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AB-2888 Guide, signal, and service dogs: emotional support dogs.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/17/2020 04:00 AM
AB2888:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 16, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2888


Introduced by Assembly Member Friedman

February 21, 2020


An act to add Article 4 (commencing with Section 122317) to Chapter 5 of Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 365.7 of the Penal Code, relating to service dogs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2888, as amended, Friedman. Guide, signal, and service dogs: emotional support dogs.
Existing law makes a person who knowingly and fraudulently represents, through verbal or written notice, the person to be the owner or trainer of any canine licensed as, to be qualified as, or identified as, a guide, signal, or service dog, as defined, guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
This bill would make a person who knowingly and fraudulently represents, sells, or offers for sale, or attempts to represent, sell, or offer for sale, an emotional support dog as being entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
The bill would also require a person or business that sells or provides a dog as an emotional support dog to provide an explicit disclosure form to the potential receiver of the dog stating that the dog does not have the special training required of a guide, signal, or service dog and is not entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog. The bill would require a person or business that offers to sell or provide a certificate, identification, tag, vest, leash, or harness for an emotional support dog to provide an explicit disclosure form, as specified, to the buyer or potential buyer, and would prohibit that person or business that offers to sell or provide a certification or registration, or both, for an emotional support dog from implying that there is a government validation or endorsement of the certification or registry. The bill would also prohibit a health care practitioner from providing documentation relating to an individual’s need for an emotional support dog that is not a guide, signal, or service dog, as defined, unless the health care practitioner complies with specified requirements, including holding a valid license, establishing a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing the documentation, and completing an in-person clinical evaluation of the individual regarding the need for an emotional support dog. The bill would make a person who fails to comply with these requirements or violates that prohibition subject to the criminal penalties described above and would make a business that fails to comply with these requirements or violates that prohibition subject to a criminal fine, as specified.
By creating new crimes, the 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: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 4 (commencing with Section 122317) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
Article  4. Emotional Support Dogs

122317.
 (a) A person or business that sells or provides a dog as an emotional support dog shall provide an explicit disclosure form to the potential receiver of the dog stating that the dog does not have the special training required of a guide, signal, or service dog and is not entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog.
(b) A person or business that offers to sell or provide a certificate, identification, tag, vest, leash, or harness for an emotional support dog shall provide an explicit disclosure form to the buyer or potential buyer stating that the material does not entitle an emotional support dog to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog.
(c) A person or business that offers to sell or provide a certification or registration, or both, for an emotional support dog shall not imply that there is a government validation or endorsement of the certification or registry.
(d) A person who violates this section is subject to the punishment that may be imposed pursuant to Section 365.7 of the Penal Code. A business that violates this section is subject to a criminal fine in the amount set forth in Section 365.7 of the Penal Code.

122318.
 (a) A health care practitioner shall not provide documentation relating to an individual’s need for an emotional support dog that is not a guide, signal, or service dog, as defined in Section 365.5 of the Penal Code, unless the health care practitioner complies with all of the following criteria:
(1) Possesses a valid, active license and includes the effective date, license number, jurisdiction, and type of professional license in the documentation.
(2) Is licensed to provide professional services within the scope of the license in the jurisdiction in which the documentation is provided.
(3) Establishes a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing the documentation requested regarding the individual’s need for an emotional support dog.
(4) Completes an in-person clinical evaluation of the individual regarding the need for an emotional support dog.
(b) For purposes of this section, a “health care practitioner” means a person who is licensed and regulated pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, who is acting within the scope of practice of the person’s license or certificate.

SEC. 2.

 Section 365.7 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

365.7.
 (a) Any person who knowingly and fraudulently represents, through verbal or written notice, the person to be the owner or trainer of any canine licensed as, to be qualified as, or identified as, a guide, signal, or service dog is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(b) A person who does either of the following is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment:
(1) Knowingly and fraudulently represents, sells, or offers for sale, or attempts to represent, sell, or offer for sale, an emotional support dog as being entitled to the rights and privileges accorded by law to a guide, signal, or service dog.
(2) Violates Article 4 (commencing with Section 122317) of Chapter 5 of Part 6 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code.
(c) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) A “guide, signal, or service dog” has the meaning set forth in subdivisions (d), (e), and (f) of Section 365.5 of this code, and paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 54.1 of the Civil Code.
(2) An “owner” means any person who owns a guide, signal, or service dog, or who is authorized by the owner to use the guide, signal, or service dog.

SEC. 3.

 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.