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SB-183 Courthouses: Privilege from civil arrest.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/06/2018 02:00 PM
SB183:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 06, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  January 22, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  September 08, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 183


Introduced by Senator Lara
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu Chiu, Gonzalez Fletcher, and Gonzalez Fletcher Mark Stone)
(Coauthors: Senators Atkins, Bradford, Mitchell, Pan, Skinner, and Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta, Caballero, Chu, Gloria, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Quirk, Reyes, Rubio, Santiago, Thurmond, and Ting)

January 24, 2017


An act to add Chapter 31.5 (commencing with Section 7595.5) to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, Section 43.54 to the Civil Code, and to amend Section 177 of, and to add Section 1209.1 to, the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to state buildings. courthouses.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 183, as amended, Lara. State buildings: federal immigration agents. Courthouses: Privilege from civil arrest.
Existing law prohibits specified conduct inside public buildings owned and occupied, or leased and occupied, by the state. Existing law provides that a judicial officer has the power to preserve and enforce order in judicial proceedings and to compel obedience to judicial orders, as specified.
This bill would prohibit federal immigration enforcement agents, officers, or personnel from entering a building owned and occupied, or leased and occupied, by the state, a public school, or a campus of the California Community Colleges, to perform surveillance, effectuate an arrest, or question an individual therein, without a valid federal warrant, and would limit the activities therein of federal immigration enforcement agents, officers, or personnel with a warrant to the individual who is the subject of the warrant. clarify the power of judicial officers to prevent activities that threaten access to courthouses, including by protecting the privilege from arrest. The bill would provide that no person shall be subject to civil arrest or service of process while attending, or going to or from, a courthouse or court proceeding. The bill would provide that a person who knowingly executes or facilitates an arrest or service of process at a courthouse or court proceeding shall be liable for contempt of court, false imprisonment, or both. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The threat that persons may be subject to civil arrest or service of process while in California’s courthouses or their environs, or while attending or going to or coming from judicial proceedings, is a threat to the proper functioning of California’s government and to the rights enjoyed by all Californians.
(b) The United States Supreme Court has recognized that “the unhindered and untrammeled functioning of our courts is part of the very foundation of our constitutional democracy,” and that a state may therefore adopt measures necessary and appropriate to safeguarding the administration of justice by its courts. (United States v. Grace (1983) 461 U.S. 171, 178.)
(c) The United States Supreme Court has likewise acknowledged that a state has “the power to preserve the property under its control for the use to which it is lawfully dedicated,” and that “[t]here is little doubt that in some circumstances the Government may ban the entry on to public property that is not a ‘public forum’ of all persons except those who have legitimate business on the premises.” (United States v. Grace (1983) 461 U.S. 171, 178.)
(d) Accordingly, California may regulate entry and access to the courts, and activity on courthouse premises and vicinities, that threatens the fair and nondiscriminatory administration of justice or the openness of courts.
(e) Proceedings in California’s courts in both criminal and civil matters have historically been open to the public, and this presumption of openness has been codified under the Code of Civil Procedure section 124, which provides that, with certain exceptions, “the sittings of every court shall be public.”
(f) The United States Supreme Court has said that, “courts of justice ought everywhere to be open, accessible, free from interruption, and to cast a perfect protection around every [person] who necessarily approaches them.” (Stewart v. Ramsay (1916) 242 U.S. 128, 129.)
(g) Public access to courts serves a vital role in the functioning of California’s judicial process and the preservation of our republican form of government, which is a “government of laws”—laws for California and Californians.
(h) Public scrutiny of judicial proceedings allows the public to observe the functioning of their government and determine whether justice is meted out fairly.
(i) Access fosters an appearance of fairness, promoting public confidence in, and respect for, the judicial process.
(j) Providing this transparency also serves as a critical check on the use and abuse of judicial power—a check that is essential to our structure of self-government.
(k) Public access to California’s courts also enhances the truth-finding function of judicial proceedings, safeguarding their integrity.
(l) Accordingly, protecting persons from civil arrest or service of process while in California’s courthouses or their environs, or while attending or going to or coming from judicial proceedings, is necessary to preserve the vital role served by public access to courts.
(m) Protecting persons from civil arrest or service of process while in California’s courthouses or their environs, or while attending or going to or coming from judicial proceedings, is also necessary to ensure that litigants, witnesses, and others are not deterred from participating in such proceedings which are often necessary to protect and vindicate rights guaranteed by the laws of California; that courts and parties have access to testimony and other evidence critical to fact-finding; and that the dignity of judicial proceedings is upheld and not disturbed or diminished, all of which ensures California courts’ ability to administer justice.
(n) Protecting persons from civil arrest or service of process while in California’s courthouses or their environs, or while attending or going to or coming from judicial proceedings, is also necessary to preserve the individual rights of all Californians.
(o) Access to courts is part of the right to free speech enshrined in the California and United States constitutions, because access to government ensures that Californians’ constitutionally protected right to discuss the government is the right to engage in informed discussion.
(p) Access, being vital, should be universal in so far as possible, to protect Californians’ rights to equal protection of the laws—and California’s right to benefit from the informed views of all.
(q) Access is necessary to preserve the right to petition government for redress, and to preserve numerous trial rights of individuals, including the right to be present, to present claims and defenses, to testify at trial, to call witnesses, to compulsory process, and of course to have a public trial.
(r) Civil arrests of, or service of process upon, persons in California’s courthouses or their environs, or persons attending or going to or coming from judicial proceedings, threatens all of the foregoing public and private values of public access as well as the core functions of California courts, and must be considered unreasonable and unlawful seizures whether undertaken by local, state, or federal officers.
(s) The provisions of this act are thus necessary to protect and preserve the integrity of the proceedings of the judicial branch of California government.
(t) Courts being essential to a republican form of government and to the functioning of California’s government, California has the reserved power under the Tenth Amendment to protect their proceedings, as well as the obligation under the United States Constitution to preserve California’s republican form of government.

SEC. 2.

 Section 177 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

177.
 Every A judicial officer shall have power:
1. To preserve and enforce order in his the officer’s immediate presence, and in proceedings before him, the officer, when he the officer is engaged in the performance of official duty;
2. To compel obedience to his the officer’s lawful orders as provided in this Code; code;
3. To compel the attendance of persons to testify in a proceeding before him, the officer, in the cases and manner provided in this Code; code;
4. To administer oaths to persons in a proceeding pending before him, the officer, and in all other cases where it may be necessary in the exercise of his powers and duties.
5. To prevent activities that threaten access to state courthouses and court proceedings, and to prevent interruption of judicial administration, including protecting the privilege from civil arrest or service of process at courthouses and court proceedings and their vicinities and for persons attending, or going to or from, courthouses and court proceedings.

SEC. 3.

 Section 43.54 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

43.54.
 (a) No person shall be subject to civil arrest of any type, or service of process, while at a courthouse or court proceeding, or in its vicinity, or while attending, or going to or from, any courthouse or court proceeding.
(b) This section does not narrow, or in any way lessen, any existing common law privilege.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1209.1 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

1209.1.
 (a) A person who knowingly violates Section 43.54 of the Civil Code, or an order of the court issued pursuant to paragraph (5) of Section 177, by executing or facilitating an arrest or service of process, shall be liable for contempt of court, false imprisonment, or both.
(b) The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the name of the people to obtain appropriate equitable and declaratory relief if the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of subdivision (a) has occurred.
(c) In any successful action to enforce liability for a violation of this section, a party may recover court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

SEC. 5.

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 6.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because 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.

SECTION 1.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)Immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community. Almost one in three Californians is foreign-born, and one in two children in California has at least one immigrant parent. A relationship of trust between California’s immigrant community and state and local agencies is central to the enforcement of various civil laws that impact the people of California. This trust is threatened when state and local agencies are entangled with federal immigration enforcement, with the result that immigrant community members fear approaching various state agencies when they seek to claim earned benefits or to report violations of state law or regulations, including, but not limited to, insurance, wage and hour claims, workers’ compensation benefits, Division of Occupational Safety and Health violations, and unfair labor practices.

(b)The presence of federal immigration enforcement agents or personnel in various state buildings or facilities in which immigrant community members appear to report violations of state laws or regulations will serve to discourage them from reporting those violations, against the public interest of all Californians.

(c)Immigrant community members appear in California state courts, both civil and criminal, pursuant to a subpoena, a warrant, or to pay fines. They do so with an expectation that the matter at issue is strictly a state matter, and they are not subject to contact with, or review by, federal immigration enforcement.

SEC. 2.Chapter 31.5 (commencing with Section 7595.5) is added to Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, to read:
31.5.Federal Immigration Enforcement Agents in State and Public School Buildings
7595.5.

(a)Federal immigration enforcement agents, officers, or personnel shall not enter a building owned and occupied, or leased and occupied, by the state, a public school, or a campus of the California Community Colleges, to perform surveillance, effectuate an arrest, or question an individual therein, without a valid federal warrant.

(b)When in possession of a valid federal warrant, the activities of federal immigration enforcement agents, officers, or personnel in a building owned and occupied, or leased and occupied, by the state, a public school, or a campus of the California Community Colleges, shall be limited to the individual who is the subject of the warrant.

(c)For purposes of this section:

(1)“Public school” means a public elementary or secondary school offering kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.

(2)“State” means a state agency, as defined pursuant to Section 11000, the Legislature, superior court, court of appeal, the Supreme Court, the Judicial Council, or the Administrative Office of the Courts, and each campus of the California State University and the University of California.