Amended in Assembly April 24, 2014

Amended in Assembly April 8, 2014

Amended in Assembly March 17, 2014

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1513


Introduced by Assembly Member Fox

January 15, 2014


An act to addbegin delete Sections 1944.1, 1944.2, 1944.3, and 1944.4 to the Civil Code,end deletebegin insert and repeal Sections 602.55 and 602.56 ofend insertbegin insert the Penal Code,end insert relating to residential property.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1513, as amended, Fox. Residential property: possession by declaration.

Existing law allows a plaintiff, upon motion, to have immediate possession of the premises of a manufactured home, mobilehome, or real property by a writ of possession issued by a court and directed to the sheriff of the county or marshal, for execution, where it appears to the satisfaction of the court, after a hearing on the motion, from the verified complaint and from any affidavits filed or oral testimony given by or on behalf of the parties, that the defendant resides out of state, has departed from the state, cannot, after due diligence, be found within the state, or has concealed himself or herself to avoid the service of summons.

begin insert

Existing law provides that every person who willfully commits a trespass is guilty of a misdemeanor.

end insert

This bill wouldbegin insert, only until January 1, 2018,end insert allow a property owner, or an agent of the property owner, tobegin insert register vacant real property with the local law enforcement agency and toend insert execute, under penalty of perjury, a Declaration of Ownership of Residentialbegin delete property or an Unauthorized Occupant Declarationend deletebegin insert Real Propertyend insert. By expanding the scope of the crime of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would allow a property owner, or an agent of the property owner, to file the Declaration of Ownership of Residentialbegin delete property or Unauthorized Occupant Declarationend deletebegin insert Real Propertyend insert with the district attorney of the jurisdiction in which the property isbegin delete located and to submit either declaration to a local law enforcement agency. The bill would require a local law enforcement agency to enforce the declaration as an order for immediate possession of the premises, as specifiedend deletebegin insert locatedend insert. The bill would requirebegin delete a sheriffend deletebegin insert the property ownerend insert to post thebegin insert filedend insert declaration on the property listed in the declaration.begin insert The bill would require the local law enforcement agency with which the property is registered to respond as soon as practicable after being notified that an unauthorized person has been found on the property and take specified action, including requiring a person who is found on the property to produce written authorization to be on the property, and advising any person who does not produce that authorization that he or she has 48 hours to obtain it, and is subject to arrest for trespass if he or she is subsequently found on the property without it. The bill would provide that a person who is found on the property not less than 48 hours after being so notified and convicted of trespass is subject to imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both that imprisonment and fine. The bill would also set forth procedures governing the disposition of personal property remaining on the real property following the arrest of a person for trespass.end insert By imposing new duties on localbegin insert law enforcementend insert agenciesbegin insert and by expanding the scope of the crime of trespassend insert this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

The bill would provide that its provisions apply only to one-unit to four-unit residences.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertThe Legislature finds and declares that the
2practice of squatting on vacant property is a public nuisance and
3is detrimental to the health, safety, and economy of local
4communities and to the rights of real property owners. The intent
5of this section is to provide a means to deter squatting at an early
6stage and to provide a second chance for squatters to vacate the
7premises in lieu of arrest. The Legislature also declares this section
8not to be an abridgment of other statutes relating to trespass or
9civil eviction proceedings.end insert

10begin insert

begin insertSEC. end insertbegin insert2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 602.55 is added to the end insertbegin insertPenal Codeend insertbegin insert, end insertimmediately
11following Section 602.5begin insert, to read:end insert

begin insert
12

begin insert602.55.end insert  

The owner or owner’s agent of vacant real property
13may register the property with the local law enforcement agency
14utilizing the form contained in subdivision (a) of Section 602.56.

15(a) The registration shall be signed under penalty of perjury
16and include:

17(1) A statement that the property is vacant and is not authorized
18to be occupied by any person.

19(2) The name, address, and telephone number at which the
20owner can be contacted within a 24-hour period.

21(3) A statement that either the law enforcement agency or a
22licensed private security services company has been retained to
23comply with the inspection and reporting provisions of this section,
24together with a copy of any agreement or contract to perform those
25services.

26(b) The owner or the owner’s agent shall register the vacant
27property no later than three days after the owner or owner’s agent
28learns that the property is vacant.

29(c) The owner or owner’s agent, immediately after authorizing
30a person to occupy the vacant property, shall do both of the
31following:

32(1) Issue a written authorization to the person authorized to
33occupy the property.

P4    1(2) Notify the law enforcement agency where the property is
2registered and terminate the registration.

3(d) The licensed private security services company or law
4 enforcement agency selected by the owner or owner’s agent
5pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:

6(1) Inspect the vacant property not less than once every three
7days.

8(2) Immediately notify the law enforcement agency with which
9the property is registered if any unauthorized person is found on
10the property.

11(e) The law enforcement agency where the property is registered
12shall respond as soon as practicable after being notified pursuant
13to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) that an unauthorized person
14is found on the property. The responding officer shall do all of the
15following:

16(1) Verify that the property was inspected within the last three
17days pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and found to be
18vacant.

19(2) Ascertain the identity of any person who is found on the
20property.

21(3) Require a person who is found on the property to produce
22written authorization to be on the property.

23(4) Advise any person who does not produce written
24authorization pursuant to paragraph (3) that he or she has 48
25hours to obtain written authorization from the owner of the
26property, or the owner’s agent, to be on the property, and that the
27person will be subject to arrest for trespass if the person is
28subsequently found on the property without that authorization.

29(5) Verify with the owner or the owner’s agent that the property
30is vacant.

31(f) Any person who is found on a vacant property not less than
3248 hours after being notified as provided in paragraph (4) of
33subdivision (e) is guilty of trespass and, upon conviction, is subject
34to imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a
35fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

36(g) The procedures set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with
37Section 1980) of Title 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code
38govern the disposition of any personal property remaining on the
39vacant property following the arrest for trespass pursuant to this
40section of a person who owns the personal property. For purposes
P5    1of applying those procedures, a person who is arrested for trespass
2shall be deemed to be a former tenant of the property.

3(h) This section shall not be construed to limit the owner’s right
4to have a person removed from the vacant property pursuant to
5any other law.

6(i) The arrest of a person and removal of personal property
7pursuant to the provisions of this section is not a forcible entry
8under the provisions of Section 1159 of the Code of Civil Procedure
9and shall not be a basis for civil liability under that section.

10(j) The local city council or board of supervisors shall establish
11fees for registering a vacant property with the local law
12enforcement agency and for the conduct of inspections by the law
13enforcement agency pursuant to this section.

14(k) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018,
15and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
16is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

end insert
begin delete
17

SECTION 1.  

Section 1944.1 is added to theCivil Code, to read:

18

1944.1.  

end delete
19begin insert

begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

end insert
begin insert

Section 602.56 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

end insert
20begin insert

begin insert602.56.end insert  

end insert

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertA property owner, or an agent of the property
21owner, end insert
may execute a “Declaration of Ownership” that includes
22language substantially similar to the language below and file it
23with the district attorney of the jurisdiction in which the property
24is located. If the property owner, or the agent of the property owner,
25files the declaration with the district attorney, he or she shall also
26post the declaration on the unoccupied residential property listed
27in the declaration.begin delete The property owner, or the agent of the property
28owner, may also submit the declaration to a local law enforcement
29agency that shall enforce the declaration as an order for immediate
30possession of the premises.end delete


32“DECLARATION OF OWNERSHIP OF RESIDENTIAL REAL
33PROPERTY

34

35I, ____________________, declare and state: I make this
36declaration based upon my own personal knowledge.

371. I am the owner___, or the agent of the owner___(check one),
38of the residential property located at _____________________,
39California (“Property”).

P6    12. Submitted with this declaration, and incorporated herein by
2reference, is a true and correct copy of the deed by which I obtained
3ownership of the Property.

43. Since obtaining ownership of the Property, no ownership
5interest in the Property has been conveyed or transferred to any
6other person or entity.

74. At the time of obtaining ownership of the Property, no person
8was occupying the Property and no ownership interest or right of
9possession in the Property has been conveyed or transferred to any
10other person or entity.

115. As of the present date, there are no persons authorized by me
12or my agent to reside within the Property. Any persons residing
13on this Property are doing so without any express or implied
14authorization from me or my agent.

156. I have not entered into any form of lease arrangement, rental
16agreement, or given any consent whatsoever to any persons to
17reside within the Property.

187. I will advise the district attorney if there is any change in the
19status of the Property and an occupancy is authorized by me or
20my agent.

218. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
22and correct.
23

24EXECUTED on _________________________________, at
25_______________________, California”
begin insertend insert
26

begin insert

27(b) This section shall only apply to one-unit to four-unit
28residences.

end insert
begin insert

29(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018,
30and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
31is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

end insert
begin delete
32

SEC. 2.  

Section 1944.2 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

33

1944.2.  

may execute an “Unauthorized Occupant Declaration”
34that includes language substantially similar to the language below
35and file it with the district attorney of the jurisdiction in which the
36property is located. The property owner, or the agent of the property
37owner, may also submit the declaration to a local law enforcement
38agency that shall enforce the declaration as an order for immediate
39possession of the premises.
40


P7    1“UNAUTHORIZED OCCUPANT DECLARATION
2

3I, ____________________, declare and state: I make this
4declaration based upon my own personal knowledge.

51. I am the owner___, or the agent of the owner___ (check one),
6of the residential property located at _____________________,
7California (“Property”).

82. Submitted with this Declaration, and incorporated herein by
9reference, is a true and correct copy of the deed by which I obtained
10ownership of the Property.

113. At the time of obtaining ownership of the Property, no person
12was occupying the Property and no ownership interest or right of
13possession in the Property has been conveyed or transferred to any
14other person or entity.

154. I have never entered into any form of lease arrangement,
16rental agreement, or given any consent whatsoever to the persons
17(“Subject Persons”) to reside within the Property.

185. As of the present date, there are Subject Persons present
19within, and asserting possession of, the Property.

206. The Subject Persons are residing within the Property without
21my consent and are unknown to me.

227. I have requested the Subject Persons to remove themselves
23and their personal property from the Property on the following
24 occasion(s) and in the following manner:
25_________________________.

268. Notwithstanding the efforts described above, the Subject
27Persons have refused to vacate the Property and to remove their
28personal property from the Property.

299. I have been advised and understand that Section 148.5 of the
30Penal Code makes it a crime to falsely report a misdemeanor or
31felony to a peace officer and that I will be committing a crime
32under that section if the statements made within this declaration
33are known to be false.

3410. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
35and correct.
36

37EXECUTED on _____________________________________,
38at _______________________, California”

39

SEC. 3.  

Section 1944.3 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

P8    1

1944.3.  

A declaration provided to a district attorney pursuant
2to Section 1944.1 or 1944.2 shall be posted by the sheriff on the
3property listed in the declaration.

4

SEC. 4.  

Section 1944.4 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

5

1944.4.  

Sections 1944.1 to 1944.3, inclusive, apply only to
6one-unit to four-unit residences.

end delete
7

begin deleteSEC. 5.end delete
8begin insertSEC. 4.end insert  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
9Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain
10costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
11because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction,
12eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
13or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
14Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
15meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
16Constitution.

17However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that
18this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
19to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
20pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
214 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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