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AB-1213 Legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/04/2019 09:00 PM
AB1213:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1213


Introduced by Assembly Member Chen

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 6402.1 of, and to repeal Section 6401.7 of, of the Business and Professions Code, relating to professions and vocations.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1213, as amended, Chen. Legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants.
Existing law provides for the regulation of legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants, and requires a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant to be registered by the county clerk in the county in which the legal document assistant’s or unlawful detainer assistant’s principal place of business is located and where they maintain a branch office. Existing law makes the failure by a person who engages in acts of a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant to comply with certain requirements for legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants a misdemeanor. Existing law specifies a list of credentials and experience the possession of which qualifies a person to apply for registration as a legal document assistant, including, among others, possession of a certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.

This bill would add to the list of experience and credentials that qualify an applicant to apply for registration as a legal document assistant the possession of a Juris Doctor degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association or accredited by the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners, or from a law school in another state that is accredited by the agency that accredits law schools in that state.

Existing law repeals all of the provisions regulating legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants on January 1, 2021.
This bill would delete the repeal provision, thereby extending the operation of those provisions indefinitely. extend the operation of these provisions to January 1, 2024. Because the bill would continue the duties imposed on county clerks relating to legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants and because the bill would extend the operation of various provisions a violation of which is a misdemeanor, 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 with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.Section 6401.7 of the Business and Professions Code is repealed.
SEC. 2.Section 6402.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
6402.1.

To be eligible to apply for registration under this chapter as a legal document assistant, the applicant shall possess at least one of the following:

(a)A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and either a minimum of two years of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of two years experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.

(b)A baccalaureate degree in any field and either a minimum of one year of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of one year of experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.

(c)A certificate of completion from a paralegal program that is institutionally accredited but not approved by the American Bar Association, that requires successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester units, or the equivalent, in legal specialization courses.

(d)A certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.

(e)A Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school approved by the American Bar Association, accredited by the State Bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners, or accredited by the state agency in another state charged with accrediting law schools in that state.

SECTION 1.

 Section 6401.7 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6401.7.
 This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, 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.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.