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AB-1472 Personal rights: false reports to law enforcement.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 07/14/20 - Amended Senate         Compare Versions information image


AB1472:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 14, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  June 24, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  June 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 08, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1472


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer)
(Coauthor: Senator Wieckowski)

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Sections 47 and 51.7 of the Civil Code, relating to civil law.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1472, as amended, Mark Stone. Personal rights: false reports to law enforcement.
Existing law makes certain publications and communications privileged and therefore protected from civil action, including certain communications in a legislative proceeding, judicial proceeding, any other official proceeding authorized by law, or in the initiation or course of any other proceeding authorized by law and reviewable pursuant to a writ of mandate, subject to certain exceptions. These exceptions include any communication made in a judicial proceeding knowingly concealing the existence of an insurance policy or policies.
This bill would create an additional exception to the privilege provisions for any communication between a person and a law enforcement agency in which the person knowingly or recklessly makes a false report that another person has committed, or is in the act of committing, a criminal act or is engaged in an activity requiring law enforcement intervention.
Existing law, the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976, provides that 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 position in a labor dispute, or sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status, or because another person perceives them to have one or more of those characteristics. Existing law provides civil remedies for violations of those provisions.
This bill would specify that intimidation by threat of violence includes knowingly or recklessly making or threatening to make a false claim or report to a peace officer or law enforcement agency alleging that another person has engaged in unlawful activity or in an activity that requires law enforcement intervention.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 47 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

47.
 A privileged publication or broadcast is one made:
(a) In the proper discharge of an official duty.
(b) In any (1) legislative proceeding, (2) judicial proceeding, (3) in any other official proceeding authorized by law, or (4) in the initiation or course of any other proceeding authorized by law and reviewable pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1084) of Title 1 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, except as follows:
(1) An allegation or averment contained in any pleading or affidavit filed in an action for marital dissolution or legal separation made of or concerning a person by or against whom no affirmative relief is prayed in the action shall not be a privileged publication or broadcast as to the person making the allegation or averment within the meaning of this section unless the pleading is verified or affidavit sworn to, and is made without malice, by one having reasonable and probable cause for believing the truth of the allegation or averment and unless the allegation or averment is material and relevant to the issues in the action.
(2) This subdivision does not make privileged any communication made in furtherance of an act of intentional destruction or alteration of physical evidence undertaken for the purpose of depriving a party to litigation of the use of that evidence, whether or not the content of the communication is the subject of a subsequent publication or broadcast which is privileged pursuant to this section. As used in this paragraph, “physical evidence” means evidence specified in Section 250 of the Evidence Code or evidence that is property of any type specified in Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 2031.010) of Title 4 of Part 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(3) This subdivision does not make privileged any communication made in a judicial proceeding knowingly concealing the existence of an insurance policy or policies.
(4) A recorded lis pendens is not a privileged publication unless it identifies an action previously filed with a court of competent jurisdiction which affects the title or right of possession of real property, as authorized or required by law.
(5) A This subdivision does not make privileged any communication between a person and a law enforcement agency in which the person makes a false report that another person has committed, or is in the act of committing, a criminal act or is engaged in an activity requiring law enforcement intervention, knowing that the report is false, or with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the report.
(c) In a communication, without malice, to a person interested therein, (1) by one who is also interested, or (2) by one who stands in such a relation to the person interested as to afford a reasonable ground for supposing the motive for the communication to be innocent, or (3) who is requested by the person interested to give the information. This subdivision applies to and includes a communication concerning the job performance or qualifications of an applicant for employment, based upon credible evidence, made without malice, by a current or former employer of the applicant to, and upon request of, one whom the employer reasonably believes is a prospective employer of the applicant. This subdivision applies to and includes a complaint of sexual harassment by an employee, without malice, to an employer based upon credible evidence and communications between the employer and interested persons, without malice, regarding a complaint of sexual harassment. This subdivision authorizes a current or former employer, or the employer’s agent, to answer, without malice, whether or not the employer would rehire a current or former employee and whether the decision to not rehire is based upon the employer’s determination that the former employee engaged in sexual harassment. This subdivision shall not apply to a communication concerning the speech or activities of an applicant for employment if the speech or activities are constitutionally protected, or otherwise protected by Section 527.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure or any other provision of law.
(d) (1) By a fair and true report in, or a communication to, a public journal, of (A) a judicial, (B) legislative, or (C) other public official proceeding, or (D) of anything said in the course thereof, or (E) of a verified charge or complaint made by any person to a public official, upon which complaint a warrant has been issued.
(2) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall make privileged any communication to a public journal that does any of the following:
(A) Violates Rule 5-120 of the State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct.
(B) Breaches a court order.
(C) Violates any requirement of confidentiality imposed by law.
(e) By a fair and true report of (1) the proceedings of a public meeting, if the meeting was lawfully convened for a lawful purpose and open to the public, or (2) the publication of the matter complained of was for the public benefit.

SEC. 2.

 Section 51.7 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

51.7.
 (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Ralph Civil Rights Act of 1976.
(b) (1) 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.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “intimidation by threat of violence” includes, but is not limited to, making or threatening to make a claim or report to a peace officer or law enforcement agency that falsely alleges that another person has engaged in unlawful activity or in an activity that requires law enforcement intervention, knowing that the claim or report is false, or with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the claim or report.
(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.
(d) This section does not apply to statements concerning positions in a labor dispute that are made during otherwise lawful labor picketing.
(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.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to negate or otherwise abrogate the provisions of Sections 1668, 1953, and 3513.