Updated March 2017
AB 165 Assembly Member Cooper, Democrat, Elk Grove
Legislative Counsel Digest: Existing law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, prohibits a government entity, as defined, from compelling the production of, or access to, electronic communication information or electronic device information, as defined, without a search warrant, wiretap order, order for electronic reader records, or subpoena issued pursuant to specified conditions, except for emergency situations, as defined. That law also specifies the conditions under which a government entity may access electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device, such as pursuant to a search warrant, wiretap order, or consent of the owner of the device.
This bill would end the application of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to a local educational agency, as defined, or an individual acting for or on behalf of a local educational agency.
Comment: This bill would purport to provide public school administrators with unfettered access to the cellphones of children and adults on campus (including teachers, journalists, parents, spectators).
AB 1428 Assembly Member Low, Democrat, Cupertino
Legislative Counsel Digest: Existing law requires a department or agency that employs peace officers or custodial officers to establish a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against those officers. Existing law establishes retention requirements and access privileges, as specified, for those complaints and related reports or findings.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation on peace officer transparency.
Comment: A placeholder or “spot” bill, AB 1428 is one of several spurious transparency bills that seek to limit public access and maintain confidentiality of law enforcement proceedings while purporting to provide accountability through a voluntary, confidential mediation program between complainants and peace officers.
SB 655 Senator Galgiani, Democrat, Modesto
Legislative Counsel Digest: The Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act excludes coroners and deputy coroners from the application of the act.
This bill would include coroners and deputy coroners within the application of the act, thereby creating a state-mandated local program by imposing new duties on local agencies to follow the requirements of the act with respect to these officials.
AB 459 Assembly Member Chau, Democrat, Monterey Park
Legislative Counsel Digest: Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires state and local agencies to make their records available for public inspection, unless an exemption from disclosure applies.
This bill would prohibit unredacted video and audio files from a body-worn camera created by a peace officer of a state or local law enforcement agency that depict any victim of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse during the commission of the crime or the immediate aftermath from being disclosed pursuant to the act, unless the victim or victims depicted or the victim’s or victims’ parents, guardians, or next of kin provide express written consent.
AB 1542 Assembly Member Dababneh, Democrat, Van Nuys
Legislative Counsel Digest: Existing law, as amended by Proposition 21 as approved by the voters at the March 7, 2000, statewide primary election and by Proposition 83 of the November 7, 2006, statewide general election, classifies certain felonies as violent felonies for purposes of various provisions of the Penal Code. Existing law generally imposes an additional one-year term for a felony and a 3-year term for a violent felony for each prior separate prison term served for a felony or a violent felony, respectively.
This bill would make it unlawful, in the commission of a violent felony, to willfully record a video, or conspire with another person to record a video, of the commission of the violent felony. The bill would make a violation of this provision punishable by a one-year enhancement, to be served in addition and consecutive to the penalty prescribed for the underlying violent felony.
Under existing law, all persons concerned in the commission of a crime, whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense, or aid and abet in its commission, or, not being present, have advised and encouraged its commission, are principals in any crime so committed.
This bill would make it unlawful to willfully record a video of the commission of a violent felony pursuant to a conspiracy with the perpetrator of the violent felony to record the video, with the intent to encourage the commission of the underlying violent felony. The bill would make a violation of this provision a felony, punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or by imprisonment for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years, or by both that fine and imprisonment. The bill would authorize the submission of that video by the person recording the video to a law enforcement agency at the first reasonable opportunity to be considered as evidence that the person lacked the intent to encourage the commission of the underlying violent felony.
SB 784 Senator Galgiani, Democrat, Modesto
Legislative Counsel Digest: Existing law provides that a person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another, identifiable person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, with the intent to arouse, appeal to, or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person and invade the privacy of that other person, under circumstances in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. Existing law provides that a person who uses a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another, identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other person, is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
This bill would additionally make it a crime to intentionally distribute or disseminate, or to make available or viewable, any image obtained pursuant to the provisions described above, including through publication, posting through electronic media, or by any other means.
SB 657 Senator Bates, Republican, Laguna Hills
Legislative Counsel Digest: The California Public Records Act requires state and local agencies to make public records available for inspection, subject to certain exceptions. Under existing law, a person may seek injunctive or declaratory relief or a writ of mandate to enforce his or her right to inspect or receive a copy of a public record, as specified. Under existing case law, an agency’s decision to release a public record pursuant to the California Public Records Act is reviewable by a petition for a writ of mandate on the basis that the public record was confidential, which is known as a reverse public records action.
This bill would require a court in a reverse public records action to apply the provisions of the California Public Records Act as if the action had been initiated by a person requesting disclosure of a public record. This bill would require the requestor, as defined, to be named as a real party of interest in a reverse public records action, and would require a court to allow the requestor, at his or her request, to be heard on the merits of the reverse public records action. This bill would require the person who initiated the reverse public records action to serve a requestor with a copy of the pleadings, and would prohibit a court from awarding any relief in that action until that person provides proof of service to the court. This bill would require the person who initiated the action to label the action as a reverse public records action on the first page of the pleadings.
This bill would provide that, if a court orders the public agency to disclose the records in a reverse public records action, the court shall order the person who initiated the action to pay the court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees of the requestor. Alternatively, this bill would authorize a court, if the court makes a finding that the public agency delayed disclosure to facilitate the filing of the action, to require the public agency to pay court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees of the requestor. This bill would also prohibit a court from requiring the requestor to pay court costs and attorney’s fees to the person who initiated the reverse public records action or to the public agency if the court orders the public agency to not disclose the record, and would require a court to, within 10 days of the hearing in which the court decided that the records shall not be disclosed, issue a statement of opinion explaining the factual and legal basis for its decision.
AB 889 Assembly Member Stone, Democrat, Santa Cruz
Legislative Counsel Digest: Existing law specifies that certain types of confidential or privileged information shall not be introduced as evidence in a court action. Existing law also generally permits the parties to a civil action to include, as a condition to a settlement, a prevision requiring that information about the settlement or the underlying dispute be kept confidential.
This bill would provide that in an action based upon the existence of a danger to the public health or safety, as defined, information relating to the danger that was discovered during the course of litigation shall not be kept secret pursuant to an agreement of the parties or a court order, except pursuant to a court order based upon independent findings, as specified.