BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1195
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          AB 1195 (Eggman)
          As Amended July 8, 2013
          Majority vote 
          |ASSEMBLY:  |73-0 |(April 22,      |SENATE: |32-2 |(August 19,    |
          |           |     |2013)           |        |     |2013)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    JUD.  

           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits law enforcement agencies from requiring  
          proof of legal presence in the United States (U.S.) and refusing  
          to accept certain forms of identification, if identification is  
          required, for the disclosure of crime reports and other related  
          records required to be disclosed under the Public Records Act  
          (PRA).  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Prohibits a state or local law enforcement agency from  
            requiring a victim of any incident to show proof of the  
            victim's legal presence in the U.S. in order to obtain  
            specified information about the incident ("crime report")  
            required to be disclosed by the law enforcement agency  
            pursuant to the PRA.

          2)Provides that if, for identification purposes, a state or  
            local law enforcement agency requires identification in order  
            for a victim of an incident, or an authorized representative  
            thereof, to obtain that information, the agency shall, at a  
            minimum, accept the following forms of identification:

             a)   A current U.S. state issued driver's license or  
               identification card. 

             b)   A current passport issued by the U.S. or by a foreign  
               government with whom the U.S. has a diplomatic  

             c)   A current Matricula Consular card.

           The Senate amendments  relocate the current contents of the bill  
          into proposed new section 6254.30 of the Government Code in  
          order to avoid chaptering out problems, but are not substantive  
          in nature.


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          FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.
          COMMENTS  :  This bill, co-sponsored by the California Immigrant  
          Policy Center and El Concilio, seeks to prohibit law enforcement  
          agencies from requiring proof of legal residency from crime  
          victims and other persons seeking access to crime reports and  
          related information that is otherwise required to be disclosed  
          to them under the PRA.  In addition, this bill provides that if  
          a state or local law enforcement agency requires identification  
          to be presented in order to obtain that information, the agency  
          may not refuse to accept specified forms of identification,  
          including a driver's license, U.S. or foreign passport, or a  
          Matricular Consular (the consular identification card issued by  
          the Mexican government to its citizens living abroad).
          According to the author, this bill is needed to address the  
          reported lack of access some crime victims have experienced in  
          trying to obtain a copy of the crime report from local law  
          enforcement officials.  The author states:

               There are reports of some victims of crime being  
               denied access to their crime report due to their  
               residency status.  They are being denied access to  
               their crime report on the ground that a foreign  
               passport without supporting immigration documents  
               or a Matricula Consular card are not appropriate  
               forms of identification.  Current law does not  
               spell out what forms of identification are  
               acceptable if a victim wishes to access their  
               crime report.    

               This bill will remedy the problem by prescribing  
               acceptable forms of identification in order to  
               access a crime report. (Moreover) this bill  
               ensures that the public has access to public  
               records as required by the California Public  
               Records Act.
           According to the California Immigrant Policy Center, a  
          co-sponsor of this bill, there are many legitimate reasons why a  
          crime victim would seek a copy of the crime report that he or  
          she is entitled to access under the PRA.  For example, victims  
          of human trafficking or other crimes who apply for a U-visa or  


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          T-visa under the Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) would  
          largely benefit from accessing their crime records to support  
          their applications.  A crime report can help a victim of  
          domestic violence obtain a restraining order or initiate divorce  
          proceedings in an expedient matter.  In addition, a victim of  
          identity theft needs to obtain a crime report in order to create  
          an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission.

          Some advocates for women and immigrants report that, in the  
          areas that they operate, local law enforcement officials have  
          been known to deny crime victims their crime report because they  
          do not present a form of identification that demonstrates proof  
          of legal residency.  According to an informal survey of local  
          law enforcement agencies by El Concilio, a co-sponsor of this  
          bill, five of the 22 county sheriff's offices surveyed in the  
          state reported that they would not accept a foreign passport or  
          the Matricula Consular as a valid form of identification, even  
          though both contain a picture of the person and are widely  
          accepted as simply proving the person to be who they claim to  

          The PRA governs the disclosure of information collected and  
          maintained by public agencies.  Generally, all public records  
          are accessible to the public upon request, unless the record  
          requested is exempt from public disclosure.  Government Code  
          Section 6254 of the PRA exempts from disclosure over two dozen  
          types of records because of the content of the information in  
          those records, and outlines specific conditions that must be met  
          to authorize the disclosure of certain other records.

          The PRA contemplates that disclosure of certain information  
          about the crime may endanger the safety of a witness or other  
          person involved in the investigation, or endanger the successful  
          completion of the investigation itself, and therefore permits  
          non-disclosure in those conditions when disclosure would  
          otherwise be required.  Importantly, the PRA does not expressly  
          condition disclosure of information based on the identity of the  
          person requesting it, only that if no witness, investigator, or  
          investigation is endangered, then the agency "shall make public"  
          the information to the requesting party.  The PRA does not even  
          require the victim of a crime to prove he or she is the victim  
          identified in the crime report, because disclosure of the  
          information is not authorized to be withheld on that basis.

          According to the author, in practice, however, most law  


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          enforcement agencies require proof of identification to support  
          a request for a crime report.  This bill does not seek to  
          restrict the practice of law enforcement agencies to ask for  
          identification from persons seeking release of crime reports or  
          other related public records.  Instead, it simply prohibits law  
          enforcement agencies from requiring proof of legal status from a  
          person in order to obtain a copy of a crime report.  In  
          addition, this bill provides that if a law enforcement agency  
          chooses to require identification at all, it may not refuse to  
          accept certain forms of identification, including a current U.S.  
          driver's license, current U.S. or foreign passport, or current  
          Matricula Consular.

          The Matricula Consular is a personal identification card issued  
          by the Mexican government through its consulate offices that  
          serves as the official record for its citizens living outside of  
          Mexico.  The Assembly Judiciary Committee's research indicates  
          the Matricula Consular is already recognized by many law  
          enforcement agencies in California for the purpose of providing  
          valid identification.  In 2003, at least 12 counties, 25 cities,  
          and dozens of police and sheriff's departments in California  
          were accepting the Matricula Consular as a form of  
          identification.  (Senate Floor Analysis of AB 25 (Nez), of  
          2003-04, 8/27/2003.)  In fact, according to the informal survey  
          of sheriff's departments cited by the author, at least five  
          sheriff departments in California report that they already  
          accept the Matricula Consular for purposes of obtaining crime  
          records.  In some jurisdictions, the Matricula Consular is also  
          accepted for other local governmental purposes, including, for  
          example, to apply for public utilities and to identify oneself  
          at schools and public libraries as a parent or user.   

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Anthony Lew / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 

          FN: 0001438