BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                         Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair
                             2015-2016  Regular  Session


          SB 1142 (Moorlach)
          Version: April 13, 2016
          Hearing Date:  April 26, 2016
          Fiscal: No
          Urgency: No
          NR   


                                        SUBJECT
                                           
                                  Disability access

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          This bill would prohibit a construction-related accessibility  
          claim for statutory damages from being initiated in a legal  
          proceeding against a defendant unless the defendant has: 1) been  
          served with a demand letter specifying each alleged violation of  
          a construction-related accessibility standard; and 2) the  
          alleged violations have not been corrected within 120 days of  
          service. This bill would provide that a defendant is not liable  
          for statutory damages, costs, or plaintiff's attorney's fees for  
          an alleged violation that is corrected within 120 days of  
          service of a demand letter.

          This bill would provide that when there is a conflict or  
          difference between the federal Americans with Disabilities Act  
          (ADA) and any state law, standard, or regulation relating to the  
          access of individuals with disabilities to any place to which  
          the general public is invited, the ADA shall control.

                                      BACKGROUND  

          Since 1969, persons with disabilities have enjoyed protection  
          under Civil Code
          Sections 54 and 54.1, which entitle individuals with  
          disabilities and medical conditions to full and free access to  
          and use of roadways, sidewalks, buildings and facilities open to  
          the public, hospitals and medical facilities, and housing. After  
          Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in  








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          1990, the state made a violation of the ADA also a violation of  
          Section 54 or 54.1.  The state protections provided to disabled  
          persons are comparatively higher than those provided under the  
          ADA and are independent of the ADA.  Additionally, under the  
          Unruh Civil Rights Act, all persons, regardless of sex, race,  
          color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability or  
          medical condition, are entitled to the full and equal  
          accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services  
          in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever. (Civil  
          Code Sec. 51.)  A violation of the ADA also constitutes a  
          violation of Section 51.  
          In 2003 and 2005, several bills were introduced after multiple  
          lawsuits were filed in state court by a few plaintiffs and  
          attorneys against business owners and operators for allegedly  
          technical violations of the state's access or ADA regulations.  
          (SB 69 (Oller, 2003), AB 209 (Leslie, 2003), AB 20 (Leslie,  
          2005), SB 855 (Poochigian, 2005).)  Three of those bills would  
          have required a plaintiff to undertake prelitigation steps prior  
          to the filing of a complaint, including providing notice to the  
          owner of the property or business of the alleged violations, and  
          provided a specified time period for the owner or business to  
          cure the violations.  One bill, (AB 20, Leslie, 2005) would have  
          precluded an action for damages for a de minimus violation,  
          allowing only injunctive relief and attorney's fees.  All of  
          those bills failed passage in the Judiciary Committees of their  
          respective houses.  In 2008, two bills were introduced relating  
          to disability access. AB 2533 (Keene, 2008) and SB 1766  
          (McClintock, 2008) would have both imposed prelitigation hurdles  
          on plaintiffs claiming violations of construction-related  
          disability access laws.  Both of these bills failed in the  
          Judiciary Committees of their respective houses.  In 2011, SB  
          783 (Dutton, 2011) would have established notice requirements  
          for an aggrieved party to follow before he or she can bring a  
          disability access suit and given the business owner a 120-day  
          time period to remedy the violation.  That bill failed passage  
          in this Committee. 

          Alternatively, SB 1608 (Corbett et al., Ch. 549, Stats. 2008),  
          which took effect January 1, 2009, did not create any  
          pre-litigation hurdles for a person with a disability but  
          instead, among other things, provided for an early evaluation of  
          a filed complaint if the defendant is a qualified defendant who  
          had the identified place of public accommodation inspected and  
          determined to meet applicable physical access standards by a  
          state Certified Access Specialist (CASp) prior to the filing of  







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          the complaint.  In 2012, Senators Steinberg and Dutton authored  
          SB 1186 (Ch. 383, Stats. 2012) which sought to comprehensively  
          address continued issues with disability litigation.   
          Ultimately, the bipartisan effort was viewed as a compromise  
          that hoped to end the abusive litigation tactics of some  
          attorneys, protect the rights of disabled persons, and promote  
          compliance with state and federal access laws.  SB 1186 created  
          a number of protections for small businesses and defendants who  
          had, prior to a claim being filed, sought out a CASp inspection.  
           These protections included reduced minimum statutory damages,  
          early evaluation conferences, and mandatory stays of court  
          proceedings while the violations were corrected.  That bill also  
          prevented the stacking of multiple claims to increase damages,  
          banned pre-litigation demands for money, and increased data  
          collection regarding alleged access violations.

          Last year a number of bills were introduced to further combat  
          perceived issues with disability litigation.  AB 1521 (Committee  
          on Judiciary, Ch. 755, Stats. 2015) created a new class of  
          plaintiff, a "high frequency litigant," upon which it imposed  
          additional costs and procedural burdens.  Two bills, one which  
          created a tax credit for certain access expenditures to  
          businesses, and the other that would have provided funding to  
          the Commission on Disability Access, were vetoed by the Governor  
          who stated that such legislation is more appropriately  
          considered in the annual budget process (SB 251 (Roth) and AB  
          1342 (Steinorth); see Prior Legislation below).  This bill,  
          seeking to further address concerns of the business community,  
          would require plaintiffs to serve a demand letter on a business,  
          and then give the business 120 days to correct any violations  
          prior to being able to file a suit for statutory damages. 

                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
           Existing federal law  , the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),  
          provides that no individual shall be discriminated against on  
          the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the  
          goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or  
          accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any  
          person who owns, leases, or leases to, or operates a place of  
          public accommodation. (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12182.)

           Existing law  , the Unruh Civil Rights Act, declares that all  
          persons, regardless of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry,  
          national origin, disability or medical condition, are entitled  







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          to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities,  
          privileges, or services in all business establishments of every  
          kind whatsoever, and entitles persons to $4000 minimum statutory  
          damages for violations of Unruh. (Civ. Code Sec. 51 et seq.)  

           Existing law  provides that individuals with disabilities or  
          medical conditions have the same right as the general public to  
          the full and free use of the streets, highways, sidewalks,  
          walkways, public buildings, medical facilities, including  
          hospitals, clinics and physicians' offices, public facilities  
          and other public places.  It also provides that a violation of  
          an individual's rights under the ADA constitutes a violation of  
          state law.  (Civ. Code Secs. 54, 54.1.)

           Existing law provides that a violation of the ADA also  
          constitutes a violation of Sections 54 or 54.1, and entitles a  
          prevailing party to recover reasonable attorney's fees.  (Civ.  
          Code Sec. 55.)

           Existing law  requires the State Architect to establish the  
          Certified Access Specialist Program (CASp) and develop the  
          specified criteria to have a person qualify as a certified  
          access specialist. (Gov. Code Sec. 4459.5; Civ. Code Sec.  
          55.52.)

           Existing law  prohibits a demand letter from including a request  
          or demand for money or an offer or agreement to accept money,  
          unless the claim involves a physical injury and special damages,  
          and provides that a violation of this provision constitutes  
          cause for attorney discipline. (Civ. Code Sec. 55.31.)  

           Existing law  requires a demand letter alleging a  
          construction-related accessibility claim or noncompliance to  
          state facts sufficient to allow the defendant to identify the  
          basis for the claim, including a plain language explanation of  
          the specific barriers the individual encountered, the way in  
          which the barrier was entered, and the date or dates of each  
          particular occasion on which the individual encountered the  
          barrier.  (Civ. Code Sec. 55.31(a).)

           Existing law  provides that certain qualified defendants may move  
          for a 90-day stay and early evaluation conference.  Defendants  
          who do not qualify for an early evaluation conference pursuant  
          to these provisions, or who forgoe those provisions, may request  
          a mandatory evaluation conference, as specified.  (Civ. Code  







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          Secs. 55.45 and 55.545.)

           Existing law  reduces a defendant's minimum liability for  
          statutory damages in a construction-related accessibility claim  
          against a place of public accommodation to $1,000 for each  
          unintentional offense if the defendant has had a CASp  
          inspection, or occupies a building constructed after 2008, and  
          corrected all construction-related violations that are the basis  
          of the claim within 60 days of being served with the complaint.  
          (Civ. Code Sec. 55.56(f)(1).)

           Existing law  reduces a defendant's minimum liability for  
          statutory damages to $2,000 for each unintentional offense if  
          the defendant has corrected all construction-related violations  
          that are the basis of the claim within 30 days of being served  
          with the complaint and the defendant is a small business,  
          defined as less than $3.5 million in gross receipts and 25 or  
          fewer employees, on average, over the past three years.  (Civ.  
          Code Sec. 55.56(f)(2).)

           This bill  would prohibit a construction-related accessibility  
          claim for statutory damages from being initiated against a  
          defendant unless:
                 the defendant has been served with a demand letter  
               specifying each alleged violation of a construction-related  
               accessibility standard; and 
                 the alleged violations have not been corrected within  
               120 days of service. 

           This bill  would provide that a defendant is not liable for  
          statutory damages, costs, or plaintiff's attorney's fees for an  
          alleged violation that is corrected within 120 days of service  
          of a demand letter alleging the violation.

           This bill  would provide, when there is a conflict or difference  
          between the ADA and any state law, standard, or regulation  
          relating to the access of individuals with disabilities to any  
          place to which the general public is invited, the ADA shall  
          control.

                                        COMMENT
           
           1.Stated need for the bill
           
          According to the author: 







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            Across the state, businesses are being targeted for failing to  
            be in compliance with the ever-changing disability access  
            guidelines, resulting in lawsuits that cost the business  
            thousands, and put money in the pockets of serial plaintiffs  
            and trial attorneys. ? Because California law provides that  
            the plaintiff is entitled to minimum damages that can start as  
            high as $4,000 per violation, triple the damages, and may be  
            awarded attorney's fees, mom-and-pop businesses are finding  
            themselves fixing a $10 mirror, but owing tens of thousands of  
            dollars to the plaintiff's attorneys for their fees. ? 

            Additionally, because California has implemented its own  
            version of the ADA, the Construction-Related Accessibility  
            Standards Compliance Act, there is often confusion as to which  
            standards a business is supposed to adhere to. A plaintiff can  
            sue under a cause of action that is not provided for in the  
            ADA, but is under California law.

           2.Removes incentives for businesses to proactively comply with  
            access laws
           
          Existing law provides certain protections to businesses who  
          actively seek out a Certified Access sSpecialist (CASp)  
          inspection prior to being sued for construction-related  
          accessibility violations.  These businesses are entitled to a  
          90-day stay and an early evaluation conference.  They also  
          qualify for reduced minimum statutory damages of $1000 per  
          violation if the violations are corrected within 60 days.  In  
          addition, existing law extends similar protections to small  
          businesses that have not had a CASp inspection, in that they  
          qualify for minimum statutory damages of $2000 per violation if  
          the violations are cured within 30 days. 

          This bill would instead give all businesses approximately four  
          months to correct any identified access violations before being  
          vulnerable to a law suit.  If the identified violations are  
          corrected within 120 days, businesses would be immune from any  
          costs, fees, or damages.  Under existing law, damages function  
          as a penalty against business owners who have failed to make  
          their property comply with accessibility laws.  The potential  
          threat of these penalties creates an incentive for business  
          owners to make their buildings accessible because it protects  
          them from liability.  Thus, by eliminating a plaintiff's ability  
          to file suit and be awarded damages, this bill would also  







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          eliminate a powerful incentive for business owners to  
          proactively make improvements to their properties.  Businesses  
          would instead have financial reasons to wait until being served  
          a demand letter to fix accessibility violations, which is  
          exactly the practice the Legislature sought to curb with SB 1608  
          and SB 1186 (see Background).  Staff further notes that by  
          allowing all potential defendants 120 days to correct any  
          violations, this bill eliminates any benefit for businesses that  
          have proactively taken action, through a CASp inspection, to  
          comply with access laws and make their businesses accessible. In  
          opposition, Disability Rights California writes: 

            Increasing the time period to 120 days to correct violations  
            is unjustified. Since the enactment of SB 1186 in 2012 which  
            allowed for a reduction in damages and a specific time period  
            to correct construction-related barriers, there is no evidence  
            to suggest that the current time periods to fix problems are  
            not workable or insufficient.

            Rather than encouraging businesses to wait and see if they are  
            caught, this bill should provide incentives to businesses to  
            comply, such as stronger lease provisions to ensure landlords  
            have buildings inspected and brought into compliance before  
            they are leased. SB 1186 (Steinberg, 2012) requires leases to  
            state whether they have been inspected for accessibility. This  
            would ensure small businesses are not the unwitting recipients  
            of demand letters and lawsuits.

           3.Creates an unprecedented pre-litigation procedural hurdle for  
            disabled persons  

          Under existing law, if an individual's civil rights or liberties  
          are violated, he or she has a right to seek recourse in a court  
          of law by filing a complaint.  While there are situations where  
          a plaintiff is required to take some preliminary steps before  
          commencing an action or proceeding, those situations generally  
          relate to contract and quasi-contract actions,  
          beneficiary-trustee lawsuits against third parties, and to cases  
          of professional malpractice (Witkin, California Procedure 4th  
          Ed., Vol. 3, 198 et seq.).  Further, existing law does create  
          demand letter requirements with regard to access suits, but it  
          does not require that a demand letter be sent to a potential  
          defendant prior to commencing litigation.  Instead, to curb  
          abusive practices by some actors, existing law outlines the  
          permissible contents of a demand letter, including a prohibition  







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          on demands for money. This bill, by requiring that potential  
          plaintiffs serve a pre-litigation demand letter on business,  
          would create an unprecedented pre-litigation hurdle for persons  
          with disabilities who are seeking to enforce their civil rights.  
           

          In opposition, the California Association of Public Authorities  
          writes, "no other protected class is required to follow  
          additional procedural and legal hurdles before they can enforce  
          their civil rights.  This is a policy the state of California  
          should not endorse or promote.  Furthermore, litigation of  
          access violations is the only means available to people with  
          disabilities to compel compliance by businesses.  Without the  
          ability to recover attorney's fees, costs, and civil rights  
          (statutory) damages, the majority of people with disabilities  
          would not be able to enforce their civil rights and ensure  
          compliance."

          4.  Awards of attorney's fees, costs, and statutory damages would  
            be eliminated
           
          Under existing law, persons who are deterred from accessing a  
          business, are entitled to, at the very least, minimum statutory  
          damages ranging from $1000 per violation to $4000 per violation,  
          depending on the type of business.  In addition, persons who are  
          able to demonstrate some type of harm, may be entitled to  
          "actual" damages, although actual damages in access suites are  
          rarely present because they are very difficult to ascertain  
          except in situations involving, for example, hospitals and  
          clinics when the plaintiff needed medical attention.  Thus, the  
          law provides for the minimum of $1,000 in statutory damages so  
          that businesses are deterred from ignoring access standards with  
          regard to their establishments.  

          While the proponents argue that this bill is necessary to curb  
          "needless payments of overly burdensome attorney's fees," this  
          bill would in fact also curb meritorious claims by disabled  
          plaintiffs.  Other laws relating to the exercise of civil rights  
          (such as access to senior housing, gender discrimination,  
          discrimination by business establishments based on specified  
          characteristics) provide for similar recovery of actual damages,  
          attorney's fees and costs, and minimum statutory damages.  
          Denying disabled persons the ability to seek the same recovery  
          under civil rights laws would single out their claims for less  
          favorable treatment.  The disabled community asserts that after  







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          over 40 years of state and 20 years of federal law guaranteeing  
          full and equal access, compliance by businesses across the state  
          leaves much to be desired.  Further, staff notes that the value  
          of attorney's fees and costs, as well as the minimum $1,000 in  
          statutory damages, to plaintiffs seeking redress is immeasurable  
          because without the court's ability to make this award, many  
          plaintiffs could not afford to file suit to compel compliance.  

          5.Federal law provides minimum protections upon which state law  
            may expand
            
           
           ---------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article |
          |VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws   |
          |made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority,     |
          |constitute the supreme law of the land.  However, unless        |
          |Congress intended a federal law to "occupy the field," federal  |
          |law generally provides the base-level of protections persons    |
          |must be afforded, and states are free to build upon those       |
          |protections as long as state law does not conflict with the     |
          |federal law.  Over time, subsidiary rules have been created to  |
          |determine when there is a genuine conflict between a state and  |
          |federal law, or whether federal law has "preempted" the state   |
          |law. Modern doctrine generally holds that preemption occurs     |
          |whenever it is intended by Congress, when it is literally       |
          |impossible to comply with both state and federal law, or when a |
          |state law "stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and      |
          |execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress."     |
          |Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941).                        |
           ---------------------------------------------------------------- 

          This bill would provide that when there is a conflict or  
          difference between the ADA and any state law, that the ADA  
          should control.  This requirement would, as a practical matter,  
          nullify any state laws, standards, or regulations that are above  
          what is required by the ADA. Not only could this result in the  
          elimination of important protections that disabled Californians  
          are entitled to, it could arguably eliminate updates to building  
          standards that have made California standards easier to follow  
          for businesses and contractors than the ADA.  Arguably, this  
          goes against our current notions of how state and federal law  
          should interact, as articulated by Justice Brannan in a 1977  
          article: 








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            [M]ore and more state courts are construing state  
            constitutional counterparts of provisions of the Bill of  
            Rights as guaranteeing citizens of their states even more  
            protection than the federal provisions, even those identically  
            phrased. This is surely an important and highly significant  
            development for our constitutional jurisprudence and for our  
            concept of federalism. ? Federalism need not be a  
            mean-spirited doctrine that serves only to limit the scope of  
            human liberty. (Brennan, State Constitutions and the  
            Protection of Individual Rights, 90 Harv. L. Rev. 489, 495,  
            503 (1977).)

          Staff further notes that applying the ADA when there is any  
          "difference" between federal and California law, as required  
          under this bill, would also apply to remedies, and would  
          therefore arguably limit a plaintiff's ability to recover  
          anything other than injunctive relief and attorney's fees.   

          6.  Legislative findings and declarations are not based on  
            empirical data regarding these lawsuits  

          This bill contains legislative findings and declarations without  
          empirical data supporting those findings.  For example, the bill  
                                                                             states:

            "[O]ppressive lawsuits are needlessly decreasing or limiting  
            access to public facilities since funds that could have been  
            used to create greater accessibility are being taken by some  
            attorneys for their excessive fees through unnecessary  
            litigation."

          While prior to SB 1186 (Steinberg, Ch. 383, Stats. 2012), there  
          was very little information regarding access suits in  
          California, that bill included a number of data collection  
          requirements so that the California Commission on Disability  
          Access, the Legislature, and others could better understand the  
          allegedly predatory practices of a few litigants and attorneys.   
          Accordingly, the California Commission on Disability access has  
          compiled data indicating that from January 2014 until January  
          2015, less than one percent of small businesses, and a far  
          smaller percentage of all businesses, were sued in 2014 for  
          violations of construction-related accessibility standards.   
          However, of the 5,392 access-related complaints filed between  
          September 2012 and October 2014, 54 percent of the cases were  
          filed by two law firms, and 14 plaintiffs were involved in 46  







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          percent of the cases.  Relying on these numbers, the business  
          community continues to argue that an alarming number of  
          construction-related accessibility lawsuits are being filed by a  
          small number of law firms in California.  

          The author and the proponents of this bill have not alleged that  
          disabled plaintiffs and their attorneys are bringing  
          unmeritorious claims, but instead that the fees charged by the  
          attorneys are too high.  However, as a matter of practice, civil  
          laws, including the ADA and Unruh, are enforced through private  
          actions.  The ability to seek relief when access has been denied  
          due to a construction-related access violation is the right of a  
          disabled person in the same way that a woman who has been passed  
          over for a promotion because of her gender or a minority who was  
          refused service based on his race, has the right to sue the  
          person who discriminated against them. 
          In opposition, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) write,  
          "CAOC understands that there have been some suits in this area  
          that have not passed the smell test, but SB 1142 is not the  
          answer.  Instead, CAOC has been working with the California  
          Chamber of Commerce in good faith to find a solution to a  
          problem plaguing many California communities:  how to make  
          buildings more accessible for people with disabilities while at  
          the same time stopping the abusive practices of some attorneys  
          who are filing multiple lawsuits against mostly small businesses  
          and seeking fees, not compliance. Consumer Attorneys wants to  
          encourage compliance and stop, once and for all, the attorneys  
          who are taking advantage of our law." 


           Support  :  California Apartment Association; California Chamber  
          of Commerce; California Retailers Association; Civil Justice  
          Association of California; CSAC Excess Insurance Authority 

           Opposition  :  California Association of Public Authorities;  
          Consumer Attorneys of California; Disability Rights California;  
          Tenants Together; Western Center on Law & Poverty

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  Author

           Related Pending Legislation  :

          SB 269 (Roth, 2016) is substantially similar to SB 251 (see  







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          below), with the exception of the tax credit, which the author  
          removed to address the Governor's concerns. 

          AB 54 (Olsen, 2015) would require that demand letters and  
          complaints are sent to the Commission on Disability Access in a  
          standard format specified by the Commission.  This bill is  
          currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  

           Prior Legislation  :

          AB 52 (Gray, 2015) would have provided that the defendant's  
          maximum liability for statutory damages in a  
          construction-related accessibility claim against a place of  
          public accommodation is $1,000 for each offense if the defendant  
          has corrected all construction-related violations within 180  
          days of being served with the complaint.  This bill was never  
          heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. 

          AB 1230 (Gomez, Ch. 787, Stats. 2015) establishes the California  
          Americans with Disabilities Act Small Business Compliance  
          Finance Act to provide loans to assist small businesses to  
          finance the costs of projects that alter or retrofit existing  
          small business facilities to comply with the federal Americans  
          with Disabilities Act.  

          AB 1342 (Steinorth, 2015) would have provided additional revenue  
          to the California Commission on Disability Access.  This bill  
          was vetoed by Governor Brown who stated that it was "something  
          more appropriately addressed in the annual budget process."

          AB 1468 (Baker, 2015) would have provided that a public entity's  
          possession of a close out letter from the State Architect  
          certifying that the buildings, facilities, and other places meet  
          the applicable construction-related accessibility standards of  
          the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, serves as  
          presumptive evidence of compliance with the federal Americans  
          with Disabilities Act.  This bill was never heard in the  
          Assembly Judiciary Committee. See Background; Comments 2, 4, and  
          6. 

          AB 1521 (Committee on Judiciary, Ch. 755, Stats. 2015) See  
          Background. 

          SB 67 (Galgiani, 2015) would have limited recovery against a  
          small business for construction-related accessibility claims to  







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          injunctive relief and reasonable attorney's fees, and would  
          allow businesses who have undergone a CASp inspection 120 days  
          to correct violations in order to qualify for reduced statutory  
          minimum damages. This bill was never heard in the Senate  
          Judiciary Committee. 

          SB 251 (Roth, 2015) would have made various changes to access  
          laws, including: exempting a defendant from liability for  
          minimum statutory damages if corrections were made within 120  
          days of receiving a CASp report; requiring the State Architect  
          to publish a list of CASp inspected businesses; and providing a  
          tax credit for elibible access expenditures, as specified.  This  
          bill was vetoed by Governor Brown who argued that tax credits  
          are more appropriately addressed in the annual budget process.

          SB 1186 (Steinberg and Dutton, Ch. 383, Stats. 2012) reduced  
          statutory damages and provided litigation protections for  
          specified defendants who timely correct construction-related  
          accessibility violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act.  That  
          bill also banned prelitigation "demands for money" and created  
          rules for demand letters and complaints in claims involving  
          construction-related accessibility violations.

          AB 2282 (Berryhill, 2012) would have authorized an aggrieved  
          person to bring a disability access suit only if: (1) the person  
          has suffered an injury in fact; (2) the injury in fact was  
          caused by the violation; and (3) the violation is redressable,  
          was held under submission in the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee. 

          AB 1878 (Gaines, 2011) which is substantially similar to SB 1163  
          but applies to "microbusinesses," defined by the bill, failed  
          passage in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. 

          SB 1163 (Walters, 2012) would have established notice  
          requirements for an aggrieved party to follow before he or she  
          can bring a disability access suit and would have given the  
          business owner a 120-day time period to remedy the violation.   
          If the property owner cured the violation, this bill would have  
          prohibited the plaintiff from receiving any damages or  
          attorney's fees, except for special damages.  This bill failed  
          passage in this Committee.  

          SB 783 (Dutton, 2011), which was identical to SB 1163, failed  
          passage in this Committee. 







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          SB 384 (Evans, Ch. 419, Stats. 2011) clarified that attorneys  
          who file complaints or send demand letters related to disability  
          access violations must provide a written notice of legal rights  
          and obligations whether or not the attorney intends to file an  
          action in state or federal court.  

          SB 209 (Corbett & Harman, Ch. 569, Stats. 2009) required a CASp  
          inspection report, to remain confidential rather than be under  
          seal and subject to protective order.

          SB 1608 (Corbett et al., Ch. 549, Stats. 2008) See Background;  
          Comment 6.

          SB 1766 (McClintock, 2008) See Background.

          AB 2533 (Keene, 2008) See Background.

          SB 855 (Poochigian, 2005) See Background.  

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