California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1867


Introduced by Assembly Member Steinorth

February 10, 2016


An act to amend Sections 1452, 1453, and 1530 of the Evidence Code, relating to evidence.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1867, as introduced, Steinorth. Evidence: admissibility: writings.

Existing law requires a writing to be authenticated before it can be received in evidence. Existing law defines authentication of a writing as the introduction of evidence sufficient to sustain a finding that it is the writing that the proponent of the evidence claims it is or the establishment of such facts by any other means, as provided. Under existing law a seal is presumed to be genuine and its use authorized if it purports to be the seal of certain entities including, among other, the United States or a department, agency, or public employee of the United States.

This bill would provide that this presumption applies to a scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other duplicate of a seal.

Under existing law a signature is presumed to be genuine and authorized if it purports to be the signature, affixed in his or her official capacity of a public employee of the United States, a public employee or any public entity in the United States, or a notary public within any state of the United States.

This bill would provide that this presumption applies to a scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other duplicate of a signature.

Under existing law a purported copy of a writing in the custody of a public entity, or of an entry in such a writing, is prima facie evidence of the existence and content of such writing or entry if, among other things, the office in which the writing is kept is within the United States or other specified territory, and the copy is attested or certified as a correct copy of the writing or entry by a public employee or a deputy of a public employee, having the legal custody of the writing.

This bill would provide that this presumption applies to a scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other duplicate of an attested or other certified correct copy of a writing or entry. The bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 1452 of the Evidence Code is amended
2to read:

3

1452.  

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insert A seal is presumed to be genuine and its use
4authorized if it purports to be the seal of:

begin delete

5(a)

end delete

6begin insert(1)end insert The United States or a department, agency, or public
7employee of the United States.

begin delete

8(b)

end delete

9begin insert(2)end insert A public entity in the United States or a department, agency,
10or public employee of such public entity.

begin delete

11(c)

end delete

12begin insert(3)end insert A nation recognized by the executive power of the United
13States or a department, agency, or officer of such nation.

begin delete

14(d)

end delete

15begin insert(4)end insert A public entity in a nation recognized by the executive power
16of the United States or a department, agency, or officer of such
17public entity.

begin delete

18(e)

end delete

19begin insert(5)end insert A court of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction.

begin delete

20(f)

end delete

21begin insert(6)end insert A notary public within any state of the United States.

begin insert

22(b) The presumption set forth in subdivision (a) applies to a
23scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other
24duplicate of a seal.

end insert
P3    1

SEC. 2.  

Section 1453 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:

2

1453.  

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insert A signature is presumed to be genuine and
3authorized if it purports to be the signature, affixed in hisbegin insert or herend insert
4 official capacity, of:

begin delete

5(a)

end delete

6begin insert(1)end insert A public employee of the United States.

begin delete

7(b)

end delete

8begin insert(2)end insert A public employee of any public entity in the United States.

begin delete

9(c)

end delete

10begin insert(3)end insert A notary public within any state of the United States.

begin insert

11(b) The presumption set forth in subdivision (a) applies to a
12scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other
13duplicate of a signature.

end insert
14

SEC. 3.  

Section 1530 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:

15

1530.  

(a) A purported copy of a writing in the custody of a
16public entity, or of an entry in such a writing, is prima facie
17evidence of the existence and content of such writing or entrybegin delete if:end delete
18begin insert if any of the following apply:end insert

19(1) The copy purports to be published by the authority of the
20nation or state, or public entitybegin delete thereinend deletebegin insert of the nation or stateend insert in
21which the writing isbegin delete kept;end deletebegin insert kept.end insert

22(2) The office in which the writing is kept is within the United
23States or within the Panama Canal Zone, the Trust Territory of the
24Pacific Islands, or the Ryukyu Islands, and the copy is attested or
25certified as a correct copy of the writing or entry by a public
26employee, or a deputy of a public employee, having the legal
27custody of thebegin delete writing; orend deletebegin insert writing. The presumption set forth in
28this paragraph applies to a scanned, electronically stored, faxed,
29photocopied, or other duplicate of an attested or other certified
30correct copy of a writing or entry.end insert

31(3) The office in which the writing is kept is not within the
32United States or any other place described in paragraph (2) and
33the copy is attested as a correct copy of the writing or entry by a
34person having authority to make attestation. The attestation must
35be accompanied by a final statement certifying the genuineness of
36the signature and the official position ofbegin delete (i)end deletebegin insert (A)end insert the person who
37attested the copy as a correct copy orbegin delete (ii)end deletebegin insert (B)end insert any foreign official
38who has certified either the genuineness of the signature and
39official position of the person attesting the copy or the genuineness
40of the signature and official position of another foreign official
P4    1who has executed a similar certificate in a chain of such certificates
2 beginning with a certificate of the genuineness of the signature
3and official position of the person attesting the copy. Except as
4provided in the next sentence, the final statement may be made
5only by a secretary of an embassy or legation, consul general,
6consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the United States, or a
7diplomatic or consular official of the foreign country assigned or
8accredited to the United States.begin delete Prior toend deletebegin insert Beforeend insert January 1, 1971,
9the final statement may also be made by a secretary of an embassy
10or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, consular agent, or
11other officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed
12in the nation in which the writing is kept, authenticated by the seal
13of hisbegin insert or herend insert office. If reasonable opportunity has been given to
14all parties to investigate the authenticity and accuracy of the
15documents, the court may, for good cause shown,begin delete (i)end deletebegin insert (A)end insert admit an
16attested copy without the final statement orbegin delete (ii)end deletebegin insert (B)end insert permit the
17writing or entry in foreign custody to be evidenced by an attested
18summary with or without a final statement.

19(b) The presumptions established by this section are
20presumptions affecting the burden of producing evidence.



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