Bill Text

Bill Information

AB518:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 518


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Wagner

February 15, 2011


An act to amend Section 15630.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to elder abuse. An act to repeal Section 7480 of the Government Code, and to amend Section 15630.1 of, and to amend and repeal Sections 15633, 15634, 15640, and 15655.5 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to elder and dependent adult abuse.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 518, as amended, Wagner. Elder and dependent adult abuse: mandated reporters.
Existing law, the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, establishes procedures for the reporting, investigation, and prosecution of elder and dependent adult abuse, including, but not limited to financial abuse, as defined. These procedures require persons, defined as mandated reporters, to report known or suspected instances of elder or dependent adult abuse. A violation of the reporting requirements by a mandated reporter is a misdemeanor. Existing law, which will be repealed on January 1, 2013, defines who is a mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult. A violation of the financial abuse reporting requirements is subject to civil penalties.
This bill would delete the January 1, 2013, repeal date and make conforming changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 7480 of the Government Code, as amended by Section 2 of Chapter 234 of the Statutes of 2008, is repealed.
7480.

Nothing in this chapter prohibits any of the following:

(a)The dissemination of any financial information that is not identified with, or identifiable as being derived from, the financial records of a particular customer.

(b)When any police or sheriff’s department or district attorney in this state certifies to a bank, credit union, or savings association in writing that a crime report has been filed that involves the alleged fraudulent use of drafts, checks, or other orders drawn upon any bank, credit union, or savings association in this state, the police or sheriff’s department or district attorney, a county adult protective services office when investigating the financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, or a long-term care ombudsman when investigating the financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, may request a bank, credit union, or savings association to furnish, and a bank, credit union, or savings association shall furnish, a statement setting forth the following information with respect to a customer account specified by the requesting party for a period 30 days prior to, and up to 30 days following, the date of occurrence of the alleged illegal act involving the account:

(1)The number of items dishonored.

(2)The number of items paid that created overdrafts.

(3)The dollar volume of the dishonored items and items paid which created overdrafts and a statement explaining any credit arrangement between the bank, credit union, or savings association and customer to pay overdrafts.

(4)The dates and amounts of deposits and debits and the account balance on these dates.

(5)A copy of the signature card, including the signature and any addresses appearing on a customer’s signature card.

(6)The date the account opened and, if applicable, the date the account closed.

(7)A bank, credit union, or savings association that provides the requesting party with copies of one or more complete account statements prepared in the regular course of business shall be deemed to be in compliance with paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4).

(c)When any police or sheriff’s department or district attorney in this state certifies to a bank, credit union, or savings association in writing that a crime report has been filed that involves the alleged fraudulent use of drafts, checks, or other orders drawn upon any bank, credit union, or savings association doing business in this state, the police or sheriff’s department or district attorney, a county adult protective services office when investigating the financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, or a long-term care ombudsman when investigating the financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, may request, with the consent of the accountholder, the bank, credit union, or savings association to furnish, and the bank, credit union, or savings association shall furnish, a statement setting forth the following information with respect to a customer account specified by the requesting party for a period 30 days prior to, and up to 30 days following, the date of occurrence of the alleged illegal act involving the account:

(1)The number of items dishonored.

(2)The number of items paid that created overdrafts.

(3)The dollar volume of the dishonored items and items paid which created overdrafts and a statement explaining any credit arrangement between the bank, credit union, or savings association and customer to pay overdrafts.

(4)The dates and amounts of deposits and debits and the account balance on these dates.

(5)A copy of the signature card, including the signature and any addresses appearing on a customer’s signature card.

(6)The date the account opened and, if applicable, the date the account closed.

(7)A bank, credit union, or savings association doing business in this state that provides the requesting party with copies of one or more complete account statements prepared in the regular course of business shall be deemed to be in compliance with paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4).

(d)For purposes of subdivision (c), consent of the accountholder shall be satisfied if an accountholder provides to the financial institution and the person or entity seeking disclosure, a signed and dated statement containing all of the following:

(1)Authorization of the disclosure for the period specified in subdivision (c).

(2)The name of the agency or department to which disclosure is authorized and, if applicable, the statutory purpose for which the information is to be obtained.

(3)A description of the financial records that are authorized to be disclosed.

(e)(1)The Attorney General, a supervisory agency, the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, the Employment Development Department, the Controller or an inheritance tax referee when administering the Prohibition of Gift and Death Taxes (Part 8 (commencing with Section 13301) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code), a police or sheriff’s department or district attorney, a county adult protective services office when investigating the financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, a long-term care ombudsman when investigating the financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, a county welfare department when investigating welfare fraud, a county auditor-controller or director of finance when investigating fraud against the county, or the Department of Corporations when conducting investigations in connection with the enforcement of laws administered by the Commissioner of Corporations, from requesting of an office or branch of a financial institution, and the office or branch from responding to a request, as to whether a person has an account or accounts at that office or branch and, if so, any identifying numbers of the account or accounts.

(2)No additional information beyond that specified in this section shall be released to a county welfare department without either the accountholder’s written consent or a judicial writ, search warrant, subpoena, or other judicial order.

(3)A county auditor-controller or director of finance who unlawfully discloses information he or she is authorized to request under this subdivision is guilty of the unlawful disclosure of confidential data, a misdemeanor, which shall be punishable as set forth in Section 7485.

(f)The examination by, or disclosure to, any supervisory agency of financial records that relate solely to the exercise of its supervisory function. The scope of an agency’s supervisory function shall be determined by reference to statutes that grant authority to examine, audit, or require reports of financial records or financial institutions as follows:

(1)With respect to the Commissioner of Financial Institutions by reference to Division 1 (commencing with Section 99), Division 1.5 (commencing with Section 4800), Division 2 (commencing with Section 5000), Division 5 (commencing with Section 14000), Division 7 (commencing with Section 18000), Division 15 (commencing with Section 31000), and Division 16 (commencing with Section 33000) of the Financial Code.

(2)With respect to the Controller by reference to Title 10 (commencing with Section 1300) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(3)With respect to the Administrator of Local Agency Security by reference to Article 2 (commencing with Section 53630) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(g)The disclosure to the Franchise Tax Board of (1) the amount of any security interest that a financial institution has in a specified asset of a customer or (2) financial records in connection with the filing or audit of a tax return or tax information return that are required to be filed by the financial institution pursuant to Part 10 (commencing with Section 17001), Part 11 (commencing with Section 23001), or Part 18 (commencing with Section 38001) of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(h)The disclosure to the State Board of Equalization of any of the following:

(1)The information required by Sections 6702, 6703, 8954, 8957, 30313, 30315, 32383, 32387, 38502, 38503, 40153, 40155, 41122, 41123.5, 43443, 43444.2, 44144, 45603, 45605, 46404, 46406, 50134, 50136, 55203, 55205, 60404, and 60407 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(2)The financial records in connection with the filing or audit of a tax return required to be filed by the financial institution pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001), Part 2 (commencing with Section 7301), Part 3 (commencing with Section 8601), Part 13 (commencing with Section 30001), Part 14 (commencing with Section 32001), and Part 17 (commencing with Section 37001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(3)The amount of any security interest a financial institution has in a specified asset of a customer, if the inquiry is directed to the branch or office where the interest is held.

(i)The disclosure to the Controller of the information required by Section 7853 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(j)The disclosure to the Employment Development Department of the amount of any security interest a financial institution has in a specified asset of a customer, if the inquiry is directed to the branch or office where the interest is held.

(k)The disclosure by a construction lender, as defined in Section 3087 of the Civil Code, to the Registrar of Contractors, of information concerning the making of progress payments to a prime contractor requested by the registrar in connection with an investigation under Section 7108.5 of the Business and Professions Code.

(l)Upon receipt of a written request from a local child support agency referring to a support order pursuant to Section 17400 of the Family Code, a financial institution shall disclose the following information concerning the account or the person named in the request, whom the local child support agency shall identify, whenever possible, by social security number:

(1)If the request states the identifying number of an account at a financial institution, the name of each owner of the account.

(2)Each account maintained by the person at the branch to which the request is delivered, and, if the branch is able to make a computerized search, each account maintained by the person at any other branch of the financial institution located in this state.

(3)For each account disclosed pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2), the account number, current balance, street address of the branch where the account is maintained, and, to the extent available through the branch’s computerized search, the name and address of any other person listed as an owner.

(4)Whenever the request prohibits the disclosure, a financial institution shall not disclose either the request or its response, to an owner of the account or to any other person, except the officers and employees of the financial institution who are involved in responding to the request and to attorneys, employees of the local child support agencies, auditors, and regulatory authorities who have a need to know in order to perform their duties, and except as disclosure may be required by legal process.

(5)No financial institution, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall be liable to any person for (A) disclosing information in response to a request pursuant to this subdivision, (B) failing to notify the owner of an account, or complying with a request under this paragraph not to disclose to the owner, the request or disclosure under this subdivision, or (C) failing to discover any account owned by the person named in the request pursuant to a computerized search of the records of the financial institution.

(6)The local child support agency may request information pursuant to this subdivision only when the local child support agency has received at least one of the following types of physical evidence:

(A)Any of the following, dated within the last three years:

(i)Form 599.

(ii)Form 1099.

(iii)A bank statement.

(iv)A check.

(v)A bank passbook.

(vi)A deposit slip.

(vii)A copy of a federal or state income tax return.

(viii)A debit or credit advice.

(ix)Correspondence that identifies the child support obligor by name, the bank, and the account number.

(x)Correspondence that identifies the child support obligor by name, the bank, and the banking services related to the account of the obligor.

(xi)An asset identification report from a federal agency.

(B)A sworn declaration of the custodial parent during the 12 months immediately preceding the request that the person named in the request has had or may have had an account at an office or branch of the financial institution to which the request is made.

(7)Information obtained by a local child support agency pursuant to this subdivision shall be used only for purposes that are directly connected with the administration of the duties of the local child support agency pursuant to Section 17400 of the Family Code.

(m)(1)As provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 666 of Title 42 of the United States Code, upon receipt of an administrative subpoena on the current federally approved interstate child support enforcement form, as approved by the federal Office of Management and Budget, a financial institution shall provide the information or documents requested by the administrative subpoena.

(2)The administrative subpoena shall refer to the current federal Office of Management and Budget control number and be signed by a person who states that he or she is an authorized agent of a state or county agency responsible for implementing the child support enforcement program set forth in Part D (commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code. A financial institution may rely on the statements made in the subpoena and has no duty to inquire into the truth of any statement in the subpoena.

(3)If the person who signs the administrative subpoena directs a financial institution in writing not to disclose either the subpoena or its response to any owner of an account covered by the subpoena, the financial institution shall not disclose the subpoena or its response to the owner.

(4)No financial institution, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall be liable to any person for (A) disclosing information or providing documents in response to a subpoena pursuant to this subdivision, (B) failing to notify any owner of an account covered by the subpoena or complying with a request not to disclose to the owner, the subpoena or disclosure under this subdivision, or (C) failing to discover any account owned by the person named in the subpoena pursuant to a computerized search of the records of the financial institution.

(n)The dissemination of financial information and records pursuant to any of the following:

(1)Compliance by a financial institution with the requirements of Section 2892 of the Probate Code.

(2)Compliance by a financial institution with the requirements of Section 2893 of the Probate Code.

(3)An order by a judge upon a written ex parte application by a peace officer showing specific and articulable facts that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the records or information sought are relevant and material to an ongoing investigation of a felony violation of Section 186.10 or of any felony subject to the enhancement set forth in Section 186.11.

(A)The ex parte application shall specify with particularity the records to be produced, which shall be only those of the individual or individuals who are the subject of the criminal investigation.

(B)The ex parte application and any subsequent judicial order shall be open to the public as a judicial record unless ordered sealed by the court, for a period of 60 days. The sealing of these records may be extended for 60-day periods upon a showing to the court that it is necessary for the continuance of the investigation. Sixty-day extensions may continue for up to one year or until termination of the investigation of the individual or individuals, whichever is sooner.

(C)The records ordered to be produced shall be returned to the peace officer applicant or his or her designee within a reasonable time period after service of the order upon the financial institution.

(D)Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the financial institution from notifying a customer of the receipt of the order for production of records unless a court orders the financial institution to withhold notification to the customer upon a finding that the notice would impede the investigation.

(E)Where a court has made an order pursuant to this paragraph to withhold notification to the customer under this paragraph, the peace officer or law enforcement agency who obtained the financial information shall notify the customer by delivering a copy of the ex parte order to the customer within 10 days of the termination of the investigation.

(4)No financial institution, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall be liable to any person for any of the following:

(A)Disclosing information to a probate court pursuant to Sections 2892 and 2893.

(B)Disclosing information in response to a court order pursuant to paragraph (3).

(C)Complying with a court order under this subdivision not to disclose to the customer, the order, or the dissemination of information pursuant to the court order.

(o)Disclosure by a financial institution to a peace officer, as defined in Section 830.1 of the Penal Code, pursuant to the following:

(1)Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 1748.95 of the Civil Code, provided that the financial institution has first complied with the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) and subdivision (b) of Section 1748.95 of the Civil Code.

(2)Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 4002 of the Financial Code, provided that the financial institution has first complied with the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) and subdivision (b) of Section 4002 of the Financial Code.

(3)Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 22470 of the Financial Code, provided that any financial institution that is a finance lender has first complied with the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) and subdivision (b) of Section 22470 of the Financial Code.

(p)When the governing board of the Public Employees’ Retirement System or the State Teachers’ Retirement System certifies in writing to a financial institution that a benefit recipient has died and that transfers to the benefit recipient’s account at the financial institution from the retirement system occurred after the benefit recipient’s date of death, the financial institution shall furnish the retirement system the name and address of any coowner, cosigner, or any other person who had access to the funds in the account following the date of the benefit recipient’s death, or if the account has been closed, the name and address of the person who closed the account.

(q)When the retirement board of a retirement system established under the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 certifies in writing to a financial institution that a retired member or the beneficiary of a retired member has died and that transfers to the account of the retired member or beneficiary of a retired member at the financial institution from the retirement system occurred after the date of death of the retired member or beneficiary of a retired member, the financial institution shall furnish the retirement system the name and address of any coowner, cosigner, or any other person who had access to the funds in the account following the date of death of the retired member or beneficiary of a retired member, or if the account has been closed, the name and address of the person who closed the account.

(r)When the Franchise Tax Board certifies in writing to a financial institution that (1) a taxpayer filed a tax return that authorized a direct deposit refund with an incorrect financial institution account or routing number that resulted in all or a portion of the refund not being received, directly or indirectly, by the taxpayer; (2) the direct deposit refund was not returned to the Franchise Tax Board; and (3) the refund was deposited directly on a specified date into the account of an accountholder of the financial institution who was not entitled to receive the refund, then the financial institution shall furnish to the Franchise Tax Board the name and address of any coowner, cosigner, or any other person who had access to the funds in the account following the date of direct deposit refund, or if the account has been closed, the name and address of the person who closed the account.

(s)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2013.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 15630.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

15630.1.
 (a) As used in this section, “mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult” means all officers and employees of financial institutions.
(b) As used in this section, the term “financial institution” means any of the following:
(1) A depository institution, as defined in Section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1813(c)).
(2) An institution-affiliated party, as defined in Section 3(u) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1813(u)).
(3) A federal credit union or state credit union, as defined in Section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1752), including, but not limited to, an institution-affiliated party of a credit union, as defined in Section 206(r) of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1786(r)).
(c) As used in this section, “financial abuse” has the same meaning as in Section 15610.30.
(d) (1) Any mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult who has direct contact with the elder or dependent adult or who reviews or approves the elder or dependent adult’s financial documents, records, or transactions, in connection with providing financial services with respect to an elder or dependent adult, and who, within the scope of his or her employment or professional practice, has observed or has knowledge of an incident, that is directly related to the transaction or matter that is within that scope of employment or professional practice, that reasonably appears to be financial abuse, or who reasonably suspects that abuse, based solely on the information before him or her at the time of reviewing or approving the document, record, or transaction in the case of mandated reporters who do not have direct contact with the elder or dependent adult, shall report the known or suspected instance of financial abuse by telephone immediately, or as soon as practicably possible, and by written report sent within two working days to the local adult protective services agency or the local law enforcement agency.
(2) When two or more mandated reporters jointly have knowledge or reasonably suspect that financial abuse of an elder or a dependent adult for which the report is mandated has occurred, and when there is an agreement among them, the telephone report may be made by a member of the reporting team who is selected by mutual agreement. A single report may be made and signed by the selected member of the reporting team. Any member of the team who has knowledge that the member designated to report has failed to do so shall, thereafter, make that report.
(3) If the mandated reporter knows that the elder or dependent adult resides in a long-term care facility, as defined in Section 15610.47, the report shall be made to the local ombudsman or local law enforcement agency.
(e) An allegation by the elder or dependent adult, or any other person, that financial abuse has occurred is not sufficient to trigger the reporting requirement under this section if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult is aware of no other corroborating or independent evidence of the alleged financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult. The mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult is not required to investigate any accusations.
(2) In the exercise of his or her professional judgment, the mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult reasonably believes that financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult did not occur.
(f) Failure to report financial abuse under this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or if the failure to report is willful, a civil penalty not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), which shall be paid by the financial institution that is the employer of the mandated reporter to the party bringing the action. Subdivision (h) of Section 15630 shall not apply to violations of this section.
(g) (1) The civil penalty provided for in subdivision (f) shall be recovered only in a civil action brought against the financial institution by the Attorney General, district attorney, or county counsel. No action shall be brought under this section by any person other than the Attorney General, district attorney, or county counsel. Multiple actions for the civil penalty may not be brought for the same violation.
(2) Nothing in the Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act of 2005 shall be construed to limit, expand, or otherwise modify any civil liability or remedy that may exist under this or any other law.
(h) As used in this section, “suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult” occurs when a person who is required to report under subdivision (a) observes or has knowledge of behavior or unusual circumstances or transactions, or a pattern of behavior or unusual circumstances or transactions, that would lead an individual with like training or experience, based on the same facts, to form a reasonable belief that an elder or dependent adult is the victim of financial abuse as defined in Section 15610.30.
(i) Reports of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult made by an employee or officer of a financial institution pursuant to this section are covered under subdivision (b) of Section 47 of the Civil Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 15633 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 5 of Chapter 140 of the Statutes of 2005, is amended to read:

15633.
 (a) The reports made pursuant to Sections 15630, 15630.1, and 15631 shall be confidential and may be disclosed only as provided in subdivision (b). Any violation of the confidentiality required by this chapter is a misdemeanor punishable by not more than six months in the county jail, by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(b) Reports of suspected abuse of an elder or dependent adult and information contained therein may be disclosed only to the following:
(1) Persons or agencies to whom disclosure of information or the identity of the reporting party is permitted under Section 15633.5.
(2) (A) Persons who are trained and qualified to serve on multidisciplinary personnel teams may disclose to one another information and records that are relevant to the prevention, identification, or treatment of abuse of elderly or dependent persons.
(B) Except as provided in subparagraph (A), any personnel of the multidisciplinary team or agency that receives information pursuant to this chapter, shall be under the same obligations and subject to the same confidentiality penalties as the person disclosing or providing that information. The information obtained shall be maintained in a manner that ensures the maximum protection of privacy and confidentiality rights.
(c) This section shall not be construed to allow disclosure of any reports or records relevant to the reports of abuse of an elder or dependent adult if the disclosure would be prohibited by any other provisions of state or federal law applicable to the reports or records relevant to the reports of the abuse, nor shall it be construed to prohibit the disclosure by a financial institution of any reports or records relevant to the reports of abuse of an elder or dependent adult if the disclosure would be required of a financial institution by otherwise applicable state or federal law or court order.

(d)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 4.

 Section 15633 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as added by Section 6 of Chapter 140 of the Statutes of 2005, is repealed.
15633.

(a)The reports made pursuant to Sections 15630 and 15631 shall be confidential and may be disclosed only as provided in subdivision (b). Any violation of the confidentiality required by this chapter is a misdemeanor punishable by not more than six months in the county jail, by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b)Reports of suspected elder or dependent adult abuse and information contained therein may be disclosed only to the following:

(1)Persons or agencies to whom disclosure of information or the identity of the reporting party is permitted under Section 15633.5.

(2)(A)Persons who are trained and qualified to serve on multidisciplinary personnel teams may disclose to one another information and records that are relevant to the prevention, identification, or treatment of abuse of elderly or dependent persons.

(B)Except as provided in subparagraph (A), any personnel of the multidisciplinary team or agency that receives information pursuant to this chapter, shall be under the same obligations and subject to the same confidentiality penalties as the person disclosing or providing that information. The information obtained shall be maintained in a manner that ensures the maximum protection of privacy and confidentiality rights.

(c)This section shall not be construed to allow disclosure of any reports or records relevant to the reports of elder or dependent adult abuse if the disclosure would be prohibited by any other provisions of state or federal law applicable to the reports or records relevant to the reports of the abuse.

(d)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2013.

SEC. 5.

 Section 15634 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 7 of Chapter 140 of the Statutes of 2005, is amended to read:

15634.
 (a) No care custodian, clergy member, health practitioner, mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, or employee of an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency who reports a known or suspected instance of abuse of an elder or dependent adult shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized by this article. Any other person reporting a known or suspected instance of abuse of an elder or dependent adult shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report authorized by this article, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false. No person required to make a report pursuant to this article, or any person taking photographs at his or her discretion, shall incur any civil or criminal liability for taking photographs of a suspected victim of abuse of an elder or dependent adult or causing photographs to be taken of such a suspected victim or for disseminating the photographs with the reports required by this article. However, this section shall not be construed to grant immunity from this liability with respect to any other use of the photographs.
(b) No care custodian, clergy member, health practitioner, mandated reporter of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, or employee of an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency who, pursuant to a request from an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected abuse of an elder or dependent adult, provides the requesting agency with access to the victim of a known or suspected instance of abuse of an elder or dependent adult, shall incur civil or criminal liability as a result of providing that access.
(c) The Legislature finds that, even though it has provided immunity from liability to persons required to report abuse of an elder or dependent adult, immunity does not eliminate the possibility that actions may be brought against those persons based upon required reports of abuse. In order to further limit the financial hardship that those persons may incur as a result of fulfilling their legal responsibilities, it is necessary that they not be unfairly burdened by legal fees incurred in defending those actions. Therefore, a care custodian, clergy member, health practitioner, or an employee of an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency may present to the State Board of Control California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board a claim for reasonable attorneys’ attorney’s fees incurred in any action against that person on the basis of making a report required or authorized by this article if the court has dismissed the action upon a demurrer or motion for summary judgment made by that person, or if he or she prevails in the action. The State Board of Control California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board shall allow that claim if the requirements of this subdivision are met, and the claim shall be paid from an appropriation to be made for that purpose. Attorneys’ Attorney’s fees awarded pursuant to this section shall not exceed an hourly rate greater than the rate charged by the Attorney General at the time the award is made and shall not exceed an aggregate amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). This subdivision shall not apply if a public entity has provided for the defense of the action pursuant to Section 995 of the Government Code.

(d)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 6.

 Section 15634 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 711 of Chapter 538 of the Statutes of 2006, is repealed.
15634.

(a)No care custodian, clergy member, health practitioner, or employee of an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency who reports a known or suspected instance of elder or dependent adult abuse shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized by this article. Any other person reporting a known or suspected instance of elder or dependent adult abuse shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report authorized by this article, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false. No person required to make a report pursuant to this article, or any person taking photographs at his or her discretion, shall incur any civil or criminal liability for taking photographs of a suspected victim of elder or dependent adult abuse or causing photographs to be taken of the suspected victim or for disseminating the photographs with the reports required by this article. However, this section shall not be construed to grant immunity from this liability with respect to any other use of the photographs.

(b)No care custodian, clergy member, health practitioner, or employee of an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency who, pursuant to a request from an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected elder or dependent adult abuse, provides the requesting agency with access to the victim of a known or suspected instance of elder or dependent adult abuse, shall incur civil or criminal liability as a result of providing that access.

(c)The Legislature finds that, even though it has provided immunity from liability to persons required to report elder or dependent adult abuse, immunity does not eliminate the possibility that actions may be brought against those persons based upon required reports of abuse. In order to further limit the financial hardship that those persons may incur as a result of fulfilling their legal responsibilities, it is necessary that they not be unfairly burdened by legal fees incurred in defending those actions. Therefore, a care custodian, clergy member, health practitioner, or employee of an adult protective services agency or a local law enforcement agency may present to the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board a claim for reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in any action against that person on the basis of making a report required or authorized by this article if the court has dismissed the action upon a demurrer or motion for summary judgment made by that person, or if he or she prevails in the action. The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board shall allow that claim if the requirements of this subdivision are met, and the claim shall be paid from an appropriation to be made for that purpose. Attorney’s fees awarded pursuant to this section shall not exceed an hourly rate greater than the rate charged by the Attorney General at the time the award is made and shall not exceed an aggregate amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). This subdivision shall not apply if a public entity has provided for the defense of the action pursuant to Section 995 of the Government Code.

(d)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2013.

SEC. 7.

 Section 15640 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 9 of Chapter 140 of the Statutes of 2005, is amended to read:

15640.
 (a) (1) An adult protective services agency shall immediately, or as soon as practically possible, report by telephone to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case any known or suspected instance of criminal activity, and to any public agency given responsibility for investigation in that jurisdiction of cases of elder and dependent adult abuse, every known or suspected instance of abuse pursuant to Section 15630 or 15630.1 of an elder or dependent adult. A county adult protective services agency shall also send a written report thereof within two working days of receiving the information concerning the incident to each agency to which it is required to make a telephone report under this subdivision. Prior to making any cross-report of allegations of financial abuse to law enforcement agencies, an adult protective services agency shall first determine whether there is reasonable suspicion of any criminal activity.
(2) If an adult protective services agency receives a report of abuse alleged to have occurred in a long-term care facility, that adult protective services agency shall immediately inform the person making the report that he or she is required to make the report to the long-term care ombudsman program or to a local law enforcement agency. The adult protective services agency shall not accept the report by telephone but shall forward any written report received to the long-term care ombudsman.
(b) If an adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency or ombudsman program receiving a report of known or suspected elder or dependent adult abuse determines, pursuant to its investigation, that the abuse is being committed by a health practitioner licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, or any related initiative act, or by a person purporting to be a licensee, the adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency or ombudsman program shall immediately, or as soon as practically possible, report this information to the appropriate licensing agency. The licensing agency shall investigate the report in light of the potential for physical harm. The transmittal of information to the appropriate licensing agency shall not relieve the adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency or ombudsman program of the responsibility to continue its own investigation as required under applicable provisions of law. The information reported pursuant to this paragraph shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed.
(c) A local law enforcement agency shall immediately, or as soon as practically possible, report by telephone to the long-term care ombudsman program when the abuse is alleged to have occurred in a long-term care facility or to the county adult protective services agency when it is alleged to have occurred anywhere else, and to the agency given responsibility for the investigation of cases of elder and dependent adult abuse every known or suspected instance of abuse of an elder or dependent adult. A local law enforcement agency shall also send a written report thereof within two working days of receiving the information concerning the incident to any agency to which it is required to make a telephone report under this subdivision.
(d) A long-term care ombudsman coordinator may report the instance of abuse to the county adult protective services agency or to the local law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation of the abuse if the victim gives his or her consent. A long-term care ombudsman program and the Licensing and Certification Division of the State Department of Health Services Public Health shall immediately report by telephone and in writing within two working days to the bureau any instance of neglect occurring in a health care facility, that has seriously harmed any patient or reasonably appears to present a serious threat to the health or physical well-being of a patient in that facility. If a victim or potential victim of the neglect withholds consent to being identified in that report, the report shall contain circumstantial information about the neglect but shall not identify that victim or potential victim and the bureau and the reporting agency shall maintain the confidentiality of the report until the report becomes a matter of public record.
(e) When a county adult protective services agency, a long-term care ombudsman program, or a local law enforcement agency receives a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of an elder or dependent adult alleged to have occurred in a long-term care facility, that county adult protective services agency, long-term care ombudsman coordinator, or local law enforcement agency shall report the incident to the licensing agency by telephone as soon as possible.
(f) County adult protective services agencies, long-term care ombudsman programs, and local law enforcement agencies shall report the results of their investigations of referrals or reports of abuse to the respective referring or reporting agencies.

(g)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 8.

 Section 15640 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as added by Section 10 of Chapter 140 of the Statutes of 2005, is repealed.
15640.

(a)(1)An adult protective services agency shall immediately, or as soon as practically possible, report by telephone to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the case any known or suspected instance of criminal activity, and to any public agency given responsibility for investigation in that jurisdiction of cases of elder and dependent adult abuse, every known or suspected instance of abuse pursuant to Section 15630 of an elder or dependent adult. A county adult protective services agency shall also send a written report thereof within two working days of receiving the information concerning the incident to each agency to which it is required to make a telephone report under this subdivision. Prior to making any cross-report of allegations of financial abuse to law enforcement agencies, an adult protective services agency shall first determine whether there is reasonable suspicion of any criminal activity.

(2)If an adult protective services agency receives a report of abuse alleged to have occurred in a long-term care facility, that adult protective services agency shall immediately inform the person making the report that he or she is required to make the report to the long-term care ombudsman program or to a local law enforcement agency. The adult protective services agency shall not accept the report by telephone but shall forward any written report received to the long-term care ombudsman.

(b)If an adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency or ombudsman program receiving a report of known or suspected elder or dependent adult abuse determines, pursuant to its investigation, that the abuse is being committed by a health practitioner licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, or any related initiative act, or by a person purporting to be a licensee, the adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency or ombudsman program shall immediately, or as soon as practically possible, report this information to the appropriate licensing agency. The licensing agency shall investigate the report in light of the potential for physical harm. The transmittal of information to the appropriate licensing agency shall not relieve the adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency or ombudsman program of the responsibility to continue its own investigation as required under applicable provisions of law. The information reported pursuant to this paragraph shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed.

(c)A local law enforcement agency shall immediately, or as soon as practically possible, report by telephone to the long-term care ombudsman program when the abuse is alleged to have occurred in a long-term care facility or to the county adult protective services agency when it is alleged to have occurred anywhere else, and to the agency given responsibility for the investigation of cases of elder and dependent adult abuse every known or suspected instance of abuse of an elder or dependent adult. A local law enforcement agency shall also send a written report thereof within two working days of receiving the information concerning the incident to any agency to which it is required to make a telephone report under this subdivision.

(d)A long-term care ombudsman coordinator may report the instance of abuse to the county adult protective services agency or to the local law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation of the abuse if the victim gives his or her consent. A long-term care ombudsman program and the Licensing and Certification Division of the State Department of Health Services shall immediately report by telephone and in writing within two working days to the bureau any instance of neglect occurring in a health care facility, that has seriously harmed any patient or reasonably appears to present a serious threat to the health or physical well-being of a patient in that facility. If a victim or potential victim of the neglect withholds consent to being identified in that report, the report shall contain circumstantial information about the neglect but shall not identify that victim or potential victim and the bureau and the reporting agency shall maintain the confidentiality of the report until the report becomes a matter of public record.

(e)When a county adult protective services agency, a long-term care ombudsman program, or a local law enforcement agency receives a report of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of an elder or dependent adult alleged to have occurred in a long-term care facility, that county adult protective services agency, long-term care ombudsman coordinator, or local law enforcement agency shall report the incident to the licensing agency by telephone as soon as possible.

(f)County adult protective services agencies, long-term care ombudsman programs, and local law enforcement agencies shall report the results of their investigations of referrals or reports of abuse to the respective referring or reporting agencies.

(g)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2013.

SEC. 9.

 Section 15655.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 11 of Chapter 140 of the Statutes of 2005, is amended to read:

15655.5.
 A county adult protective services agency shall provide the organizations listed in paragraphs (v), (w), and (x) of Section 15610.17, and mandated reporters of suspected financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult pursuant to Section 15630.1, with instructional materials regarding abuse and neglect of an elder or dependent adult and their obligation to report under this chapter. At a minimum, the instructional materials shall include the following:
(a) An explanation of abuse and neglect of an elder or dependent adult, as defined in this chapter.
(b) Information on how to recognize potential abuse and neglect of an elder or dependent adult.
(c) Information on how the county adult protective services agency investigates reports of known or suspected abuse and neglect.
(d) Instructions on how to report known or suspected incidents of abuse and neglect, including the appropriate telephone numbers to call and what types of information would assist the county adult protective services agency with its investigation of the report.

(e)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 10.

 Section 15655.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 712 of Chapter 538 of the Statutes of 2006, is repealed.
15655.5.

A county adult protective services agency shall provide the organizations listed in paragraphs (v), (w), and (x) of Section 15610.17 with instructional materials regarding elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect and their obligation to report under this chapter. At a minimum, the instructional materials shall include the following:

(a)An explanation of elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect, as defined in this chapter.

(b)Information on how to recognize potential elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect.

(c)Information on how the county adult protective services agency investigates reports of known or suspected abuse and neglect.

(d)Instructions on how to report known or suspected incidents of abuse and neglect, including the appropriate telephone numbers to call and what types of information would assist the county adult protective services agency with its investigation of the report.

(e)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2013.