Amended in Senate August 6, 2014

Amended in Senate July 1, 2014

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 527.11 and 527.12 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 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 allow an owner of residential property in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County of Los Angeles or the City of Ukiah in the County of Mendocino, or an agent of the property owner, 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 further allow the property owner, or an agent of the property owner, to file the Declaration of Ownership of Residential Real Property with the local law enforcement agency 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 notifying 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 allow the property owner, or an agent of the property owner, to file an action for a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief against a person who is found on the property not less than 48 hours after that person has been so notified. The bill would provide that a property owner, or an agent of the property owner, who files a declaration that includes false information regarding the right to possess the property is liable to any person who, as a result of the declaration, vacates the property, for damages, as specified. By imposing new duties on local law enforcement agenciesbegin insert,end insert this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

The bill would provide that its provisions apply only tobegin delete one-unit to four-unitend deletebegin insert 1 to 4-unitend insert residences in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County of Los Angeles and the City of Ukiah in the County of Mendocino. This bill would provide that its provisions would be operative until January 1, 2018.

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 and the City of Ukiah in the County of Mendocino.

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 prevent squatting in vacant
6residential real property and to provide a timely and orderly
7procedure for squatters to vacate the premises in lieu of arrest. The
8Legislature also declares this section not to be an abridgment of
9other statutes relating to trespass or civil eviction proceedings.

10

SEC. 2.  

Section 527.11 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure,
11to read:

12

527.11.  

(a) The owner or owner’s agent of vacant real property
13may register the property with the local law enforcement agency
14using the form contained in subdivision (a) of Section 527.12.

15(1) The registration shall be signed under penalty of perjury and
16state that the property is vacant and is not authorized to be occupied
17by any person.

18(2) The registration shall be accompanied with a statement
19providing the name, address, and telephone number at which the
20owner can be contacted within a 24-hour period and a statement
21that either the law enforcement agency or a licensed private security
22services company has been retained to comply with the inspection
23and reporting provisions of this section, together with a copy of
24any agreement or contract to 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 owner or the owner’s agent, immediately upon the sale
12of the vacant property, shall notify the law enforcement agency
13where the property is registered that the property has been sold,
14and to terminate the registration.

15(e) The licensed private security services company or law
16enforcement agency selected by the owner or owner’s agent
17pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:

18(1) Inspect the vacant property not less than once every three
19days.

20(2) Immediately notify the law enforcement agency with which
21the property is registered if any unauthorized person is found on
22the property.

23(f) The law enforcement agency where the property is registered
24shall respond as soon as practicable after being notified pursuant
25to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) that an unauthorized person is
26found on the property. The responding officer shall do all of the
27following:

28(1) Verify that the property was inspected within the last three
29days pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) and found to be
30vacant.

31(2) Ascertain the identity of any person who is found on the
32property.

33(3) Require a person who is found on the property to produce
34written authorization to be on the property.

35(4) Notify any person who does not produce written
36authorization pursuant to paragraph (3) that he or she has 48 hours
37to obtain written authorization from the owner of the property, or
38the owner’s agent, to be on the property, and that the person will
39be subject to arrest for trespass if the person is subsequently found
40on the property without that authorization.

P5    1(5) Verify with the owner or the owner’s agent that the property
2is vacant.

3(g)  (1) The owner or owner’s agent of vacant real property
4may file an action for a temporary restraining order and injunctive
5relief against any person who is found on the vacant property not
6less than 48 hours after that person has been notified pursuant to
7paragraph (4) of subdivision (f). A person subject to a temporary
8restraining order or an injunction obtained pursuant to this
9subdivision is subject to arrest and imprisonment for trespass
10pursuant to Section 602.5 of the Penal Code for failing to vacate
11the property pursuant to the temporary restraining order or
12injunction and for civil contempt for violating a court order.

13(2) The summons and complaint in an action brought pursuant
14to this subdivision may be served personally or by posting a copy
15of the summons and complaint at a prominent location on the
16property and mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the
17property’s address. Posting and mailing a copy of the summons
18and complaint shall be sufficient service even if the mailed copy
19is returned as undeliverable if the owner or owner’s agent has proof
20of the mailing.

21(3) The court may order a hearing on a temporary restraining
22order within three days following service of the summons and
23complaint. The date, time, and location of the hearing may be
24included with the summons and complaint or may be separately
25served on any person occupying the property in the manner set out
26in paragraph (2).

27(4) The court may include in any temporary restraining order
28granted pursuant to this subdivision an order directing that the
29property be vacated in not less than 48 hours. The order may be
30enforced by the local law enforcement agency where the property
31is registered or the county sheriff.

32(5) The disposition of any personal property of a person subject
33to a temporary restraining order or an injunction pursuant to this
34subdivision shall be governed by the procedures set forth in Chapter
355 (commencing with Section 1980) of Title 5 of Part 4 of Division
363 of Civil Code. The person subject to the temporary restraining
37order or injunction shall be deemed to be a former tenant of the
38property for purposes of the disposition of personal property only.

P6    1(h) This section shall not be construed to limit an owner from
2seeking other legal remedies to have a person removed from the
3vacant property pursuant to any other law.

4(i) A temporary restraining order or injunction ordering a person
5to vacate and remove personal property pursuant to this section
6shall not constitute a forcible entry under the provisions of Section
71159 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

8(j) The local city council or board of supervisors shall establish
9fees for registering a vacant property with the local law
10enforcement agency and for the conduct of inspections by the law
11enforcement agency pursuant to this sectionbegin insert, including all activities
12conducted by the law enforcement agency pursuant to subdivision
13(f)end insert
.

14(k) This section applies only tobegin delete one-unitend deletebegin insert oneend insertbegin insert-end insert to four-unit
15residences in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County
16of Los Angeles and the City of Ukiah in the County of Mendocino.

17(l) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018,
18and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
19is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

20

SEC. 3.  

Section 527.12 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure,
21to read:

22

527.12.  

(a) A property owner, or an agent of the property
23owner, may execute a “Declaration of Ownership” that includes
24language substantially similar to the language below and file it
25with the local law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction in which
26the property is located. If the property owner, or the agent of the
27property owner, files the declaration with the local law enforcement
28agency, he or she shall also post the declaration on the unoccupied
29residential property listed in the declaration.

30
31“DECLARATION OF OWNERSHIP OF RESIDENTIAL REAL
32PROPERTY

33

34I, ____________________, declare and state: I make this
35declaration based upon my own personal knowledge.

361. I am the owner___, or the agent of the owner___(check one),
37of the residential property located at _____________________,
38California (“Property”).

P7    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 advisebegin delete thelocalend deletebegin insert the localend insert law enforcement agency if
19there is any change in the status of the Property and an occupancy
20is authorized by me or my agent.

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

24EXECUTED on _________________________________, at
25_______________________, California”

26(b) Notwithstanding Section 47 of the Civil Code, a property
27owner, or agent thereof, who files a declaration pursuant to this
28section that includes false information regarding the right to possess
29the property is liable to any person who, as a result of the
30declaration, is caused to vacate the property, for all damages
31 resulting from the person having to vacate the property.

32(c) This section applies only tobegin delete one-unitend deletebegin insert oneend insertbegin insert-end insert to four-unit
33residences in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the County
34of Los Angeles and the City of Ukiah in the County of Mendocino.

35(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018,
36and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
37is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

38

SEC. 4.  

The Legislature finds and declares that a special law
39is necessary and that a general law cannot be made applicable
40within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California
P8    1Constitution because of the unique circumstances in the Cities of
2Palmdale and Lancaster in thebegin delete Countryend deletebegin insert Countyend insert of Los Angeles
3and the City of Ukiah in the County of Mendocino,begin delete,end delete it is first
4necessary to establish this program in a limited setting to analyze
5its effectiveness before considering an extension to other local
6jurisdictions.

7

SEC. 5.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
8Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain
9costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
10because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction,
11eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
12or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
13Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
14meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
15Constitution.

16However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that
17this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
18to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
19pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
204 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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