BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 783


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          Date of Hearing:  May 13, 2015


                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT


                              Brian Maienschein, Chair


          AB 783  
          (Daly) - As Amended March 26, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Cities: legislative bodies: subpoena power.


          SUMMARY:  Allows a city attorney to attest a subpoena that has  
          been signed by a mayor.


          EXISTING LAW authorizes the legislative body of a city to issue  
          subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or production of  
          books or other documents for evidence or testimony in any action  
          or proceeding pending before the legislative body.  These  
          subpoenas must be signed by the mayor and attested by the city  
          clerk.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None


          COMMENTS:  


          1)Bill Summary.  This bill allows a city attorney to attest a  
            subpoena that has been signed by a mayor.  Current law allows  
            only city clerks to perform this function.  This bill is  
            sponsored by the author.









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          2)Author's Statement.  According to the author, "A city's  
            legislative body has the power to issue subpoenas requiring  
            attendance of a witness or production of documents in pending  
            proceedings.  Thus for cities, issuing subpoenas is an  
            important power that can be an effective method for obtaining  
            information from a reluctant witness or an uncooperative city  
            vendor.



            "Under current law, subpoenas signed by the mayor must be  
            attested by the city clerk, 


            and if the person refuses to obey, only the mayor can report  
            the fact to a superior court judge.  However, if a city clerk  
            resigns or is indisposed, this important power may be rendered  
            impotent.  Given that the appointment of a new city clerk may  
            require many months, the enforcement of this crucial power  
            would be ineffective."
          


          3)Background.  Current law, enacted in 1949, allows cities to  
            issue subpoenas requiring witness attendance or the production  
            of specified documents for evidence or testimony in any action  
            or proceeding pending before them.  Subpoenas must be signed  
            by the mayor and attested by the city clerk, and may be served  
            in the same manner as they are served in civil actions.



            The author asserts that an alternative should be available in  
            the event that a city clerk is unable to attest a city's  
            subpoena.  This bill additionally allows a city attorney to  
            attest a subpoena that has been signed by a mayor.









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          4)Attesting.  An attestation is a declaration by a witness that  
            an instrument has been executed in his or her presence  
            according to the formalities required by law.  An attestation  
            clause is frequently found in legal documents that must be  
            witnessed if they are to be valid, for example, a will or a  
            deed.  It states that the instrument has been completed in the  
            manner required by law in the presence of the witness who  
            places his or her signature in the designated space.



          5)Arguments in Support.  None on file.



          6)Arguments in Opposition.  None on file.



          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          None on file




          Opposition










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          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Angela Mapp / L. GOV. / (916) 319-3958