Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1194 Legal services: attorneys and immigration consultants.(2001-2002)



SECTION 1.

 Section 6126.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

6126.5.
 (a) In addition to any remedies and penalties available in any enforcement action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney, acting as a public prosecutor, the court shall award relief in the enforcement action for any person who obtained services offered or provided in violation of Section 6125 or 6126 or who purchased any goods, services, or real or personal property in connection with services offered or provided in violation of Section 6125 or 6126 against the person who violated Section 6125 or 6126, or who sold goods, services, or property in connection with that violation. The court shall consider the following relief:
(1) Actual damages.
(2) Restitution of all amounts paid.
(3) The amount of penalties and tax liabilities incurred in connection with the sale or transfer of assets to pay for any goods, services, or property.
(4) Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs expended to rectify errors made in the unlawful practice of law.
(5) Prejudgment interest at the legal rate from the date of loss to the date of judgment.
(6) Appropriate equitable relief, including the rescission of sales made in connection with a violation of law.
(b) The relief awarded under paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (a) shall be distributed to, or on behalf of, the person for whom it was awarded or, if it is impracticable to do so, shall be distributed as may be directed by the court pursuant to its equitable powers.
(c) The court shall also award the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney reasonable attorney’s fees and costs and, in the court’s discretion, exemplary damages as provided in Section 3294 of the Civil Code.
(d) This section shall not be construed to create, abrogate, or otherwise affect claims, rights, or remedies, if any, that may be held by a person or entity other than those law enforcement agencies described in subdivision (a). The remedies provided in this section are cumulative to each other and to the remedies and penalties provided under other laws.

SEC. 2.

 Section 22443.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22443.1.
 (a) (1)  Prior to engaging in the business, business  or acting in the capacity, capacity  of an immigration consultant,  consultant on or after January 1, 1998,  each person shall file with the Secretary of State a bond of one hundred  fifty  thousand dollars ($100,000) ($50,000)  executed by a corporate surety admitted to do business in this state and conditioned upon compliance with this chapter. The total aggregate liability on the bond shall be limited to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). The bond may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure. 
(2) The bond may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure.
(b) The bond required by this section shall be in favor of, and payable to, the people of the State of California and shall be for the benefit of any person damaged by any fraud, misstatement, misrepresentation, unlawful act or omission, or failure to provide the services of the immigration consultant or the agents, representatives, or employees of the immigration consultant, consultant  while acting within the scope of that employment or agency.
(c) An immigration consultant who is required to file a surety bond with the Secretary of State shall also file a disclosure form with the Secretary of State that contains all of the following information:
(1) The immigration consultant’s name, date of birth, residence address, business address, residence telephone number, and business telephone number.
(2) The name and address of the immigration consultant’s agent for service of process if one is required to be or has been appointed.
(3) Whether the immigration consultant has ever been convicted of a violation of this chapter or of Section 6126.
(4) Whether the immigration consultant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
(5) If applicable, the name, business address, business telephone number, and agent for service of process of the corporation or partnership employing the immigration consultant.
(d) An immigration consultant shall notify the Secretary of State’s office in writing within 30 days when the surety bond required by this section is renewed, and of any change of name, address, telephone number, or agent for service of process.
(e) The Secretary of State shall post information on its Internet Web site demonstrating that an immigration consultant is in compliance with the bond required by this section and has satisfactorily passed the background check required under Section 22441.1, and shall also post a copy of the immigration consultant’s photograph. The Secretary of State shall ensure that the information is current and shall update the information at least every 30 days. The Secretary of State shall only post this information and photograph on its Internet Web site if the person has filed and maintained the bond, filed the disclosure form and photograph required to be filed with the Secretary of State, and passed the background check required by Section 22441.1.
(f) The Secretary of State shall develop the disclosure form required to file a bond under this section and make it available to any immigration consultant filing a bond pursuant to this section.
(g) An immigration consultant shall submit all of the following with the disclosure form:
(1) A copy of valid and current photo identification to determine the immigration consultant’s identity, such as a California driver’s license or identification card, passport, or other identification acceptable to the Secretary of State.
(2) A photograph of himself or herself with the dimensions and in the style that would be acceptable to the United States Department of State for obtaining a United States passport, as instructed by the Secretary of State.
(h) (c)  The Secretary of State shall charge and collect a filing fee to cover the cost of filing the bond.
(i) (d)  The Secretary of State shall enforce the provisions of this chapter that govern the filing and maintenance of bonds.
(j) (e)  This section does not apply to employees of nonprofit, tax-exempt corporations who help clients to  complete application forms in an  immigration matter  matters, either  free of charge or for a nominal fee, including reasonable costs, consistent with that fee. Any fees charged may include reasonable costs and shall be consistent with fees  authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals under Section 292.2 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations. United States Immigration and Naturalization Service for qualified designated entities. 
(k) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2014.

SEC. 3.

 Section 22443.3 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

22443.3.
 It is unlawful for any person to disseminate by any means any statement indicating directly or by implication that the person engages in the business or acts in the capacity of an immigration consultant, or proposes to engage in the business or act in the capacity of an immigration consultant, unless the person has on file with the Secretary of State a bond, in the amount and subject to the terms described in Section 22443.1, that is maintained throughout the period covered by the statement, such as, but not limited to, the period of a yellow pages listing.

SEC. 4.

 Section 22447 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

22447.
 (a) A person who is awarded damages in an action or proceeding for injuries caused by the acts of a person engaged in the business of, or acting in the capacity of, an immigration consultant, in the performance of his or her duties as an immigration consultant, may recover damages from the bond required by Section 22443.1. In an action brought by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney, the court may order relief for benefit of the injured parties to be paid from the bond. 
(b) When any claim or claims against a bond have been paid so as to reduce the principal amount of the bond remaining available to pay claims below the principal amount required by Section 22443.1, the immigration consultant shall cease to conduct any business unless and until the bond has been reinstated up to the minimum amount required by Section 22443.1.
SEC. 5.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.