BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2312


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          Date of Hearing:  May 3, 2016


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


                                  Mark Stone, Chair


          AB 2312  
          (Gatto) - As Amended March 18, 2016


          SUBJECT:  UNLAWFUL DETAINER:  PAYMENT OF RENT FUNDS


          KEY ISSUES:  


          1)by requiring a tenant to deposit disputed rent payments in a  
            separate account before completion of the trial in which his  
            or her liability for that rent may be at issue, does this bill  
            effectively compel an unconstitutional deprivation of the  
            tenant's property without due process of law?


          2)should a tenant's right to retain an attorney and defend an  
            unlawful detainer lawsuit be conditioned on his or her ability  
            to pay disputed rent payments into a separate account before  
            completion of the trial?


          3)how would such payments procedurally be made and verified by  
            the court or plaintiff's attorney without creating aN  
            irreconciliable professional conflict of interest for the  
            tenant's attorney?


                                      SYNOPSIS








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          This bill seeks to establish a controversial pre-trial rent  
          deposit program that would single out defendants in unlawful  
          detainer cases for extra procedural requirements not placed on  
          defendants in any other civil proceedings.  Specifically, this  
          bill would require a defendant in an eviction case based on  
          nonpayment of rent to deposit with his or her attorney an amount  
          of money equal to the contracted monthly rent amount when it  
          would have become due, until the court enters judgment in the  
          defendant's favor or the plaintiff regains possession of the  
          premises. According to the author, these extraordinary  
          requirements are needed to address an epidemic of eviction delay  
          tactics by unscrupulous tenant attorneys.  Supporters of the  
          bill, led by apartment associations, contend that unscrupulous  
          tenant attorneys encourage clients to file frivolous motions and  
          make every available defense, whether or not meritorious,  
          thereby causing unnecessary delays to what is supposed to be a  
          summary process.  They believe that requiring the defendant to  
          pay future rent when due, into an account maintained by their  
          own counsel, will help assure that actions taken by the defense  
          will be legitimate and not solely as a tactic to delay  
          litigation.  Supporters point to recent media reports and their  
          own compelling anecdotal examples of "horror stories" of  
          unscrupulous defendants in unlawful detainer cases who  
          manipulate the legal system to stay in rental properties as long  
          as possible, without any intention of paying rent during the  
          eviction proceedings.


          Opponents of the bill are rightfully concerned, however, that  
          the required payment scheme outlined by the bill amounts to a  
          deprivation of the tenant's property without due process, in  
          violation of the 14th Amendment.  They note that despite the  
          author's characterization of the payments obligated by this bill  
          as "future contract rent," existing law makes clear that such  
          payments constitute part of the damages claimed by the plaintiff  
          in his or her cause of action which must be proven by the  
          plaintiff by a preponderance of the evidence.  Yet under this  








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          bill, these payments must be made without allowing the defendant  
          any opportunity to be heard to contest why the defendant should  
          not have to pay that money to a fund to be held in trust for the  
          plaintiff at a later date.  Opponents correctly point out that  
          in an unlawful detainer action, the tenant may negate the  
          landlord's claim, in whole or in part, by disputing the amount  
          of rent owed, and demonstrating, for example, that the landlord  
          may have unlawfully increased the rent or failed to maintain the  
          habitability of the premises.  Therefore, to require pre-deposit  
          of the rent claimed, opponents argue, would essentially concede  
          the damages element to the landlord and deprive the tenant of  
          property without due process of law.  Opponents express  
          additional concerns that this bill treats defendants differently  
          based on whether they are represented by counsel or not,  
          effectively penalizing the very small minority of defendants who  
          are fortunate enough to have secured legal representation.  They  
          are also appropriately concerned that the bill would create a  
          professional conflict of interest for tenant attorneys by  
          requiring them to either disobey the requirements of this bill  
          or violate client confidentiality by disclosing to a third party  
          (i.e. opposing counsel) whether or not their client has complied  
          with the payment obligations arising under this bill.  The  
          Committee notes a number of unresolved legal and procedural  
          questions about how this proposal would be implemented without  
          creating irreconcilable due process problems and professional  
          conflicts of interest.  Finally, the Committee notes that  
          California tried a version of this bill when the Legislature  
          enacted SB 690 (Kopp), aka the "Pretrial Rent Deposit Pilot  
          Project," as a pilot project in which tenants had to deposit  
          unpaid rent as a condition of jury trial. The pilot ran for four  
          years in several courts, including Los Angeles County.  The  
          pilot was deemed a failure and was neither renewed nor expanded.  



          SUMMARY:  Requires a defendant in an eviction case based on  
          nonpayment of rent to deposit with his attorney an amount of  
          money equal to the contracted monthly rent amount when it would  
          have become due, until the court enters judgment in his favor or  








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          the plaintiff regains possession of the premises.  Specifically,  
          this bill:   


          1)Provides that if a defendant is represented by an attorney in  
            an action for unlawful detainer brought for nonpayment of rent  
            in which the plaintiff is seeking past due rent from a  
            defendant who is in possession, then the defendant shall  
            deliver an amount equal to the monthly rent to his or her  
            attorney each month after the filing of the summons and  
            complaint as the rent would otherwise become due and payable  
            under the lease or rental agreement until one of the following  
            conditions is satisfied:


             a)    The plaintiff regains possession of the property.


             b)   The court enters judgment in favor of the defendant in  
               the unlawful detainer action.


          2)Requires an attorney who receives rent pursuant to the above  
            provision to do all of the following:


             a)   Deposit all rent received from the defendant pursuant to  
               Item 1) into a trust account separate from the attorney's  
               own funds.


             b)   Within four days of receipt of the rent, send a letter  
               to the plaintiff, or his or her counsel, confirming receipt  
               of the rent.


             c)   Release the rent as directed by the court or pursuant to  
               a written agreement between the parties.









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          EXISTING LAW:   


          1)Provides that a tenant is guilty of unlawful detainer when he  
            or she continues in possession of rental property after three  
            days' written notice to quit for non-payment of rent, as  
            specified.  (Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161, paragraph  
            2.  All further references are to this code unless otherwise  
            stated.) 
          2)Provides that the jury or the court, if the proceedings be  
            tried without a jury, shall assess the damages occasioned to  
            the plaintiff by any forcible entry, or by any forcible or  
            unlawful detainer, alleged in the complaint and proved on the  
            trial, and find the amount of any rent due, if the alleged  
            unlawful detainer be after default in the payment of rent.   
            (Section 1174 (b).)


          3)Allows the plaintiff to be awarded statutory damages of up to  
            six hundred dollars ($600), in addition to actual damages,  
            including rent found due, if the defendant is found guilty of  
            forcible entry, or forcible or unlawful detainer, and malice  
            is shown. Further requires the trier of fact to determine  
            whether actual damages, statutory damages, or both, shall be  
            awarded, and to have judgment be entered accordingly.   
            (Section 1174 (b).)


          4)Provides that the breach of any warranty of habitability  
            (implied or express) is a defense to an unlawful detainer  
            action filed to recover possession of residential premises  
            based on nonpayment of rent.  (Green v. Superior Court (1974)  
            10 Cal. 3d 616.)


          5)Provides that in an unlawful detainer proceeding in which the  
            tenant has raised as an affirmative defense a breach of the  
            landlord's obligations under Civil Code Section 1941 or of any  








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            warranty of habitability, the court shall determine whether a  
            substantial breach of these obligations has occurred.   
            (Section 1174.2.)


          6)Provides that, if the defendant has filed an answer to the  
            complaint, trial of the proceeding shall be held not later  
            than the 20th day following the date that the request to set  
            the time of the trial is made.  (Section 1170.5 (a).)


          7)If trial is not held within the 20th day, as specified,   
            requires the court, upon finding that there is a reasonable  
            probability that the plaintiff will prevail in the action, to  
            determine the amount of damages, if any, to be suffered by the  
            plaintiff by reason of the extension, and then issue an order  
            requiring the defendant to pay that amount into court as the  
            rent would have otherwise become due and payable or into an  
            escrow designated by the court for so long as the defendant  
            remains in possession pending the termination of the action.  
            (Section 1170.5 (c).)


          8)Provides the determination of the amount of the payment shall  
            be based on the plaintiff's verified statement of the contract  
            rent for rental payment, any verified objection thereto filed  
            by the defendant, and the oral or demonstrative evidence  
            presented at the hearing. Requires the court's determination  
            of the amount of damages to include consideration of any  
            evidence, presented by the parties, embracing the issue of  
            diminution of value or any set off permitted by law. (Section  
            1170.5 (c).)


          9)Requires the court, after trial of the action, to determine  
            the distribution of the payment made into court or the escrow  
            designated by the court.  (Section 1170.5 (f).)










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          FISCAL EFFECT:  As currently in print this bill is keyed  
          non-fiscal.


          COMMENTS:  This bill seeks to establish a controversial program  
          for pre-trial rent deposit that would single out defendants in  
          unlawful detainer cases for extra procedural requirements not  
          placed on defendants in any other civil proceedings.  According  
          to the author, these extraordinary requirements are justified in  
          order to address a growing epidemic of eviction delay tactics by  
          unscrupulous tenant attorneys.  According to the author:


               California has seen an emergence of eviction defense mills,  
               which market themselves to tenants as a means of staying on  
               their rental property rent-free for months using a variety  
               of defense tactics.  One of the most popular tactics to  
               lengthen the unlawful detainer (UD) process is by  
               requesting a jury trial.  Knowing the high cost, time delay  
               and lost rent to a property owner that a jury trial brings,  
               eviction mills, on behalf of the tenants (defendants),  
               often offer to waive the request for a jury trial if the  
               owner agrees to forgive back rent, allow the tenant to stay  
               additional months rent-free, pay the defendant's attorney's  
               fees, and seal the future court record so that future  
               landlords are unable to access faulty rent histories.   
               Other defense tactics include filing claims that the tenant  
               wasn't given sufficient notice of the UD lawsuit, which  
               requires the landlord to re-serve the complaint (thus  
               restarting the 5-day response clocks and 20-day court  
               hearing clocks), requesting a period of time for discovery  
               of additional information, claiming habitability issues,  
               and filing demurrers challenging the premises of the  
               unlawful detainer.


               The bill seeks to fix delays and abuses in the unlawful  
               detainer process, whereby some tenants are frivolously  
               using a jury trial to delay proceedings.  The measure  








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               requires defendants who request a jury trial and retain  
               counsel to pay to their attorneys the rent as would  
               otherwise be due during the duration of the trial to the  
               landlord.  The attorneys would hold the rent in their trust  
               accounts, and upon a ruling by the court as to how the rent  
               is to be disbursed, would pay the funds in the manner  
               prescribed by the court.


          Opponents of the bill, including tenant advocates and legal aid  
          organizations, are concerned that the bill is aimed not at  
          fixing delays in the system, but at stifling legal  
          representation of tenants.  Among these opponents is Eviction  
          Defense Network, who writes:


               The purpose of this bill is to fix a perceived 'imbalance'  
               that has arisen in unlawful detainer litigation through the  
               emergence of what the author terms 'eviction defense  
               mills.'  This terminology is coded language for eviction  
               defense attorneys, and the imbalance that is suggested  
               refers to the aforementioned expansion of legal  
               representation for tenants facing eviction. The many ills  
               listed in the bill correlate to the basics of legal  
               representation for tenants:  that is, the tenant's  
               assertion of a constitutional right to a jury trial;  
               discovery requests or the tenant's right to know the  
               evidence against them, and the tenant raising basic  
               defenses to the action such as habitability.  The  
               unavoidable inference is that the implicit aim of AB 2312  
               is to stifle legal representation of tenants.


          To the extent that tenant attorneys file motions or plead  
          affirmative defenses solely to delay UD proceedings, it should  
          be noted the law already provides strong potential remedies  
          against unscrupulous attorneys.  First, California lawyers are  
          bound by the California Rules of Professional Conduct and  
          relevant portions of the Business & Professions Code.  These  








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          rules generally prohibit an attorney from filing actions that  
          the attorney knows to be without merit solely to delay the  
          proceedings.  (See e.g. California Rules of Professional Conduct  
          Rule 3-200 and Business & Professions Code Section 6068 (c).)   
          Existing rules of civil procedure permit the court to impose  
          sanctions against any attorney who uses actions or tactics that  
          "are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay."   
          (Sections 128.5 (a) and 128.6 (a).)   


          Requiring deposit of rent as specified by this bill may amount  
          to an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due  
          process of law.  Under this bill, if a landlord files an  
          eviction against a tenant for nonpayment of rent, the tenant  
          would be obligated, if represented by an attorney, to begin  
          paying an amount of money equal to the monthly rent into a trust  
          account maintained by the attorney.  The bill requires this sum  
          of money to be paid into the account on each date or occasion  
          when the rent would have otherwise become due under the rental  
          agreement, and the tenant's obligation lasts as long as the UD  
          proceeding is pending, more specifically until either the  
          landlord regains possession of the property, or the court enters  
          judgment in favor of the tenant.  For example, if T rents an  
          apartment from L for $1000 per month, due on the 1st of each  
          month and T fails to pay rent for two months, triggering L's  
          right to file an eviction against T on the 24th of the month,  
          under this bill, T would not be required to pay the past unpaid  
          rent total of $2000.  Instead, in order to make the payment  
          obligation resemble the normal rent-paying obligation as much as  
          possible, T would be required to pay $1000 into the special  
          trust account seven days later, on the first of the month  
          (assuming the UD proceedings are still pending and assuming that  
          T were represented by an attorney).  Should the case remain  
          unresolved another 30 days later (and T were still represented  
          by an attorney), T would again be obligated to pay $1000 into  
          the account.  


          According to the author, the tenant's attorney will hold and  








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          protect the payments in the trust account until termination of  
          the UD proceedings at which time the court will direct  
          distribution of the trust funds.  The duties of the tenant's  
          attorney are to retain control of the acceptance of the future  
          payments when they become due; account for the rental payments  
          to the court; and use and maintain the trust fund account as he  
          or she would customarily do for other legal matters.  The author  
          further states:


               In many cases, there is no legitimate defense, and the  
               tactics are being used solely to delay the inevitable  
               eviction.  These procedures are costly to landlords, and it  
               leads to an abuse of the already overburdened court system.  
                By requiring tenants to pay the rent as would otherwise be  
               due to the landlord to their attorneys, tenants would be  
               discouraged from using the system solely to delay the UD  
               proceeding, while allowing those cases in which tenants  
               have legitimate claims against their landlords to move  
               continue to move forward.  If the court rules in favor of a  
               tenant, wholly or partially, the tenant will receive that  
               amount of money back as prescribed by the court.


          Opponents of the bill are concerned, however, that the required  
          payment scheme outlined by the bill deprives the tenant of his  
          property without due process, in violation of the 14th  
          Amendment.  They note that despite the author's characterization  
          of the payments as "future contract rent," agreed at the time  
          the lease was made, existing law makes clear that those payments  
          constitute part of the damages claimed by the plaintiff in his  
          cause of action.  (See Code of Civil Procedure Section 1174 (b),  
          allowing the court to award only those damages caused by the  
          unlawful detainer itself, i.e. the reasonable rental value,  
          calculated daily from the date of expiration of the termination  
          notice and until the date of the judgment. (See, e.g. Roberts v.  
          Redlich (1952) 111 CA.2d. 566.).)  As part of the damages, the  
          amount of rent owed must be proven by the plaintiff by a  
          preponderance of the evidence; yet under this bill, these  








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          payments must be made without allowing the defendant any  
          opportunity to contest why he should not have to pay that amount  
          into the trust fund established by this bill, to be held in  
          trust for the plaintiff at a later date.  According to the  
          National Housing Law Project:


               AB 2312 raises significant constitutional concerns.  In no  
               other form of civil action in California is a defendant's  
               right to retain an attorney and defend a lawsuit  
               conditioned on his or her ability to pay claimed damages.  
               Damages are an element of the plaintiff's cause of action,  
               to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence by the  
               plaintiff. In an unlawful detainer action, the tenant may  
               negate the landlord's claim, in whole or in part, by  
               disputing the amount of rent owed. For example, the  
               landlord may have lost or disregarded a payment, unlawfully  
               increased the rent, or failed to maintain the habitability  
               of the premises. To require pre-deposit of the rent claimed  
               would essentially concede the damages element to the  
               landlord and deprive the tenant of property without due  
               process of law.  The due process concerns are even more  
               compelling for low-income tenants with rental subsidies,  
               who lack the financial means to post the entire  
               unsubsidized rent in order to assert a meritorious defense.


          The question of whether the defendant owes all, some, or none of  
          the claimed rent amount is a matter for the court to consider at  
          trial based on evidence other than the amount of rent specified  
          in the lease agreement.  As the Legal Aid Foundation of Los  
          Angeles (LAFLA) explains:


               AB 2312 incorrectly presumes that tenants who are accused  
               of non-payment of rent always owe the amount of monthly  
               rent that the landlord is demanding. In an unlawful  
               detainer action, the tenant may negate the landlord's  
               claim, in whole or in part, by disputing the amount of rent  








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               owed. For example, the landlord may have lost or  
               disregarded a payment, unlawfully increased the rent, or  
               failed to maintain the habitability of the premises. In a  
               recent non-payment case that was tried to a jury in Los  
               Angeles, LAFLA's staff attorneys obtained a jury verdict  
               for the defendant and the jury found that, due to the  
               extreme slum conditions of the apartment, zero rent was  
               owed. Certainly, requiring that tenant to pre-deposit the  
               rent in the amount claimed by that landlord would have been  
               unfair and inappropriate.


          Central California Legal Services (CCLS) succinctly  
                                                                                     articulates the objection raised by multiple opponents of  
          the bill, as follows:  "The bill violates tenants' right to  
          due process by eliminating a plaintiff's duty to first prove  
          alleged rental damages before a defendant becomes obligated  
          to set aside such monies for plaintiff's benefit."


          Existing law that allows deposit of rent before entry of  
          judgment, by contrast, provides due process protections not in  
          this bill.  Opponents contend that this bill may not be needed  
          because existing law already allows a procedure that protects  
          against unnecessary delay and extension of the trial.  They  
          point to this statute, CCP Section 1170.5, as an example of the  
          type of due process protections that are needed if the tenant is  
          to be made to pay an element of rent damages in advance of any  
          entry of judgment in the case.  Section 1170.5 pertains to  
          situations where the defendant in a UD seeks extension of the  
          trial, and guards against abuse of the statute by defendants  
          seeking an extension to merely delay the proceedings.  Section  
          1170.5 (c) provides that if the trial is not held within 20  
          days, the court, upon finding that there is a reasonable  
          probability that the plaintiff will prevail in the action, shall  
          determine the amount of damages, if any, to be suffered by the  
          plaintiff by reason of the extension, and then issue an order  
          requiring the defendant to pay the amount of the rent that would  
          have otherwise become due and payable or into an escrow  








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          designated by the court pending the termination of the action.   
          Importantly, the statute provides due process to the parties.   
          It allows the court to hold a hearing on the matter to ensure  
          that if the plaintiff is to be entitled to damages because of  
          the extension, then at least the defendant has an opportunity to  
          be heard on the matter.  At such a hearing, the plaintiff must  
          show a reasonable probability that he will prevail and thus  
          suffer damages.  Opponents note that these elements are lacking  
          from the rent deposit program described in this bill.   
          Proponents contend that Section 1170.5 is insufficient to  
          address delay tactics other than motions for trial extension,  
          and that the Section 1170.5 process itself is too time consuming  
          because an additional hearing is required.  The Committee notes  
          that a hearing is necessary to ensure due process.


          The deposit of rent program described by this bill raises (and  
          leaves unanswered) many important legal and procedural  
          questions.  A quick reading of the bill leads to one basic  
          question: what rules apply when the tenant has no attorney?   
          According to the author, the bill simply does not apply when the  
          tenant is unrepresented.  


          In addition, there remain a number of basic, unanswered  
          questions about procedural aspects of the bill, including the  
          following:


          1)What happens when the tenant is represented by counsel,  
            but at some point in time becomes unwilling or unable to  
            pay for the attorney, or pay the required funds into the  
            trust account?  What would become of deposits into the  
            trust account at the end of the attorney's representation  
            of the tenants?  What sanctions or defenses, if any, are  
            there for nonpayment by the tenant?


          2)How does the bill apply to Section 8 tenants in default,  








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            where for example the monthly rent is $1000 per month and  
            the tenant is responsible for paying $400 per month in  
            rent, while the government pays the remaining $600 in the  
            form of a rental voucher?


          3)How does the bill address what happens when there are four  
            tenants being evicted, each jointly and severally liable  
            for the rent, but only two tenants are represented by  
            attorneys? What amount of rent would each tenant be  
            obligated to pay into the trust account?


          4)What happens if the tenant's attorney decides his duty of  
            confidentiality to his client prevents him from disclosing  
            to the plaintiff's attorney whether or not his client has  
            complied with the requirements of this bill?


          5)What duties does the tenant attorney have should their  
            client, the defendant, stop making payments as required by  
            this bill?


          6)What consequence face an attorney should he or she  
            continue to represent a tenant who stops making payments  
            as required by this bill and the attorney either notifies  
            the court of that fact, or fails to make such  
            notification?


          Potential disincentive to seek representation; Professional  
          conflict of interest for tenant's attorney.  Opponents of the  
          bill express additional concerns that this bill treats  
          defendants differently based on whether or not they are  
          represented by counsel.  Because the author states that the bill  
          simply does not apply to unrepresented clients, it appears that  
          the bill effectively penalizes the very small minority of  
          defendants who are fortunate enough to have legal representation  








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          in unlawful detainer proceedings.  


          This disparate treatment of tenants depending on whether or not  
          they have attorneys raises equal protection concerns by enacting  
          a penalty that only applies to one class of tenants (those with  
          attorneys), even though all tenants in UD proceedings are  
          similarly situated.  At the very least, the bill creates a  
          disincentive for tenants to secure legal representation to which  
          they are constitutionally entitled, possibly interfering with  
          their 6th Amendment right to counsel.  Even though it is not the  
          stated intent of the bill's author to discourage tenants from  
          obtaining legal representation in UD proceedings, the bill's  
          disparate treatment of tenants with attorneys and those without  
          attorneys would certainly have that effect.  


          The financial penalty on tenants with attorneys may also force  
          tenants to choose between the benefit of having an attorney  
          (which necessitates paying damages into the attorney trust  
          account) and holding on to their limited funds for immediate  
          everyday needs because they can't afford to pay for both the  
          attorney penalty and those necessities.  


          The bill also creates a professional conflict of interest for  
          tenant attorneys.  Attorneys are obligated to advocate for the  
          interests of their clients and also to keep client communication  
          confidential.  This bill interferes with both obligations by  
          requiring attorneys to disclose to a third party whether or not  
          their clients have complied with the obligations arising under  
          this bill, possibly jeopardizing the client's legal interest and  
          breaching the duty of confidentiality.  If an attorney had  
          confidential information that a tenant client had not paid rent  
          damages into the holding account, the attorney would be faced  
          with the ethically untenable choice of complying with the  
          requirements of this bill and betraying client confidence and  
          best interests.  The only alternative could be for the attorney  
          to withdraw from the case, leaving the client without  








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          representation.


          Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS) contends that:


               This bill will reduce the total number of defendants able  
               to secure representation by counsel in UD cases. . . . AB  
               2312 places a new obligation on tenant attorneys to collect  
               and hold additional client monies in trust for the  
               opposition, creating additional administrative burdens for  
               UD defense attorneys.  By requiring defense counsel to  
               report to the other side whether or not they have received  
               moneys from their clients, this bill also creates the  
               likelihood that defense counsel would be turned into fact  
               witnesses adverse to their clients.  We anticipate that  
               should this bill become law, many attorneys will avoid  
               unlawful detainer defense so as to avoid the problematic  
               burdens created by this bill. 


          This bill appears to resurrect a failed pilot program from  
          1994.  According to Western Center:


               California tried a version of this before and it failed.   
               In 1994, the Legislature enacted SB 690 (Kopp), aka the  
               "Pretrial Rent Deposit Pilot Project," as a pilot project  
               in which tenants had to deposit unpaid rent as a condition  
               of jury trial. The pilot ran for four years in several  
               courts, including Los Angeles County.  Notably, SB 690  
               provided far greater procedural protections for tenants  
               than AB 2312, including affirmance by the landlord that the  
               rental unit at issue did not have any health, safety, fire,  
               rent control, or other local agency citations outstanding,  
               and a pretrial hearing in which the court, before requiring  
               deposit of unpaid rent as a condition of trial, had to  
               determine whether the landlord had made out a prima facie  
               case.  The pilot was deemed a failure and was neither  








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               renewed nor expanded.  Yet AB 2312 would essentially  
               re-enact statewide the worst aspects of a failed pilot.


          In response, proponents of the bill, including the Apartment  
          Association, California Southern Cities, states: 


               That measure was heavily burdened with unnecessary  
               requirements and resulted in significant court costs.  AB  
               2312 avoids those administrative costs, fees, oversight,  
               structure and design.  It also mitigates abusive litigation  
               tactics from both sides.  It is balanced: additional  
               judicial involvement is minimal, if any.  Tenants will pay  
               future rent when due to their own counsel.  Defendant's  
               counsel must keep the money in his or her trust account,  
               thereby assuring money will be accounted for and  
               distributed as directed by the court.  Property owners will  
               be assured that the reasons proffered by the defense are  
               not to be construed as a delaying litigation tactic.


          In response, WCLP contends that the "unnecessary requirements"  
          and court costs that are bemoaned by the proponents of this bill  
          are in fact part of the necessary due process protections that  
          lawmakers insisted on back in 1994 in order to give SB 690  
          initial trial approval.  Opponents accurately point out that the  
          Legislature declined to extend authority for the SB 690 pilot  
          program, despite the additional systemic protections adopted for  
          that program, because there were still many outstanding concerns  
          about due process that were experienced during the four-year  
          trial period.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:












                                                                    AB 2312


                                                                    Page  18





          Support


          California Apartment Association (CAA)


          California Association of Realtors


          Apartment Association, California Southern Cities


          Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles


          Apartment Association of Orange County


          East Bay Rental Housing Association


          North Valley Property Owners Association


          San Diego County Apartment Association


          Santa Barbara Rental Property Association


          Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association




          Opposition


          AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) 








                                                                    AB 2312


                                                                    Page  19







          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation 


          Central California Legal Services, Inc. (CCLS)


          Centro Legal de la Raza


          City of Santa Monica


          Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)


          Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto


          Disability Rights California


          East Bay Community Law Center


          Eviction Defense Network


          Impact Fund


          Law Foundation of Silicon Valley


          Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)


          Legal Aid Society of San Diego








                                                                    AB 2312


                                                                    Page  20







          Legal Services of Northern California


          National Housing Law Project


          Tenants Together


          Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP)


          Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge, and Services (WORKS) 




          Analysis Prepared by:Anthony Lew / JUD. / (916) 319-2334