Amended in Assembly March 31, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1867


Introduced by Assembly Member Steinorth

February 10, 2016


An act to amendbegin delete Sections 1452, 1453, and 1530end deletebegin insert Section 452.5end insert of the Evidence Code, relating to evidence.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1867, as amended, Steinorth. Evidence:begin delete admissibility: writings.end deletebegin insert judicial notice: official records of conviction.end insert

begin insert

Existing law authorizes judicial notice to be taken of certain matters, including the official acts of state and federal legislative, executive, and judicial departments and the records of any state or federal court. Existing law provides that a certified official record of conviction, or an electronically digitized copy of that record, is admissible to prove, among other things, the act, condition, or event recorded by the record. Existing law defines “electronically digitized copy” as a copy (1) made by scanning, photographing, or otherwise exactly reproducing a document, (2) stored or maintained in a digitized format, and (3) bearing an electronic signature or watermark unique to the entity responsible for certifying the document.

end insert
begin insert

This bill would additionally include as an “electronically digitized copy” a copy that, rather than bearing an electronic signature or watermark unique to the entity certifying the document, was transmitted by a superior court clerk in a manner showing that the copy was prepared and transmitted by that superior court clerk.

end insert
begin delete

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.

end delete
begin delete

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

end delete
begin delete

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.

end delete
begin delete

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

end delete
begin delete

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.

end delete
begin delete

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.

end delete

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

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

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 452.5 of the end insertbegin insertEvidence Codeend insertbegin insert is amended
2to read:end insert

3

452.5.  

(a) The official acts and records specified in
4subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 452 include any
5computer-generated official court records, as specified by the
6Judicialbegin delete Council whichend deletebegin insert Council, thatend insert relate to criminal convictions,
7when the record is certified by a clerk of the superior court pursuant
P3    1to Section 69844.5 of the Government Code at the time of computer
2entry.

3(b) (1) An official record of conviction certified in accordance
4with subdivision (a) of Section 1530, or an electronically digitized
5copy thereof, is admissible under Section 1280 to prove the
6commission, attempted commission, or solicitation of a criminal
7offense, prior conviction, service of a prison term, or other act,
8condition, or event recorded by the record.

9(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “electronically digitized
10copy” means a copy that is made by scanning, photographing, or
11otherwise exactly reproducing a document, is stored or maintained
12in a digitized format, andbegin delete bears an electronic signature or
13watermark unique to the entity responsible for certifying the
14document.end delete
begin insert meets either of the following requirements:end insert

begin insert

15
(A) The copy bears an electronic signature or watermark unique
16 to the entity responsible for certifying the document.

end insert
begin insert

17
(B) The document that is copied is an official record of
18conviction, certified in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section
191530, that is transmitted by the clerk of the superior court in a
20manner showing that the copy was prepared and transmitted by
21that clerk of the superior court. A seal, signature, or other indicia
22of the court shall constitute adequate showing.

end insert
begin delete
23

SECTION 1.  

Section 1452 of the Evidence Code is amended
24to read:

25

1452.  

(a) A seal is presumed to be genuine and its use
26authorized if it purports to be the seal of:

27(1) The United States or a department, agency, or public
28employee of the United States.

29(2) A public entity in the United States or a department, agency,
30or public employee of such public entity.

31(3) A nation recognized by the executive power of the United
32States or a department, agency, or officer of such nation.

33(4) A public entity in a nation recognized by the executive power
34of the United States or a department, agency, or officer of such
35public entity.

36(5) A court of admiralty or maritime jurisdiction.

37(6) A notary public within any state of the United States.

38(b) The presumption set forth in subdivision (a) applies to a
39scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other
40duplicate of a seal.

P4    1

SEC. 2.  

Section 1453 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:

2

1453.  

(a) A signature is presumed to be genuine and authorized
3if it purports to be the signature, affixed in his or her official
4capacity, of:

5(1) A public employee of the United States.

6(2) A public employee of any public entity in the United States.

7(3) A notary public within any state of the United States.

8(b) The presumption set forth in subdivision (a) applies to a
9scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or other
10duplicate of a signature.

11

SEC. 3.  

Section 1530 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:

12

1530.  

(a) A purported copy of a writing in the custody of a
13public entity, or of an entry in such a writing, is prima facie
14evidence of the existence and content of such writing or entry if
15any of the following apply:

16(1) The copy purports to be published by the authority of the
17nation or state, or public entity of the nation or state in which the
18writing is kept.

19(2) The office in which the writing is kept is within the United
20States or within the Panama Canal Zone, the Trust Territory of the
21Pacific Islands, or the Ryukyu Islands, and the copy is attested or
22certified as a correct copy of the writing or entry by a public
23employee, or a deputy of a public employee, having the legal
24custody of the writing. The presumption set forth in this paragraph
25applies to a scanned, electronically stored, faxed, photocopied, or
26other duplicate of an attested or other certified correct copy of a
27writing or entry.

28(3) The office in which the writing is kept is not within the
29United States or any other place described in paragraph (2) and
30the copy is attested as a correct copy of the writing or entry by a
31person having authority to make attestation. The attestation must
32be accompanied by a final statement certifying the genuineness of
33the signature and the official position of (A) the person who
34attested the copy as a correct copy or (B) any foreign official who
35has certified either the genuineness of the signature and official
36position of the person attesting the copy or the genuineness of the
37signature and official position of another foreign official who has
38executed a similar certificate in a chain of such certificates
39 beginning with a certificate of the genuineness of the signature
40and official position of the person attesting the copy. Except as
P5    1provided in the next sentence, the final statement may be made
2only by a secretary of an embassy or legation, consul general,
3consul, vice consul, or consular agent of the United States, or a
4diplomatic or consular official of the foreign country assigned or
5accredited to the United States. Before January 1, 1971, the final
6statement may also be made by a secretary of an embassy or
7legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, consular agent, or
8other officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed
9in the nation in which the writing is kept, authenticated by the seal
10of his or her office. If reasonable opportunity has been given to
11all parties to investigate the authenticity and accuracy of the
12documents, the court may, for good cause shown, (A) admit an
13attested copy without the final statement or (B) permit the writing
14or entry in foreign custody to be evidenced by an attested summary
15with or without a final statement.

16(b) The presumptions established by this section are
17presumptions affecting the burden of producing evidence.

end delete


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