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AB-1694 Civil rights.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/05/2017 09:00 PM
AB1694:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 05, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1694


Introduced by Committee on Judiciary (Assembly Members Mark Stone (Chair), Chau, Chiu, Cristina Garcia, Holden, Kalra, Reyes, and Ting)

February 27, 2017


An act to amend Section Sections 51.7 and 52.1 of the Civil Code, to amend Section 1861.03 of the Insurance Code, and to repeal Section 1 of Chapter 1293 of the Statutes of 1976, relating to civil rights.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1694, as amended, Committee on Judiciary. Civil rights.
The Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976 provides, in part, that all persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, on account of their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation.
This bill would repeal the uncodified provision entitling the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976, and would instead state the findings of the Legislature that the above-described provision was enacted as part of the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976. include that title in the above-described provision.
Under existing law, if a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes or attempts to interfere, by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney is authorized to bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. Existing law also authorizes an individual whose exercise or enjoyment of those rights has been interfered with, or attempted to be interfered with, as described, to institute and prosecute a civil action for damages, including, but not limited to, specified damages, injunctive relief, and other appropriate equitable relief to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. Existing law entitles the act that added these provisions as the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act.
This bill would include that title in the above-described provisions.
Existing law, the Insurance Rate Reduction and Reform Act, enacted by Proposition 103, as approved by the voters at the November 8, 1988, statewide general election, subjects the business of insurance to the laws of this state applicable to any other business, including, but not limited to, civil rights laws.
This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to this provision by removing an incorrect title for the cross-referenced civil rights laws.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 51.7 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

51.7.
 (a) All This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Ralph Civil Rights Act.
(b) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of political affiliation, or on account of any characteristic listed or defined in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51, or position in a labor dispute, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of those characteristics. The identification in this subdivision of particular bases of discrimination is illustrative rather than restrictive.

(b)

(c) (1) A person shall not require another person to waive any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section, as a condition of entering into a contract for goods or services, including the right to file and pursue a civil action or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Attorney General or any other public prosecutor, or law enforcement agency, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or any court or other governmental entity.
(2) A person shall not refuse to enter into a contract with, or refuse to provide goods or services to, another person on the basis that the other person refuses to waive any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section, including the right to file and pursue a civil action or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Attorney General or any other public prosecutor, or law enforcement agency, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or any other governmental entity.
(3) Any waiver of any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section, including the right to file and pursue a civil action or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Attorney General or any other public prosecutor, or law enforcement agency, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or any other governmental entity shall be knowing and voluntary, in writing, and expressly not made as a condition of entering into a contract for goods or services or as a condition of providing or receiving goods and services.
(4) Any waiver of any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section that is required as a condition of entering into a contract for goods or services shall be deemed involuntary, unconscionable, against public policy, and unenforceable. Nothing in this subdivision shall affect the enforceability or validity of any other provision of the contract.
(5) Any person who seeks to enforce a waiver of any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section shall have the burden of proving that the waiver was knowing and voluntary and not made as a condition of the contract or of providing or receiving the goods or services.
(6) The exercise of a person’s right to refuse to waive any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section, including a rejection of a contract requiring a waiver, shall not affect any otherwise legal terms of a contract or an agreement.
(7) This subdivision shall not apply to any agreement to waive any legal rights, penalties, remedies, forums, or procedures for a violation of this section after a legal claim has arisen.
(8) This subdivision shall apply to any agreement to waive any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this section, including an agreement to accept private arbitration, entered into, altered, modified, renewed, or extended on or after January 1, 2015.

(c)

(d) This section does not apply to statements concerning positions in a labor dispute that are made during otherwise lawful labor picketing.

(d)

(e) The Legislature finds and declares that this section was enacted as part of the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976, in Chapter 1293 of the Statutes of 1976.

(e)

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to negate or otherwise abrogate the provisions of Sections 1668, 1953, and 3513.

SEC. 2.

 Section 52.1 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

52.1.
 (a) If This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act.
(b) If a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes by threat, intimidation, or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threat, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney may bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. An action brought by the Attorney General, any district attorney, or any city attorney may also seek a civil penalty of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). If this civil penalty is requested, it shall be assessed individually against each person who is determined to have violated this section and the penalty shall be awarded to each individual whose rights under this section are determined to have been violated.

(b)

(c) Any individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, has been interfered with, or attempted to be interfered with, as described in subdivision (a), may institute and prosecute in his or her own name and on his or her own behalf a civil action for damages, including, but not limited to, damages under Section 52, injunctive relief, and other appropriate equitable relief to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured, including appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate a pattern or practice of conduct as described in subdivision (a).

(c)

(d) An action brought pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) may be filed either in the superior court for the county in which the conduct complained of occurred or in the superior court for the county in which a person whose conduct complained of resides or has his or her place of business. An action brought by the Attorney General pursuant to subdivision (a) also may be filed in the superior court for any county wherein the Attorney General has an office, and in that case, the jurisdiction of the court shall extend throughout the state.

(d)

(e) If a court issues a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction in an action brought pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), ordering a defendant to refrain from conduct or activities, the order issued shall include the following statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE UNDER SECTION 422.77 OF THE PENAL CODE.

(e)

(f) The court shall order the plaintiff or the attorney for the plaintiff to deliver, or the clerk of the court to mail, two copies of any order, extension, modification, or termination thereof granted pursuant to this section, by the close of the business day on which the order, extension, modification, or termination was granted, to each local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the residence of the plaintiff and any other locations where the court determines that acts of violence against the plaintiff are likely to occur. Those local law enforcement agencies shall be designated by the plaintiff or the attorney for the plaintiff. Each appropriate law enforcement agency receiving any order, extension, or modification of any order issued pursuant to this section shall serve forthwith one copy thereof upon the defendant. Each appropriate law enforcement agency shall provide to any law enforcement officer responding to the scene of reported violence, information as to the existence of, terms, and current status of, any order issued pursuant to this section.

(f)

(g) A court shall not have jurisdiction to issue an order or injunction under this section, if that order or injunction would be prohibited under Section 527.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(g)

(h) An action brought pursuant to this section is independent of any other action, remedy, or procedure that may be available to an aggrieved individual under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, an action, remedy, or procedure brought pursuant to Section 51.7.

(h)

(i) In addition to any damages, injunction, or other equitable relief awarded in an action brought pursuant to subdivision (b), the court may award the petitioner or plaintiff reasonable attorney’s fees.

(i)

(j) A violation of an order described in subdivision (d) may be punished either by prosecution under Section 422.77 of the Penal Code, or by a proceeding for contempt brought pursuant to Title 5 (commencing with Section 1209) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, in any proceeding pursuant to the Code of Civil Procedure, if it is determined that the person proceeded against is guilty of the contempt charged, in addition to any other relief, a fine may be imposed not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or the person may be ordered imprisoned in a county jail not exceeding six months, or the court may order both the imprisonment and fine.

(j)

(k) Speech alone is not sufficient to support an action brought pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), except upon a showing that the speech itself threatens violence against a specific person or group of persons; and the person or group of persons against whom the threat is directed reasonably fears that, because of the speech, violence will be committed against them or their property and that the person threatening violence had the apparent ability to carry out the threat.

(k)

(l) No order issued in any proceeding brought pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) shall restrict the content of any person’s speech. An order restricting the time, place, or manner of any person’s speech shall do so only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of constitutional or statutory rights, consistent with the constitutional rights of the person sought to be enjoined.

(l)

(m) The rights, penalties, remedies, forums, and procedures of this section shall not be waived by contract except as provided in Section 51.7.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1861.03 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

1861.03.
 (a) The business of insurance shall be subject to the laws of California applicable to any other business, including, but not limited to, the Unruh Civil Rights Act civil rights laws (Sections 51 to 53, inclusive, of the Civil Code), and the antitrust and unfair business practices laws (Parts 2 (commencing with Section 16600) and 3 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code).
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit (1) any agreement to collect, compile and disseminate historical data on paid claims or reserves for reported claims, provided such data is contemporaneously transmitted to the commissioner, (2) participation in any joint arrangement established by statute or the commissioner to assure availability of insurance, (3) any agent or broker, representing one or more insurers, from obtaining from any insurer it represents information relative to the premium for any policy or risk to be underwritten by that insurer, (4) any agent or broker from disclosing to an insurer it represents any quoted rate or charge offered by another insurer represented by that agent or broker for the purpose of negotiating a lower rate, charge, or term from the insurer to whom the disclosure is made, or (5) any agents, brokers, or insurers from utilizing or participating with multiple insurers or reinsurers for underwriting a single risk or group of risks.
(c) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a notice of cancellation or nonrenewal of a policy for automobile insurance shall be effective only if it is based on one or more of the following reasons: (A) nonpayment of premium; (B) fraud or material misrepresentation affecting the policy or insured; (C) a substantial increase in the hazard insured against.
(2) This subdivision shall not prevent a reciprocal insurer, organized prior to November 8, 1988, by a motor club holding a certificate of authority under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 12160) of Part 5 of Division 2, and which requires membership in the motor club as a condition precedent to applying for insurance, from issuing an effective notice of nonrenewal based solely on the failure of the insured to maintain membership in the motor club. This subdivision shall also not prevent an insurer which issues private passenger automobile coverage to members of groups that were in existence prior to November 8, 1988, whether membership, franchise, or otherwise, and to those who are not members of groups from issuing an effective notice of nonrenewal for coverage provided to the insured as a member of the group based solely on the failure of the insured to maintain that membership if (i) the insurer offers to renew the coverage to the insured on a nongroup basis, or (ii) to transfer the coverage to an affiliated insurer. The rates charged by the insurer or affiliated insurer shall have been adopted pursuant to this article. However, all of the following conditions shall be applicable to that insurance:
(A) Membership, if conditioned, is conditioned only on timely payment of membership dues and other bona fide criteria not based upon driving record or insurance, provided that membership in a motor club may not be based on residence in any area within the state.
(B) Membership dues are paid solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits and bear a reasonable relationship to the benefits provided. The amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member purchases insurance offered by the membership organization. None of those membership dues or any portion thereof shall be transferred by the membership organization to the insurer, or any affiliate of the insurer, attorney-in-fact, subsidiary, or holding company thereof, provided that this provision shall not prevent any bona fide transaction between the membership organization and those entities.
(C) Membership provides bona fide services or benefits in addition to the right to apply for insurance. Those services shall be reasonably available to all members within each class of membership.
Any insurer that violates subparagraphs (A), (B), or (C) shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 1861.14.

SEC. 2.SEC. 4.

 Section 1 of Chapter 1293 of the Statutes of 1976 is repealed.