SB 608, as introduced, Liu. Homelessness.
Existing law, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, provides that all persons within the state are free and equal, regardless of their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation, and are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.
This bill would enact the Right to Rest Act, which would afford persons experiencing homelessness the right to use public space without discrimination based on their housing status. Because the bill would require local agencies to perform additional duties, it would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would describe basic human and civil rights that may be exercised without being subject to criminal or civil sanctions or harassment, including the right to use and to move freely in public spaces, the right to rest in public spaces and to protect oneself from the elements, the right to eat in any public space in which having food is not prohibited, the right to perform religions observances in public spaces, and the right to occupy a motor vehicle or a recreational vehicle legally parked or parked with the permission of the property owner, as specified.
The bill would authorize a person whose rights have been violated pursuant to these provisions to enforce those rights in a civil action in which the court may award the prevailing party injunctive and declaratory relief, restitution, damages, statutory damages of $1,000 per violation, and fees and costs.
Existing law provides that any person who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it, is guilty of disorderly conduct.
The bill would also exempt conduct that is protected by the bill from this definition of the crime of disorderly conduct.
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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
This act shall be known and may be cited as “The
2Right to Rest Act.”
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
4(a) According to the Housing and Urban Development’s report
5to Congress, 136,826 people were estimated to be homeless in
6California in 2013, a rate that is unprecedented following a deep
7and prolonged economic recession, a severe shortage of safe and
8affordable housing, a failed veteran and civilian mental health
9system, and a diminished social safety net.
10(b) According to the United States Department of Education,
11259,656 school children were known to have experienced
12homelessness in the 2012-13 school year.
13(c) Homelessness is an independent risk factor
for a number of
14illnesses, making people more susceptible to increased health
15problems due to high stress, sleep deprivation, unsanitary
16surroundings, lack of access to hygiene facilities, and a myriad of
17other situational stressors experienced by people without stable
18housing. Subsequently, people who are chronically homeless are
P3 1more medically frail and three to four times more likely to die
2prematurely than their housed counterparts.
3(d) Throughout California, local governments have enacted
4ordinances that make it illegal to rest or seek nourishment in public
6(e) These local ordinances do not reduce the incidence of
7homelessness or crime. Instead, they result in increased
8incarceration rates and financial indebtedness of people who simply
9have no means of support and prolong homelessness by making
10it more difficult for people to secure housing, employment, and
12(f) While these ordinances apply to all residents, they
13disproportionately impact people without homes, who have no
14private place to rest or seek nourishment, and are often selectively
15applied by law enforcement to people based upon their appearance
16or an assumption of homelessness.
17(g) In practice, these ordinances deprive persons experiencing
18homelessness and those who may be perceived as homeless of a
19safe and legal place to rest and seek nourishment, which adversely
20impacts their health and well-being.
21(h) Sleep deprivation impairs cognitive processes and puts one
22at risk for obesity, heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular
23heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and depression.
24People who are homeless suffer from sleep deprivation and, absent
25a place to rest, they suffer it more frequently.
26(i) Lacking the resources necessary to obtain adequate legal
27representation, homeless persons are often denied relief or damages
28through the courts.
29(j) Both the federal government, through its Interagency Council
30on Homelessness, and the United Nations, have recognized that
31discrimination and criminalization violate a homeless person’s
32human rights and have called upon state and local governments to
33cease enactment and enforcement of those laws.
34(k) Homelessness and the increasing criminalization of
35homelessness and discrimination against those experiencing
36homelessness are widespread throughout California and are matters
37of statewide concern.
38(l) Section 1 of Article I of the California Constitution provides
39that “[a]ll people are by nature free and independent and have
40inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life
P4 1and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and
2pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy,” without
3qualification as to whether or not a person is, or appears to be,
5(m) Subdivision (a) of Section 7 of Article I of the California
6Constitution provides that “[a] person may not be deprived of life,
7liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal
8protection of the laws... .”
9(n) Concordant with this fundamental belief, a person should
10not be subject to discrimination based on his or her income, housing
11status, or ability or desire to appear housed. Therefore, it is the
12intent of the Legislature in enacting this legislation to protect the
13rights of all Californians, regardless of their housing status and
14ameliorate the adverse effects caused by the criminalization of
15homelessness on our communities and our citizens.
16(o) Decriminalization of rest allows municipal governments to
17redirect resources from local enforcement activities to activities
18that address the root causes of homelessness and poverty.
Part 2.2 (commencing with Section 53.8) is added to
20Division 1 of the Civil Code, to read:
For purposes of this part, the following definitions shall
26(a) “BID” means a business improvement district, as established
27pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 36520) of Part
286 of Division 18 of, or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 36620)
29of Part 7 of Division 18 of, the Streets and Highways Code, or any
30public-private partnership established under any municipal or
31county law authorized pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with
32Section 36500) of Part 6 of Division 18 of, or Chapter 2
33(commencing with Section 36620) of Part 7 of Division 18 of, the
34Streets and Highways Code, whether or not the phrase “business
35improvement district” is part of the public-private partnership’s
37(b) “BID agent” means any person hired by a business
39(c) “Discrimination based on housing status” includes any
40distinction, exclusion, or restriction based on the status of having
P5 1or not having a fixed or regular residence or that disproportionately
2impacts person of a particular housing status. Measures taken to
3ensure equal enjoyment or exercise of the human right to rest shall
4not be deemed discriminatory.
5(d) “Harassment” means a knowing or willful course of conduct
6by law enforcement, public or private security personnel, or a BID
7agent directed at a specific person that a reasonable person would
8consider as seriously alarming, threatening, tormenting, or
10(e) (1) “Homeless persons,” “homeless people,” or “persons
11experiencing homelessness” means those individuals or members
12of families who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
13residence including all of the following:
14(A) Individuals and members of families who are sharing the
15housing of other persons due to a loss of housing, economic
16hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer
17parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate
18accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters;
19are abandoned in a hospital; or are awaiting foster care placement.
20(B) Individuals and members of families who have a primary
21nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed
22for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for
23human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or
24train station, airport, or camping ground.
25(C) Individuals and members of families who are living in cars,
26parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing,
27bus or train stations, or similar settings.
28(D) Individuals and members of families who, in the preceding
2936 months, have moved between jurisdictions in order to obtain
30temporary or seasonal employment in agriculture or fishing work,
31or have migrated 20 miles or more to a temporary residence to
32engage in a fishing activity.
33(2) This definition includes unaccompanied youth and homeless
34families with children and youth who have experienced a long-term
35period without living independently in permanent housing, have
36experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves
37over that period, and can be expected to continue in that status for
38an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic
39physical health or mental health conditions, substance addiction,
40histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of
P6 1a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to
3(f) “Motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle as defined in Section
4415 of the Vehicle Code.
5(g) “Public space” means any property that is owned, in whole
6or in part, by any state or local government entity or any property
7upon which there is an easement for public use and that is held
8open to the public, including, but not limited to, plazas, courtyards,
9parking lots, sidewalks, public transportation facilities and services,
10public buildings, shopping centers, and parks.
11(h) “Recreational vehicle” means a recreational vehicle as
12defined in Section 18010 of the Health and Safety Code.
13(i) “Rest” means the state of not moving, holding certain
14postures that include, but are not limited to, sitting, standing,
15leaning, kneeling, squatting, sleeping, or lying.
(a) Persons experiencing homelessness shall be
17permitted to use public space in the same manner as any other
18person, without discrimination based on their housing status. In
19addition, the existence of homelessness requires that civil and
20human rights that are amply protected in the home and in other
21private places be extended to the public areas in which homeless
22persons live to ensure the equal rights of all Californians, whether
23homeless or housed.
24(b) Every person in the state shall have the following basic
25human and civil rights, that may be exercised without being subject
26to criminal or civil sanctions or harassment by law enforcement,
27public or private security personnel, or BID agents:
28(1) The right to use and to move freely in public spaces, without
29discrimination and without time limitations that discriminate based
30upon housing status.
31(2) The right to rest in public spaces and to protect oneself from
32the elements, in a nonobstructive manner.
33(3) The right to eat, share, accept, or give food in any public
34space in which having food is not otherwise generally prohibited.
35(4) The right to pray, meditate, worship, or practice religion in
36public spaces, without discrimination based upon housing status.
37(5) The right to occupy a motor vehicle or a recreational vehicle,
38provided that the vehicle is legally parked on public property or
39parked on private property with permission of the property owner.
(a) Any person whose rights have been violated pursuant
2to this part may enforce those rights in a civil action.
3(b) The court may award appropriate injunctive and declaratory
4relief, restitution for loss of property or personal effects and
5belongings, actual damages, compensatory damages, exemplary
6damages, statutory damages of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per
7violation, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to a prevailing
Section 647 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
Except as provided in subdivision (l), every person who
11commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct,
13(a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd
14or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to
15the public or exposed to public view.
16(b) Who solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in
17any act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of
18prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she
19manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage,
20regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person
21who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution.
22No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute
23a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the
24agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the
25commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to
26engage in that act. As used in this subdivision, “prostitution”
27includes any lewd act between persons for money or other
29(c) Who accosts other persons in any public place or in any
30place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting
32(d) Who loiters in or about any toilet open to the public for the
33purpose of engaging in or soliciting any lewd or lascivious or any
35(e) Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place
begin delete, without the
permission of the owner or
36whether public or private,end delete
37person entitled to the possession or in control of it.
P8 1(f) Who is found in any public place under the influence of
2intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any
3combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, controlled substance,
4or toluene, in a condition that he or she is unable to exercise care
5for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of
6his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any
7drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any
8intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene, interferes with or obstructs
9or prevents the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public
11(g) When a person has violated subdivision (f), a peace officer,
12if he or she is reasonably able to do so, shall place the person, or
13cause him or her to be placed, in civil protective custody. The
14person shall be taken to a facility, designated pursuant to Section
155170 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, for the 72-hour
16treatment and evaluation of inebriates. A peace officer may place
17a person in civil protective custody with that kind and degree of
18force which would be lawful were he or she effecting an arrest for
19a misdemeanor without a warrant. A person who has been placed
20in civil protective custody shall not thereafter be subject to any
21criminal prosecution or juvenile court proceeding based on the
22facts giving rise to this placement. This subdivision shall not apply
23to the following persons:
24(1) Any person who is under the influence of any drug, or under
25the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and any drug.
26(2) Any person who a peace officer has probable cause to believe
27has committed any felony, or who has committed any misdemeanor
28in addition to subdivision (f).
29(3) Any person who a peace officer in good faith believes will
30attempt escape or will be unreasonably difficult for medical
31personnel to control.
32(h) Who loiters, prowls, or wanders upon the private property
33of another, at any time, without visible or lawful business with the
34owner or occupant. As used in this subdivision, “loiter” means to
35delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property
36and for the purpose of committing a crime as opportunity may be
38(i) Who, while loitering, prowling, or wandering upon the private
39property of another, at any time, peeks in the door or window of
P9 1any inhabited building or structure, without visible or lawful
2business with the owner or occupant.
3(j) (1) Any person who looks through a hole or opening, into,
4or otherwise views, by means of any instrumentality, including,
5but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camera,
6motion picture camera, camcorder, or mobile phone, the interior
7of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing
8room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which
9the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the
10intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside. This
11subdivision shall not apply to those areas of a private business
12used to count currency or other negotiable instruments.
13(2) Any person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture
14camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape,
15 film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another,
16identifiable person under or through the clothing being worn by
17that other person, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the
18undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or
19knowledge of that other person, with the intent to arouse, appeal
20to, or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person and
21invade the privacy of that other person, under circumstances in
22which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
23(3) (A) Any person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion
24picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly
25videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another,
26identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress,
27for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn
28by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that
29other person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing
30room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior
31of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable
32expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that
34(B) Neither of the following is a defense to the crime specified
35in this paragraph:
36(i) The defendant was a cohabitant, landlord, tenant, cotenant,
37employer, employee, or business partner or associate of the victim,
38or an agent of any of these.
39(ii) The victim was not in a state of full or partial undress.
P10 1(4) (A) Any person who intentionally distributes the image of
2the intimate body part or parts of another identifiable person, or
3an image of the person depicted engaged in an act of sexual
4intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration, or an
5image of masturbation by the person depicted or in which the
6person depicted participates, under circumstances in which the
7persons agree or understand that the image shall remain private,
8the person distributing the image knows or should know that
9distribution of the image will cause serious emotional distress, and
10the person depicted suffers that distress.
11(B) A person intentionally distributes an image described in
12subparagraph (A) when he or she personally distributes the image,
13or arranges, specifically requests, or intentionally causes another
14person to distribute that image.
15(C) As used in this paragraph, “intimate body part” means any
16portion of the genitals, the anus and in the case of a female, also
17includes any portion of the breasts below the top of the areola, that
18is either uncovered or clearly visible through clothing.
19(D) It shall not be a violation of this paragraph to distribute an
20image described in subparagraph (A) if any of the following
22(i) The distribution is made in the course of reporting an
24(ii) The distribution is made in compliance with a subpoena or
25other court order for use in a legal proceeding.
26(iii) The distribution is made in the course of a lawful public
28(5) This subdivision shall not preclude punishment under any
29section of law providing for greater punishment.
30(k) In any accusatory pleading charging a violation of
31subdivision (b), if the defendant has been once previously convicted
32of a violation of that subdivision, the previous conviction shall be
33charged in the accusatory pleading. If the previous conviction is
34found to be true by the jury, upon a jury trial, or by the court, upon
35a court trial, or is admitted by the defendant, the defendant shall
36be imprisoned in a county jail for a period of not less than 45 days
37and shall not be eligible for release upon completion of sentence,
38on probation, on parole, on work furlough or work release, or on
39any other basis until he or she has served a period of not less than
4045 days in a county jail. In all cases in which probation is granted,
P11 1the court shall require as a condition thereof that the person be
2confined in a county jail for at least 45 days. In no event does the
3court have the power to absolve a person who violates this
4subdivision from the obligation of spending at least 45 days in
5confinement in a county jail.
6In any accusatory pleading
charging a violation of subdivision
7(b), if the defendant has been previously convicted two or more
8times of a violation of that subdivision, each of these previous
9convictions shall be charged in the accusatory pleading. If two or
10more of these previous convictions are found to be true by the jury,
11upon a jury trial, or by the court, upon a court trial, or are admitted
12by the defendant, the defendant shall be imprisoned in a county
13jail for a period of not less than 90 days and shall not be eligible
14for release upon completion of sentence, on probation, on parole,
15on work furlough or work release, or on any other basis until he
16or she has served a period of not less than 90 days in a county jail.
17In all cases in which probation is granted, the court shall require
18as a condition thereof that the person be confined in a county jail
19for at least 90 days. In no event does the court have the power to
20absolve a person who violates this subdivision from the obligation
21of spending at least 90 days in confinement in a county jail.
22In addition to any punishment prescribed by this section, a court
23may suspend, for not more than 30 days, the privilege of the person
24to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to Section 13201.5 of the
25Vehicle Code for any violation of subdivision (b) that was
26committed within 1,000 feet of a private residence and with the
27use of a vehicle. In lieu of the suspension, the court may order a
28person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle restricted, for not
29more than six months, to necessary travel to and from the person’s
30place of employment or education. If driving a motor vehicle is
31necessary to perform the duties of the person’s employment, the
32court may also allow the person to drive in that person’s scope of
34(l) (1) A second or subsequent violation of subdivision (j) is
35punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one
36year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or
37by both that fine and imprisonment.
38(2) If the victim of a violation of subdivision (j) was a minor at
39the time of the offense, the violation is punishable by imprisonment
40in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding
P12 1two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both that fine and
3(m) (1) If a crime is committed in violation of subdivision (b)
4and the person who was solicited was a minor at the time of the
5offense, and if the defendant knew or should have known that the
6person who was solicited was a minor at the time of the offense,
7the violation is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for
8not less than two days and not more than one year, or by a fine not
9exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and
11(2) The court may, in unusual cases, when the interests of justice
12are best served, reduce or eliminate the mandatory two days of
13imprisonment in a county jail required by this subdivision. If the
14court reduces or eliminates the mandatory two days’ imprisonment,
15the court shall specify the reason on the record.
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
17this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
18local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
19pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
204 of Title 2 of the Government Code.