Amended in Assembly May 6, 2014

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 add and repeal Sections 602.55 and 602.56 of the Penal Code, 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.

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

This bill would,begin delete onlyend delete until January 1, 2018, allow a property owner, or an agent of the property owner,begin insert of residential property in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County of Los Angeles,end insert to register vacant real property with the local law enforcement agency and to execute, under penalty of perjury, a Declaration of Ownership of Residential Real Property. 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,begin insert of residential property in the Cities of Palmdale or Lancaster in the County of Los Angeles,end insert to file the Declaration of Ownership of Residential Real Property with the district attorney of the jurisdiction in which the property is located. The bill would require the property owner to post the filed declaration on the property listed in the declaration. 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 notifiedbegin insert is guilty of trespassend insert andbegin insert, ifend insert convictedbegin delete of trespassend deletebegin insert,end insert 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.begin delete 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 delete By imposing new duties on local law enforcement agencies and by expanding the scope of the crime of trespass this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

The bill would provide that its provisions apply only to one-unit to four-unit residencesbegin insert in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County of Los Angelesend insert.

begin insert

This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County of Los Angeles.

end insert

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    1

SECTION 1.  

The 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.

10

SEC. 2.  

Section 602.55 is added to the Penal Code, immediately
11following Section 602.5, to read:

12

602.55.  

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend 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.

begin delete

15 15(a)

end delete

16begin insert(1)end insert The registration shall be signed under penalty of perjury and
17begin delete include:end delete

18begin delete(1)end deletebegin deleteend deletebegin deleteA statementend deletebegin insert stateend insert that the property is vacant and is not
19authorized to be occupied by any person.

20(2) Thebegin insert registration shall be accompanied with a statement
21providing theend insert
name, address, and telephone number at which the
22owner can be contacted within a 24-hourbegin delete period.end delete

23begin delete(3)end deletebegin deleteend deletebegin deleteAend deletebegin insert period and aend insert statement that either the law enforcement
24agency or a licensed private security services company has been
25retained to comply with the inspection and reporting provisions
26of this section, together with a copy of any agreement or contract
27to perform those services.

P4    1(b) The owner or the owner’s agent shall register the vacant
2property no later than three days after the owner or owner’s agent
3learns that the property is vacant.

4(c) The owner or owner’s agent, immediately after authorizing
5a person to occupy the vacant property, shall do both of the
6following:

7(1) Issue a written authorization to the person authorized to
8occupy the property.

9(2) Notify the law enforcement agency where the property is
10registered and terminate the registration.

11(d) The licensed private security services company or law
12 enforcement agency selected by the owner or owner’s agent
13pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:

14(1) Inspect the vacant property not less than once every three
15days.

16(2) Immediately notify the law enforcement agency with which
17the property is registered if any unauthorized person is found on
18the property.

19(e) The law enforcement agency where the property is registered
20shall respond as soon as practicable after being notified pursuant
21to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) that an unauthorized person is
22found on the property. The responding officer shall do all of the
23following:

24(1) Verify that the property was inspected within the last three
25days pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and found to be
26vacant.

27(2) Ascertain the identity of any person who is found on the
28property.

29(3) Require a person who is found on the property to produce
30written authorization to be on the property.

31(4) Advise any person who does not produce written
32authorization pursuant to paragraph (3) that he or she has 48 hours
33to obtain written authorization from the owner of the property, or
34the owner’s agent, to be on the property, and that the person will
35be subject to arrest for trespass if the person is subsequently found
36on the property without that authorization.

37(5) Verify with the owner or the owner’s agent that the property
38is vacant.

39(f) Any person who is found on a vacant property not less than
4048 hours after being notified as provided in paragraph (4) of
P5    1subdivision (e) is guilty of trespass and, upon conviction, is subject
2to imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a
3fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

begin delete

4(g) The procedures set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with
5Section 1980) of Title 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code
6govern the disposition of any personal property remaining on the
7vacant property following the arrest for trespass pursuant to this
8section of a person who owns the personal property. For purposes
9of applying those procedures, a person who is arrested for trespass
10shall be deemed to be a former tenant of the property.

end delete
begin delete

3 11(h)

end delete

12begin insert(g)end insert This section shall not be construed to limitbegin delete the owner’s rightend delete
13begin insert an owner from seeking other legal remediesend insert to have a person
14removed from the vacant property pursuant to any other law.

begin delete

6 15(i)

end delete

16begin insert(h)end insert The arrest of a person and removal of personal property
17pursuant to the provisions of this section is not a forcible entry
18under the provisions of Section 1159 of the Code of Civil
19begin delete Procedure and shall not be a basis for civil liability under that
20section.end delete
begin insert Procedure.end insert

begin delete

10 21(j)

end delete

22begin insert(i)end insert The local city council or board of supervisors shall establish
23fees for registering a vacant property with the local law
24enforcement agency and for the conduct of inspections by the law
25enforcement agency pursuant to this section.

begin insert

26(j) This section shall apply only to one-unit to four-unit
27residences in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County
28of Los Angeles.

end insert

29(k) 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.

32

SEC. 3.  

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

33

602.56.  

(a) A property owner, or an agent of the property
34owner, may execute a “Declaration of Ownership” that includes
35language substantially similar to the language below and file it
36with the district attorney of the jurisdiction in which the property
37is located. If the property owner, or the agent of the property owner,
38files the declaration with the district attorney, he or she shall also
39post the declaration on the unoccupied residential property listed
40in the declaration.

P6    1
2“DECLARATION OF OWNERSHIP OF RESIDENTIAL REAL
3PROPERTY

4

5I, ____________________, declare and state: I make this
6declaration based upon my own personal knowledge.

71. I am the owner___, or the agent of the owner___(check one),
8of the residential property located at _____________________,
9California (“Property”).

102. Submitted with this declaration, and incorporated herein by
11reference, is a true and correct copy of the deed by which I obtained
12ownership of the Property.

133. Since obtaining ownership of the Property, no ownership
14interest in the Property has been conveyed or transferred to any
15other person or entity.

164. At the time of obtaining ownership of the Property, no person
17was occupying the Property and no ownership interest or right of
18possession in the Property has been conveyed or transferred to any
19other person or entity.

205. As of the present date, there are no persons authorized by me
21or my agent to reside within the Property. Any persons residing
22on this Property are doing so without any express or implied
23authorization from me or my agent.

246. I have not entered into any form of lease arrangement, rental
25agreement, or given any consent whatsoever to any persons to
26reside within the Property.

277. I will advise the district attorney if there is any change in the
28status of the Property and an occupancy is authorized by me or
29my agent.

308. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true
31and correct.
32

33EXECUTED on _________________________________, at
34_______________________, California”

35(b) This section shallbegin delete only applyend deletebegin insert apply onlyend insert to one-unit to
36four-unit residencesbegin insert in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in
37the County of Los Angelesend insert
.

38(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018,
39and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
40is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

P7    1begin insert

begin insertSEC. 4.end insert  

end insert
begin insert

The Legislature finds and declares that a special law
2is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable
3within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California
4Constitution because of the unique circumstances in the Cities of
5Palmdale and Lancaster in the Country of Los Angeles, it is first
6necessary to establish this program in a limited setting to analyze
7its effectiveness before considering an extension to other local
8jurisdictions.

end insert
9

begin deleteSEC. 4.end delete
10begin insertSEC. 5.end insert  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
11Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain
12costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
13because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction,
14eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
15or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
16Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
17meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
18Constitution.

19However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that
20this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
21to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
22pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
234 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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