BILL NUMBER: AB 508	ENROLLED
	BILL TEXT

	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 15, 2013
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 19, 2013
	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, 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 5 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, if the court
has reason to believe that the debtor is a homeless veteran, as
defined. The bill would make related findings and declarations.


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.
  SEC. 2.  Section 1463.012 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
   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.
   (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.
   (c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a court
from engaging in any other lawful debt collection activities.
   (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.
   (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.
   (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 (a).