Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 5. LOCAL AGENCIES [50001 - 57607]

  ( Title 5 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

DIVISION 2. CITIES, COUNTIES, AND OTHER AGENCIES [53000 - 55821]

  ( Division 2 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

PART 1. POWERS AND DUTIES COMMON TO CITIES, COUNTIES, AND OTHER AGENCIES [53000 - 54999.7]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

CHAPTER 1. General [53000 - 53170]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 81. )

ARTICLE 8. Costs of Emergency Response [53150 - 53159]
  ( Article 8 added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1. )

53150.
  

Any person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, whose negligent operation of a motor vehicle caused by that influence proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, and any person whose intentionally wrongful conduct proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, is liable for the expense of an emergency response by a public agency to the incident.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1.)

53151.
  

Any person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, whose negligent operation of any boat or vessel caused by that influence proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, and any person whose intentionally wrongful conduct proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, is liable for the expense of an emergency response by a public agency to the incident.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1.)

53152.
  

Any person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, whose negligent operation of a civil aircraft caused by that influence proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, and any person whose intentionally wrongful conduct proximately causes an incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, is liable for the expense of an emergency response by a public agency to the incident.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1.)

53153.
  

For purposes of this article, a person is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, when as a result of drinking an alcoholic beverage or using a drug, or both, his or her physical or mental abilities are impaired to a degree that he or she no longer has the ability to operate a motor vehicle, boat or vessel, or aircraft with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances. For purposes of this article, the presumptions described in Sections 23152 and 23155 of the Vehicle Code shall apply.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1.)

53153.5.
  

(a)  Any person 18 years of age or older who is convicted of making a false police report, in violation of Section 148.3 of the Penal Code, and that false police report proximately causes an appropriate emergency response by a public agency, is liable for the expense of the emergency response made by the responding public agency to the incident.

(b) A public agency shall be entitled to satisfaction of any judgment for expenses pursuant to this article after any victims or other persons injured by the incident are compensated for their injuries and any liens held by a medical provider are satisfied.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 226, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2007.)

53154.
  

The expense of an emergency response shall be a charge against the person liable for expenses under this article. The charge constitutes a debt of that person and is collectible by the public agency incurring those costs in the same manner as in the case of an obligation under a contract, expressed or implied, except that liability for the expenses provided for in this article shall not be insurable and no insurance policy shall provide or pay for the expenses.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1.)

53155.
  

In no event shall a person’s liability under this article for the expense of an emergency response exceed twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for a particular incident.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 51, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

53156.
  

As used in this article:

(a) “Expense of an emergency response” means reasonable costs incurred by a public agency in reasonably making an appropriate emergency response to the incident, but shall only include those costs directly arising because of the response to the particular incident. Reasonable costs shall include the costs of providing police, firefighting, rescue, and emergency medical services at the scene of the incident, as well as the salaries of the personnel responding to the incident.

(b) “Public agency” means the state and any city, county, municipal corporation, district, or public authority located, in whole or in part, within this state which provides or may provide firefighting, police, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.

(c) “Intentionally wrongful conduct” means conduct intended to injure another person or property.

(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1112, Sec. 2.)

53157.
  

Any testimony, admission, or any other statement made by the defendant in any proceeding brought pursuant to this article, or any evidence derived from the testimony, admission, or other statement, shall not be admitted or otherwise used in any criminal proceeding arising out of the same incident.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 337, Sec. 1.)

53158.
  

It is not the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this article, to occupy the field of recovery of the expense of an emergency response by a public agency, nor is it the intent of the Legislature to preempt local regulations or to otherwise limit the remedies available to any public agency to recover the expenses of an emergency response to any incident not involving persons who operate a motor vehicle, a boat or vessel, or a civil aircraft while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. It is the intent of the Legislature that the recovery of the expenses of an emergency response under this chapter shall supplement and shall not supplant any other provisions of law relating to the recovery of those expenses.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 897, Sec. 1.)

53159.
  

(a) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Expenses of an emergency response” means those reasonable and necessary costs directly incurred by public agencies, for-profit entities, or not-for-profit entities that make an appropriate emergency response to an incident, and include the cost of providing police, firefighting, search and rescue, and emergency medical services at the scene of an incident, and salaries of the persons who respond to the incident, but does not include charges assessed by an ambulance service.

(2) “Public agency” means the state and any city, county, municipal corporation, or other public authority that is located in whole or in part in this state and that provides police, firefighting, medical, or other emergency services.

(b) Any person who intentionally, knowingly, and willfully enters into any area that is closed or has been closed to the public by competent authority for any reason, or an area that a reasonable person under the circumstances should have known was closed to the public, is liable for the expenses of an emergency response required to search for or rescue that person, or if the person was operating a vehicle, any of his or her passengers, plus the expenses for the removal of any inoperable vehicle. Posting a sign, placing a barricade, a restraining or retaining wall, roping off an area, or any other device is sufficient indication that an area is closed to the public due to danger of injury, for the public’s safety, or for any other reason.

(c) A person who drives a vehicle on a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, and that is barricaded by any of the means described in subdivision (b), because of flooding, is liable for the expenses of any emergency response that is required to remove from the public street or highway, the driver, or any passenger in the vehicle that has become inoperable on the public street or highway, or the vehicle that has become inoperable on the public street or highway.

(d) Unless otherwise provided by law, this section shall apply to all persons, regardless of whether the person is on foot, on skis or snowshoes, or is operating a motor vehicle, bicycle, vessel, watercraft, raft, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, or any other boat or vehicle of any description.

(e) This section shall not apply to any person who is authorized by the landowner, lessor, or manager of the closed area, to be in the closed area, and further shall have no application to any federal, state, or local government official who is in the closed area as part of his or her official duty, nor to any public utility performing services consistent with its public purpose, nor to any person acting in concert with a government authorized search or rescue. A person who was attempting to rescue another person or an animal shall not be liable for expenses of an emergency response under this section.

(f) Expenses of an emergency response are a charge against the person liable for those expenses pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c). The charge constitutes a debt of that person and may be collected proportionately as specified in subdivision (g). The debt shall apply only to the person who intentionally, knowingly, and willfully enters the closed area, and not to his or her family, heirs, or assigns. The parent or parents of a minor child who has violated subdivision (b) or (c) may be responsible for the debt.

(g) The debt may be collected proportionately by the public agencies, for-profit entities, and not-for-profit entities that incur the expenses. The liability imposed under this section shall be in addition to, and not in limitation of, any other liability, fines, or fees that are imposed by law.

(h) An insurance policy may exclude coverage for a person’s liability for expenses of an emergency response.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 51, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2005.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV8