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AB-2583 Legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/27/2020 09:00 PM
AB2583:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2583


Introduced by Assembly Member Chen

February 20, 2020


An act to amend Section 6405 6402 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to professions and vocations.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2583, as amended, Chen. Legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants.
Existing law provides for the regulation of legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants and requires a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant to be registered by the county clerk in the county where their principal place of business is located and where they maintain a branch office. Existing law requires an application for a certificate of registration to be accompanied by a bond in a specified amount, which is filed with the county clerk and recorded with the county recorder, unless the applicant deposits cash with the county recorder. Existing law requires the Department of Consumer Affairs to develop the required application for a person to register as a legal document assistant. Existing law makes a failure to comply with specified requirements imposed on legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants a crime.
This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to those provisions. require a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant to file with the Secretary of State a disclosure form that contains specified information, a copy of a valid and current photo identification, and a photograph of themselves, as specified. The bill would require a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant to notify the Secretary of State’s office in writing within 30 days of specified events. The bill would require the Secretary of State to post information on its internet website specified information received from a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant and to charge and collect a filing fee to cover the cost of administering these provisions.
By expanding the crime of perjury and imposing new requirements on legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants, the violation of which is a 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.

 Section 6402 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

6402.
 (a) A legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant shall be registered pursuant to this chapter by the county clerk in the county in which their principal place of business is located, and in which they maintain a branch office, and provide proof that the registrant has satisfied the bonding requirement of Section 6405. No A person who has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 6100) of Chapter 4 may, shall not, during the period of any disbarment or suspension, register as a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant. The Department of Consumer Affairs shall develop the application required to be completed by a person for purposes of registration as a legal document assistant. The application shall specify the types of proof that the applicant shall provide to the county clerk in order to demonstrate the qualifications and requirements of Section 6402.1.
(b) (1) A legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant shall file with the Secretary of State a disclosure form that contains all of the following information:
(A) The legal document assistant’s or unlawful detainer assistant’s name, date of birth, residence address, business address, residence telephone number, and business telephone number.
(B) The name and address of the legal document assistant’s or unlawful detainer assistant’s agent for service of process if one is required to be or has been appointed.
(C) Whether the legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
(D) If applicable, the name, business address, business telephone number, and agent for service of process of the corporation or partnership employing the legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant.
(E) Affirmation that the legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant is in compliance with the bond requirement of Section 6405.
(2) A legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant shall submit all of the following with the disclosure form required pursuant to paragraph (1):
(A) A copy of a valid and current photo identification to determine the legal document assistant’s or unlawful detainer assistant’s identity, such as a California driver’s license or identification card, passport, or other identification acceptable to the Secretary of State.
(B) A photograph of themselves with the dimensions and in the style that would be acceptable to the United States Department of State for obtaining a United States passport, as instructed by the Secretary of State.
(3) A legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant shall notify the Secretary of State’s office in writing within 30 days if a surety bond filed pursuant to Section 6405 is renewed, and of any change of name, address, telephone number, or agent for service of process.
(4) The Secretary of State shall post information on its internet website demonstrating that a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant is in compliance with the bond requirement of Section 6405 and shall also post a copy of the legal document assistant’s or unlawful detainer assistant’s photograph. The Secretary of State shall ensure that the information is current and shall update the information at least every 30 days. The Secretary of State shall only post this information and photograph on its internet website if the person has filed the disclosure form required pursuant to paragraph (1) and the photograph required pursuant to paragraph (2).
(5) The Secretary of State shall develop the disclosure form required by this subdivision and make it available to any legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant registering pursuant to this article.
(6) The Secretary of State shall charge and collect a filing fee to cover the cost of administering this subdivision.

SEC. 2.

 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.Section 6405 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
6405.

(a)(1)An application for a certificate of registration by an individual shall be accompanied by a bond of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) executed by a corporate surety qualified to do business in this state and conditioned upon compliance with this chapter. The total aggregate liability on the bond shall be limited to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

(2)An application for a certificate of registration by a partnership or corporation shall be accompanied by a bond executed by a corporate surety qualified to do business in this state and conditioned upon compliance with this chapter in the following amount, based on the total number of legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants employed by the partnership or corporation:

(A)Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for one to four assistants.

(B)Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for five to nine assistants.

(C)One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for 10 or more assistants. An application for a certificate of registration by a person employed by a partnership or corporation shall be accompanied by a bond of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) only if the partnership or corporation has not posted a bond in the amount required by this subdivision.

(3)If a partnership or corporation increases the number of assistants it employs above the number stated in its application for a certificate of registration, the partnership or corporation shall promptly increase the bond to the applicable amount in subparagraphs (B) or (C) of paragraph (2) based on the actual number of assistants it employs, and shall promptly submit the increased bond to the county clerk.

(4)The bond may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure.

(b)The county clerk, upon filing of the bond, shall deliver the bond forthwith to the county recorder for recording. The recording fee specified in Section 27361 of the Government Code shall be paid by the registrant. The fee may be paid to the county clerk who shall transmit it to the recorder.

(c)The fee for filing, canceling, revoking, or withdrawing the bond is seven dollars ($7).

(d)The county recorder shall record the bond and any notice of cancellation, revocation, or withdrawal of the bond, and shall thereafter mail the instrument, unless specified to the contrary, to the person named in the instrument and, if no person is named, to the party leaving it for recording. The recording fee specified in Section 27361 of the Government Code for notice of cancellation, revocation, or withdrawal of the bond shall be paid to the county clerk, who shall transmit it to the county recorder.

(e)In lieu of the bond required by subdivision (a), a registrant may deposit the amount required by subdivision (a) in cash with the county clerk.

(f)If the certificate is revoked, the bond or cash deposit shall be returned to the bonding party or depositor subject to subdivision (g) and the right of a person to recover against the bond or cash deposit under Section 6412.

(g)The county clerk may retain a cash deposit until the expiration of three years from the date the registrant has ceased to do business, or three years from the expiration or revocation date of the registration, in order to ensure there are no outstanding claims against the deposit. A judge may order the return of the deposit before the expiration of three years upon evidence satisfactory to the judge that there are no outstanding claims against the deposit.

(h)The bond required by this section shall be in favor of the State of California for the benefit of any person who is damaged as a result of the violation of this chapter or by the fraud, dishonesty, or incompetency of an individual, partnership, or corporation registered under this chapter. The bond required by this section shall also indicate the name of the county in which it will be filed.