California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2232


Introduced by Assembly Member Obernolte

February 18, 2016


An act to amend Section 68152 of the Government Code, relating to court records.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2232, as introduced, Obernolte. Court records: misdemeanors.

Existing law authorizes the trial court clerk to destroy court records, as defined, after notice of destruction, if there is no request and order for transfer of the records, upon the expiration of specified time periods after final disposition of the case. Existing law generally provides that court records of a criminal proceeding relating to a misdemeanor violation may be destroyed after 5 years, but that court records of a criminal proceeding relating to a misdemeanor violation for speed contests, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, may be destroyed after 10 years.

This bill would decrease the time period that a court record of a misdemeanor violation for speed contests must be retained before it can be destroyed by the trial court clerk from 10 years to 5 years. The bill would increase the time period that a court record of a misdemeanor violation for reckless driving must be retained before it can be destroyed by the trial court clerk from 5 years to 10 years.

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

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 68152 of the Government Code is
2amended to read:

3

68152.  

The trial court clerk may destroy court records under
4Section 68153 after notice of destruction, and if there is no request
5and order for transfer of the records, except the comprehensive
6historical and sample superior court records preserved for research
7under the California Rules of Court, when the following times
8have expired after the date of final disposition of the case in the
9categories listed:

10(a) Civil actions and proceedings, as follows:

11(1) Except as otherwise specified: retain 10 years.

12(2) Civil unlimited cases, limited cases, and small claims cases,
13including after trial de novo, if any, except as otherwise specified:
14retain for 10 years.

15(3) Civil judgments for unlimited civil cases: retain permanently.

16(4) Civil judgments for limited and small claims cases: retain
17for 10 years, unless judgment is renewed. If judgment is renewed,
18retain judgment for length of renewal pursuant to Article 2
19(commencing with Section 683.110) of Chapter 3 of Division 1
20of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

21(5) If a party in a civil case appears by a guardian ad litem:
22retain for 10 years after termination of the court’s jurisdiction.

23(6) Civil harassment, domestic violence, elder and dependent
24adult abuse, private postsecondary school violence, and workplace
25violence cases: retain for the same period of time as the duration
26of the restraining or other orders and any renewals thereof, then
27retain the restraining or other orders permanently as a judgment;
2860 days after expiration of the temporary restraining or other
29temporary orders; retain judgments establishing paternity under
30Section 6323 of the Family Code permanently.

31(7) Family law, except as otherwise specified: retain for 30
32years.

33(8) Adoption: retain permanently.

34(9) Parentage: retain permanently.

35(10) Change of name, gender, or name and gender: retain
36permanently.

37(11) Probate:

P3    1(A) Decedent estates: retain permanently all orders, judgments,
2and decrees of the court, all inventories and appraisals, and all
3wills and codicils of the decedent filed in the case, including those
4not admitted to probate. All other records: retain for five years
5after final disposition of the estate proceeding.

6(B) Wills and codicils transferred or delivered to the court
7pursuant to Section 732, 734, or 8203 of the Probate Code: retain
8permanently. For wills and codicils delivered to the clerk of the
9court under Section 8200 of the Probate Code, retain the original
10documents as provided in Section 26810.

11(C) Substitutes for decedent estate administration:

12(i) Affidavit procedures for real property of small value under
13Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 13100) of Part 1 of Division
148 of the Probate Code: retain permanently.

15(ii) Proceedings for determining succession to property under
16Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 13150) of Part 1 of Division
178 of the Probate Code: retain permanently all inventories and
18appraisals and court orders. Other records: retain for five years
19after final disposition of the proceeding.

20(iii) Proceedings for determination of property passing or
21belonging to surviving spouse under Chapter 5 (commencing with
22Section 13650) of Part 2 of Division 8 of the Probate Code: retain
23permanently all inventories and appraisals and court orders. Other
24records: retain for five years after final disposition of the
25proceeding.

26(D) Conservatorships: retain permanently all court orders.
27Documents of trusts established under substituted judgment
28pursuant to Section 2580 of the Probate Code: retain as provided
29in clause (iii) of subparagraph (G). Other records: retain for five
30years after the later of either (i) the final disposition of the
31conservatorship proceeding, or (ii) the date of the conservatee’s
32death, if that date is disclosed in the court’s file.

33(E) Guardianships: retain permanently orders terminating the
34guardianship, if any, and court orders settling final account and
35ordering distribution of the estate. Other records: retain for five
36years after the later of (i) the final disposition of the guardianship
37proceeding, or (ii) the earlier of the date of the ward’s death, if
38that date is disclosed in the court’s file, or the date the ward reaches
3923 years of age.

P4    1(F) Compromise of minor’s or disabled person’s claim or action,
2and disposition of judgment for minors and disabled persons under
3Section 372 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Chapter 4
4(commencing with Section 3600) of Part 8 of Division 4 of the
5Probate Code:

6(i) Retain permanently judgments in favor of minors or disabled
7persons, orders approving compromises of claims and actions and
8disposition of the proceeds of judgments, orders directing payment
9of expenses, costs, and fees, orders directing deposits into blocked
10accounts and receipts and acknowledgments of those orders, and
11orders for the withdrawal of funds from blocked accounts.

12(ii) Retain other records for the same retention period as for
13records in the underlying case. If there is no underlying case, retain
14for five years after the later of either (I) the date the order for
15payment or delivery of the final balance of the money or property
16is entered, or (II) the earlier of the date of the minor’s death, if that
17date is disclosed in the court’s file, or the date the minor reaches
1823 years of age.

19(G) Trusts:

20(i) Proceedings under Part 5 (commencing with Section 17000)
21of Division 9 of the Probate Code: retain permanently.

22(ii) Trusts created by substituted judgment under Section 2580
23of the Probate Code: retain permanently all trust instruments and
24court orders. Other records: retain as long as the underlying
25conservatorship file is retained.

26(iii) Special needs trusts: retain permanently all trust instruments
27and court orders. Other records: retain until the later of either (I)
28the retention date of “other records” in the beneficiary’s
29conservatorship or guardianship file under subparagraph (D) or
30(E), if any, or (II) five years after the date of the beneficiary’s
31death, if that date is disclosed in the court’s file.

32(H) All other proceedings under the Probate Code: retain as
33provided for civil cases.

34(12) Mental health:

35(A) Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act: retain
36for 10 years.

37(B) Lanterman-Petris-Short Act: retain for 20 years.

38(C) Riese (capacity) hearings under Sections 5333 and 5334 of
39the Welfare and Institutions Code: retain for the later of either (i)
4020 years after the date of the capacity determination order, or (ii)
P5    1the court records retention date of the underlying involuntary
2treatment or commitment proceeding, if any.

3(D) Petitions under Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 8100)
4of Division 8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code for the return
5of firearms to petitioners who relinquished them to law
6enforcement while detained in a mental health facility: retain for
710 years.

8(13) Eminent domain: retain permanently.

9(14) Real property other than unlawful detainer: retain
10permanently if the action affects title or an interest in real property.

11(15) Unlawful detainer: retain for one year if judgment is only
12for possession of the premises; retain for 10 years if judgment is
13for money, or money and possession.

14(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any civil or small claims
15case in the trial court:

16(1) Involuntarily dismissed by the court for delay in prosecution
17or failure to comply with state or local rules: retain for one year.

18(2) Voluntarily dismissed by a party without entry of judgment:
19retain for one year.

20(c) Criminal actions and proceedings, as follows:

21(1) Capital felony in which the defendant is sentenced to death,
22and any felony resulting in a sentence of life or life without the
23possibility of parole: retain permanently, including records of the
24cases of any codefendants and any related cases, regardless of the
25disposition. For the purpose of this paragraph, “capital felony”
26means murder with special circumstances when the prosecution
27seeks the death penalty. Records of the cases of codefendants and
28related cases required to be retained under this paragraph shall be
29limited to those cases that are factually linked or related to the
30charged offense, that are identified in the courtroom, and that are
31placed on the record. If a capital felony is disposed of by a sentence
32less than death, or imprisonment for life or life without the
33possibility of parole, the judgment shall be retained permanently,
34and the record shall be retained for 50 years or for 10 years after
35the official written notification of the death of the defendant. If a
36capital felony is disposed of by an acquittal, the record shall be
37retained for 10 years.

38(2) Felony, except as otherwise specified, and in any felony or
39misdemeanor case resulting in a requirement that the defendant
40register as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code:
P6    1retain judgment permanently. For all other documents: retain for
250 years or the maximum term of the sentence, whichever is longer.
3However, any record other than the judgment may be destroyed
410 years after the death of the defendant. Felony case files that do
5not include final sentencing or other final disposition because the
6case was bound over from a former municipal court to the superior
7court and not already consolidated with the superior court felony
8case file: retain for 10 years from the disposition of the superior
9court case.

10(3) Felony reduced to a misdemeanor: retain in accordance with
11the retention period for the relevant misdemeanor.

12(4) Felony, if the charge is dismissed, except as provided in
13paragraph (6): retain for three years.

14(5) Misdemeanor, if the charge is dismissed, except as provided
15in paragraph (6): retain for one year.

16(6) Dismissal under Section 1203.4 or 1203.4a of the Penal
17Code: retain for the same retention period as for records of the
18underlying case. If the records in the underlying case have been
19destroyed, retain for five years after dismissal.

20(7) Misdemeanor, except as otherwise specified: retain for five
21years. For misdemeanors alleging a violation of Sectionbegin delete 23109,
2223109.5,end delete
begin insert 23103,end insert 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code: retain for
2310 years.

24(8) Misdemeanor alleging a marijuana violation under
25subdivision (c), (d), or (e) of Section 11357 of the Health and
26Safety Code, or subdivision (b) of Section 11360 of the Health
27and Safety Code: records shall be destroyed, or redacted in
28accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 11361.5 of the Health
29and Safety Code, two years from the date of conviction, or from
30the date of arrest if no conviction, if the case is no longer subject
31to review on appeal, all applicable fines and fees have been paid,
32and the defendant has complied with all terms and conditions of
33the sentence or grant of probation. However, as provided in
34subdivision (a) of Section 11361.5 of the Health and Safety Code
35and paragraph (5) of subdivision (e) of this section, records of a
36misdemeanor alleging a marijuana violation under subdivision (e)
37of Section 11357 of the Health and Safety Code shall be retained
38until the offender attains 18 years of age, at which time the records
39shall be destroyed as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 11361.5
40of the Health and Safety Code.

P7    1(9) Misdemeanor reduced to an infraction: retain in accordance
2with the retention period for the relevant infraction.

3(10) Infraction, except as otherwise specified: retain for one
4year. Vehicle Code infraction: retain for three years. Infraction
5alleging a marijuana violation under subdivision (b) of Section
611357 of the Health and Safety Code: if records are retained past
7the one-year minimum retention period, the records shall be
8destroyed or redacted in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section
911361.5 of the Health and Safety Code two years from the date of
10conviction, or from the date of arrest if no conviction, if the case
11is no longer subject to review on appeal, all applicable fines and
12fees have been paid, and the defendant has complied with all terms
13and conditions of the sentence or grant of probation.

14(11) Criminal protective order: retain until the order expires or
15is terminated.

16(12) Arrest warrant: retain for the same retention period as for
17records in the underlying case. If there is no underlying case, retain
18for one year from the date of issue.

19(13) Search warrant:

20(A) If there is no underlying case, retain for five years from the
21date of issue.

22(B) If there is any underlying case, retain for 10 years from the
23date of issue or, if the retention period for records in the underlying
24case is less than 10 years or if the underlying case is a capital felony
25described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), retain for the same
26retention period as for records in the underlying case.

27(14) Probable cause declarations: retain for the same retention
28period as for records in the underlying case. If there is no
29underlying case, retain for one year from the date of declaration.

30(15) Proceedings for revocation of postrelease community
31supervision or postrelease parole supervision: retain for five years
32after the period of supervision expires or is terminated.

33(d) Habeas corpus:

34(1) Habeas corpus in criminal and family law matters: retain
35for the same retention period as for records in the underlying case,
36whether granted or denied.

37(2) Habeas corpus in mental health matters: retain all records
38for the same retention period as for records in the underlying case,
39whether granted or denied. If there is no underlying case, retain
40records for 20 years.

P8    1(e) Juveniles:

2(1) Dependent pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and
3Institutions Code: upon reaching 28 years of age, or on written
4request, shall be released to the juvenile five years after jurisdiction
5over the person has terminated under subdivision (a) of Section
6826 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Sealed records shall be
7destroyed upon court order five years after the records have been
8sealed pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 389 of the Welfare
9and Institutions Code.

10(2) Ward pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions
11Code: upon reaching 21 years of age, or on written request, shall
12be released to the juvenile five years after jurisdiction over the
13person has terminated under subdivision (a) of Section 826 of the
14Welfare and Institutions Code. Sealed records shall be destroyed
15upon court order five years after the records have been sealed under
16subdivision (d) of Section 781 of the Welfare and Institutions
17Code.

18(3) Ward pursuant to Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions
19Code: upon reaching 38 years of age under subdivision (a) of
20Section 826 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Sealed records
21shall be destroyed upon court order when the subject of the record
22reaches 38 years of age under subdivision (d) of Section 781 of
23the Welfare and Institutions Code.

24(4) Traffic and some nontraffic misdemeanors and infractions
25pursuant to Section 601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code: upon
26reaching 21 years of age, or five years after jurisdiction over the
27person has terminated under subdivision (c) of Section 826 of the
28Welfare and Institutions Code. Records may be microfilmed or
29photocopied.

30(5) Marijuana misdemeanor under subdivision (e) of Section
3111357 of the Health and Safety Code in accordance with procedures
32specified in subdivision (a) of Section 11361.5 of the Health and
33Safety Code: upon reaching 18 years of age, the records shall be
34destroyed.

35(f) Court records of the appellate division of the superior court:
36retain for five years.

37(g) Other records:

38(1) Bench warrant: retain for the same retention period as for
39records in the underlying case. For a bench warrant issued for a
40misdemeanor, retain records for the same retention period as for
P9    1records in the underlying misdemeanor following issuance. If there
2is no return on the warrant, the court may dismiss on its own
3motion and immediately destroy the records.

4(2) Body attachment: retain for same retention period as for
5records in the underlying case.

6(3) Bond: retain for three years after exoneration and release.

7(4) Court reporter notes:

8(A) Criminal and juvenile proceedings: retain notes for 10 years,
9except as otherwise specified. Notes reporting proceedings in
10capital felony cases (murder with special circumstances when the
11prosecution seeks the death penalty and the sentence is death),
12including notes reporting the preliminary hearing, shall be retained
13permanently, unless the Supreme Court on request of the court
14clerk authorizes the destruction.

15(B) Civil and all other proceedings: retain notes for five years.

16(5) Electronic recordings made as the official record of the oral
17proceedings under the California Rules of Court may be destroyed
18or deleted as follows:

19(A) Any time after final disposition of the case in infraction and
20misdemeanor proceedings.

21(B) After 10 years in all other criminal proceedings.

22(C) After five years in all other proceedings.

23(6) Electronic recordings not made as the official record of the
24oral proceedings under the California Rules of Court may be
25destroyed at any time at the discretion of the court.

26(7) Fee waiver applications: retain for the same retention period
27as for records in the underlying case.

28(8) Judgments within the jurisdiction of the superior court other
29than in a limited civil case, misdemeanor case, or infraction case:
30retain permanently.

31(9) Judgments in misdemeanor cases, infraction cases, and
32limited civil cases: retain for the same retention period as for
33records in the underlying case.

34(10) Juror proceedings, including sanctions: retain for one year.

35(11) Minutes: retain for the same retention period as for records
36in the underlying case.

37(12) Orders not associated with an underlying case, such as
38orders for the destruction of court records for telephone taps, orders
39to destroy drugs, and other miscellaneous court orders: retain for
40one year.

P10   1(13) Naturalization index: retain permanently.

2(14) Index for cases alleging traffic violations: retain for the
3same retention period as for records in the underlying case.

4(15) Index, except as otherwise specified: retain permanently.

5(16) Register of actions or docket: retain for the same retention
6period as for records in the underlying case, but in no event less
7than 10 years for civil and small claims cases.

8(h) Retention of the court records under this section shall be
9extended by order of the court on its own motion, or on application
10of a party or an interested member of the public for good cause
11shown and on those terms as are just. A fee shall not be charged
12for making the application.

13(i) The record retention periods provided in this section, as
14amended effective January 1, 2014, apply to all court records in
15existence prior to that date as well as to records created on or after
16that date.



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