Bill Text

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-467 Civil actions: appearance by electronic means.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 05/02/2017 09:00 PM
SB467:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 02, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 467


Introduced by Senator Wilk

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Sections 367.5 and 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and to amend Sections 72010 and 72011 of the Government Code, relating to civil actions.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 467, as amended, Wilk. Civil actions: appearance by electronic means.
Existing law regulates the procedure of civil actions and permits a party who has provided notice to appear by telephone at specified conferences, hearings, and proceedings, in a general civil case, defined as all civil cases except probate, guardianship, conservatorship, juvenile, and family law proceedings.
This bill would permit a party who has provided notice to appear by electronic means that provide remote access to a conference, hearing, or proceeding in all civil cases, including probate, guardianship, conservatorship, juvenile, and family law proceedings. cases, as specified. The bill would require the Judicial Council to adopt rules and establish fees effectuating the policies and provisions made by this act no later than July 1, 2019, and would also make conforming changes to other provisions of law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 367.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

367.5.
 (a) It is the intent of this section to promote uniformity in the procedures and practices relating to appearances made by electronic means in civil cases, including telephone, video teleconferencing, or other electronic means that provide remote access to a conference, hearing, or proceeding. To improve access to the courts and reduce litigation costs, courts should, to the extent feasible, permit parties to appear by electronic means at appropriate conferences, hearings, and proceedings in civil cases, including probate, guardianship, conservatorship, juvenile, and family law proceedings.
(b) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (c), in all civil cases, as defined in the California Rules of Court, including probate, guardianship, conservatorship, juvenile, and family law proceedings, a party that has provided notice may appear by electronic means, including telephone, video teleconferencing, or other electronic means that provide remote access, at the following conferences, hearings, and proceedings:

(1)

(A) A case management conference, provided the party has made a good faith effort to meet and confer before the conference as required by law and has timely served and filed a case management statement.

(2)

(B) A trial setting conference.

(3)

(C) A hearing on law and motion, except motions in limine.

(4)

(D) A hearing on a discovery motion.

(5)

(E) A conference to review the status of an arbitration or mediation.

(6)

(F) A hearing to review the dismissal of an action.

(7)

(G) Any other hearing, conference, or proceeding if the court determines that an appearance by electronic means is appropriate.
(2) This subdivision does not apply to juvenile court proceedings.
(c) The court may require a party to appear in person at a hearing, conference, or proceeding listed in pursuant to subdivision (b) if the court determines on a hearing-by-hearing basis that a personal appearance would materially assist in the determination of the proceedings or in the effective management or resolution of the particular case.
(d) Consistent with its constitutional rulemaking authority, the Judicial Council shall adopt rules effectuating the policies and provisions in this section by July 1, 2019, and may adopt rules relating to matters not covered by subdivision (a). The rules may prescribe, but are not limited to prescribing, the notice to be given by a party requesting an appearance by electronic means under subdivision (a), the manner in which appearances by electronic means are to be conducted, the conditions required for a party to be permitted to appear by electronic means, and provisions relating to the courts’ use of private vendors for electronic services that provide remote access to a conference, hearing, or proceeding pursuant to subdivision (b).
(e) This section does not apply to any types of cases or types of conferences, hearings, and proceedings except those specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b). Consistent with its constitutional rulemaking authority, the Judicial Council may by rule provide for the procedures and practices, and for the administration of, appearances made by electronic means for all types of cases and matters not specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b). For these other cases and matters, the Judicial Council may specify the types of cases and matters in which parties may appear by electronic means, the types of cases and matters in which parties shall appear personally, the conditions under which a party may be permitted to appear by electronic means, and any other rules governing appearances made in person and by electronic means that are within its rulemaking authority.

SEC. 2.

 Section 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

367.6.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2019, the Judicial Council shall establish statewide, uniform fees to be paid by a party for appearing by electronic means, which shall supersede any fees paid to vendors and courts under any previously existing agreements and procedures. The fees to be paid for appearances made by electronic means shall include:
(1) A fee for providing the service to appear by electronic means pursuant to a timely request to the vendor or court.
(2) An additional fee for providing services if the request is made shortly before the hearing, as defined by the Judicial Council.
(3) A fee for canceling a request to appear by electronic means.
(b) If a party has received a waiver of fees pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code, neither a vendor nor a court shall charge that party any of the fees authorized by this section, subject to the following:
(1) The vendor or court that provides the service to appear by electronic means shall have a lien, as provided by rule of court, on any judgment, including a judgment for costs, that the party may receive, in the amount of the fee that the party would have paid for the appearance by electronic means.
(2) If the vendor or court later receives a fee or a portion of a fee for appearance by electronic means that was previously waived, that fee shall be distributed consistent with Section 72011 of the Government Code.
(c) The fee described in this section shall be a recoverable cost under Section 1033.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

SEC. 3.

 Section 72010 of the Government Code is amended to read:

72010.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2011, and periodically thereafter as appropriate, the Judicial Council shall enter into one or more master agreements with a vendor or vendors to provide for appearances to be made by electronic means in civil cases under Section 367.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure or as otherwise authorized by law.
(b) Each master agreement shall include the following:
(1) The amount of the fees to be paid by a party for an appearance by electronic means.
(2) The amounts to be deposited in the Trial Court Trust Fund described in Section 72011.
(3) A requirement that the vendor submit a quarterly report setting forth the number of fees collected, number of liens established, and the amount collected from previously waived fees pursuant to Section 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) A statement that the vendor shall indemnify and hold the court harmless from claims arising from a failure or interruption of services.
(5) Other terms as the Judicial Council deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, the services and equipment to be provided by vendors to the courts and the assistance to be provided by vendors to callers.
(c) A court may make appearances by electronic means available to a party only through one or more of the following methods:
(1) An agreement with one or more of the vendors under the master agreements provided by this section.
(2) An agreement entered into between a court and a vendor prior to July 1, 2011, and which has not expired. If a contract is subject to cancellation by a court after July 1, 2011, that court shall exercise its option to cancel the contract as soon after July 1, 2011, as is legally possible to do so.
(3) Direct provision by the court of services to a party to appear by electronic means pursuant to Section 367.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the court provides the services directly, the court shall collect the fees for appearances made by electronic means adopted by the Judicial Council in accordance with Section 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure and the master agreement or agreements entered into pursuant to this section. A judicial officer may, in his or her discretion, waive appearance fees for parties appearing directly by electronic means in that judicial officer’s courtroom.

SEC. 4.

 Section 72011 of the Government Code is amended to read:

72011.
 (a) For each fee received for providing services to appear by electronic means pursuant to Section 367.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, each vendor or court that provides for appearances by electronic means shall transmit twenty dollars ($20) to the State Treasury for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund established pursuant to Section 68085. If the vendor or court receives a portion of the fee as authorized under paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the vendor or court shall transmit only the proportionate share of the amount required under this section. This section shall apply regardless of whether the Judicial Council has established the statewide uniform fee pursuant to Section 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or entered into one or more master agreements pursuant to Section 72010 of this code. This section shall not apply when a vendor or court does not receive a fee.
(b) The amounts described in subdivision (a) shall be transmitted within 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter for fees collected in that quarter.
(c) Vendors shall also transmit an amount equal to the total amount of revenue received by all courts from all vendors for providing telephonic appearances for the 2009–10 fiscal year.
(d) The amount set forth in subdivision (c) shall be apportioned by the Judicial Council among the vendors with which the Judicial Council has a master agreement pursuant to Section 72010. Within 15 days of receiving notice from the Judicial Council of its apportioned amount, each vendor shall transmit that amount to the State Treasury for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund.
(e) The Judicial Council shall allocate the amount collected pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d) for the purpose of preventing significant disruption in services in courts that previously received revenues from vendors for providing telephone appearance services. The Judicial Council shall determine the method and amount of the allocation to each eligible court.