Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-241 Civil actions.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 06/10/2021 09:00 PM
SB241:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 10, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  May 25, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 22, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 05, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 241


Introduced by Senator Umberg

January 21, 2021


An act to amend, repeal, and add Section 8050 of, and to add Section 8051 to, the Business and Professions Code, to amend Section 1010.6 of, and to add Section 367.8 to to, the Code of Civil Procedure, and to add Section 3505 to the Probate Code, relating to civil actions.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 241, as amended, Umberg. Civil actions.
(1) Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of shorthand reporters by the Court Reporters Board of California, which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law subjects a person or entity to certain penalties if the person or entity engages in specified acts relating to shorthand reporting, including any act that constitutes shorthand reporting, except if the person or entity is a licensed shorthand reporter, a shorthand reporting corporation, or one of specified other persons or entities not subject to those provisions. Existing law makes a violation of these provisions a misdemeanor.
This bill, on and after July 1, 2022, and until January 1, 2024, would authorize an entity that is not a shorthand reporting corporation to engage in those specified acts if the entity is approved for registration by the board after meeting specified requirements, including paying an annual registration fee to the board in an amount not to exceed $500 and designating a board-certified reporter-in-charge, as specified. The bill would require the board to approve an entity’s registration or deny the entity’s application upon making specified findings. The bill would make a registration valid for one year and would also provide for the suspension and revocation of a registration by the board under specified circumstances. The bill would require the board to make available on its internet website a directory of registered entities. Because a violation of the provisions regulating shorthand reporting is a crime, by expanding the provisions to apply to these new registrants the bill would expand the scope of a crime and impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law authorizes a party in a civil case to appear by telephone at specified conferences, hearings, and proceedings, if the party has provided notice, unless the court determines that a personal appearance would materially assist in the determination of the proceeding or in the effective management or resolution of the particular case. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to adopt rules to effectuate these provisions.
This bill would, until January 1, 2024, authorize a witness in a proceeding, including a trial or an evidentiary hearing, to appear and give testimony by remote electronic means that provide a live audiovisual connection to the court, if the parties stipulate to this manner of appearance or one party requests it by motion. The bill would specify factors a court would be required to consider in determining whether to grant a motion. The bill would authorize the court to require the stipulating or moving parties to incur the costs of the remote appearance. The bill would permit the court, if at any time during a witness’s remote appearance the court determines a personal appearance is necessary, to continue the proceeding and require the witness to appear in person. The bill would impose additional requirements on a witness’s remote appearance.
(3) Existing law authorizes the service of documents in a civil action by electronic means pursuant to rules adopted by the Judicial Council. Existing law authorizes a court to electronically serve any document issued by the court that is not required to be personally served on a party that has agreed or consented to accept electronic service, with the same legal effect as service by mail, except as specified.
This bill would, on and after July 1, 2023, instead require the court to electronically serve those documents on a party that has agreed or consented to accept electronic service.
(4) Existing law authorizes a minor’s parent to compromise, or execute a covenant not to sue or not to enforce a judgment on, a claim on behalf of the minor if the minor has a disputed claim for damages, money, or other property and does not have a guardian of the estate.
This bill would require the court to schedule a hearing on a petition to compromise a minor’s disputed claim within 30 days from the date of filing and, if the petition is unopposed, would require the court to enter a decision at the conclusion of the hearing.
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.

 This act shall be known. and may be cited as, the “2021 California Court Efficiency Act.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Legislature first began to authorize the use of technology in the courts 28 years ago in 1993, when Senate Bill 425 of the 1993–94 Regular Session, authored by Senator Lockyer, required the Judicial Council to adopt rules governing the appearance of counsel by telephone.
(b) Telephonic hearings have been well underway since then and uniform procedures for their use have been in place since 2007. Telephonic hearings reduced the cost of litigation, improved public access, created less crowded courtrooms, and allowed for more hearings to be conducted in a more efficient manner.
(c) The COVID-19 pandemic forced courts to adapt their processes to social distancing and other public health requirements by allowing greater use of technology. Video-based technology increases access to justice for court users who no longer have to miss work for a court appearance, and electronic filing of documents has made it easier for litigants and attorneys to file documents with the court. For example, 38 courts now permit remote appearances in all case types. This is a dramatic increase from only one court permitting such appearances prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(d) As COVID-19 vaccine availability permits California courts to gradually return to normal operations, it is clear that an enormous backlog of civil cases will require focused and innovative approaches to providing justice to litigants. Between March and August of 2020, case dispositions plummeted by almost 1,400,000 cases compared to the same period in 2019. The Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles, the world’s single largest court, has thousands of cases backlogged in its personal injury “hub” alone.
(e) Courts, practitioners, and litigants face an enormous task of resolving these cases, which is estimated to take several years to complete. This will severely delay justice for litigants, as many cases will be approaching the five-year deadline to bring matters to trial by the time they are addressed by the courts.
(f) The supply of court reporters is clearly diminishing. Court reporters are aging out of the profession and are not being replaced in sufficient numbers. Pass rates for the court reporter exam are frequently less than 10 percent. Court reporter schools have closed. As fewer courts offer official court reporters to litigants, practitioners are forced to bring their own official reporters pro Tem. Without a court reporter, an official record of a proceeding is not created, frustrating the efficient preservation of appeal rights.
(g) There has never been a time in the history of California when the efficient conduct of trials was more important than now. Lawyers and judges are searching for every available incremental improvement in efficiency to address the backlog of cases. Authorizing the appearance of witnesses via remote live video and expanding electronic service of documents will further these efficiencies by reducing congestion and increasing the speed of existing processes. In addition, a reliable supply of licensed court reporters is critical for the efficient operation of the legal system, both in and out of court.

SECTION 1.SEC. 3.

 Section 8050 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

8050.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the regulation of licensed shorthand reporters and shorthand reporting corporations pursuant to this section, by imposing specific penalties in addition to other remedies permitted by this chapter that seek to discourage practices that are inconsistent with the integrity and impartiality required of officers of the court, to promote competition based upon the quality and price of shorthand reporting services, and to ensure consistent regulation of corporations owned by certificate holders and those not owned by certificate holders.
(b) This section shall apply to an individual or entity that does any of the following:
(1) Any act that constitutes shorthand reporting that occurs wholly or partly in this state.
(2) Employs, independently contracts with, or recruits a licensed shorthand reporter to report or transcribe deposition testimony in a court proceeding or in a deposition.
(3) Contracts with a resident of this state by mail or otherwise that requires either party to perform licensed shorthand reporting wholly or partly in this state.
(4) Independently contracts with or is employed by an entity that does any of the acts described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
(c) (1) This section does not apply to an individual, whether acting as an individual or as an officer, director, or shareholder of a shorthand reporting corporation, as defined in Section 8040, who possesses a valid license, issued pursuant to Section 8018 or a valid registration issued pursuant to Section 8051, that may be revoked or suspended by the board, or to a shorthand reporting corporation that is in compliance with Section 8044.
(2) This section does not apply to a court, a party to litigation, an attorney of a party, or a full-time employee of a party or the attorney of a party, who provides or contracts for certified shorthand reporting for purposes related to the litigation.
(d) An individual or entity described in subdivision (b) shall not do any of the following:
(1) Seek compensation for a transcript that is in violation of the minimum transcript format standards set forth in Section 2473 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Seek compensation for a certified court transcript applying fees higher than those set out in Section 69950 of the Government Code.
(3) Make a transcript available to one party in advance of other parties, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 2025.510 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or offer or provide a service to only one party as described in subdivision (b) of Section 2025.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) Fail to promptly notify a party of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, excerpts, or expedites for one party without the other parties’ knowledge, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 2475 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a licensed shorthand reporter, shorthand reporting corporation, or an individual or entity described in subdivision (b), from offering or providing long-term or multicase volume discounts or services ancillary to reporting and transcribing a deposition, arbitration, or judicial proceeding in contracts that are subject to laws related to shorthand reporting.
(f) An individual or entity that violates this section shall be subject to a civil fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation.
(g) The Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or the board may bring a civil action for a violation of this section, including an action for injunctive relief and any other appropriate relief, and shall be entitled, if they are the prevailing party, to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.SEC. 4.

 Section 8050 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

8050.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enhance the regulation of licensed shorthand reporters and shorthand reporting corporations pursuant to this section, by imposing specific penalties in addition to other remedies permitted by this chapter that seek to discourage practices that are inconsistent with the integrity and impartiality required of officers of the court and to promote competition based upon the quality and price of shorthand reporting services.
(b) This section shall apply to an individual or entity that does any of the following:
(1) Any act that constitutes shorthand reporting that occurs wholly or partly in this state.
(2) Employs, independently contracts with, or recruits a licensed shorthand reporter to report or transcribe deposition testimony in a court proceeding or in a deposition.
(3) Contracts with a resident of this state by mail or otherwise that requires either party to perform licensed shorthand reporting wholly or partly in this state.
(4) Independently contracts with or is employed by an entity that does any of the acts described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive.
(c) (1) This section does not apply to an individual, whether acting as an individual or as an officer, director, or shareholder of a shorthand reporting corporation, as defined in Section 8040, who possesses a valid license, issued pursuant to Section 8018, that may be revoked or suspended by the board, or to a shorthand reporting corporation that is in compliance with Section 8044.
(2) This section does not apply to a court, a party to litigation, an attorney of the party, or a full-time employee of the party or the attorney of the party, who provides or contracts for certified shorthand reporting for purposes related to the litigation.
(d) An individual or entity described in subdivision (b) shall not do any of the following:
(1) Seek compensation for a transcript that is in violation of the minimum transcript format standards set forth in Section 2473 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Seek compensation for a certified court transcript applying fees other than those set out in Section 69950 of the Government Code.
(3) Make a transcript available to one party in advance of other parties, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 2025.510 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or offer or provide a service to only one party as described in subdivision (b) of Section 2025.320 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(4) Fail to promptly notify a party of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, excerpts, or expedites for one party without the other parties’ knowledge, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 2475 of Article 8 of Division 24 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a licensed shorthand reporter, shorthand reporting corporation, or an individual or entity described in subdivision (b), from offering or providing long-term or multicase volume discounts or services ancillary to reporting and transcribing a deposition, arbitration, or judicial proceeding in contracts that are subject to laws related to shorthand reporting.
(f) An individual or entity that violates this section shall be subject to a civil fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation.
(g) The Attorney General, a district attorney, a city attorney, or the board may bring a civil action for a violation of this section, including an action for injunctive relief and any other appropriate relief, and shall be entitled, if they are the prevailing party, to recover reasonable attorney’s fees.
(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.

SEC. 3.SEC. 5.

 Section 8051 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

8051.
 (a) On and after July 1, 2022, an entity that is not a shorthand reporting corporation may, wherever incorporated in the United States, engage in the conduct described in subdivision (b) of Section 8050 if it is approved for registration by the board after meeting all of the following requirements:
(1) The entity pays an annual registration fee to the board, in an amount determined by the board, not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). The fee shall not exceed the board’s cost of administering this section.
(2) The entity has designated a board-certified reporter-in-charge who is a full-time employee of the registered entity and a resident of California, and who holds a currently valid California license at all times as a certified shorthand reporter where the certificate holder has no restrictions on their license and is not subject to a pending board accusation or investigation at the time of the entity’s application for registration. The reporter-in-charge shall be responsible to the board for an entity’s compliance with all state laws and regulations pertaining to and within the scope of the practice of certified shorthand reporting and any acts of the entity pertaining to and within the scope of the practice of a certificate holder shall be deemed acts of the reporter-in-charge. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as permitting the board to restrict, suspend, or revoke the license of a reporter-in-charge for conduct committed or directed by another person unless the reporter-in-charge had knowledge of or knowingly participated in such conduct.
(3) The entity agrees in the registration to abide by the laws, regulations, and standards of practice applicable to businesses that render shorthand reporting services pursuant to Section 13401 of the Corporations Code, except for the requirements of Sections 8040 and 8044.
(b) An entity shall provide the board with all of the following information for consideration of initial registration pursuant to subdivision (a):
(1) The name and certificate number of the entity’s certified reporter-in-charge.
(2) Whether the entity, a controlling officer or parent corporation of the entity, the entity’s reporter-in-charge, or any of its officers, employees, or independent contractors, has been subject to any enforcement action, relating to the provision of court reporting services, by a state or federal agency within five years before submitting the initial registration. If so, the entity shall provide the board a copy of the operative complaint with the initial registration.
(3) Whether the entity, within five years before submitting the registration, has settled, or been adjudged to have liability for, a civil complaint alleging the entity or the entity’s reporter-in-charge engaged in misconduct relating to the provision of court reporting services for more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
(4) Any additional documentation the board reasonably deems necessary for consideration in the initial registration process.
(c) Within 90 days of receiving a completed application for initial registration, including any disclosures made pursuant to subdivision (b), the board shall either approve the entity’s registration or deny the application upon a finding that a substantial risk would be posed to the public, which shall be subsequently provided to the applicant in writing with specificity as to the basis of that finding.
(d) A registration issued by the board pursuant to this section shall be valid for one year, at which time it may be approved for renewal by the board upon meeting the requirements of subdivision (a).
(e) A registered entity shall notify the board in writing within 30 days of the date when a reporter-in-charge ceases to act as the reporter-in-charge and propose another certificate holder to take over as the reporter-in-charge. The proposed replacement reporter-in-charge shall be subject to approval by the board. If disapproved, the entity shall propose another replacement within 15 days of the date of disapproval and shall continue to name proposed replacements until a reporter-in-charge is approved by the board.
(f) The board shall revoke the registration of an entity if the board determines the entity:
(1) Engaged, in whole or in part, through officers, employees, or independent contractors that are not certificate holders, in acts that are within the scope of practice of a certificate holder, unless otherwise permitted by law.
(2) Directed or authorized the reporter-in-charge to violate state laws or regulations pertaining to shorthand reporting or offering financial incentives to the reporter-in-charge for engaging in acts that violate state law.
(g) In addition to revoking an entity’s registration as required by subdivision (f), a registration issued under this section may be revoked, suspended, denied, restricted, or subjected to other disciplinary action as the board deems fit for violations of the laws or regulations pertaining to shorthand reporting by the entity’s officers, employees, or independent contractors, including the issuance of citations and fines.
(h) The board shall consider suspending the registration of an entity for a minimum of one year if the license of its reporter-in-charge is suspended or revoked for violating this section more than twice in a consecutive five-year period.
(i) An entity shall have the right to reasonable notice and opportunity to comment to and before the board regarding any determination to deny or revoke registration before that determination becomes final. An entity may seek review of a board decision to deny or revoke registration under this section either in an administrative hearing under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code or through an action brought pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(j) A certificate holder shall not engage in the practice of shorthand reporting on behalf of an entity that the reporter knows or should know is not registered with the board and shall verify whether a person or entity is registered with the board before engaging in the practice of shorthand reporting on behalf of that person or entity.
(k) The board shall create and make available on its internet website a directory of registered entities. The board shall not take action against a certificate holder solely for a violation of subdivision (j) if the certificate holder reasonably relied on the board’s directory stating that the entity was registered at the time.
(l) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.SEC. 6.

 Section 367.8 is added to the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:

367.8.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, and subject to the requirements of this section, the following may appear and give testimony, including at a trial or an evidentiary hearing, by remote electronic means that provide a live audiovisual connection to the court:
(1) A witness for whom all of the parties to the action stipulate to remotely appear. The court shall not deny or disapprove a stipulation for a witness to remotely appear.
(2) A witness for whom a party files a motion requesting permission to remotely appear.
(b) In ruling on a motion for permission to allow a witness to remotely appear, the court shall consider the following factors:
(1) Whether the witness is critical or necessary for the determination of the proceeding or the management or resolution of the action.
(2) Whether allowing the witness to appear remotely would materially prejudice one or more of the parties to the action.
(3) Whether the witness resides more than 100 miles from the place of the proceeding.
(4) Whether the witness’s circumstances would make it impossible or difficult for the witness to appear in person, including whether appearing in person would present risks to the witness’s health or safety.
(c) A witness remotely appearing and giving testimony pursuant to this section shall take an oath under penalty of perjury, administered by the court or a person authorized to take testimony in the proceeding or action, as if the witness was appearing in person.
(d) The court shall ensure that the testimony of a witness appearing remotely is audible to all other participants and court staff, and that a witness appearing remotely is clearly visible on the live audiovisual connection to the court.
(e) If, at any time during a witness’s remote appearance, the court determines that a personal appearance is necessary, the court may continue the proceeding and require the witness to appear and testify in person. The court may make this determination on its own motion or on motion from any party to the action.
(f) If the court authorizes a witness to remotely appear pursuant to this section, the court may order the party or parties who requested or stipulated to the remote appearance to incur the costs of the remote appearance.
(g) This section does not prohibit or supersede a party’s ability to seek authorization to take a deposition pursuant to Section 2025.260.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 7.

 Section 1010.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

1010.6.
 (a) A document may be served electronically in an action filed with the court as provided in this section, in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (f).
(1) For purposes of this section:
(A) “Electronic service” means service of a document, on a party or other person, by either electronic transmission or electronic notification. Electronic service may be performed directly by a party or other person, by an agent of a party or other person, including the party or other person’s attorney, or through an electronic filing service provider.
(B) “Electronic transmission” means the transmission of a document by electronic means to the electronic service address at or through which a party or other person has authorized electronic service.
(C) “Electronic notification” means the notification of the party or other person that a document is served by sending an electronic message to the electronic address at or through which the party or other person has authorized electronic service, specifying the exact name of the document served, and providing a hyperlink at which the served document may be viewed and downloaded.
(D) “Electronic filing” means the electronic transmission to a court of a document presented for filing in electronic form. For purposes of this section, this definition of electronic filing concerns the activity of filing and does not include the processing and review of the document and its entry into the court’s records, which are necessary for a document to be officially filed.
(2) (A) (i) For cases filed on or before December 31, 2018, if a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of the document is not authorized unless a party or other person has agreed to accept electronic service in that specific action or the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d).
(ii) For cases filed on or after January 1, 2019, if a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of the document is authorized if a party or other person has expressly consented to receive electronic service in that specific action, the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d), or the document is served electronically pursuant to the procedures specified in subdivision (e). Express consent to electronic service may be accomplished either by (I) serving a notice on all the parties and filing the notice with the court, or (II) manifesting affirmative consent through electronic means with the court or the court’s electronic filing service provider, and concurrently providing the party’s electronic address with that consent for the purpose of receiving electronic service. The act of electronic filing shall not be construed as express consent.
(B) If a document is required to be served by certified or registered mail, electronic service of the document is not authorized.
(3) In (A) Before July 1, 2023, in any action in which a party or other person has agreed or provided express consent, as applicable, to accept electronic service under paragraph (2), or in which the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d), the court may electronically serve any document issued by the court that is not required to be personally served in the same manner that parties electronically serve documents. The electronic service of documents by the court shall have the same legal effect as service by mail, except as provided in paragraph (4).
(B) On and after July 1, 2023, in any action in which a party or other person has agreed or provided express consent, as applicable, to accept electronic service under paragraph (2), or in which the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party or other represented person under subdivision (c) or (d), the court shall electronically serve any document issued by the court that is not required to be personally served in the same manner that parties electronically serve documents. The electronic service of documents by the court shall have the same legal effect as service by mail, except as provided in paragraph (4).
(4) (A) If a document may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission, electronic service of that document is deemed complete at the time of the electronic transmission of the document or at the time that the electronic notification of service of the document is sent.
(B) Any period of notice, or any right or duty to do any act or make any response within any period or on a date certain after the service of the document, which time period or date is prescribed by statute or rule of court, shall be extended after service by electronic means by two court days, but the extension shall not apply to extend the time for filing any of the following:
(i) A notice of intention to move for new trial.
(ii) A notice of intention to move to vacate judgment under Section 663a.
(iii) A notice of appeal.
(C) This extension applies in the absence of a specific exception provided by any other statute or rule of court.
(5) Any document that is served electronically between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on a court day shall be deemed served on that court day. Any document that is served electronically on a noncourt day shall be deemed served on the next court day.
(6) A party or other person who has provided express consent to accept service electronically may withdraw consent at any time by completing and filing with the court the appropriate Judicial Council form. The Judicial Council shall create the form by January 1, 2019.
(7) Consent, or the withdrawal of consent, to receive electronic service may only be completed by a party or other person entitled to service or that person’s attorney.
(8) Confidential or sealed records shall be electronically served through encrypted methods to ensure that the documents are not improperly disclosed.
(b) A trial court may adopt local rules permitting electronic filing of documents, subject to rules adopted by the Judicial Council pursuant to subdivision (f) and the following conditions:
(1) A document that is filed electronically shall have the same legal effect as an original paper document.
(2) (A) When a document to be filed requires the signature of any person, not under penalty of perjury, the document shall be deemed to have been signed by that person if filed electronically and if either of the following conditions is satisfied:
(i) The filer is the signer.
(ii) The person has signed the document pursuant to the procedure set forth in the California Rules of Court.
(B) When a document to be filed requires the signature, under penalty of perjury, of any person, the document shall be deemed to have been signed by that person if filed electronically and if either of the following conditions is satisfied:
(i) The person has signed a printed form of the document before, or on the same day as, the date of filing. The attorney or other person filing the document represents, by the act of filing, that the declarant has complied with this section. The attorney or other person filing the document shall maintain the printed form of the document bearing the original signature until final disposition of the case, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 68151 of the Government Code, and make it available for review and copying upon the request of the court or any party to the action or proceeding in which it is filed.
(ii) The person has signed the document using a computer or other technology pursuant to the procedure set forth in a rule of court adopted by the Judicial Council by January 1, 2019.
(3) Any document received electronically by the court between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59:59 p.m. on a court day shall be deemed filed on that court day. Any document that is received electronically on a noncourt day shall be deemed filed on the next court day.
(4) (A) Whichever of a court, an electronic filing service provider, or an electronic filing manager is the first to receive a document submitted for electronic filing shall promptly send a confirmation of receipt of the document indicating the date and time of receipt to the party or person who submitted the document.
(B) If a document received by the court under subparagraph (A) complies with filing requirements and all required filing fees have been paid, the court shall promptly send confirmation that the document has been filed to the party or person who submitted the document.
(C) If the clerk of the court does not file a document received by the court under subparagraph (A) because the document does not comply with applicable filing requirements or the required filing fee has not been paid, the court shall promptly send notice of the rejection of the document for filing to the party or person who submitted the document. The notice of rejection shall state the reasons that the document was rejected for filing and include the date the clerk of the court sent the notice.
(D) If the court utilizes an electronic filing service provider or electronic filing manager to send the notice of rejection described in subparagraph (C), the electronic filing service provider or electronic filing manager shall promptly send the notice of rejection to the party or person who submitted the document. A notice of rejection sent pursuant to this subparagraph shall include the date the electronic filing service provider or electronic filing manager sent the notice.
(E) If the clerk of the court does not file a complaint or cross complaint because the complaint or cross complaint does not comply with applicable filing requirements or the required filing fee has not been paid, any statute of limitations applicable to the causes of action alleged in the complaint or cross complaint shall be tolled for the period beginning on the date on which the court received the document and as shown on the confirmation of receipt described in subparagraph (A), through the later of either the date on which the clerk of the court sent the notice of rejection described in subparagraph (C) or the date on which the electronic filing service provider or electronic filing manager sent the notice of rejection as described in subparagraph (D), plus one additional day if the complaint or cross complaint is subsequently submitted in a form that corrects the errors which caused the document to be rejected. The party filing the complaint or cross complaint shall not make any change to the complaint or cross complaint other than those required to correct the errors which caused the document to be rejected.
(5) Upon electronic filing of a complaint, petition, or other document that must be served with a summons, a trial court, upon request of the party filing the action, shall issue a summons with the court seal and the case number. The court shall keep the summons in its records and may electronically transmit a copy of the summons to the requesting party. Personal service of a printed form of the electronic summons shall have the same legal effect as personal service of an original summons. If a trial court plans to electronically transmit a summons to the party filing a complaint, the court shall immediately, upon receipt of the complaint, notify the attorney or party that a summons will be electronically transmitted to the electronic address given by the person filing the complaint.
(6) The court shall permit a party or attorney to file an application for waiver of court fees and costs, in lieu of requiring the payment of the filing fee, as part of the process involving the electronic filing of a document. The court shall consider and determine the application in accordance with Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code and shall not require the party or attorney to submit any documentation other than that set forth in Article 6 (commencing with Section 68630) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the Government Code. The court, an electronic filing service provider, or an electronic filing manager shall waive any fees charged to a party if the party has been granted a waiver of court fees pursuant to Section 68631. The electronic filing manager or electronic filing service provider shall not seek payment from the court of any fee waived by the court. This section does not require the court to waive a filing fee that is not otherwise waivable.
(7) If a party electronically files a filing that is exempt from the payment of filing fees under any other law, including a filing described in Section 212 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 6103.9, subdivision (b) of Section 70617, or Section 70672 of the Government Code, the party shall not be required to pay any court fees associated with the electronic filing. An electronic filing service provider or an electronic filing manager shall not seek payment of these fees from the court.
(8) A fee, if any, charged by the court, an electronic filing service provider, or an electronic filing manager to process a payment for filing fees and other court fees shall not exceed the costs incurred in processing the payment.
(9) The court shall not charge fees for electronic filing and service of documents that are more than the court’s actual cost of electronic filing and service of the documents.
(c) If a trial court adopts rules conforming to subdivision (b), it may provide by order, subject to the requirements and conditions stated in paragraphs (2) through to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (d), and the rules adopted by the Judicial Council under subdivision (g), that all parties to an action file and serve documents electronically in a class action, a consolidated action, a group of actions, a coordinated action, or an action that is deemed complex under Judicial Council rules, provided that the trial court’s order does not cause undue hardship or significant prejudice to any party in the action.
(d) A trial court may, by local rule, require electronic filing and service in civil actions, subject to the requirements and conditions stated in subdivision (b), the rules adopted by the Judicial Council under subdivision (g), and the following conditions:
(1) The court shall have the ability to maintain the official court record in electronic format for all cases where electronic filing is required.
(2) The court and the parties shall have access to more than one electronic filing service provider capable of electronically filing documents with the court or to electronic filing access directly through the court. Any fees charged by an electronic filing service provider shall be reasonable. An electronic filing manager or an electronic filing service provider shall waive any fees charged if the court deems a waiver appropriate, including in instances where a party has received a fee waiver.
(3) The court shall have a procedure for the filing of nonelectronic documents in order to prevent the program from causing undue hardship or significant prejudice to any party in an action, including, but not limited to, unrepresented parties. The Judicial Council shall make a form available to allow a party to seek an exemption from mandatory electronic filing and service on the grounds provided in this paragraph.
(4) Unrepresented persons are exempt from mandatory electronic filing and service.
(5) Until January 1, 2021, a local child support agency, as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 17000 of the Family Code, is exempt from a trial court’s mandatory electronic filing and service requirements, unless the Department of Child Support Services and the local child support agency determine it has the capacity and functionality to comply with the trial court’s mandatory electronic filing and service requirements.
(e) (1) A party represented by counsel, who has appeared in an action or proceeding, shall accept electronic service of a notice or document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission. Before first serving a represented party electronically, the serving party shall confirm by telephone or email the appropriate electronic service address for counsel being served.
(2) A party represented by counsel shall, upon the request of any party who has appeared in an action or proceeding and who provides an electronic service address, electronically serve the requesting party with any notice or document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission.
(f) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules for the electronic filing and service of documents in the trial courts of the state, which shall include statewide policies on vendor contracts, privacy, and access to public records, and rules relating to the integrity of electronic service. These rules shall conform to the conditions set forth in this section, as amended from time to time.
(g) The Judicial Council shall adopt uniform rules to permit the mandatory electronic filing and service of documents for specified civil actions in the trial courts of the state, which shall include statewide policies on vendor contracts, privacy, access to public records, unrepresented parties, parties with fee waivers, hardships, reasonable exceptions to electronic filing, and rules relating to the integrity of electronic service. These rules shall conform to the conditions set forth in this section, as amended from time to time.
(h) (1) Any system for the electronic filing and service of documents, including any information technology applications, internet websites and web-based applications, used by an electronic service provider or any other vendor or contractor that provides an electronic filing and service system to a trial court, regardless of the case management system used by the trial court, shall satisfy both of the following requirements:
(A) The system shall be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including parties and attorneys with disabilities, in accordance with Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), as amended, the regulations implementing that act set forth in Part 1194 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Appendices A, C, and D of that part, and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.).
(B) The system shall comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at a Level AA success criteria.
(2) Commencing on June 27, 2017, the vendor or contractor shall provide an accommodation to an individual with a disability in accordance with subparagraph (D) of paragraph (3).
(3) A trial court that contracts with an entity for the provision of a system for electronic filing and service of documents shall require the entity, in the trial court’s contract with the entity, to do all of the following:
(A) Test and verify that the entity’s system complies with this subdivision and provide the verification to the Judicial Council no later than June 30, 2019.
(B) Respond to, and resolve, any complaints regarding the accessibility of the system that are brought to the attention of the entity.
(C) Designate a lead individual to whom any complaints concerning accessibility may be addressed and post the individual’s name and contact information on the entity’s internet website.
(D) Provide to an individual with a disability, upon request, an accommodation to enable the individual to file and serve documents electronically at no additional charge for any time period that the entity is not compliant with paragraph (1). Exempting an individual with a disability from mandatory electronic filing and service of documents shall not be deemed an accommodation unless the person chooses that as an accommodation. The vendor or contractor shall clearly state in its internet website that an individual with a disability may request an accommodation and the process for submitting a request for an accommodation.
(4) A trial court that provides electronic filing and service of documents directly to the public shall comply with this subdivision to the same extent as a vendor or contractor that provides electronic filing and services to a trial court.
(5) (A) The Judicial Council shall submit four reports to the appropriate committees of the Legislature relating to the trial courts that have implemented a system of electronic filing and service of documents. The first report is due by June 30, 2018; the second report is due by December 31, 2019; the third report is due by December 31, 2021; and the fourth report is due by December 31, 2023.
(B) The Judicial Council’s reports shall include all of the following information:
(i) The name of each court that has implemented a system of electronic filing and service of documents.
(ii) A description of the system of electronic filing and service.
(iii) The name of the entity or entities providing the system.
(iv) A statement as to whether the system complies with this subdivision and, if the system is not fully compliant, a description of the actions that have been taken to make the system compliant.
(6) An entity that contracts with a trial court to provide a system for electronic filing and service of documents shall cooperate with the Judicial Council by providing all information, and by permitting all testing, necessary for the Judicial Council to prepare its reports to the Legislature in a complete and timely manner.

SEC. 8.

 Section 3505 is added to the Probate Code, to read:

3505.
 The court shall schedule a hearing on a petition for compromise of a minor’s disputed claim pursuant to Section 3500 within 30 days from the date of filing. If the petition is unopposed, the court shall issue a decision on the petition at the conclusion of the hearing.

SEC. 5.SEC. 9.

 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.