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AB-312 Civil rights: homeless persons.(2011-2012)

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AB312:v96#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  July 18, 2011
Passed  IN  Senate  July 14, 2011
Passed  IN  Assembly  May 16, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 07, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 312


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Ammiano, Blumenfield, Brownley, Chesbro, Eng, Hall, Huffman, Swanson)

February 09, 2011


An act to amend Section 51.7 of the Civil Code, relating to civil rights.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 312, Bonnie Lowenthal. Civil rights: homeless persons.
Existing law sets forth various personal rights and provides that all persons within California have the right to be free from violence, or intimidation by the threat of violence, because of, among other characteristics, their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, or sex. Existing law further permits an individual whose exercise or enjoyment of specified personal rights has been interfered with to bring a civil action for damages, including actual damages, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, injunctive relief, and other appropriate relief. Existing law requires the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to receive, investigate, and conciliate complaints that an individual’s personal rights have been violated.
This bill would specify that homeless persons, as defined, are entitled to the personal rights set forth under existing law, and would provide that a homeless person has the right to be free from violence or intimidation by threat of violence directed against that person on the basis of that person’s status as a homeless person. The bill would also provide that these provisions shall not be construed to enlarge or diminish an existing duty, if any, by an owner of residential rental or commercial property to protect a homeless person who is present on the property from violence or intimidation by threats of violence. The bill would provide that these provisions are not to be construed to prohibit or restrict a public agency from the lawful enforcement of any law, and a public agency would not be subject to civil liability for that lawful enforcement.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 51.7 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

51.7.
 (a) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of political affiliation, or on account of any characteristic listed or defined in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51, or position in a labor dispute, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of those characteristics. The identification in this subdivision of particular bases of discrimination is illustrative rather than restrictive.
(b) (1) This section includes any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against the person or property of a homeless person because the person is, or is perceived to be, a homeless person.
(2) For purposes of this section, “homeless person” means:
(A) A person who does not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
(B) A person that has a nighttime residence that constitutes any of the following:
(i) A supervised, publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living accommodations, including, but not limited to, welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing.
(ii) An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized.
(iii) A public or private building or designated area that is not ordinarily designed for, or ordinarily used for, sleeping accommodations for persons.
(3) This subdivision shall not be construed to enlarge or diminish an existing legal duty, if any, by an owner of residential rental or commercial property to protect a homeless person from violence, or intimidation by threats of violence, because the homeless person is physically present on the owner’s property or other property controlled by the owner incidental to ownership of the rental property.
(4) This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit or restrict a public agency from the lawful enforcement of any law, and a public agency shall not be subject to civil liability for that lawful enforcement.
(c) This section does not apply to statements concerning positions in a labor dispute that are made during otherwise lawful labor picketing.