BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 513
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   July 3, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    SB 513 (Hancock) - As Amended:  April 1, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             Public SafetyVote:  
          5-2

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:   
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

           As proposed to be amended  , this bill provides that any person  
          who successfully completes a diversion program administered by a  
          prosecuting attorney in lieu of filing an accusatory pleading  
          may, two years after successful completion of the diversion  
          program as determined by the prosecuting attorney, petition the  
          court to seal the case records. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Provides if the court determines it is in the interest of  
            justice to seal the records, the court shall inform the person  
            he or she may state that he or she was not arrested for the  
            charge, and provides that a record pertaining to the arrest  
            shall not be used in any way that could result in the denial  
            of any employment or benefits. 

          2)Requires that the person be advised that, regardless of the  
            person's successful completion of the diversion program, the  
            arrest shall be disclosed by DOJ in response to any peace  
            officer application request, and that this section does not  
            relieve the person of the obligation to disclose the arrest in  
            response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire  
            or application for a position as a peace officer, as defined.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Unknown annual GF trial court costs, likely less than $100,000,  
          to the extent hearings are  necessary to determine whether  
          sealing records is in the interest of justice. For every 100  
          30-minute hearings, the cost would be in the range of $25,000.    
            









                                                                  SB 513
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           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . Sponsored by the San Francisco District Attorney's  
            Office, this bill provides a mechanism for sealing records for  
            a district attorney-administered diversion program, similar to  
            existing drug diversion programs. 

            The author cites a San Francisco Neighborhood Courts program,  
            whereby misdemeanor and infraction cases are heard by  
            volunteer community members, without judges or attorneys.  The  
            community members apply restorative justice principles to the  
            hearings. If the person completes the agreed upon plan, their  
            case is not charged in criminal court. In 2012, the San  
            Francisco District Attorney's Office sent more than 700 cases  
            to Neighborhood Courts, and more than 500 of those cases were  
            successfully completed without court time. This program is  
            being replicated in Yolo County.  Santa Barbara County also  
            operates a pre-charging diversion model.
             
           2)Support  includes the San Francisco, Yolo and Santa Barbara  
            District Attorneys' Offices, the CA Public Defenders  
            Association, and CA Attorneys for Criminal Justice. According  
            to the Judicial Council, "The Judicial Council believes that  
            the ability of an individual who is participating in a  
            pretrial diversion program to have his or her records sealed  
            provides a powerful incentive for these individuals to  
            successfully complete the program to avoid the consequences of  
            a criminal conviction or charge, including legal and practical  
            barriers to employment. Also, AB 513 would bring pretrial  
            diversion programs in line with existing provisions of law  
            relating to drug diversion programs and deferred entry of  
            judgment programs." 

           3)There is no known opposition . 

           4)Suggested Amendment  . Per a suggestion from the Judicial  
            Council, specify that a hearing related to records sealing  
            will be conducted only if requested by the prosecuting  
            attorney within 10 days of receiving the petition, otherwise  
            the court may order the records sealed. 

            
           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081 










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