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AB-3066 Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/18/2018 02:00 PM
AB3066:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 26, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3066


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Section 754 of the Evidence Code, relating to interpreters. add and repeal Part 2.2 (commencing with Section 18800) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to mobilehomes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3066, as amended, Mark Stone. Court interpreters. Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act.
The Mobilehome Residency Law governs the terms and conditions of residency in mobilehome parks. That law, among other things, requires the rental agreement between the management of a mobilehome park and the homeowner to be in writing and to contain specified terms and provisions, requires the management to meet and consult with homeowners, either individually, collectively, or with representatives of a group of homeowners, on specified matters within 30 days of a written request to do so, and prohibits management from terminating or refusing to renew tenancy within a park, except for specified reasons and upon giving written notice to the homeowner.
This bill would enact the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act. Beginning July 1, 2020, the bill would establish the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program within the Department of Housing and Community Development, pursuant to which the bill would require the department to provide assistance in resolving and coordinating the resolution of complaints from homeowners relating to the Mobilehome Residency Law, as provided. The bill would require the department to refer matters within its jurisdiction to its Division of Codes and Standards and authorize it to refer matters not within its jurisdiction to the appropriate enforcement agency. The bill would require the department to select complaints for evaluation under the program, as provided. The bill would require the department to contract with one or more qualified and experienced nonprofit legal services providers and refer complaints selected for evaluation to one of those nonprofit legal services providers for possible enforcement action, as provided. The bill would require management to provide specified information to the department within 15 days of a request for that information and require the imposition of a noncompliance fine of $250 for each failure to comply.
Beginning January 1, 2019, the bill would require the department to assess upon the management of a mobilehome park subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law and collect an annual registration fee of $10 for each mobilehome lot located within the mobilehome park. The bill would authorize management to pass this fee on to the homeowners within the mobilehome park. The bill would require that all moneys collected pursuant to its provisions be deposited into the Mobilehome Dispute Resolution Fund, which this bill would establish, and make those moneys available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes of implementing the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act, as provided.
The bill, on January 1, 2023, would require the department to submit a written report to the Legislature outlining data collected from the program and make that report available on its Internet Web site. The bill would require that the data collected include specified information. The bill would also require the department to additionally report certain information to a task force convened pursuant to specified law to provide input to the department on the conduct and operation of a certain mobilehome park maintenance inspection program.
The bill would repeal the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act as of January 1, 2024.

Under existing law, if a party or witness in a civil or criminal action is an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, the proceeding is required to be interpreted in a language that the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing understands by a qualified interpreter appointed by the court or other appointing authority, as agreed upon. Existing law defines “qualified interpreter” to mean an interpreter who has been certified as competent to interpret court proceedings by a testing organization, agency, or educational institution approved by the Judicial Council. Existing law requires the Judicial Council, before July 1, 1992, to conduct a study to establish the guidelines pursuant to which it shall determine which testing organizations, agencies, or educational institutions will be approved to administer tests for certification of court interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

This bill would delete the provisions relating to the past requirements of the Judicial Council to conduct the study to establish these guidelines before July 1, 1992, and to approve one or more entities to administer testing by January 1, 1997.

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

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


SECTION 1.

 Part 2.2 (commencing with Section 18800) is added to Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

PART 2.2. Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program

18800.
 (a) This part shall be known, and may be cited, as the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this part to protect and safeguard the most vulnerable mobilehome homeowners by affording them an additional avenue to enforce violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code).

18801.
 As used in this part, and for the sole purpose of investigation or pursuit of conciliation or remedy arising from a complaint alleging a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(b) “Homeowner” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.9 of the Civil Code.
(c) “Management” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.2 of the Civil Code.
(d) “Mobilehome” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.3 of the Civil Code.
(e) “Mobilehome park” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.4 of the Civil Code.
(f) “Mobilehome Residency Law” means the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code).
(g) “Program” means the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program established pursuant to this part.
(h) “Rental agreement” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.8 of the Civil Code.

18802.
 (a) The Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program is hereby established within the department.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), the department shall provide assistance in taking complaints, and helping to resolve and coordinate the resolution of those complaints, from homeowners relating to the Mobilehome Residency Law.
(c) The department shall not arbitrate, mediate, negotiate, or provide legal advice in connection with mobilehome park rent disputes, lease or rental agreements, or disputes arising from lease or rental agreements, but may provide information on these issues to the complaining party, management, or other responsible party.
(d) (1) The department shall refer any alleged violations of law or regulations within the department’s jurisdiction to the Division of Codes and Standards within the department.
(2) The department may refer any alleged violations of law or regulations that are not within the jurisdiction of the department, including, but not limited to, rent disputes, criminal activity, or alleged discrimination, to the appropriate enforcement agency.
(e) (1) Upon receipt of a complaint, the department shall send the complaining party a letter confirming receipt and referencing those provisions of the Mobilehome Residency Law, if applicable, that may pertain to the complaint. If the department refers the complaint to an appropriate enforcement agency, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), the letter shall communicate that referral.
(2) A letter issued pursuant to this subdivision shall be in the same medium as the complaint to which the letter is in response.
(f) (1) The department shall use good faith efforts to select the most severe, deleterious, and materially and economically impactful alleged violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law. The department shall select a sample of these complaints that satisfy geographic representation of the state for evaluation.
(2) In evaluating a complaint, the department may request a copy of the lease, park rules, or any other relevant written documents applicable to a complaint from management. Management shall provide the information requested pursuant to this paragraph within 15 days of the request. Failure to comply with this requirement shall result in a noncompliance fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each failure to comply.
(g) The department may aggregate multiple complaints submitted to the program into a single investigation.
(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

18803.
 (a) In administering the program, the department shall contract with one or more qualified and experienced nonprofit legal services providers and refer complaints selected for evaluation pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 18802 to those nonprofit legal services providers for possible enforcement action.
(b) The department shall only contract with a nonprofit legal services provider that meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The nonprofit legal services provider has experience in handling complaints, disputes, or matters arising from the provisions of the Mobilehome Residency Law or matters related to general landlord-tenant law.
(2) The nonprofit legal services provider has experience in representing individuals in dispute resolution processes, state court proceedings, and appeals.
(3) The nonprofit legal services provider has sufficient staff and financial ability to provide for legal services to homeowners.
(c) A nonprofit legal services provider contracted with pursuant to this section shall maintain adequate legal malpractice insurance and shall agree to indemnify and hold harmless the state from any claims arising from the legal services provided pursuant to this part.
(d) (1) A nonprofit legal services provider contracted with pursuant to this section shall have the sole authority to determine which referred complaints will be addressed or pursued, based on the resources provided to it pursuant to the contract with the department.
(2) The nonprofit legal services provider shall inform the department of any complaints not handled due to a shortage of resources.
(e) A nonprofit legal services provider contracted with pursuant to this section shall not charge any fees to a homeowner for any services performed in connection with a complaint referred to it by the department.
(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

18804.
 (a) There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Mobilehome Dispute Resolution Fund. The fund shall receive all moneys derived pursuant to this part. Moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes of implementing this part.
(b) (1) Beginning January 1, 2019, and each subsequent year, the department shall assess upon management and collect an annual registration fee of ten dollars ($10) for each lot within a mobilehome park that is subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law. The department shall collect the registration fee at the same time as the annual operating permit fee imposed under the Mobilehome Parks Act (Part. 2.1 (commencing with Section 18200)).
(2) The Legislature finds and declares that the purpose of the fee imposed by this section is to cover the costs of the department incident to the investigation of mobilehome parks for purposes of enforcing the Mobilehome Residency Law.
(c) Management may pass on all or a portion of the amount of the annual registration fee assessed under this section to the homeowners within the mobilehome park and may collect the amount or portion thereof when rent is due, except that management shall not pass on the fee in the form of an increase in rent nor shall the amount exceed ten dollars ($10) per mobilehome space annually. Management shall provide a written description of the purpose of the charge to homeowners, along with contact information for the department, and any amount that is passed through to a homeowner pursuant to this subdivision shall be separately stated on any monthly or other periodic billing to the homeowner or resident.

18805.
 (a) On January 1, 2023, the department shall submit a written report to the Legislature outlining data collected from the program and make that report available on its Internet Web site. The data collected shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The amount of registration fees collected pursuant to Section 18804 and the amount expended on the program.
(2) The total number of complaint allegations received, the total number of complaint allegations processed, and the total number of complaint allegations referred to another enforcement agency or to a nonprofit legal services provider.
(3) The type of complaint allegations received.
(4) To the extent possible, the outcome of each complaint received by the program.
(5) Activities completed by a nonprofit legal services provider contracted with pursuant to the program.
(6) The most common complaint allegations.
(7) Recommendations for any statutory or administrative changes to the program.
(b) The report required to be submitted to the Legislature by this section shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(c) The department shall additionally report the information required pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a) to the task force convened pursuant to Section 18400.3.

18806.
 This part shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SECTION 1.Section 754 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:
754.

(a)As used in this section, “individual who is deaf or hard of hearing” means an individual with a hearing loss so great as to prevent his or her understanding language spoken in a normal tone, but does not include an individual who is hard of hearing provided with, and able to fully participate in the proceedings through the use of, an assistive listening system or computer-aided transcription equipment provided pursuant to Section 54.8 of the Civil Code.

(b)In a civil or criminal action, including an action involving a traffic or other infraction, a small claims court proceeding, a juvenile court proceeding, a family court proceeding or service, or a proceeding to determine the mental competency of a person, in a court-ordered or court-provided alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, or in an administrative hearing, where a party or witness is an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing is present and participating, the proceeding shall be interpreted in a language that the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing understands by a qualified interpreter appointed by the court or other appointing authority, or as agreed upon.

(c)For purposes of this section, “appointing authority” means a court, department, board, commission, agency, licensing or legislative body, or other body for proceedings requiring a qualified interpreter.

(d)For purposes of this section, “interpreter” includes an oral interpreter, a sign language interpreter, or a deaf-blind interpreter, depending upon the needs of the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing.

(e)For purposes of this section, “intermediary interpreter” means an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, or a hearing individual who is able to assist in providing an accurate interpretation between spoken English and sign language or between variants of sign language or between American Sign Language and other foreign languages by acting as an intermediary between the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing and the qualified interpreter.

(f)For purposes of this section, “qualified interpreter” means an interpreter who has been certified as competent to interpret court proceedings by a testing organization, agency, or educational institution approved by the Judicial Council as qualified to administer tests to court interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

(g)If the appointed interpreter is not familiar with the use of particular signs by the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing or his or her particular variant of sign language, the court or other appointing authority shall, in consultation with the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing or his or her representative, appoint an intermediary interpreter.

(h)(1)The Judicial Council shall approve one or more entities to administer testing for certification of court interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Testing entities may include educational institutions, testing organizations, joint powers agencies, and public agencies.

(2)Court interpreters for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing shall meet the qualifications specified in subdivision (f).

(i)Persons appointed to serve as interpreters under this section shall be paid, in addition to actual travel costs, the prevailing rate paid to persons employed by the court to provide other interpreter services unless such service is considered to be a part of the person’s regular duties as an employee of the state, county, or other political subdivision of the state. Except as provided in subdivision (j), payment of the interpreter’s fee shall be a charge against the court. Payment of the interpreter’s fee in administrative proceedings shall be a charge against the appointing board or authority.

(j)Whenever a peace officer or any other person having a law enforcement or prosecutorial function in a criminal or quasi-criminal investigation or non-court proceeding questions or otherwise interviews an alleged victim or witness who demonstrates or alleges deafness or hearing loss, a good faith effort to secure the services of an interpreter shall be made without any unnecessary delay, unless either the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing affirmatively indicates that he or she does not need or cannot use an interpreter, or an interpreter is not otherwise required by Title II of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336) and federal regulations adopted thereunder. Payment of the interpreter’s fee shall be a charge against the county, or other political subdivision of the state, in which the action is pending.

(k)A statement, written or oral, made by an individual who the court finds is deaf or hard of hearing in reply to a question of a peace officer, or any other person having a law enforcement or prosecutorial function in a criminal or quasi-criminal investigation or proceeding, shall not be used against that individual who is deaf or hard of hearing unless the question was accurately interpreted and the statement was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently and was accurately interpreted, or the court finds that either the individual could not have used an interpreter or an interpreter was not otherwise required by Title II of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336) and federal regulations adopted thereunder and that the statement was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently.

(l)In obtaining services of an interpreter for purposes of subdivision (j) or (k), priority shall be given to first obtaining a qualified interpreter.

(m)Subdivisions (j) and (k) shall not be deemed to supersede the requirement of subdivision (b) for use of a qualified interpreter for an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing participating as a party or witness in a trial or hearing.

(n)In an action or proceeding in which an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing is a participant, the appointing authority shall not commence the action or proceeding until the appointed interpreter is in full view of and spatially situated to assure proper communication with the participating individual who is deaf or hard of hearing.

(o)Each superior court shall maintain a current roster of qualified interpreters certified pursuant to subdivision (f).