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SB-798 Unsolicited lewd images.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2020 09:00 PM
SB798:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  February 20, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 798


Introduced by Senator Chang

January 06, 2020


An act to add Section 1708.87 to the Civil Code, relating to civil law.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 798, as amended, Chang. Unsolicited lewd pictures. images.
Existing law creates a private right of action against a person who intentionally distributes a photograph or recorded image of another that exposes the intimate body parts, as defined, of that person without their consent, knowing that the other person had a reasonable expectation that the material would remain private, if specified conditions are met. Existing law also makes it a misdemeanor for a person, with intent to annoy, to make contact with another person by means of an electronic communication device and to address to or about the other person any obscene language or threat to inflict injury.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation, bill, entitled the Preventing Indecent Content Sharing (PICS) Act, that would deter egregious forms of online harassment, including sending unsolicited lewd images. would establish a private cause of action against a person who knowingly transmits or shares a lewd image by electronic means if the transmission or sending of that image was not at the request of, or expressly consented to by, the plaintiff and the plaintiff can demonstrate that the image they received was lewd, there was clear intent by the defendant that the plaintiff receive the image, and that there was no, or only a limited, relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The bill would authorize a plaintiff to be awarded statutory damages between $500 and $5,000 and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited as, the Preventing Indecent Content Sharing (PICS) Act.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1708.87 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

1708.87.
 (a) A private cause of action lies against a person who knowingly transmits or shares a lewd image by electronic means that depicts a person engaging in sexual conduct, or is of a person’s covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, if the transmission or sending of that image was not at the request of, or expressly consented to by, the plaintiff and the plaintiff can demonstrate each of the following:
(1) The image they received was lewd.
(2) There was clear intent by the defendant that the image be received by the plaintiff.
(3) There is no, or only a limited, relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant.
(b) Statutory damages awarded to a plaintiff in an action brought pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). In addition to any damages, injunction, or other equitable relief awarded to the plaintiff, the court may award the plaintiff reasonable attorney’s fees.
(c) For purposes of this section, “sexual conduct” has the same meaning as in subdivision (b) of Section 311.3 of the Penal Code.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation, entitled the Preventing Indecent Content Sharing (PICS)Act, that would deter egregious forms of online harassment, including sending unsolicited lewd images.