Bill Text

Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-2071 Civil damages: trees.(2011-2012)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB2071:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2071


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Hagman

February 23, 2012


An act to amend Section 1720.4 3346 of the Labor Civil Code, and to amend Section 733 of the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to public works civil damages.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2071, as amended, Hagman. Public works: volunteers. Civil damages: trees.
Existing law provides damages of 3 times the sum that would compensate for the actual detriment caused by wrongful injuries to, or the removal of, timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another, unless an exception applies. Among these exceptions, if the defendant had probable cause to believe that the land on which the trespass was committed was his or her own, or the land of the person in whose service or by whose direction the act was done, existing law provides damages of twice the sum that would compensate for the actual detriment. Existing law also provides damages in a sum equal to the actual detriment if wood was taken by the authority of highway officers for specified purposes.
This bill would instead provide damages of 3 times the actual damage for intentional damage to, or removal of, timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another. For negligent damage as described above, the bill would provide actual damages. For negligent damage sustained on the land of an owner who intended to make commercial use of the damaged timber, trees, or underwood, the bill would provide damages of 2 times the actual damage. The bill would also provide actual damages for wood taken by the authority of highway officers as described above.
Existing law provides that any person who cuts down or carries off any wood or underwood, tree, or timber, or girdles or otherwise injures any tree or timber on specified lands without lawful authority is liable to the owner of that land, as specified, for treble the amount of damages that may be assessed in a civil action.
This bill would instead hold a person liable for actual damages for the violations described above, except as provided. The bill would provide damages of 2 times the actual damage for violations that occur on the land of an owner who intended to make commercial use of the specified wood. The bill would also provide damages of 3 times the actual damage if the violation was intentional.
This bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

Existing law exempts volunteers, as defined, from the application of provisions that govern public works contracts.

This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to this provision.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3346 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

3346.
 (a) For wrongful injuries intentional damage to, or removal of, timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another, or removal thereof, the measure of damages is shall be three times such sum as would compensate for the actual detriment, except that where the trespass was casual or involuntary, or that damages.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), for negligent damage to, or removal of, timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another, including if the defendant in any action brought under this section had probable cause to believe that the land on which the trespass was committed was his or her own or the land of the person in whose service or by whose direction the act was done, the measure of damages shall be twice the sum as would compensate for the actual detriment, and excepting further that where the wood the actual damages.
(c) For negligent damage to, or removal of, timber, trees, or underwood upon the land of another, if the owner of the land intended to make commercial use of that timber, trees, or underwood, the measure of damages shall be two times the actual damages.
(d) If timber, trees, or underwood was taken by the authority of highway officers for the purpose of repairing a public highway or bridge upon the land or adjoining it, in which case judgment shall only be given in a sum equal to the for the actual detriment damages.

(b)

(e) The measure of damages to be assessed against a defendant for any trespass committed while acting in reliance upon a survey of boundary lines which improperly fixes the location of a boundary line, shall be the actual detriment damages incurred if both of the following conditions exist:
(1) The trespass was committed by a defendant who either himself or herself procured, or whose principal, lessor, or immediate predecessor in title procured, the survey to be made; and made.
(2) The survey was made by a person licensed under the laws of this State state to practice land surveying.
(c) Any action for the damages specified by subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section must be commenced within five years from the date of the trespass.

SEC. 2.

 Section 733 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

733.
 (a) Any person who cuts down or carries off any wood or, underwood, tree, or timber, or girdles or otherwise injures damages any tree or timber on the land of another person, or on the street or highway in front of any person’s house, village, or city lot, or cultivated grounds; or on the commons or public grounds of any city or town, or on the street or highway in front thereof, without lawful authority, is liable to the owner of such that land, or to such that city or town, for treble the amount of the actual damages which that may be assessed therefor, in a civil action, in by any Court court having jurisdiction.
(b) If an owner of land described in subdivision (a) intended to make commercial use of the wood, underwood, tree, or timber on the owner’s land, the measure of damages shall be two times the actual damages.
(c) If the cutting, carrying off, or damage to the wood, underwood, tree, or timber was intentional, the measure of damages shall be three times the actual damages.

SECTION 1.Section 1720.4 of the Labor Code is amended to read:
1720.4.

(a)This chapter does not apply to any of the following work:

(1)Any work performed by a volunteer. For purposes of this section, “volunteer” means an individual who performs work for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons for a public agency or corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a tax-exempt organization, without promise, expectation, or receipt of any compensation for work performed.

(A)An individual shall be considered a volunteer only when his or her services are offered freely and without pressure and coercion, direct or implied, from an employer.

(B)An individual may receive reasonable meals, lodging, transportation, and incidental expenses or nominal nonmonetary awards without losing volunteer status if, in the entire context of the situation, those benefits and payments are not a substitute form of compensation for work performed.

(C)An individual shall not be considered a volunteer if the person is otherwise employed for compensation at any time (i) in the construction, alteration, demolition, installation, repair, or maintenance work on the same project, or (ii) by a contractor, other than a corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a tax-exempt organization, that receives payment to perform construction, alteration, demolition, installation, repair, or maintenance work on the same project.

(2)Any work performed by a volunteer coordinator. For purposes of this section, “volunteer coordinator” means an individual paid by a corporation qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a tax-exempt organization, to oversee or supervise volunteers. An individual may be considered a volunteer coordinator even if the individual performs some nonsupervisory work on a project alongside the volunteers, so long as the individual’s primary responsibility on the project is to oversee or supervise the volunteers rather than to perform nonsupervisory work.

(3)Any work performed by the California Conservation Corps or by Community Conservation Corps certified by the California Conservation Corps pursuant to Section 14507.5 of the Public Resources Code.

(b)This section shall apply retroactively to otherwise covered work concluded on or after January 1, 2002, to the extent permitted by law.

(c)This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, which is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends that date.