BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                         Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair
                              2013-2014 Regular Session


          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          As Amended March 28, 2014
          Hearing Date: June 24, 2014
          Fiscal: Yes
          Urgency: Yes
          TH   
                    

                                        SUBJECT
                                           
            Unlawful Detainer: Nuisance: Unlawful Weapons and Ammunition

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          This bill would reauthorize a lapsed pilot program allowing city  
          attorneys or city prosecutors in specified cities to evict a  
          tenant for unlawful activities relating to weapons or ammunition  
          on real property.

                                      BACKGROUND  

          In 1988, the Legislature passed and Governor Deukmejian signed  
          AB 1384 (Havice, Ch. 613, Stats. 1998) to create a pilot project  
          within five former Los Angeles Municipal Court districts to  
          allow city attorneys and district attorneys to seek the eviction  
          of any person who is in violation of particular nuisance or  
          controlled substance laws.  The pilot project became effective  
          on January 1, 1999, for a three-year trial period.   
          Participating cities were required to collect specified data on  
          their experiences under the pilot program and transmit that data  
          to Judicial Council.  A required Judicial Council report, issued  
          on January 31, 2001, was unable to provide a full evaluation of  
          the merits of the pilot program due to insufficient data.  (See  
          Unlawful Detainer Pilot Project Report (Feb. 2001)  
            
          (as of Jun. 14, 2014).)

          AB 815 (Havice, Ch. 431, Stats. 2001) was enacted in 2001 to add  
          additional cities to the pilot program and to extend the program  
          for three additional years.  The bill also modified the program  
          to expressly allow courts to order "partial evictions" to allow  
                                                                (more)



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 2 of ?



          other tenants to maintain possession of a premises if the target  
          of an unlawful detainer eviction had permanently vacated the  
          premises.  A required Judicial Council report, issued on April  
          22, 2004, could not fully evaluate the program again due to  
          insufficient data, but observed:

            The ultimate evidence of the programs' success is the creation  
            of a safer environment and improved quality of life for  
            lawabiding tenants through the removal of offending tenants  
            from the community. . . . Beyond anecdotal evidence provided  
            by the pilot programs, however, no data are available to  
            assess the impacts of the programs on safety and quality of  
            life in this regard.  (Unlawful Detainer Pilot Program Report  
            (Apr. 2004)  
             (as of Jun. 14, 2014).)

          In 2004, AB 2523 (Frommer, Ch. 304, Stats. 2004) further  
          extended the unlawful detainer pilot program to January 1, 2010,  
          and augmented the reporting requirements for participating  
          jurisdictions.  The bill also required two additional Judicial  
          Council reports to the Senate and Assembly Committees on  
          Judiciary summarizing the collected information and evaluating  
          the merits of the pilot program.  A 2007 Judicial Council report  
          again could not fully evaluate the program, noting "[e]valuation  
          of the merits of the pilot program is necessarily limited by the  
          data received from the participating pilot cities."  (Unlawful  
          Detainer Pilot Program Report (Apr. 2007)  
           (as of Jun. 14,  
          2014).)

          In 2007, AB 1013 (Krekorian, Ch. 456, Stats. 2007) was enacted  
          to create a similar pilot program to allow city attorneys and  
          prosecutors to seek the eviction of tenants who violated  
          specified weapons and ammunitions offenses while in rental  
          property.  This program, which was to sunset on January 1, 2010,  
          was extended four years along with the nuisance and controlled  
          substance pilot program by AB 530 (Krekorian, Ch. 244, Stats.  
          2009).  AB 530 added the City of Sacramento to the controlled  
          substances pilot program, and exempted the City of Los Angeles  
          from the sunset date of the controlled substances program,  
          thereby extending the program indefinitely for that city.  AB  
          530 made additional changes to the eviction notice and reporting  
          requirements of both pilot programs.  A 2009 Judicial Council  
          report again could not fully evaluate the merits of the program,  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 3 of ?



          noting the failure of participating jurisdictions to  
          consistently report required data.  (Unlawful Detainer Pilot  
          Program Report (Apr. 2009)  (as of  
          Jun. 14, 2014).)  

          As part of the changes to the pilot programs' reporting  
          requirements, AB 530 directed participating jurisdictions to  
          report specific information to the California Research Bureau  
          (CRB) for analysis.  The most recent report from CRB noted,  
          nonetheless, that "[c]urrent reporting requirements and  
          practices make it difficult to assess the overall merits of the  
          [unlawful detainer] pilot programs."  (Lindsey,  
          City-Attorney-Sponsored Unlawful Detainer in California Part I:  
          Mandated Information 2013 Report to the Legislature (April 2013)  
           (as of June 14,  
          2014).)

          This bill would reauthorize the now lapsed pilot program that  
          allows city prosecutors or city attorneys in the Cities of Los  
          Angeles, Long Beach, and Sacramento to file an unlawful detainer  
          action in the name of the people to abate nuisances caused by  
          illegal conduct involving unlawful weapons or ammunition.  This  
          bill would require participating jurisdictions to report  
          specified information to the California Research Bureau relating  
          to the jurisdiction's use of the pilot program, and would  
          provide that the pilot program shall sunset on January 1, 2019.

                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
           Existing law  provides that a tenant who maintains, commits, or  
          permits a nuisance upon a premises or uses a premises for an  
          unlawful purpose is subject to eviction pursuant to an unlawful  
          detainer action.  Under existing law, a person who illegally  
          possesses certain firearms or ammunition on the premises, or who  
          illegally possesses or sells a controlled substance on the  
          premises, or who uses the premises to further either purpose, as  
          defined, is deemed to have committed a nuisance upon the  
          premises and is guilty of unlawful detainer.  (Code Civ. Proc.  
          Sec. 1161(4).)

           Existing law  provides that anything which is injurious to  
          health, including, but not limited to, the illegal sale of  
          controlled substances, or is indecent or offensive to the  
          senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to  
          interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, or  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 4 of ?



          unlawfully obstructs the free passage or use, in the customary  
          manner, of any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, canal, or  
          basin, or any public park, square, street, or highway, is a  
          nuisance.  (Civ. Code Sec. 3479.)

           Existing law  provides that every building or place used by  
          members of a criminal street gang for the purpose of, among  
          other things, the commission of any offense involving dangerous  
          or deadly weapons, and every building or place wherein or upon  
          which that criminal conduct by gang members takes place, is a  
          nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented, and for  
          which damages may be recovered, whether it is a public or  
          private nuisance.  (Pen. Code Sec. 186.22a.)

           This bill  would reenact a pilot program authorizing a city  
          prosecutor or city attorney to file, in the name of the people,  
          an action for unlawful detainer against a tenant to abate a  
          nuisance caused by illegal conduct involving unlawful weapons or  
          ammunition on real property, as provided.

           This bill  would provide that such an unlawful detainer action  
          shall be based upon an arrest report or other report by a law  
          enforcement agency, reporting an offense committed on the  
          property and documented by the observations of a police officer.

           This bill  would state that prior to filing an unlawful detainer  
          action, the city prosecutor or city attorney shall give 30  
          calendar days' written notice to the owner, requiring the owner  
          to file an action for the removal of the person who is creating  
          the nuisance, and shall include sufficient documentation  
          establishing the nuisance.  This bill would also require the  
          city prosecutor or city attorney to provide a specified written  
          notice to the tenant allegedly creating the nuisance 30 calendar  
          days prior to filing an unlawful detainer action.

           This bill  would provide that an owner shall, within 30 calendar  
          days of the mailing of the written notice, either provide the  
          city prosecutor or city attorney with all relevant information  
          pertaining to the unlawful detainer case, or provide a written  
          explanation setting forth any safety-related reasons for  
          noncompliance, and an assignment to the city prosecutor or city  
          attorney of the right to bring an unlawful detainer action  
          against the tenant.  The assignment shall be on a form provided  
          by the city prosecutor or city attorney and may contain a  
          provision for costs of investigation, discovery, and reasonable  
          attorney's fees, in an amount not to exceed six hundred dollars  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 5 of ?



          ($600).

           This bill  would provide that upon the failure of an owner to  
          file the unlawful detainer action, or to respond to the city  
          prosecutor or city attorney as required, or having filed an  
          action, if the owner fails to prosecute it diligently and in  
          good faith, the city prosecutor or city attorney may file and  
          prosecute the action, and join the owner as a defendant in the  
          action.  This bill would also provide that if a jury or court  
          finds the defendant tenant guilty of unlawful detainer, the city  
          prosecutor or city attorney may be awarded costs, including the  
          costs of investigation and discovery and reasonable attorney's  
          fees, assessed against the defendant owner.

           This bill  would state that in an unlawful detainer proceeding, a  
          court may issue a partial eviction ordering the removal of any  
          person, including, but not limited to, members of the tenant's  
          household if the court finds that the person has created a  
          nuisance, as specified.  Persons removed pursuant to this  
          provision may be permanently barred from returning to or  
          reentering any portion of the premises, and the court may  
          further order as an express condition of the tenancy that the  
          remaining tenants shall not give permission or invite the person  
          who has been removed to return to or reenter any portion of the  
          premises.

           This bill  would specify that the authority to bring an action  
          for unlawful detainer under this program shall only apply to the  
          City of Los Angeles, the City of Long Beach, and the City of  
          Sacramento.

           This bill  would require participating jurisdictions to transmit  
          specified information to the California Research Bureau  
          regarding their use of this program.  This bill would require  
          the California Research Bureau to report to the Senate and  
          Assembly Committees on Judiciary on the use of this program by  
          participating jurisdictions, as specified.

           This bill  would provide that authority to bring an action for  
          unlawful detainer under this program shall sunset on January 1,  
          2019.
          




                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 6 of ?




                                        COMMENT
           
          1.  Stated need for the bill  
          
          The author writes:

            This bill would reenact recently sunsetted provisions of  
            [Civil] [C]ode [Section] 3485 authorizing a city prosecutor or  
            city attorney in specified cities to file an action for  
            unlawful detainer to abate a nuisance caused by illegal  
            conduct involving . . . unlawful weapons or ammunition. . . .  
            The California Research Bureau has issued two reports on the  
            unlawful detainer pilot program (including drug based unlawful  
            detainers as detailed in Civil Code [S]ection 3486) [and]  
            found that a potential benefit is that evicting a nuisance  
            tenant from [a] community may decrease the number of times  
            residents call city police to the area and the costs  
            associated with answering those calls.
            . . .
            Part of the need for the bill is that property owners are  
            frequently unaware that their tenants have committed crimes on  
            the premises.  [Before sunsetting in 2014,] Section 3485 of  
            the Civil Code provided for . . . notification by the city  
            attorney to the property owner advising of a weapon or  
            ammunition related crime committed on the premises and  
            require[ed] the property owner to evict the tenant.  The  
            tenant is also notified, thereby decreasing the chances of  
            retaliation against the property owner. . . . Assembly Bill  
            2310 would reinstate the authority and use of partial  
            evictions as a valuable tool to make communities safer.   
            Criminals should not be allowed to paralyze neighborhoods and  
            communities.

          2.  Unlawful detainer process under the pilot program  

          Under this renewed pilot program, a city attorney or city  
          prosecutor would be authorized to file an unlawful detainer  
          action against a tenant for creating a nuisance on a property by  
          using or allowing the premises to be used for illegal conduct  
          involving unlawful weapons or ammunition.  The city's action  
          would be predicated on its belief that a specified offense has  
          occurred on the subject real property based upon an arrest  
          report or other law enforcement report.

          In any unlawful detainer action brought by the city prosecutor  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 7 of ?



          or city attorney under the pilot program, the public prosecutor  
          must first give 30-calendar days' written notice documenting the  
          alleged nuisance or illegal activity to the landlord and the  
          offending tenant.  This notice is designed to give the landlord  
          the first opportunity to file an unlawful detainer action  
          against the offending tenant.  The landlord may then either file  
          the action or assign the right to bring the unlawful detainer  
          action to the public prosecutor.  If the landlord fails to file  
          an unlawful detainer action, or fails to prosecute such an  
          action diligently and in good faith, the city attorney or city  
          prosecutor may file the action and may join both the landlord  
          and the offending tenant as co-defendants.

          If a defendant tenant is found guilty of unlawful detainer, an  
          eviction order is entered and the tenant's right to possession  
          is declared forfeited.  However, the court hearing the unlawful  
          detainer action may issue a partial eviction ordering removal  
          only of the offending tenant and permitting other tenants who  
          have not violated the law to remain.  Tenants who are evicted  
          from the property "may be permanently barred from returning to  
          or reentering any portion of the entire premises."  In addition,  
          the court may order that the remaining tenants, as an express  
          condition of the tenancy, not give permission to or invite any  
          person who has been evicted to return to or reenter any portion  
          of the entire premises.  This ability to obtain a partial  
          eviction order is considered a key provision of the pilot  
          program because it allows law-abiding tenants to not be evicted  
          for the deeds of co-tenants or of family members.  Partial  
          evictions are seen as a more equitable and balanced response to  
          a nuisance problem.  In its absence, a total eviction would  
          punish innocent tenants who are often family members, causing  
          disruption and upheaval especially when there are young children  
          involved, or when grandparents or relatives have become  
          caretaker parents of others.

          3.    Oversight and control  

          It is undisputed that renewing the unlawful detainer pilot  
          program would offer participating jurisdictions a potentially  
          valuable public safety tool for combatting illegal firearms and  
          firearm related activity.  As the City of Sacramento notes:

            The proliferation of weapons, particularly in residential  
            areas, is of major concern to the City of Sacramento, and  
            cities throughout the state, because of its devastating and  
            destructive impacts on neighborhoods.  Illegal drug activity  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 8 of ?



            is inextricably linked with gang violence as dealers protect  
            their turf with firearms and landlords are often afraid to  
            evict tenants because of credible threats of retaliation by  
            gang members. . . . Illegal gun activity is also linked to  
            drug dealing and abuse causing neighborhood blight as  
            law-abiding residents, fearful for their safety, abandon their  
            neighborhood.  This domino effect leads to more [quality] of  
            life crimes as criminals continue to expand their turf. . . .  
            By allowing City Attorneys to evict tenants engaged in  
            gun-related crimes AB 2310 will serve to protect other tenants  
            living in the same apartment complex or residential home.   
            City Attorneys will step into the shoes of landlords unable or  
            unwilling to evict tenants with chronic histories of illegal  
            gun activity that drains the resources of our police  
            department.

          However, as with most public safety programs, careful attention  
          must be paid to ensure that this law enforcement tool does not  
          impermissibly interfere with the inalienable right of all  
          Californians to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to acquire,  
          possess, and protect property, and to pursue and obtain safety,  
          happiness, and privacy.  (Cal. Const. art. I, Sec. 1.)




            A.    Sufficient cause for bringing an unlawful detainer action  

            There are certain aspects of this pilot program that may place  
            too much emphasis on the maintenance of order at the expense  
            of liberty.  First, it should be noted that a "pre" eviction  
            notice may be sent to a tenant and landlord based on nothing  
            more than a "report by a law enforcement agency" purportedly  
            substantiating the unlawful activity that forms the basis of a  
            prospective unlawful detainer action.  This means that an  
            unlawful detainer action based on unlawful activity may be  
            initiated even when the subject tenant has never been  
            arrested, indicted, or convicted of a crime.  In many  
            instances a law enforcement report may provide sufficient  
            evidence to reasonably conclude, in advance of a trial on the  
            merits, that a tenant did indeed commit some unlawful act  
            involving firearms.  However, it is ultimately for a reviewing  
            court and a jury to determine whether a tenant is guilty of  
            unlawful detainer.

            Unfortunately, given the available data, experience under this  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 9 of ?



            pilot program's now-lapsed predecessor indicates that a  
            majority of tenants who receive notice that they will be  
            subject to an unlawful detainer action never make it to a  
            trial on the merits.  Reports from participating jurisdictions  
            under the lapsed program indicate that many tenants leave the  
            property shortly after receiving the required notice.  This  
            means that reviewing courts are frequently unable to weigh the  
            merits of a prosecutor or city attorney's rationale for  
            initiating an unlawful detainer action under this program.   
            Certainly, some tenants may decide to vacate a property  
            because they have engaged in unlawful activity and realize  
            eviction is unavoidable, but others may simply fear unwanted  
            government scrutiny for other reasons, such as a concern that  
            fighting an unlawful detainer action or raising objections  
            could lead to the deportation of an undocumented family  
            member.

            Some measure of comfort that this program could not be used to  
            remove people in the absence of bona fide evidence of illegal  
            activity may be achieved if this bill specified that an action  
            could only be initiated on the basis of an arrest report.   
            Unlike an "other report by a law enforcement agency," an  
            arrest report, and its underlying arrest, must be based on  
            probable cause.  In People v. Scott (2011) 52 Cal.4th 452,  
            474, the California Supreme Court characterized probable cause  
            as follows:

               Probable cause exists when the facts known to the arresting  
               officer would persuade someone of 'reasonable caution' that  
               the person to be arrested has committed a crime.  (Dunaway  
               v. New York (1979) 442 U.S. 200, 208.)  '[P]robable cause  
               is a fluid concept-turning on the assessment of  
               probabilities in particular factual contexts . . . .'   
               (Illinois v. Gates (1983) 462 U.S. 213, 232.)  It is  
               incapable of precise definition.  (Maryland v. Pringle  
               (2003) 540 U.S. 366, 371.)  'The substance of all the  
               definitions of probable cause is a reasonable ground for  
               belief of guilt,' and that belief must be 'particularized  
               with respect to the person to be ? seized.'  (People v.  
               Celis (2004) 33 Cal.4th 667, 673.)
            Requiring law enforcement to articulate probable cause for  
            arrest for unlawful firearms activities before initiating an  
            action under this pilot program would help ensure that a  
            tenant's rights are protected even in the absence of review by  
            a court.  To address this concern, the author has offered the  
            following amendment that would require an unlawful detainer  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 10 of ?



            action initiated under this program to be based on an arrest  
            report:

                Author's Amendment  :

               On page 3, lines 9 and 10, strike: "or other report"
           
            B.    Balance of harms  

            Second, this pilot program may, in certain instances, actually  
            cause more harm than good when forcing tenants to leave their  
            homes and communities.  By its terms, any unlawful activity  
            involving firearms constitutes a nuisance, whether or not such  
                                                                       unlawful activity is destructive to the maintenance of safe,  
            ordered communities.  Consequently, a tenant who has committed  
            a technical violation of California's firearms laws may be at  
            risk of eviction even when the violation does not overtly  
            threaten public safety.  One individual, writing in  
            opposition, states:

               Gun owners that are already tasked with deciphering  
               California's confusing regulatory scheme may find  
               themselves facing not only criminal liability, but removal  
               from their residence.  If a gun owner is in possession of a  
               firearm that is mistaken for an unlawful firearm by law  
               enforcement, they may be subject to an unlawful detainer  
               action. . . . AB 2310 should be opposed because it fails to  
               focus on true criminal conduct, and instead places  
               law-abiding gun owners in jeopardy of losing their  
               residence for unwitting violations of virtually any of the  
               thousands of state [and] local . . . firearm regulations  
               that gun owners must navigate.

            Tenants who commit technical violations of the law but pose no  
            threat to the health or safety of their community may  
            nonetheless find themselves facing eviction at the behest of a  
            city attorney or prosecutor.  In such cases, the upheaval  
            caused by having to move may significantly outweigh any harm  
            to the community caused by the firearms violation.  To  
            mitigate the risk that this program may disproportionately  
            harm certain offenders, the Committee may wish to consider the  
            following amendment that would require participating  
            jurisdictions to consider whether an unlawful detainer action  
            would be unduly burdensome for a particular tenant:

                Suggested Amendment  :
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 11 of ?




               On page 6, between lines 18 and 19, insert:  "A city  
               prosecutor or city attorney may not file an unlawful  
               detainer against any person under this section if the harm  
               such an action would cause to a person clearly outweighs  
               the benefits to the community."

          4.  Utility and impact of pilot program  

          As noted above, past reports on this and other unlawful detainer  
          pilot programs have been unable to assess the overall merits of  
          such programs due to a lack of sufficient data.  Based on the  
          data that is available, the California Research Bureau (CRB)  
          made the following findings in its most recent report:
           few unlawful detainer actions were actually filed in court by  
            city attorneys under previous unlawful detainer pilot  
            programs;
           overall, 17.9 percent of tenants who were sent an unlawful  
            detainer notice vacated prior to the notice being served.   
            Most of these tenants had drug-related unlawful detainer  
            notices served;
           twenty-six percent moved after the unlawful detainer notices  
            were served.  Most of these tenants had weapon-related  
            unlawful detainer notices served; and
           little information about the tenants themselves is reported,  
            or, if it is, is verifiable.  (Lindsey,  
            City-Attorney-Sponsored Unlawful Detainer in California Part  
            I: Mandated Information 2013 Report to the Legislature (April  
            2013)  (as of  
            June 14, 2014).)

          CRB's report goes on to state that missing from a participating  
          jurisdiction's reporting mandate "is reference to biographic  
          information about tenants and property owners, neighborhood  
          crime information, and information about tenants' criminal  
          activities after they leave.  Further, while mandated, data  
          about where tenants live after they vacate are unavailable or  
          not verifiable."  This lack of demographic information is  
          troubling because it precludes the Legislature from assessing  
          the broader impacts of unlawful detainer pilot programs.   
          Information received by the Committee indicates that, for at  
          least some jurisdictions, city attorney or city prosecutor  
          initiated eviction actions tend to cluster in specific districts  
          and neighborhoods.  Given the demographic makeup of California  
          cities, this trend raises the possibility that these pilot  
          programs may be having a disparate impact on certain racial or  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 12 of ?



          ethnic communities, or on certain socio-economic classes.  In  
          order to illuminate whether these programs are having a  
          disparate impact on certain communities, the author has offered  
          the following addition to the reporting mandate that would  
          require participating jurisdictions to gather data on the race  
          and ethnicity of tenants evicted under the pilot program:

             Author's Amendment :

            On page 8, between lines 6 and 7, insert:  "(ii) The racial or  
            ethnic identity of the tenant against whom the unlawful  
            detainer action is sought."

            On page 8, line 7, strike "(ii)" and insert "(iii)"

          Also troubling is the fact that very little information is  
          gathered regarding where tenants who either voluntarily leave or  
          are evicted through this program relocate to, and whether they  
          continue to engage in unlawful activities at their new place of  
          residence.  Unlike arrest and prosecution for a crime, the  
          unlawful detainer pilot program does not directly address the  
          alleged illegal activity creating the nuisance.  By forcing  
          offenders to simply relocate, this program may actually shift  
          illegal activity and the public safety burden that comes with it  
          to neighboring communities.  As a matter of public policy,  
          California has opposed the "dumping" of public health and safety  
          problems onto other communities out of an effort by one  
          jurisdiction to save money and resources, including a recent  
          alleged effort by the State of Nevada to send "indigent mentally  
          ill people [into] California cities and counties by issuing  
          patients bus tickets out of town without making proper  
          arrangements for their care."  (See Hubert and Reese, San  
          Francisco Sues Nevada Over 'Patient Dumping' (Sep. 10, 2014)  
           (as of Jun. 15, 2014).)  In order to determine  
          whether this pilot program simply relocates public safety  
          burdens from one community to another, the author offers the  
          following amendments that would require participating  
          jurisdictions to gather data about a tenant's unlawful  
          activities post-eviction, and would condition the authority to  
          file unlawful detainer actions on a participating jurisdiction's  
          good faith effort to provide all required data to the CRB:

             Author's Amendments  :

            On page 9, between lines 30 and 31, insert:  "(L) Whether the  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 13 of ?



            tenants continued to engage in unlawful activity at their new  
            place of residence, to the extent known."

            On page 10, between lines 3 and 4, insert:  "(h) No  
            participating jurisdiction shall be permitted to file, in the  
            name of the people, an action for unlawful detainer under this  
            section if that jurisdiction fails to make a good faith effort  
            to collect and timely report all information required under  
            subdivision (g) to the California Research Bureau."

            On page 10, line 4, strike "(h)" and insert "(i)"

          5.  Impact to landlords  

          Under this pilot program, a landlord is given the option to file  
          an unlawful detainer action or assign the right to bring the  
          action to a public prosecutor upon receiving notice from the  
          prosecutor that their tenant is creating a nuisance on a  
          property through illegal conduct involving unlawful weapons or  
          ammunition.  If the landlord opts to assign the action to a  
          public prosecutor, this bill would authorize a participating  
          jurisdiction to assess a fee not to exceed $600 to cover the  
          costs of investigation, discovery, and reasonable attorney's  
          fees.  A coalition of apartment associations opposes this bill  
          because, among other things, the bill requires landlords to pay  
          the assignment fee even if the public prosecutor takes no  
          action.  The coalition states:
            This bill unfairly requires landlords to either pay for an  
            attorney to evict a tenant the city wants evicted, or pay the  
            city attorney or city prosecutor $600 to evict the tenant.  If  
            a landlord chooses to pay the city, the bill does not require  
            the city to actually take action against the targeted tenant.   
            Moreover, the bill provides no assurances or mechanisms for  
            landlords to recoup those funds in the event the city chooses  
            not to evict or fails to take action against the tenant.

          Staff notes that while it is the landlord's choice to assign an  
          unlawful detainer action initiated at a prosecutor's request to  
          the prosecutor, this choice may be illusory since a landlord who  
          fails to file an unlawful detainer action, or fails to prosecute  
          such an action diligently and in good faith, may be joined by  
          the city attorney or city prosecutor with the offending tenant  
          as co-defendants.  Additionally, should the prosecutor prevail  
          on an action where the landlord has been joined as a defendant,  
          this bill would authorize a court to award the prosecutor costs,  
          including the costs of investigation and discovery and  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 14 of ?



          reasonable attorney's fees.  In order to address the coalition's  
          concerns, the author offers the following amendment that would  
          preclude assessment of an assignment fee unless the  
          participating jurisdiction accepted the assignment and filed an  
          unlawful detainer action:

             Author's Amendment  :

            On page 5, line 23 following "($600)." insert: "An owner shall  
            only be required to pay the costs or fees upon acceptance of  
            the assignment and the filing of the action for unlawful  
            detainer by the city prosecutor or city attorney."

          6.  Amendment to add the City of Oakland  

          The author has indicated that the City of Oakland was  
          unintentionally omitted from the list of jurisdictions  
          authorized to participate in this pilot program.  To correct  
          that deficiency, the author offers the following amendment to  
          give the City of Oakland authority to participate in the  
          program:

             Author's Amendment  :

            On page 7, between lines 35 and 36, insert:  (3)  In the  
            County of Alameda, any court with jurisdiction over unlawful  
            detainer cases involving real property situated in the City of  
            Oakland.


           Support  :  Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles; City of  
          Oakland; City of Sacramento; Santa Barbara Rental Property  
          Association

           Opposition  :  Apartment Association, Southern California Cities;  
          East Bay Rental Housing Association; Nor Cal Rental Property  
          Association

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  Los Angeles City Attorney

           Related Pending Legislation  :  AB 2485 (Dickinson and  
          Ridley-Thomas) would reauthorize a lapsed pilot program allowing  
          city attorneys or prosecutors in specified cities to bring an  
          unlawful detainer action in the name of the people against a  
                                                                      



          AB 2310 (Ridley-Thomas and Dickinson)
          Page 15 of ?



          tenant of rental housing for illegal conduct involving a  
          controlled substance on real property.  This bill is set for  
          hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

           Prior Legislation  :

          AB 530 (Krekorian, Ch. 244, Stats. 2009) See Background.

          AB 1013 (Krekorian, Ch. 456, Stats. 2007) See Background.

          AB 2523 (Frommer, Ch. 304, Stats. 2004) See Background.

          AB 815 (Havice, Ch. 431, Stats. 2001) See Background.

          AB 1384 (Havice, Ch. 613, Stats. 1998) See Background.

           Prior Vote  :

          Assembly Floor (Ayes 70, Noes 1)
          Assembly Committee on Appropriations (Ayes 16, Noes 0)
          Assembly Committee on Judiciary (Ayes 10, Noes 0)

                                   **************