BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Loni Hancock, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:    AB 2232       Hearing Date:    May 10, 2016    
          
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          |Author:    |Obernolte                                            |
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          |Version:   |February 18, 2016                                    |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|ML                                                   |
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                       Subject:  Court Records:  Misdemeanors



          HISTORY

          Source:   Judicial Council of California

          Prior Legislation:AB 1352 (Levine) - Ch. 274, Stats. 2013

          Support:  Unknown 

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:                 76 - 0


          PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to decrease the time period that a  
          court retains a record for misdemeanor speed contest convictions  
          from 10 years to 5 years, and to increase the time period that a  
          court retains a record for misdemeanor reckless driving  
          convictions from 5 to 10 years.

          Existing law provides the manner in which the court may destroy  
          records after specified retention periods for civil actions,  
          small claims, criminal actions, juvenile proceedings, appellate  
          matters of the superior court, and other matters.  (Government  







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          Code  68152.) 

          Existing law requires the court to retain the record for  
          misdemeanors for 5 years, unless provided otherwise.  This  
          applies to a misdemeanor where a person drives a vehicle upon a  
          highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons  
          or property.  (Government Code  68152 (c)(7).) 

          Existing law requires the court to retain the record for 10  
          years for a misdemeanor involving a motor vehicle speed contest,  
          or repeated prior offense within five years, and also for a  
          misdemeanor involving a person under the influence of any  
          alcoholic beverage or any drug to drive a vehicle. (Government  
          Code  68152.)  

          Existing law requires a defendant who has been convicted of a  
          violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152 (DUI) or Section 23153  
          (DUI with bodily injury) within the past 10 years to participate  
          in an alcohol program as a condition of probation. (Vehicle Code  
          Section 23640.) 

          Existing law allows a conviction for Vehicle Code Section 23109  
          (speed contest) to be charged as an enhancement of a new  
          criminal charge alleging a violation of that offense for five  
          years after the original conviction.  (Vehicle Code Section  
          23109.5 (a).)

          This bill changes the time period that a court retains records  
          for certain vehicular misdemeanors. Specifically, this bill:

             1)   Decreases the time period that a court retains a record  
               for misdemeanor speed contest convictions from 10 years to  
               5 years.

             2)   Increases the time period that a court retains a record  
               for misdemeanor reckless driving convictions from 5 to 10  
               years.

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the past several years this Committee has scrutinized  
          legislation referred to its jurisdiction for any potential  
          impact on prison overcrowding.  Mindful of the United States  
          Supreme Court ruling and federal court orders relating to the  








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          state's ability to provide a constitutional level of health care  
          to its inmate population and the related issue of prison  
          overcrowding, this Committee has applied its "ROCA" policy as a  
          content-neutral, provisional measure necessary to ensure that  
          the Legislature does not erode progress in reducing prison  
          overcrowding.   

          On February 10, 2014, the federal court ordered California to  
          reduce its in-state adult institution population to 137.5% of  
          design capacity by February 28, 2016, as follows:   

                 143% of design bed capacity by June 30, 2014;
                 141.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2015; and,
                 137.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2016. 

          In December of 2015 the administration reported that as "of  
          December 9, 2015, 112,510 inmates were housed in the State's 34  
          adult institutions, which amounts to 136.0% of design bed  
          capacity, and 5,264 inmates were housed in out-of-state  
          facilities.  The current population is 1,212 inmates below the  
          final court-ordered population benchmark of 137.5% of design bed  
          capacity, and has been under that benchmark since February  
          2015."  (Defendants' December 2015 Status Report in Response to  
          February 10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC, 3-Judge  
          Court, Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (fn. omitted).)  One  
          year ago, 115,826 inmates were housed in the State's 34 adult  
          institutions, which amounted to 140.0% of design bed capacity,  
          and 8,864 inmates were housed in out-of-state facilities.   
          (Defendants' December 2014 Status Report in Response to February  
          10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC, 3-Judge Court, Coleman  
          v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (fn. omitted).)  
           
          While significant gains have been made in reducing the prison  
          population, the state must stabilize these advances and  
          demonstrate to the federal court that California has in place  
          the "durable solution" to prison overcrowding "consistently  
          demanded" by the court.  (Opinion Re: Order Granting in Part and  
          Denying in Part Defendants' Request For Extension of December  
          31, 2013 Deadline, NO. 2:90-cv-0520 LKK DAD (PC), 3-Judge Court,  
          Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (2-10-14).  The Committee's  
          consideration of bills that may impact the prison population  
          therefore will be informed by the following questions:

              Whether a proposal erodes a measure which has contributed  








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               to reducing the prison population;
              Whether a proposal addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy;
              Whether a proposal addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
              Whether a proposal corrects a constitutional problem or  
               legislative drafting error; and
              Whether a proposal proposes penalties which are  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy.


          COMMENTS

          1. Need for This Bill

          According to the author:

               In 2013, AB 1352 (Levine) was enacted to, among other  
               things, update and streamline laws governing court record  
               retention in the Government Code ((68152(c)(7)) by  
               changing the number of years various court records must be  
               retained. 

               The intent of the bill was change and bring the timelines  
               for retaining court records for particular violations in  
               line with other similar violations. However, there was a  
               drafting error in the bill. Instead of a five year  
               schedule, like other Vehicle Code misdemeanors, speed  
               contests (23109 and 23109.5) were put on a ten year  
               schedule. Similarly, reckless driving violations were given  
               a five year schedule, unlike the 10 year schedule DUI  
               violations are on. 

               AB 2232 would correct these drafting errors and add  
               consistency to the records retention schedule for  
               misdemeanor Vehicle Code violations. It would reduce the  
               schedule for speeding contests from 10 to 5 years, in line  
               with similar violations, and increase the schedule for  
               reckless driving convictions from 5 to 10 years, as it is  
               with DUIs.









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          2. Background; Effect of This Bill

          Trial courts retain court records for different time periods  
          based on types of cases involved and pursuant to statutes  
          requiring records to be retained for specified periods.  After  
          the required time period has elapsed, the court is authorized to  
          destroy the record.  For most misdemeanor cases, courts are  
          required to retain the records for five years; for other  
          misdemeanors, the court is required to retain the records for  
          one to ten years, depending on the nature of the crime.  

          In 2013, the Legislature enacted AB 1352, which revised and  
          reorganized the retention period rules for various court  
          records.  However, according to the Judicial Council, the  
          sponsor of this bill, AB 1352 had several drafting errors  
          regarding the retention period for certain misdemeanors,  
          specifically those involving violations of the Vehicle Code.  
          Under the current framework, the drafting error came about when  
          the Vehicle Code Sections for speed contests ( 23109-23109.5)  
          were expressly specified - putting those records on the ten year  
          schedule.  Conversely, the Vehicle Code Section for reckless  
          driving ( 23103) was not expressly mentioned.  Thus, the  
          default schedule of five years applied.

          This bill seeks to correct those errors with the following  
          changes to retention rules: (1) Decreasing the retention period  
          for misdemeanor speed contests conviction records from 10 to 5  
          years; and (2) Increasing the retention period for misdemeanor  
          reckless driving conviction records from 5 to 10 years.  This  
          bill has no known opposition.

          3. Argument in Support

          According to the sponsor of this bill, the Judicial Council of  
          California:

               AB 2232 addresses drafting errors in the rules governing  
               retention of court files regarding certain misdemeanor  
               traffic offenses. This bill reduces the requirement for  
               courts to retain files regarding violations of Vehicle Code  
               sections 23109 (speed contests) and 23109.5 (sentencing for  
               speed contests) from ten years to five years while  
               increasing the requirement for courts to retain files  
               regarding violations of Vehicle Code section 23103  








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               (reckless driving) from five years to ten years.

               In 2013, a Judicial Council working group assisted in  
               drafting language for AB 1352 (stats 2013, ch. 274), which  
               made significant improvements in the laws that govern  
               retention of court records and clarified the statutes  
               pertaining to the new ways that court records are produced  
               and may be retained. During that drafting, an incorrect  
               code section was inserted in the final version of the bill.  
               After the bill was chaptered, the error was brought to the  
               attention of the Judicial Council. 

               In response, the Judicial Council has sponsored this bill,  
               which ensures that reckless driving convictions are  
               retained on the same ten-year retention schedule as  
               convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, and  
               clarifies those convictions for speed contests are retained  
               on the same five-year retention schedule as all other  
               misdemeanor Vehicle Code violations. Leaving the status as  
               is will maintain an inconsistency in records retentions  
               related to reckless driving convictions as compared to  
               driving under the influence convictions, and will maintain  
               in the law what was a drafting error. 

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