Code Section Group

Military and Veterans Code - MVC

DIVISION 4. VETERANS' AID AND WELFARE [690 - 1008.5]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 389. )

CHAPTER 3.3. California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005 [820 - 830]
  ( Chapter 3.3 added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 345, Sec. 1. )

820.
  

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005.”

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 345, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

821.
  

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Service member” means either of the following:

(1) A member of the militia, as defined in Section 120, called or ordered into military service pursuant to Section 143 or 146 or federal law.

(2) A member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, as defined by Section 101 of Title 10 of the United States Code, who is ordered to active duty pursuant to federal law.

(b) “Military orders” means, with respect to a service member, official military orders, or any notification, certification, or verification from the service member’s commanding officer, with respect to the service member’s current or future military duty status.

(c) “Military service” means either of the following:

(1) Full-time active state service or full-time active federal service of a service member who is a member of the militia, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).

(2) Full-time active duty of a service member who is a reservist, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), for a period of no less than 30 consecutive days.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 22. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

822.
  

No county recorder in this state may impose a fee for the recordation of a power of attorney to act as the agent for a service member.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 23. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

823.
  

(a) Any service member who is in military service, or any spouse or legal dependent of that service member, may terminate, without penalty, a mobile telephony services contract that meets both of the following requirements:

(1) It is entered into on or after the effective date of this section.

(2) It is executed by or on behalf of the service member who is in military service, or by any spouse or legal dependent of that service member.

(b) Termination of the mobile telephony services contract shall not be effective until both of the following occur:

(1) Thirty days after the service member who is in military service or the spouse or legal dependent gives notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the intention to terminate the mobile telephony services contract, and provides a copy of the service member’s activation or deployment order and any other information that substantiates the duration of the service member’s military service.

(2) Unless the service member who is in military service, or any spouse or legal dependent of that service member, owns the mobile communication device, the mobile communication device is returned to the custody or control of the mobile telephony services company, or the service member who is in military service or the service member’s spouse or legal dependent agrees in writing to return the mobile communication device as soon as practicable after the military service is completed.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 345, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

823.5.
  

(a) No person or entity licensed under the Business and Professions Code, Corporations Code, Financial Code, or Insurance Code shall market financial services or products to a service member or former service member, or the spouse of a service member or former service member, in a misleading or deceptive manner that suggests any of the following:

(1) That the person or entity marketing the financial service or product is acting on behalf of one or more branches of the United States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

(2) That the person or entity marketing the financial service or product is an affiliate of one or more branches of the United States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

(3) That the financial service or product is being offered on behalf of one or more branches of the United States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

(b) If a person who violates this section is licensed under any state licensing law, a violation of this section shall be deemed a violation of the laws under which that person is licensed.

(c) This section shall not apply to either of the following:

(1) Any bank as defined in Section 103 of the Financial Code.

(2) Any credit union as defined in Section 14002 of the Financial Code.

(d) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Service member” means a member of an active duty or reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the active militia, as defined by Section 120.

(2) “Former service member” means a veteran as defined by Section 980.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 24. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

824.
  

(a) An institution shall, upon request, grant an academic leave of absence for military service to any student who is a member of the active militia, as defined by Section 120, or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, as defined by Section 101 of Title 10 of the United States Code, who is ordered to active duty pursuant to Section 143 or 146 or federal law.

(b) If requested by a student granted an academic leave of absence for military service, not later than one year after the student’s release from military service, other than a dishonorable release, the institution in which the student is enrolled shall do one of the following, as elected by the student:

(1) The institution shall make arrangements to reasonably accommodate and assist the student so that he or she is able to meet any and all coursework requirements that he or she may have missed due to military service.

(2) The institution shall refund the tuition and fees paid by the student for the academic term in which the student is required to report for military service regardless of whether the student was called to military service before the academic term had commenced or after the academic term had commenced. The refund shall equal 100 percent of the tuition and fee charges the student paid the institution for the applicable academic term.

(c) If requested by a student granted an academic leave of absence for military service, not later than one year after the student’s release from military service, other than a dishonorable release, the institution shall restore the student to the educational status the student had attained prior to being called to military service without loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded, or tuition and other fees paid prior to the commencement of military service.

(d) If an institution fails to comply with this section, the student may bring an action against the institution to enforce its provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the student resides. If the student resides outside of this state, the action shall be brought in the court of the county in which the campus of the institution previously attended by the student is located. The court may award reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses if the student prevails in the action.

(e) The Legislature hereby requests that the University of California adopt policies similar to those set forth in this section.

(f) For purposes of this section, “institution” includes any public postsecondary educational institution and any private postsecondary educational institution, as defined in Section 94858 of the Education Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 25. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

825.
  

The State Bar of California shall waive the membership fees of any member who is a service member if all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The member was in good standing with the State Bar of California at the time the member enters into military service.

(b) The membership fees are for the period for which the service member is in military service.

(c) The service member, or the service member’s spouse, provides written notice to the State Bar of California that substantiates the service member’s military service.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 345, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

826.
  

(a) On or after the effective date of the act adding this chapter, any service member who terminates a motor vehicle lease pursuant to the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or pursuant to Section 409, shall be allowed by the lessor to make payment of any arrearages and other obligations that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease in equal installments over a period equal to at least the period of military service.

(b) Any person who files or completes a notice, application, or certification of lien sale or certificate of repossession shall, as part of that document, state under penalty of perjury that the lien sale or repossession was conducted in accordance with the requirements of Sections 407, 408, 409.1, and 409.3, and with the requirements of Sections 3952, 3953, and 3958 of Title 50 of the United States Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 26. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

827.
  

(a) A qualified customer may apply for and shall receive shutoff protection from a service provider for a period of 180 days. The service provider may grant extensions after the initial 180-day period.

(b) A qualified customer may apply for shutoff protection for utility service by notifying the service provider that he or she is in need of assistance because of a reduction in household income as the result of a member of a qualified household being called to active duty status in the military.

(c) Notification of the need for assistance shall be submitted in writing and accompanied by a copy of the activation or deployment order of a service member that specifies the duration of the active duty status. The written notification shall also include self-certification that the qualified household of the qualified customer will be occupied by the qualified customer’s legal dependent or dependents during the duration of the shutoff protection period.

(d) A qualified customer receiving assistance under this section shall notify the service provider if the active duty status of the service member will be extended.

(e) If the qualified customer moves out of the residence that is receiving shutoff protection, he or she shall provide the service provider a written notice that includes the date of service termination and a forwarding address.

(f) Unless waived by the service provider, the shutoff protection provided under this section shall not void or limit the obligation of the qualified customer to pay for utility services received during the time of assistance.

(g) All service providers shall do the following:

(1) Establish a repayment plan requiring minimum monthly payments that allows the qualified customer to pay any past due amounts over a reasonable time period not to exceed one year after the service member’s release from active military duty.

(2) Not charge late payment fees or interest to the qualified customer during the period of military service or the repayment period.

(h) This section shall not affect or amend any rules or orders of the Public Utilities Commission pertaining to billing standards.

(i) If terms and conditions under this section are not followed by the qualified customer, the service provider may follow its procedures and rules on customer standards and billing practices for providing electric, water, and gas residential services.

(j) For public utilities regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, the commission shall allow recovery of reasonable costs incurred to implement this section.

(k) For purposes of this section:

(1) “Service provider” means a provider of utility services, including, but not limited to, public utilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined by Section 224.3 of the Public Utilities Code, and public water, sewer, or solid waste collection services, or any combination thereof. “Service provider” does not include any corporation described in subdivision (a) of Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code.

(2) “Qualified customer” means the customer of record of a qualified household.

(3) A “qualified household” is a residential household for which the income is reduced because the customer of record, the spouse of the customer of record, or the registered domestic partner of the customer of record, as defined by Section 297.5 of the Family Code, is a service member called to full-time active military service under Section 143 or 146 or federal law.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 27. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

828.
  

The Military Department shall, to the extent reasonable and feasible, inform all members of the militia of the benefits and protections provided by this act, and of similar benefits and protections provided by any other law.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 345, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

829.
  

(a) A person violating any provision of this chapter shall be liable for actual damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs incurred by the service member or other person entitled to the benefits and protections of this chapter.

(b) A service member or other person seeking to enforce rights pursuant to this chapter shall not be required to pay a filing fee or court costs.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 385, Sec. 13. (AB 2365) Effective January 1, 2011.)

830.
  

(a) Any person who receives a good faith request from a service member for relief pursuant to this chapter and who believes the request is incomplete or otherwise not legally sufficient, or that the service member is not entitled to the relief requested, shall, within 30 days of the request, provide the service member with a written response acknowledging the request, setting forth the person’s basis for believing or asserting that the request is incomplete or not legally sufficient, or that the service member is not entitled to the relief requested. The response shall clearly identify the specific information or materials that are missing from the request and that would be required to grant the relief requested, and provide contact information, including a mailing address and telephone number, which the service member can use to contact the person.

(b) If the person fails to make such a response in the timeframe set forth in this section, the person waives any objection to the request, and the service member shall be entitled to the relief requested.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 555, Sec. 28. (AB 3212) Effective January 1, 2019.)

MVCMilitary and Veterans Code - MVC