Amended in Senate June 28, 2016

Amended in Assembly May 4, 2016

Amended in Assembly April 12, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2427


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

February 19, 2016


An act to amend Section 129 of, and to add Section 2034.415 to, the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to civil procedure.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2427, as amended, Chau. Civil Procedure: discovery.

Existing law generally prohibits a copy, reproduction, or facsimile of any kind of a photograph, negative, or print, including instant photographs and video recordings, of the body, or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for the coroner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem examination or autopsy, from being made or disseminated. This prohibition does not apply for use in a criminal action or proceeding in this state that relates to the death of that person, or, as a court permits, by order after good cause has been shown and after written notification of the request for the court order has been served, at least 5 days before the order is made, upon the district attorney of the county in which the post mortem examination or autopsy has been made or caused to be made.

This bill would additionally authorize the making or dissemination of a copy, reproduction, or facsimile described above for use or potential use in a civil action or proceeding that relates to the death of the deceased person (1) if the coroner receives written authorization from a legal heir or representative of the deceased person before the action is filed or while the action is pending and the legal heir or representative provides to the coronerbegin delete eitherend delete a declaration under penalty ofbegin delete perjury andend deletebegin insert perjury,end insert a valid form of identification,begin delete orend deletebegin insert andend insert a certified death certificate, or (2) if a subpoena is issued by a party who is a legal heir or representative of the deceased person in a pending civil action. By expanding the scope of the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law authorizes any party, after the setting of the initial trial date for an action, to demand the simultaneous exchange by all parties of lists containing the names and addresses of any persons expected to provide expert opinion testimony at the trial. Existing law also provides that a demand for an exchange of expert witness lists may include a demand for the production of discoverable reports and writings made by the listed expert witnesses. Existing law authorizes a party, to depose any expert disclosed in an expert witness list.

This bill would require that any materials or category of materials, including any electronically stored information, and any discoverable reports and writings of an expert trial witness, demanded to be produced in the deposition notice be produced no later than 3 business days before the deposition.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 129 of the Code of Civil Procedure is
2amended to read:

3

129.  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a copy, reproduction,
4or facsimile of any kind of a photograph, negative, or print,
5including instant photographs and video recordings, of the body,
6or any portion of the body, of a deceased person, taken by or for
7the coroner at the scene of death or in the course of a post mortem
8examination or autopsy, shall not be made or disseminated except
9as follows:

P3    1(1) For use in a criminal action or proceeding in this state that
2relates to the death of that person.

3(2) As a court of this state permits, by order after good cause
4has been shown and after written notification of the request for
5the court order has been served, at least five days before the order
6is made, upon the district attorney of the county in which the post
7mortem examination or autopsy has been made or caused to be
8made.

9(3) For use or potential use in a civil action or proceeding in
10this state that relates to the death of that person, if either of the
11following applies:

12(A) The coroner receives written authorization from a legal heir
13or representative of that person before the action is filed or while
14the action is pending. To verify the identity of the legal heir or
15representative,begin delete eitherend deletebegin insert allend insert of the following shall be provided to the
16coroner:

17(i) A declaration under penalty of perjury that the individual is
18a legal heir or representative of the deceasedbegin delete person and a valid
19form of identification.end delete
begin insert person.end insert

begin insert

20
(ii) A valid form of identification.

end insert
begin delete

20 21(ii)

end delete

22begin insert(iii)end insert A certified death certificate.

23(B) A subpoena is issued by a party who is a legal heir or
24representative of the deceased person in a pending civil action.

25(b) This section shall not apply to the making or dissemination
26of a copy, reproduction, or facsimile for use in the field of forensic
27pathology, in medical or scientific education or research, or by a
28coroner or any law enforcement agency in the United States for
29investigative purposes, including identification and identification
30confirmation.

31(c) This section shall apply to a copy, reproduction, or facsimile,
32and to a photograph, negative, or print, regardless of when it was
33made.

34(d) A coroner is not personally liable for monetary damages in
35a civil action for any act or omission in compliance with this
36section.

37

SEC. 2.  

Section 2034.415 is added to the Code of Civil
38Procedure
, to read:

39

2034.415.  

Any materials or category of materials, including
40any electronically stored information, and any discoverable reports
P4    1and writings of an expert trial witness, demanded to be produced
2in the deposition notice shall be produced no later than three
3business days before the deposition of the expert trial witness.

4

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
5Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
6the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
7district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
8infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
9for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
10the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
11the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
12Constitution.



O

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