NEW LAWS OF INTEREST TO LAWYERS:
CIVIL ACTIONS/DECEDENTS: SB 447 (Laird) amends Code of Civil Procedure §377.34 to allow the personal representative of a deceased plaintiff to recover damages for pain and suffering, if the action or proceeding was granted a preference pursuant to CCP §36 before January 1, 2022, or was filed on or after January 1, 2022, and before January 1, 2026.
COURT ACCESS: AB 716 (Bennett) amends Code of Civil Procedure §124 to provide that Courts may not exclude the public from physical access unless it is necessary to protect the health and safety of the public or court personnel and when a courthouse is closed, the court must provide remote access through audiostream or telephone, at a minimum.
FAMILY LAW: Family Code §6308 is amended to allow remote appearances on hearings on petitions for domestic violence restraining orders. (SB 538 (Rubio))
FAMILY LAW: Amends Family Code §3011 to require that a court granting unsupervised visitation to parents with histories of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse must state its reasons in writing or on the record. (SB 654 (Min))
FAMILY LAW: Family Code §3042 is amended to allow a child to address the regarding custody or visitation, without the parties being present. (SB 654 (Min))
STATE BAR AUDIT: The State Auditor will conduct an audit of the State Bar Association by April 15, 2022 to determine whether the State Bar’s discipline process adequately protects the public from misconduct by licensed attorneys or those who wrongfully hold themselves out as licensed attorneys. (SB 211 (Umberg))
DEBT COLLECTION: This new law amends Code of Civil Procedure §708.150 to establish procedures for identifying a natural person who must appear – and can be held accountable for failing to appear – at a debtor’s examination on behalf of an organization, when that organization fails to specify someone else who will appear on its behalf. The person who must appear is that person identified in the most recent filing with the Secretary of State, or if no person is identified, the person identified by the judgment creditor as the person most knowledgeable. (AB 1580 (Comm. On Judiciary))
ELDER ABUSE/PROTECTION: AB 1243 (Blanca Rubio) amends Welf. & Institutions Code §15657.03 to authorize new remedies for inclusion in protective orders for protection of elders from financial abuse or isolation. Many of its provisions become operative on January 1, 2023.
ELDER ABUSE/PROTECTION: AB 849 (Reyes) amends Health & Safety Code §1430 to clarify that a long term care facility may be liable to a resident for up to $500 per violation of the Patient’s Bill of Rights or any state or federal law.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: SB 323 (Caballero) amends Gov. Code §53759 to set the statute of limitations for legal challenges to a new fee or charge for water or sewer services at 120 days from the effective date of the new resolution or ordinance or final passage, adoption or approval.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: AB 287 (Quirk) amends Code of Civil Procedure §338 to establish a three-year statute of limitations for civil actions for liability for unlicensed cannabis activity.
OTHER NEW LAWS:
HOLIDAYS: AB 855 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) replaces Columbus Day with Native American Day as a judicial holiday.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TO-GO: SB 389 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) allows restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries that sell food to continue offering to-go alcoholic beverages with food orders.
PFASs: AB 652 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) bans the use of toxic PFASs in products for children, such as car seats and cribs
AB 1200 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) prohibits the use of toxic PFASs in disposable food packaging.
WAGE THEFT: AB 1003 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez defines wage theft exceeding $950 as grand theft.
ELECTIONS: All California voters will receive vote by mail ballots in all elections under AB 37 by Assemblymember Marc Berman.
AIR POLLUTION: Leaf blowers powered by gasoline engines will be banned in California starting in 2024 under AB 1346 authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman.
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: AB 1356 (Bauer-Kahan) prohibits a person, business, or association from knowingly publicly displaying or disclosing the personal information or image of a reproductive health services patient or provider without that person’s consent, subject to a year in county jail or a fine of up to $10,000, or both. The fine may increase up to $50,000 for bodily injury.