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SB-888 Crime: picketing. (2011-2012)

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Date Published:

Enrolled  August 23, 2011
Passed  IN  Senate  August 22, 2011
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 18, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 30, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  May 26, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  May 10, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  April 25, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  March 23, 2011


Senate Bill No. 888

Introduced  by  Senator Lieu
(Coauthor(s): Senator Anderson)

February 18, 2011

An act to add Section 594.37 to the Penal Code, relating to crime.


SB 888, Lieu. Crime: picketing.
Existing law makes it a crime for a person to disturb, obstruct, detain, or interfere with any person carrying or accompanying human remains to a cemetery or funeral establishment, or engaged in a funeral service or an interment.
This bill would make it a crime, punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by both, for a person to engage in picketing, as defined, except upon private property, which is targeted at a funeral, as defined, during the time period beginning one hour prior to the funeral and ending one hour after the conclusion of the funeral. The bill would set forth related findings and declarations.
Because this bill would create a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


 (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following:
(1) It is generally recognized that families have a compelling interest in organizing and attending funerals for deceased relatives.
(2) The interests of families in privately and peacefully mourning the loss of deceased relatives are violated when funerals are disrupted by picketing.
(3) Picketing of funerals causes emotional disturbance and distress to grieving families who participate in funerals.
(4) Full opportunity exists for the exercise of freedom of speech and other constitutional rights at times other than within one hour prior to or during a funeral and one hour following the conclusion of a funeral.
(b) The purpose of this act is to protect the privacy of grieving families and to preserve the peaceful character of cemeteries, mortuaries, and places of worship during the time one hour before and one hour after a funeral.

SEC. 2.

 Section 594.37 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

 (a) It is unlawful, except upon private property, for a person to engage in picketing targeted at a funeral during the time period beginning one hour prior to the funeral and ending one hour after the conclusion of the funeral.
(b) Any violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Funeral” means the ceremony, or memorial service, held in connection with the burial or cremation of a deceased person.
(2) “Picketing,” for purposes of this section only, means protest activities engaged in by any person within 1,000 feet of a burial site, mortuary, or place of worship.
(3) “Protest activities” includes oration, speech, use of sound amplification equipment in a manner that makes speech or oration audible to participants in a funeral, or similar conduct that is not part of the funeral, before an assembled group of people.
(4) “Targeted at” means directed at or towards the deceased person or the attendees of a funeral, as defined in paragraph (1), because of his, her, or their marital status, race, natural origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, medical condition, religious creed, ancestry, mental disability, physical disability, profession, or activities participated in during his, her, or their lives.
(d)  The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 3.

 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.