (c)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to
prevent a court from engaging in any other lawful debt collection
activities. 
   (e) 
    (d)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to
require a court to perform any further investigation or financial
screening into any matter beyond the scope of its regular duties.

   (f) 
    (e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to
prevent the Judicial Council from altering any best practices or
recommendations for collection programs pursuant to Section 1463.010.

   (g) 
    (f)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to
prevent a court from garnishing a person's wages or levying against a
person's bank accounts if the court, subsequent to its initial
determination that the person was a homeless veteran exempt from wage
garnishment or levy under this section, obtains evidence that the
individual is no longer homeless, or that the court had, on a
previous occasion, suspended garnishment of that person's wages or
levying against that person's bank accounts pursuant to subdivision
 (b)   (a)  .