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AB-1463 Election of judges: working group.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/21/2017 04:00 AM
AB1463:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 20, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1463


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 68085 of add and repeal Section 68529 of the Government Code, relating to courts. the judiciary.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1463, as amended, Levine. Court Case Management System: expenditures. Election of judges: working group.
Existing law authorizes the chair of the Judicial Council to appoint committees composed of, among others, official court reporters, judges, attorneys, and experts in specialized fields, to advise the Judicial Council on the condition of business in the courts and the means for improving the administration of justice.
This bill would establish, until January 1, 2021, a working group with a membership appointed by the Judicial Council, as specified, to improve voter education of candidates for judicial election. The bill would require the working group to meet to consider what information would be useful to voters in a judicial election and how to make this information accessible to voters. The bill would require the Judicial Council to report the working group’s findings to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2020.

Existing law establishes the Trial Court Trust Fund, the proceeds of which are apportioned to fund trial court operations, as well as providing for the direct payment or reimbursement of the actual costs of operating one or more trial courts upon the authorization of the participating courts. Existing law prohibits the Judicial Council from expending funds on the Court Case Management System without consent from the Legislature, except as specified.

This bill would repeal the language prohibiting the Judicial Council from expending funds on the Court Case Management System without consent from the Legislature.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 68529 is added to the Government Code, to read:

68529.
 (a) There is a working group to improve voter education of candidates for judicial election.
(b) The Judicial Council shall appoint the members of the working group, which shall include, but not be limited to, one or more representatives of all of the following:
(1) Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation of the State Bar of California.
(2) County election officials.
(3) Secretary of State.
(c) The working group shall meet to consider what information would be useful to voters in a judicial election and how to make this information accessible to voters. The working group may consider whether it is appropriate or feasible to post judicial decisions on an Internet Web site maintained by a government entity.
(d) (1) On or before January 1, 2020, the Judicial Council shall report the findings of the working group to the Legislature.
(2) The Judicial Council shall submit the report required by paragraph (1) in compliance with Section 9795.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed.

SECTION 1.Section 68085 of the Government Code is amended to read:
68085.

(a)(1)There is hereby established the Trial Court Trust Fund, the proceeds of which shall be apportioned for the purposes authorized in this section, including apportionment to the trial courts to fund trial court operations, as defined in Section 77003.

(2)The apportionment payments shall be made by the Controller. The final payment from the Trial Court Trust Fund for each fiscal year shall be made on or before August 31 of the subsequent fiscal year.

(A)Notwithstanding any other law, in order to promote statewide efficiency, the Judicial Council may authorize the direct payment or reimbursement or both of actual costs from the Trial Court Trust Fund or the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund to fund the costs of operating one or more trial courts upon the authorization of the participating courts. These paid or reimbursed costs may be for services provided to the court or courts by the Administrative Office of the Courts or payment for services or property of any kind contracted for by the court or courts or on behalf of the courts by the Administrative Office of the Courts. The amount of appropriations from the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund under this subdivision may not exceed 20 percent of the amount deposited in the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 77205. The direct payment or reimbursement of costs from the Trial Court Trust Fund may be supported by the reduction of a participating court’s allocation from the Trial Court Trust Fund to the extent that the court’s expenditures for the program are reduced and the court is supported by the expenditure. The Judicial Council shall provide the affected trial courts with quarterly reports on expenditures from the Trial Court Trust Fund incurred as authorized by this subdivision. The Judicial Council shall establish procedures to provide for the administration of this paragraph in a way that promotes the effective, efficient, reliable, and accountable operation of the trial courts.

(B)As used in subparagraph (A), the term “costs of operating one or more trial courts” includes any expenses related to operation of the court or performance of its functions, including, but not limited to, statewide administrative and information technology infrastructure supporting the courts. The term “costs of operating one or more trial courts” is not restricted to items considered “court operations” pursuant to Section 77003, but is subject to policies, procedures, and criteria established by the Judicial Council, and may not include an item that is a cost that must otherwise be paid by the county or city and county in which the court is located.

(b)Notwithstanding any other law, the fees listed in subdivision (c) shall all be deposited upon collection in a special account in the county treasury, and transmitted monthly to the State Treasury for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund.

(c)(1)Except as specified in subdivision (d), this section applies to all fees collected on or before December 31, 2005, pursuant to Sections 631.3, 116.230, and 403.060 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Sections 26820.4, 26823, 26826, 26826.01, 26827, 26827.4, 26830, 26832.1, 26833.1, 26835.1, 26836.1, 26837.1, 26838, 26850.1, 26851.1, 26852.1, 26853.1, 26855.4, 26862, 68086, 72055, 72056, 72056.01, and 72060.

(2)Notwithstanding any other law, except as specified in subdivision (d) of this section and subdivision (a) of Section 68085.7, this section applies to all fees and fines collected on or before December 31, 2005, pursuant to Sections 116.390, 116.570, 116.760, 116.860, 177.5, 491.150, 704.750, 708.160, 724.100, 1134, 1161.2, and 1218 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 26824, 26828, 26829, 26834, and 72059 of the Government Code, and subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 166 and Section 1214.1 of the Penal Code.

(3)If any of the fees provided for in this subdivision are partially waived by court order, and the fee is to be divided between the Trial Court Trust Fund and any other fund, the amount of the partial waiver shall be deducted from the amount to be distributed to each fund in the same proportion as the amount of each distribution bears to the total amount of the fee.

(d)This section does not apply to that portion of a filing fee collected pursuant to Section 26820.4, 26826, 26827, 72055, or 72056 that is allocated for dispute resolution pursuant to Section 470.3 of the Business and Professions Code, the county law library pursuant to Section 6320 of the Business and Professions Code, the Judges’ Retirement Fund pursuant to Section 26822.3, automated recordkeeping or conversion to micrographics pursuant to Sections 26863 and 68090.7, and courthouse financing pursuant to Section 76238. This section also does not apply to fees collected pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 27361.

(e)This section applies to all payments required to be made to the State Treasury by any county or city and county pursuant to Section 77201, 77201.1, or 77205.

(f)Notwithstanding any other law, no agency may take action to change the amounts allocated to any of the funds described in subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d).

(g)The Judicial Council shall reimburse the Controller for the actual administrative costs that will be incurred under this section. Costs reimbursed under this section shall be determined on an annual basis in consultation with the Judicial Council.

(h)Any amounts required to be transmitted by a county or city and county to the state pursuant to this section shall be remitted to the State Treasury no later than 45 days after the end of the month in which the fees were collected. This remittance shall be accompanied by a remittance advice identifying the collection month and the appropriate account in the Trial Court Trust Fund to which it is to be deposited. Any remittance that is not made by the county or city and county in accordance with this section shall be considered delinquent, and subject to the interest and penalties specified in this section.

(i)Upon receipt of any delinquent payment required pursuant to this section, the Controller shall do the following:

(1)Calculate interest on the delinquent payment by multiplying the amount of the delinquent payment at a daily rate equivalent to the rate of return of money deposited in the Local Agency Investment Fund pursuant to Section 16429.1 from the date the payment was originally due to either 30 days after the date of the issuance by the Controller of the final audit report concerning the failure to pay or the date of payment by the entity responsible for the delinquent payment, whichever comes first.

(2)Calculate a penalty at a daily rate equivalent to 112 percent per month from the date 30 days after the date of the issuance by the Controller of the final audit report concerning the failure to pay.

(j)(1)Interest or penalty amounts calculated pursuant to subdivision (i) shall be paid by the county, city and county, or court to the Trial Court Trust Fund no later than 45 days after the end of the month in which the interest or penalty was calculated. Payment shall be made by the entity responsible for the error or other action that caused the failure to pay, as determined by the Controller in notice given to that party by the Controller.

(2)Notwithstanding Section 77009, any interest or penalty on a delinquent payment that a court is required to make pursuant to this section and Section 24353 shall be paid from the Trial Court Operations Fund for that court.

(3)The Controller may permit a county, city and county, or court to pay the interest or penalty amounts according to a payment schedule in the event of a large interest or penalty amount that causes a hardship to the paying entity.

(4)The party responsible for the error or other action that caused the failure to pay may include, but is not limited to, the party that collected the funds who is not the party responsible for remitting the funds to the Trial Court Trust Fund, if the collecting party failed or delayed in providing the remitting party with sufficient information needed by the remitting party to distribute the funds.

(k)The Trial Court Trust Fund shall be invested in the Surplus Money Investment Fund and all interest earned shall be allocated to the Trial Court Trust Fund quarterly and shall be allocated among the courts in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (a).

(l)It is the intent of the Legislature that the revenues required to be deposited into the Trial Court Trust Fund be remitted as soon after collection by the courts as possible.

(m)Except for subdivisions (a) and (k), this section does not apply to fees and fines that are listed in subdivision (a) of Section 68085.1 that are collected on or after January 1, 2006.

(n)The changes made to subdivisions (i) and (j) of this section by the act adding this subdivision shall apply to all delinquent payments for which no final audit has been issued by the Controller prior to January 1, 2008.

(o)Nothing in this section or any other law shall be construed to authorize the Judicial Council to redirect funds from the Trial Court Trust Fund for any purpose other than for allocation to trial courts or as otherwise specifically appropriated by statute.