BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1513
          Author:   Fox (D)
          Amended:  8/21/14 in Senate
          Vote:     21


           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  6-1, 6/24/14
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, De León, Knight, Liu, Steinberg
          NOES:  Mitchell

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 8/4/14
          AYES:  De León, Walters, Gaines, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  68-3, 5/19/14 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Residential property:  possession by declaration

           SOURCE  :     California Association of Realtors


           DIGEST  :    This bill enacts a three-year pilot project until  
          January 1, 2018, in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in Los  
          Angeles County, and the City of Ukiah in the County of  
          Mendocino, to facilitate enforcement of criminal trespassing  
          laws, as specified.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/21/14 clarify that proof that a  
          person is authorized to occupy a residence includes written  
          authorization or other evidence showing possession; make the  
          damages payable to persons improperly ejected from property  
          consistent with existing provisions in similar circumstances;  
          and require that law enforcement must give notice that the  
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          occupant's authorization to be in the residence shall be  
          determined in a judicial hearing, as specified.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1.Provides that every person other than a public officer or  
            employee acting within the course and scope of his/her  
            employment in performance of a duty imposed by law, who enters  
            or remains in any noncommercial dwelling house, apartment, or  
            other residential place without consent of the owner, his/her  
            agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof, is guilty  
            of a misdemeanor.

          2.Provides that a former owner of a foreclosed property who  
            holds over and remains in the property after it has been sold  
            through foreclosure may be removed after a three-day notice to  
            quit has been served.

          3.Requires a tenant or subtenant in possession of a rental  
            housing unit under a month-to-month lease or periodic tenancy  
            at the time the property is sold in foreclosure to be given 90  
            days' written notice to quit before the tenant or subtenant  
            may be removed from the property, as prescribed.

          4.Provides that, in an action for unlawful detainer resulting  
            from a foreclosure sale of a rental housing unit, a tenant may  
            file a prejudgment claim of right of possession at any time  
            before judgment or to object to enforcement of a judgment for  
            possession whether or not the tenant was served with the claim  
            of right to possession.

          This bill:

          1.Authorizes the owner of vacant real property, or his/her  
            agent, to register vacant property with the local law  
            enforcement agency using a specified form.

          2.Requires the registration to be signed under penalty of  
            perjury and state that the property is vacant and is not  
            authorized to be occupied by any person.

          3.Requires the registration to include contact information for  

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            the owner and a statement that either local law enforcement or  
            a licensed private security services company has been retained  
            to comply with the inspection and reporting provisions of this  
            section, together with a copy of any agreement or contract to  
            perform those services.

          4.Provides that a property owner, or agent, 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, is caused to vacate the property,  
            for reasonable attorney's fees, special damages not to exceed  
            $2,000, and all damages resulting from the person having to  
            vacate the property.

          5.Requires the owner or owner's agent to immediately notify the  
            law enforcement agency where the property is registered and  
            terminate the registration in the following circumstances:

             A.   Issuance of a written authorization to a person to  
               occupy the property.
             B.   Upon the sale of the vacant property.

          1.Requires the local law enforcement agency or licensed private  
            security services company to inspect the vacant property not  
            less than once every three days and immediately notify the law  
            enforcement agency with which the property is registered if  
            any unauthorized person is found on the property.

          2.Requires the local city council or board of supervisors to  
            establish fees for registering a vacant property with the  
            local law enforcement agency and for the conduct of  
            inspections by the law enforcement agency, including all  
            activities conducted by the law enforcement agency.

          3.Requires the law enforcement agency where the property is  
            registered to respond as soon as practicable and do the  
            following:

             A.   Verify the property was inspected within the last three  
               days and found to be vacant.

             B.   Ascertain the identity of any person found on the  
               property.


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             C.   Require a person found on the property to produce  
               written authorization to be on the property or other  
               evidence demonstrating the person's right to possession.

             D.   Notify any person who does not produce written  
               authorization or other evidence that the owner or owner's  
               agent may seek to obtain a court order, as specified and  
               that the person will be subject to arrest for trespass if  
               the person is subsequently found on the property in  
               violation of that order.

             E.   Verify with the owner or owner's agent that the property  
               is vacant.

          1.Authorizes the owner or owner's agent to file an action for a  
            temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunctive relief  
            against any person who is found on the vacant property not  
            less than 48 hours after than person has been notified.

          2.Provides that a person subject to a TRO or an injunction is  
            subject to arrest and imprisonment for trespass.

          3.Provides that the court may order a hearing on a TRO within  
            three days following service, as specified.

          4.Provides that the provisions apply only to one- to four-unit  
            residences in the Cities of Palmdale and Lancaster in the  
            County of Los Angeles and the City of Ukiah in the County of  
            Mendocino.

          5.Provides that these provisions shall remain in effect until  
            January 1, 2018, unless a later enacted statute deletes or  
            extends that date.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

           Non-reimbursable local enforcement costs, offset to a degree  
            by fine revenue for misdemeanor violations of the provisions  
            of this bill.

           Ongoing non-reimbursable local law enforcement agency costs to  

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            process registrations, conduct inspections, and perform other  
            duties upon notification of trespassing on a property, to be  
            offset by the authority to establish fees for all activities.

           Likely minor one-time state-reimbursable costs (General Fund)  
            for pilot project cities to set up the program and  
            registration system. 

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/22/14)

          California Association of REALTORS (source)
          Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles
          California Mortgage Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          Cities of Eureka and Fairfield
          Contra Costa Association of REALTORS
          Counties of Humboldt and Lake
          Orange County Association of Realtors
          San Diego County Apartment Association
          Santa Barbara Rental Property Association 
          Southwest California Legislative Council

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/22/14)

          California Public Defenders Association
          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
          Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The California Police Chiefs  
          Association states, 
          "Currently in California it can take 30-60 days - sometimes even  
          longer - to evict a squatter.  This is because unlawful detainer  
          procedures are geared towards situations in which a tenant is  
          evicted for failure to pay rent or for an alleged violation of a  
          rental agreement.  In the context of these cases, the 30-60-day  
          timeframe is a reasonable one.  There are currently no statutes,  
          however, to assist with removing squatters from vacant  
          properties.  These situations often involve potential public  
          safety issues, and most assuredly undermine the quality of life  
          in the adjacent neighborhood.  This bill will rectify that  
          situation and provide the needed tools to respond to what has  
          been a steadily increasing problem."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The California Public Defenders  

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          Association writes, "This bill criminalizes the actions of  
          homeless people or squatters, equating such actions to those of  
          someone who intentionally, by use of force or threat of force  
          takes possession of the real property of another.  Many of our  
          indigent clients are homeless and wind up in abandoned and  
          vacant properties.  The[y] can be criminally prosecuted under  
          trespass laws for such behavior.  To further enhance the  
          punishment in the same manner as someone who acts by force and  
          threat of force subjects them to unreasonable punishment for non  
          like behavior as the class of people the statute currently  
          covers."

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  68-3, 5/19/14
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Bigelow, Bloom, Bocanegra,  
            Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian Calderon,  
            Campos, Chau, Chávez, Conway, Cooley, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly,  
            Dickinson, Eggman, Fong, Fox, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Garcia,  
            Gatto, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gorell, Gray, Grove, Hagman,  
            Hall, Harkey, Roger Hernández, Holden, Jones, Jones-Sawyer,  
            Levine, Linder, Logue, Maienschein, Medina, Melendez, Mullin,  
            Muratsuchi, Olsen, Pan, Patterson, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez,  
            Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas,  
            Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski, Wilk, Williams, Yamada,  
            Atkins
          NOES:  Ammiano, Stone, Ting
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Chesbro, Donnelly, Lowenthal, Mansoor,  
            Nazarian, Nestande, John A. Pérez, Skinner, Vacancy


          JG:e  8/22/14   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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