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SB-538 Domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/20/2021 09:00 PM
SB538:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 16, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 538


Introduced by Senator Rubio

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 6222 of, and to add Sections 6307 and 6308 to, the Family Code, and to amend Section 18121 of, to add Section 18123 to, and to repeal and add Section 18122 of, the Penal Code, relating to restraining orders.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 538, as amended, Rubio. Domestic violence and gun violence restraining orders.
Existing law permits a petitioner to seek a restraining order to protect against domestic violence or gun violence. Existing law requires the court to hold a hearing before issuing the restraining order, but the court may, in specified circumstances, issue an ex parte restraining order that is effective until the hearing. Existing law prescribes additional procedures for granting or denying a domestic violence restraining order or gun violence restraining order. Existing law prohibits a filing fee for an application, a responsive pleading, or an order to show cause that seeks to obtain, modify, or enforce a domestic violence protective order or a gun violence restraining order, as specified.
This bill would require a court or court facility that receives petitions for domestic violence restraining orders or gun violence restraining orders to permit those petitions to be filed electronically. The bill would also permit parties and witnesses to appear remotely at a hearing on a petition for a gun violence restraining order or domestic violence restraining order. The bill would require the superior court of each county to provide telephone numbers for the public to call to obtain information regarding electronic filing and remote appearances, respectively. The bill would require the superior court of each county to develop, and to post on its internet website, local rules and instructions for electronic filing and remote appearances, respectively. The bill would prohibit fees for any filings related to a domestic violence restraining order or a gun violence restraining order.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6222 of the Family Code is amended to read:

6222.
 There is no filing fee for an application, a responsive pleading, or an order to show cause that seeks to obtain, modify, or enforce a protective order or other order authorized by this division when the request for the other order is necessary to obtain or give effect to a protective order. There is no fee for a subpoena filed in connection with that application, responsive pleading, or order to show cause. There is no fee for any filings related to a petition filed pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with 6300) of this division.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6307 is added to the Family Code, to read:

6307.
 (a) A court or court facility that receives petitions for domestic violence restraining orders under this part or domestic violence temporary restraining orders under Part 4 (commencing with Section 240) of Division 2, shall permit those petitions and any filings related to those petitions to be submitted electronically during and after normal business hours. The deadlines applicable to any action taken by the court with respect to a petition filed directly with the court shall apply to any action taken with respect to a petition submitted electronically.
(b) The superior court of each county shall develop local rules and instructions for electronic filing permitted under this section, which shall be posted on its internet website.
(c) The superior court of each county shall provide, and post on its internet website, a telephone number for the public to call to obtain information about electronic filing permitted under this section. The telephone number shall be staffed during regular business hours, and court staff shall respond to all telephonic inquiries within one business day.

SEC. 3.

 Section 6308 is added to the Family Code, to read:

6308.
 (a) A party or witness may appear remotely at the hearing on a petition for a domestic violence restraining order. The superior court of each county shall develop local rules and instructions for remote appearances permitted under this section, which shall be posted on its internet website.
(b) The superior court of each county shall provide, and post on its internet website, a telephone number for the public to call to obtain assistance regarding remote appearances. The telephone number shall be staffed 30 minutes before the start of the court session at which the hearing will take place, and during the court session.

SEC. 4.

 Section 18121 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

18121.
 There is no filing fee for an application, a responsive pleading, or an order to show cause that seeks to obtain, modify, or enforce a gun violence restraining order or other order authorized by this division if the request for the other order is necessary to obtain or give effect to a gun violence restraining order or other order authorized by this division. There is no fee for a subpoena filed in connection with that application, responsive pleading, or order to show cause. There is no fee for any filings related to a petition filed pursuant to this division.

SEC. 4.SEC. 5.

 Section 18122 of the Penal Code is repealed.

SEC. 5.SEC. 6.

 Section 18122 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

18122.
 (a) A court or court facility that receives petitions for any restraining order under this division shall permit those petitions to be submitted electronically during and after normal business hours. The deadlines applicable to any action taken by the court with respect to a petition filed directly with the court shall apply to any action taken with respect to a petition submitted electronically.
(b) The superior court of each county shall develop local rules and instructions for electronic filing permitted under this section, which shall be posted on its internet website.
(c) The superior court of each county shall provide, and post on its internet website, a telephone number for the public to call to obtain information about electronic filing permitted under this section. The telephone number shall be staffed during regular business hours, and court staff shall respond to all telephonic inquiries within one business day.

SEC. 6.SEC. 7.

 Section 18123 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

18123.
 (a) A party or witness may appear remotely at the hearing on a petition for a gun violence restraining order. The superior court of each county shall develop local rules and instructions for remote appearances permitted under this section, which shall be posted on its internet website.
(b) The superior court of each county shall provide, and post on its internet website, a telephone number for the public to call to obtain assistance regarding remote appearances. The telephone number shall be staffed 30 minutes before the start of the court session at which the hearing will take place, and during the court session.