Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 6. MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT ACT [11501 - 14403.5]

  ( Division 6 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 6. Powers and Functions of District [12701 - 13024]

  ( Chapter 6 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

ARTICLE 5. Utility Works and Service [12801 - 12827]
  ( Article 5 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

12801.
  

A district may acquire, construct, own, operate, control, or use, within or without, or partly within or partly without, the district, works or parts of works for supplying the inhabitants of the district and public agencies therein, or some of them, with light, water, power, heat, transportation, telephone service, or other means of communication, or means for the collection, treatment, or disposition of garbage, sewage, or refuse matter, and may do all things necessary or convenient to the full exercise of the powers herein granted. The district may also purchase any of such commodities or services from any other utility district, public agency, person, or private company, and distribute them.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12801.5.
  

A district that provides broadband Internet access services shall comply with the requirements of Article 12 (commencing with Section 53167) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 963, Sec. 7. (AB 1999) Effective January 1, 2019.)

12802.
  

A district may accept, without limitation by any other provisions of this division requiring approval of indebtedness, contributions of money, rights of way, labor, materials, and any other property for the construction, maintenance, and operation of any enterprise in which the district is authorized to engage, and may enter into any contracts and cooperate with and accept cooperation from the State, or any department, instrumentality, or agency thereof, or any public agency of the State in the construction, maintenance, and operation of, and in financing the construction, maintenance, and operation of, any such enterprise.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12803.
  

Except as provided in this division with reference to sewage disposal, a district shall not interfere with or exercise any control over any existing utility owned and operated by any public agency in the district, unless by consent of the legislative body of the public agency and upon such terms as are mutually agreed upon between the board and the legislative body of the public agency.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12804.
  

Whenever there is a surplus of water, light, heat, or power above that which is required by inhabitants or public agencies within a district, the district may sell or otherwise dispose of the surplus outside of the district to persons, firms, and public or private corporations, or public agencies outside the district.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12805.
  

Whenever any of the facilities, works, or utilities of the district, or part thereof, is not used or employed to its fullest capacity for the benefit or requirements of the district or its inhabitants, the district may enter into an agreement with public agencies or any person, firm, or corporation, upon such terms and conditions as are satisfactory to the board, for renting, leasing, or otherwise using the available portion or parts of the facilities, works, or utilities, and in connection with any such agreement, renting, or leasing the district may undertake or perform any services incidental thereto.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12806.
  

The district and any public agencies included therein may at any time enter into appropriate contracts for the use by any such public agencies of commodities or service furnished by any of the works acquired, owned, or operated, or authorized to be acquired, constructed, or completed by the district, or of any of the facilities of the district.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12807.
  

A district may sell or otherwise dispose of any water, sewage effluent, fertilizer, or other by-product resulting from the operation of a sewage disposal system, and may construct, maintain, and operate such pipelines and other works as are necessary for that purpose.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12808.
  

A district may construct works across or along any street or public highway, or over any of the lands which are the property of the State, and it shall have the same rights and privileges appertaining thereto as are granted to municipalities within the State. The district shall restore any such street or highway to its former state as near as may be, and in compliance with local ordinances, and shall not use it in a manner to unnecessarily impair its usefulness. A district may also construct its works across any stream or watercourse.

(Amended by Stats. 1953, Ch. 1260.)

12808.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Sections 53091 and 65402 of the Government Code, Section 12808 of the Public Utilities Code and Section 1469 of the Streets and Highways Code or any other provision of law, no district may locate or construct, any lines, for the transmission or distribution of electrical energy, including poles and other accessory structures, unless such facilities are approved pursuant to this section.

(b) The district shall hold a public hearing on proposed facilities which are subject to this section.

(1) Mailed notice of the public hearing shall be provided at least 10 days prior to the hearing, to the owners of all property within 300 feet of the route along which such facilities are proposed to be located.

(2) If mailed notice as required in paragraph (1) above would result in notice to more than 250 persons, as an alternative to such mailed notice, notice may be given by placing a display advertisement of at least one-fourth page in a newspaper of general circulation within the area affected by the proposed facility.

(c) After holding a hearing as provided in subdivision (b), the district shall submit any proposed facilities to the legislative body of each local agency in which such facilities are to be located. The legislative bodies shall conduct a public hearing, receive evidence, and, within 60 days, adopt a resolution approving, approving an alternative, or disapproving, the proposed facilities.

Any resolution adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall contain findings concerning:

(1) The consistency of the proposed facilities with the local agency’s general plan and applicable redevelopment and specific plans.

(2) Whether there are feasible alternatives to the proposal.

(3) Such other factors related to the public health, safety and welfare as are included within the ordinance adopted by the local agency pursuant to subdivision (e) of this section.

Failure of a legislative body to render a decision within 60 days shall be deemed to constitute an approval of the proposed facilities.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (c), the governing board of the district by vote of four-fifths of its members may render a local agency’s decision inapplicable to proposed facilities if the district, at a publicly noticed hearing, determines by resolution that there is no feasible alternative to the district’s proposal. Prior to adopting the resolution, the district shall read into the record the local agency’s resolution. The board shall, within 10 days, notify the city or county concerned of such action. If the governing board has taken such action the local agency may commence an action in the superior court of the county whose action is involved or in which is situated the city whose action is involved, seeking a review of such action of the governing board of the district to determine whether it was supported by substantial evidence. The evidence before the court shall include, but not be limited to, the record of the proceedings before the city, county, and local agency. The city or county shall cause a copy of the complaint to be served on the board. If the court determines that such action was not supported by substantial evidence, it shall declare it to be of no force and effect, and the local agency’s decision shall be applicable to the proposed facilities.

(e) This section shall not apply to:

(1) Any facilities proposed to be located within any local agency which has not adopted an ordinance setting forth criteria to govern its decision pursuant to subdivision (c) of this section.

(2) Any electrical distribution lines of less than 100,000 volts.

(f) As used in this section, the term “feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.

(g) As used in this section, “local agency” means a city, a city and county, or a county. Within cities this section shall not apply to counties.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 324.)

12809.
  

The rates and charges for commodities or service furnished by a district shall be fixed by the board. As far as possible utilities shall be self-supporting but the board is not required to fix a rate which in its opinion is unreasonably high, nor to cover by rates large expenditures and the interest thereon required for future needs and developments.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12810.
  

The board may provide that rates, tolls, and charges for any sewage disposal enterprise or service may be collected with the rates, tolls, and charges for any water or other utility service rendered by the district, and that all rates may be billed upon the same bill and collected as one item. If charges for water and sewage disposal service are billed upon the same bill the district may discontinue water service in the event of failure to pay the whole or any part of the bill.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12811.
  

The board may provide for the collection of fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges in any lawful manner and may provide for collection by action at law, and all remedies for the collection and enforcement thereof are cumulative and may be pursued alternatively or consecutively as the board determines. In addition to the amount of the fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, the board may provide for a penalty of not more than 10 percent or interest at the prevailing prime interest rate, but not to exceed 11/2 percent per month, or both, in the event of nonpayment within the time and in the manner prescribed by the board, and may provide for collection of the penalty and interest.

(Amended by Stats. 1986, Ch. 589, Sec. 1.)

12811.1.
  

(a) Except when prohibited by Section 12822.6, a district may, by resolution or ordinance, require the owner of record of real property within the district to pay the fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, and those fees, tolls, rates, rentals, and other charges that have become delinquent, together with interest and penalties thereon, are a lien on the property when a certificate is filed in the office of the county recorder pursuant to subdivision (b) and the lien has the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien. No lien may be created under this section on any publicly owned property.

(b) A lien under this section attaches when the district files for recordation in the office of the county recorder a certificate specifying the amount of the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges together with interest and penalties thereon; the name of the owner of record of the property to which services were rendered by the district; and the legal description of the property. Within 30 days of receipt of payment of all amounts due, including recordation fees paid by the district, the district shall file for recordation a release of the lien.

(c) A district may, by resolution or ordinance, provide that any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, may be collected on the tax roll in the same manner as property taxes. Before any entity may collect any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant on the tax roll, the district shall prepare a report, provide notice, conduct a public hearing, and file a certificate in the office of the county recorder, as follows:

(1) The general manager shall prepare and file with the district board of directors a report that describes each affected parcel of real property and the amount of the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant for each affected parcel for the year. The general manager shall give notice of the filing of the report and of the time, date, and place for a public hearing by publishing the notice pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation, and by mailing the notice to the owner of each affected parcel at least 14 days prior to the date of the hearing.

(2) At the public hearing, the board of directors shall hear and consider any objections or protests to the report. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the board of directors may adopt or revise the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant. The board of directors shall make its determination on each affected parcel and its determinations shall be final.

(3) On or before August 10 of each year following these determinations, the general manager shall file with the county auditor a copy of the final report adopted by the board of directors. The county auditor shall enter the amount of the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, against each of the affected parcels of real property as they appear on the current assessment roll. The county tax collector shall include the amount of the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, on the tax bills for each affected parcel of real property and collect the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, in the same manner as property taxes.

(4) The district may recover any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, by recording in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the affected parcel is located, a certificate declaring the amount of the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, due, and the name and last known address of the person liable therefor. From the time of recordation of the certificate, the amount of the delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or charges, together with interest and penalties thereon, including any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services rendered to a lessee, tenant, or subtenant, constitutes a lien against the affected real property of the delinquent property owner in that county. This lien shall have the force, effect, and priority of a judgment lien. Within 30 days of receipt of payment of all amounts due, including recordation fees paid by the district, the district shall file for recordation a release of the lien.

(5) The district shall not recover on the tax roll any delinquent fees, tolls, rates, rentals, or other charges for services for commercial use to a commercial tenant under an account established by the commercial tenant, from any subsequent tenant or the property owner, due to nonpayment of charges by a previous commercial tenant. For this purpose, the term “subsequent commercial tenant” shall not include an entity or adult person that was located at the same address during the period the charges or penalties accrued. This paragraph does not apply to master-metered accounts.

(d) Notwithstanding Sections 6103 and 27383 of the Government Code, in filing any instrument, paper, or notice pursuant to this section, the district shall pay all applicable recording fees prescribed by law.

(e) A district shall reimburse the county for the reasonable expenses incurred by the county pursuant to this section.

(f) The remedies in this section are cumulative and in addition to any other remedy provided by law. The district may pursue remedies alternatively or consecutively.

(g) This section does not apply to delinquent fees or charges for the furnishing of electrical service.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 485, Sec. 1) by Stats. 2015, Ch. 270, Sec. 2. (SB 188) Effective January 1, 2016.)

12811.2.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a district may establish a temporary relief program for assistance to needy customers of the district who are financially unable to pay in full bills for services furnished by the district within the normal period for payment thereof, and may expend funds, enter into contracts, and cooperate with and accept cooperation from any state or local public agency or private nonprofit organization in the implementation of such a program.

(b) As used in this section, “needy” means either of the following:

(1) A household with an income which does not exceed the greater of either (A) an amount equal to 150 percent of the poverty level of this state, as determined pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 16367.5 of the Government Code, or (B) an amount equal to 60 percent of the state median income.

(2) A household with an income which meets guidelines for existing public assistance programs funded by the federal government.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 316, Sec. 2.)

12812.
  

The board may apportion all or a portion of the expenses of operation and maintenance of any sewage disposal facilities constructed by the district, and the interest on any bonds issued therefor, among the public agencies whose sewers are connected with district facilities. The board shall establish rules for determining the apportionment, which among other things shall be based on the quantity, quality, or characteristics of the sewage delivered by each public agency.

(Enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764.)

12813.
  

Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this article, the board may, in its discretion, finance any sewage disposal or solid waste resource recovery enterprise, the interest on and retirement of any bonded indebtedness therefor, and provide for the maintenance and operation thereof entirely by the levy and collection of taxes upon the property within the special district for which the enterprise is constructed or operated, or by rates and charges imposed upon the users of the facilities of the enterprise, or by both taxes, rates, and charges, apportionment of expenses among public agencies served, or any combination of the foregoing.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 128.)

12814.
  

A district may add fluorine or fluorine compounds to the water supply of the district only if the voters of the district have approved the addition of the fluorine and fluorine compounds to the water supply. If a majority of the voters of a district voting upon the proposition at an election called and held as prescribed in Section 12815 have voted in favor of the addition of fluorine and fluorine compounds to the water supply of the district, the district shall, subject to Article 1 (commencing with Section 116275), of Chapter 4 of Part 12 of Division 104 of, and Sections 116325, 116340, 116345, and 116500 of, the Health and Safety Code, add to water intended for consumption or use by the public, including domestic, industrial, and other uses, fluorine and fluorine compounds.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1023, Sec. 411. Effective September 29, 1996.)

12815.
  

The board may call a special election at any time for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the district the proposition as to whether or not the voters approve the addition of fluorine and fluorine compounds to the public water supply of the district. The ordinance calling an election shall fix the date on which the election shall be held, the wording of the proposition and the manner of holding the election and of voting for or against the proposition. The election shall be consolidated, in the manner provided in Section 13209, with a statewide primary or general election. The ordinance shall be published. Another election in the district on the same or substantially the same proposition shall not be called by the board, pursuant to this section or Section 12815.1, within four years after such election.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.1.
  

The board shall adopt an ordinance, in accordance with Section 12815, calling an election for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the district the proposition as to whether or not the voters approve the addition of fluorine and fluorine compounds to the public water supply of the district, when a petition for the election has been filed with, and certified as sufficient by, the secretary of the district. The election shall be conducted in accordance with Section 12815. Petitions meeting the requirements of Sections 12814 to 12816, inclusive, shall be in lieu of the initiative procedure provided by Article 1 (commencing with Section 9300) of Chapter 4 of Division 9 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 183. Effective January 1, 1995.)

12815.2.
  

Petitions which meet the requirements of this article shall be certified as sufficient.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.3.
  

Before circulating the petition, its proponents shall publish a notice of intention to do so. The notice shall be accompanied by a printed statement, not exceeding 500 words in length, stating the reasons for the petition. The notice and statement shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation which is published in the district.

Within 10 days after notice is published, the proponents shall file a copy of such notice and the accompanying statement, and an affidavit as to the publishing thereof, with the secretary. The petition may be circulated among the voters of the district twenty-one days after notice is published. The petition shall bear a copy of the printed notice of intention and its accompanying statement. Signatures shall be secured and the petition shall be presented to the secretary for filing within 180 days from the date of the first publication of the notice of intention.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.4.
  

The petition shall declare that the public interest or necessity demands that a special election be called by the board of directors for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the district the proposition as to whether or not the voters approve the addition of fluorine and fluorine compounds to the public water supply of the district. The petition may be presented in sections, but each section shall contain a declaration of public interest or necessity, and shall have attached thereto an affidavit substantially in the same form as set forth in Section 9022 of the Elections Code. In addition, each section shall be designed as set forth in Section 9020 of the Elections Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 184. Effective January 1, 1995.)

12815.5.
  

Any registered voter who is a resident of the district may circulate the petition anywhere within the district. Each section of the petition shall bear the name of a county, and only registered voters of that county shall sign such section.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.6.
  

The petition shall be filed by the proponents, or by any person or persons authorized, in writing, by the proponents. All sections of the petition shall be filed at one time. When the petition is presented for filing, the secretary shall determine the total number of signatures affixed to the petition. If, from this examination, the secretary determines that the petition has been signed by at least 5 percent of the registered voters in the district, then the secretary shall accept the petition for filing. The petition shall be deemed as filed on that date. Any sections of the petition not so filed shall be void for all purposes.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098, Sec. 7.5.)

12815.7.
  

If the petition contains more than 500 signatures, the secretary shall, within 30 days from the date such petition is filed, verify such signatures by means of a random sampling. The random sample of signatures shall be drawn in such a manner that every signature filed with the secretary is given an equal opportunity to be included in the sample. Such a random sampling shall include an examination of at least 500 or 5 percent of the signatures, whichever is greater.

If the projection made from the random sampling as to signature validity shows the number of valid signatures as between 90 and 110 percent of the signatures needed to declare the petition sufficient, the secretary shall examine and verify each signature filed.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.8.
  

In determining valid signatures from voter registration records, the secretary may use the duplicate file of affidavits or may check the signatures against facsimiles of voter signatures, provided that the method of preparing and displaying the facsimiles complies with law.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.85.
  

The secretary shall attach to the petition, a certificate showing the result of the signature examination, and shall notify the proponents of either the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12815.9.
  

If the petition is found insufficient, no action shall be taken on it. However, the failure to secure sufficient signatures shall not preclude the later filing of a new petition to the same effect.

If the petition is found to be sufficient, the secretary shall certify the results of the signature examination to the board at its next regular meeting.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1098.)

12816.
  

(a) At least 90 days prior to the election provided for in Sections 12815 and 12815.1, notice of the election shall be published within the district. Any voter or group of voters may prepare and file with the county elections official of the county containing the largest number of voters within the district an argument for or against the proposition to be submitted. The argument shall not be greater than 300 words in length. If more than one argument for or more than one argument against the proposition is filed within the time permitted the county elections official shall select one of the arguments for printing. No more than three signatures shall appear with any argument. The county elections official of each county in the district shall mail, or cause to be mailed, to each registered voter in that county in the district one copy of the argument for and one copy of the argument against the proposition. The arguments shall be mailed with the sample ballot.

(b) Based on the time reasonably necessary to prepare and print the arguments and sample ballots for the particular election, the county elections official shall fix and determine a reasonable date prior to the election after which no arguments for or against the proposition may be submitted for printing and distribution to the voters as provided in this section. Notice of the date fixed shall be published by the county elections official pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code. Arguments may be changed up to and including the date fixed by the county elections official.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 221, Sec. 85. Effective January 1, 2003.)

12817.
  

A district may, through contract or otherwise, construct, maintain, improve and operate public recreational facilities appurtenant to any water reservoir owned or operated by the district, and the district may expend funds on such public recreational facilities.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 337.)

12818.
  

(a) No publicly owned utility shall commence the distribution or sale of water for municipal, domestic, industrial or similar purposes for, on, or to, any land within a district already engaged in similar distribution or sale of water and which land is already subject to the lien of a general obligation bonded indebtedness of the district for these purposes. However, a publicly owned utility may commence to provide the service to the land, otherwise prohibited, upon either of the following conditions:

(1) If the board of directors of the district shall by resolution permit the service.

(2) In any portion of the district proposed to be served by the publicly owned utility in which the total number of registered voters residing therein exceeds 200, and in which at least two-thirds of the voters shall have voted at a special district election to permit the service. The election shall be called and held as an initiative measure pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 9300) of Chapter 4 of Division 9 of the Elections Code.

(b) As used in this section, “district” shall mean only a municipal utility district.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 923, Sec. 185. Effective January 1, 1995.)

12819.
  

(a) Every district furnishing light, heat, or power shall expend no funds for advertising when the advertising encourages increased consumption of the services or commodities.

(b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a district furnishing light, heat, or power from expending funds for advertising which encourages the more efficient operation of the facilities, works, or utilities of the district, or for advertising which encourages the more efficient use of light, heat, or power, the conservation of energy or natural resources, or presents accurate information on the economical purchase, maintenance, or use of any appliance or device using light, heat, or power.

(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a district furnishing light, heat, or power from expending funds for advertising for the purposes of economic development that benefits ratepayers, retaining customers, marketing competitive services and commodities, or promoting electrotechnologies that enhance productivity or provide environmental benefits, within or without the district.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 175, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

12819.5.
  

Whenever a business transaction of a municipal utility district furnishing electricity, gas, water service where the utility has 10,000 or more service connections, or telephone service is such that a personal appearance by a person is required by the district and the person is unable to appear at the district’s place of business during the district’s usual business hours, then the district shall provide a reasonable and convenient alternative to the person such as an appointment outside the district’s usual business hours or allowing the person to conduct the transaction by telephone, mail, or both.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 614, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1996.)

12820.
  

(a) A district may employ a suitable security force. The employees of the district that are designated by the general manager as security officers shall have the authority and powers conferred by subdivision (a) of Section 830.34 of the Penal Code upon peace officers. The district shall adhere to the standards for recruitment and training of peace officers established by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training pursuant to Title 4 (commencing with Section 13500) of Part 4 of the Penal Code.

(b) Every security officer employed by a district shall conform to the standards for peace officers of the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Any officer who fails to conform to these standards shall not continue to have the powers of a security officer.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1165, Sec. 45.)

12821.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 117070 or 117120 of the Health and Safety Code, any violation of a rule or regulation of a district adopted pursuant to Section 117060 or 117105 of the Health and Safety Code shall be a misdemeanor unless the district by ordinance declares the violations to be an infraction.

(b) Every violation declared an infraction pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be punishable by (1) a fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50) for a first violation; (2) a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year; and (3) a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1023, Sec. 412. Effective September 29, 1996.)

12821.5.
  

(a)  Whenever residential light, heat, or power is furnished through a submeter system by a master-meter customer for sale to users who are tenants of a mobilehome park, apartment building, or similar residential complex, the master-meter customer is responsible for maintenance and repair of its submeter facilities beyond the master meter, and nothing in this section requires a district to make repairs to or perform maintenance on the submeter system.

(b) Every master-meter customer shall provide an itemized billing of charges for light, heat, and power to each individual user generally in accordance with the form and content of bills of the district to its residential customers, including, but not limited to, the opening and closing readings for the meter, and the identification of all rates and quantities under the applicable rate structure. The master-meter customer shall charge each user of the service at a rate which does not exceed the rate which would be applicable if the user were receiving residential light, heat, or power directly from the district. The master-meter customer shall also post, in a conspicuous place, the applicable prevailing residential rate schedule, as published by the district.

(c) The district shall notify each master-meter customer of its responsibilities to its users under this section.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 512, Sec. 1.)

12822.
  

(a) This section applies if there is a landlord-tenant relationship between the residential occupants and the owner, manager, or operator of the dwelling.

(b) If a district furnishes individually metered residential light, heat, water, or power to residential occupants in a detached single-family dwelling, multiunit residential structure, mobilehome park, or permanent residential structure in a labor camp, as defined in Section 17008 of the Health and Safety Code, and the owner, manager, or operator of the dwelling, structure, or park is the customer of record of the service, the district shall make every good faith effort to inform the residential occupants, by means of written notice, when the account is in arrears, that service will be terminated in 10 days. The written notice shall further inform the residential occupants that they have the right to become customers of the district without being required to pay the amount due on the delinquent account. The notice shall be in English and in the languages listed in Section 1632 of the Civil Code.

(c) The district is not required to make service available to the residential occupants unless each residential occupant agrees to the terms and conditions of service, and meets the requirements of the district’s rules. However, if one or more of the residential occupants are willing and able to assume responsibility for the subsequent charges to the account to the satisfaction of the district, or if there is a physical means, legally available to the district, of selectively terminating service to those residential occupants who have not met the requirements of the district’s rules, the district shall make service available to the residential occupants who have met those requirements.

(d) If prior service for a period of time is a condition for establishing credit with the district, residence and proof of prompt payment of rent or other credit obligation acceptable to the district for that period of time is a satisfactory equivalent.

(e) Any residential occupant who becomes a customer of the district pursuant to this section whose periodic payments, such as rental payments, include charges for residential light, heat, water, or power, where these charges are not separately stated, may deduct from the periodic payment each payment period all reasonable charges paid to the district for those services during the preceding payment period.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 560, Sec. 6. (SB 120) Effective January 1, 2010.)

12822.1.
  

(a) If a district furnishes residential light, heat, water, or power to residential occupants through a master meter in a multiunit residential structure, mobilehome park, or permanent residential structures in a labor camp, as defined in Section 17008 of the Health and Safety Code, and the owner, manager, or operator of the structure or park is listed by the district as the customer of record of the service, the district shall make every good faith effort to inform the residential occupants, by means of a written notice posted on the door of each residential unit at least 15 days prior to termination, when the account is in arrears, that service will be terminated on a date specified in the notice. If it is not reasonable or practicable to post the notice on the door of each residential unit, the district shall post two copies of the notice in each accessible common area and at each point of access to the structure or structures. The notice shall further inform the residential occupants that they have the right to become customers, to whom the service will then be billed, of the district without being required to pay the amount due on the delinquent account. The notice also shall specify, in plain language, what the residential occupants are required to do in order to prevent the termination or reestablish service; the estimated monthly cost of service; the title, address, and telephone number of a representative of the district who can assist the residential occupants in continuing service; and the address and telephone number of a legal services project, as defined in Section 6213 of the Business and Professions Code, which has been recommended by the local county bar association. The notice shall be in English and in the languages listed in Section 1632 of the Civil Code.

(b) The district is not required to make service available to the residential occupants unless each residential occupant or a representative of the residential occupants agrees to the terms and conditions of service, and meets the requirement of law and the district’s rules. However, if one or more of the residential occupants or the representative of the residential occupants are willing and able to assume responsibility for subsequent charges to the account to the satisfaction of the district, or if there is a physical means, legally available to the district, of selectively terminating service to those residential occupants who have not met the requirements of the district’s rules or for whom the representative of the residential occupants is not responsible, the district shall make service available to the residential occupants who have met those requirements or on whose behalf those requirements have been met.

(c) If prior service for a period of time, or other demonstration of credit worthiness is a condition for establishing credit with the district, residence and proof of prompt payment of rent or other credit obligation during that period of time acceptable to the district is a satisfactory equivalent.

(d) Any residential occupant who becomes a customer of the district pursuant to this section whose periodic payments, such as rental payments, include charges for residential light, heat, water, or power, where these charges are not separately stated, may deduct from the periodic payment each payment period all reasonable charges paid to the district for those services during the preceding payment period.

(e) If a district furnishes residential service subject to subdivision (a), the district may not terminate that service in any of the following situations:

(1) During the pendency of an investigation by the district of a customer dispute or complaint.

(2) If the customer has been granted an extension of the period for payment of a bill.

(3) For an indebtedness owed by the customer to any other public agency or when the obligation represented by the delinquent account or other indebtedness was incurred with any public agency other than the district.

(4) If a delinquent account relates to another property owned, managed, or operated by the customer.

(5) If a public health or building officer certifies that termination would result in a significant threat to the health or safety of the residential occupants or the public.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and in addition to any other remedy provided by law, if the owner, operator, or manager, by any act or omission, directs, permits, or fails to prevent a termination of service while any residential unit is occupied, the residential occupant or the representative of the residential occupants may commence an action for the recovery of all of the following:

(1) Reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the residential occupant or the representative of the residential occupants related to restoration of service.

(2) Actual damages related to the termination of service.

(3) Reasonable attorney’s fees of the residential occupants, the representative of the residential occupants, or each of them, incurred in the enforcement of this section, including, but not limited to, enforcement of a lien.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and in addition to any other remedy provided by law, if the owner, manager, or operator, by any act or omission, directs, permits, or fails to prevent a termination of service while any residential unit receiving that service is occupied, the corporation may commence an action for the recovery of all of the following:

(1) Delinquent charges accruing prior to the expiration of the notice prescribed by subdivision (a).

(2) Reasonable costs incurred by the corporation related to the restoration of service.

(3) Reasonable attorney’s fees of the corporation incurred in the enforcement of this section or in the collection of delinquent charges, including, but not limited to, enforcement of a lien.

If the court finds that the owner, manager, or operator has paid the amount in arrears prior to termination, the court shall allow no recovery of any charges, costs, damages, expenses, or fees under this subdivision from the owner, manager, or operator.

An abstract of any money judgment entered pursuant to subdivision (f) or (g) shall be recorded pursuant to Section 697.310 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(h) No termination of service subject to this section may be effected without compliance with this section, and any service wrongfully terminated shall be restored without charge to the residential occupants or customer for the restoration of the service. In the event of a wrongful termination by the district, the district shall, in addition, be liable to the residential occupants or customer for actual damages resulting from the termination and for the costs of enforcement of this section, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees, if the residential occupants or the representative of the residential occupants make a good faith effort to have the service continued without interruption.

(i) The district shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this section and shall liberally construe this section to accomplish its purpose of ensuring that service to the residential occupants is not terminated due to nonpayment by the customer unless the district has made every reasonable effort to continue service to the residential occupants. The rules and regulations shall include, but are not limited to, guidelines for assistance to actual users in the enforcement of this section and requirements for the notice prescribed by subdivision (a), including, but not limited to, clear wording, large and boldface type, and comprehensive instructions to ensure full notice to the actual user.

(j) Nothing in this section broadens or restricts any authority of a local agency that existed prior to January 1, 1989, to adopt an ordinance protecting a residential occupant from the involuntary termination of residential public utility service.

(k) This section preempts any statute or ordinance permitting punitive damages against any owner, manager, or operator on account of an involuntary termination of residential public utility service or permitting the recovery of costs associated with the formation, maintenance, and termination of a tenant’s association.

(l) For purposes of this section, “representative of the residential occupants” does not include a tenants’ association.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 560, Sec. 7. (SB 120) Effective January 1, 2010.)

12822.6.
  

(a) The decision of a district to require a new residential applicant to deposit a sum of money with the district prior to establishing an account and furnishing service shall be based solely upon the creditworthiness of the applicant as determined by the district.

(b) No municipal utility district owning or operating a public utility furnishing services for residential use to a tenant under an account established by the tenant shall seek to recover any charges or penalties for the furnishing of services to, or for the tenant’s residential use from, any subsequent tenant or the property owner due to nonpayment of charges by a previous tenant. For this purpose, the term “subsequent tenant” shall not include any adult person who lived at the residence during the period that the charges or penalties accrued. The district may collect a deposit from the tenant service applicant prior to establishing an account for the tenant. The district may not require that service to subsequent tenants be furnished on the account of the landlord or property owner unless the property owner voluntarily agrees to that requirement, nor may the district refuse to furnish services to a tenant in the tenant’s name based on the nonpayment of charges by a previous tenant.

(c) A district subject to this section may not demand or receive security in an amount that exceeds twice the estimated average periodic bill or three times the estimated average monthly bill.

(d) In the event of tenant nonpayment of all or a portion of the bill, the deposit shall be applied to the final bill issued when service is terminated.

(e) This section shall not apply to master-metered apartment buildings.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 739, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1999.)

12823.
  

(a) No district furnishing its inhabitants with light, water, power, or heat may terminate residential service for nonpayment of a delinquent account unless the district first gives notice of the delinquency and impending termination, as provided in Section 12823.

(b) No district shall terminate residential service for nonpayment in any of the following situations:

(1) During the pendency of an investigation by the district of a customer dispute or complaint.

(2) When a customer has been granted an extension of the period for payment of a bill.

(3) On the certification of a licensed physician and surgeon that to do so will be life threatening to the customer and the customer is financially unable to pay for service within the normal payment period and is willing to enter into an amortization agreement with the district pursuant to subdivision (e) with respect to all charges that the customer is unable to pay prior to delinquency.

(c) Any residential customer who has initiated a complaint or requested an investigation within five days of receiving the disputed bill, or who has, within 13 days of mailing of the notice required by subdivision (a), made a request for extension of the payment period of a bill asserted to be beyond the means of the customer to pay in full during the normal period for payment, shall be given an opportunity for review of the complaint, investigation, or request by a review manager of the district. The review shall include consideration of whether the customer shall be permitted to amortize the unpaid balance of the account over a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 12 months. No termination of service shall be effected for any customer complying with an amortization agreement, if the customer also keeps the account current as charges accrue in each subsequent billing period.

(d) Any customer whose complaint or request for an investigation pursuant to subdivision (c) has resulted in an adverse determination by the district may appeal the determination to the board. Any subsequent appeal of the dispute or complaint to the board is not subject to this section.

(e) Any customer meeting the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) shall, upon request, be permitted to amortize, over a period not to exceed 12 months, the unpaid balance of any bill asserted to be beyond the means of the customer to pay within the normal period for payment.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 888, Sec. 10.)

12823.1.
  

(a) A district furnishing light, heat, water, or power shall not terminate residential service on account of nonpayment of a delinquent account unless the district first gives notice of the delinquency and impending termination, at least 10 days prior to the proposed termination, by means of a notice mailed, postage prepaid, to the customer to whom the service is billed not earlier than 19 days from the date of mailing the district’s bill for services, and the 10-day period shall not commence until five days after the mailing of the notice.

(b) Every district shall make a reasonable attempt to contact an adult person residing at the premises of the customer by telephone or personal contact, at least 24 hours prior to any termination of service, except that, whenever telephone or personal contact cannot be accomplished, the district shall give, by mail, in person, or by posting in a conspicuous location at the premises, a notice of termination of service, at least 48 hours prior to termination.

(c) Every district shall make available to its residential customers who are 65 years of age or older, or who are dependent adults as defined in Section 15610.23 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a third-party notification service, whereby the district will attempt to notify a person designated by the customer to receive notification when the customer’s account is past due and subject to termination. The notification shall include information on what is required to prevent termination of service. The residential customer shall make a request for third-party notification on a form provided by the district, and shall include the written consent of the designated third party. The third-party notification does not obligate the third party to pay the overdue charges, nor shall it prevent or delay termination of service.

(d) Every notice of termination of service pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include all of the following information:

(1) The name and address of the customer whose account is delinquent.

(2) The amount of the delinquency.

(3) The date by which payment or arrangements for payment is required in order to avoid termination.

(4) The procedure by which the customer may initiate a complaint or request an investigation concerning service or charges, except that, if the bill for service contains a description of that procedure, the notice pursuant to subdivision (a) is not required to contain that information.

(5) The procedure by which the customer may request amortization of the unpaid charges.

(6) The procedure for the customer to obtain information on the availability of financial assistance, including private, local, state, or federal sources, if applicable.

(7) The telephone number of a representative of the district who can provide additional information or institute arrangements for payment.

Every notice of termination of service pursuant to subdivision (b) shall include the items of information in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (6), and (7).

All written notices shall be in a clear and legible format.

(e) If a residential customer fails to comply with an amortization agreement, the district shall not terminate service without giving notice to the customer at least 48 hours prior to termination of the conditions the customer is required to meet to avoid termination, but the notice does not entitle the customer to further investigation by the district.

(f) A termination of service shall not be effected without compliance with this section. Any service wrongfully terminated shall be restored without charge for the restoration of service, and a notation thereof shall be mailed to the customer at the customer’s billing address.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 497, Sec. 251. (AB 991) Effective January 1, 2020.)

12824.
  

No electrical, gas, heat, or water municipal utility district shall, by reason of delinquency in payment for any electric, gas, heat, or water services, cause cessation of any such services on any Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or at any time during which the business offices of the district are not open to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1027.)

12825.
  

(a) A district furnishing light, heat, or power may engage in activities to reduce wasteful, uneconomical or unnecessary uses of energy, including, but not limited to, public information programs, the sale of insulation, the sale, rental and lease of materials or equipment for the purpose of conserving energy or reducing the need for the installation of electric generating facilities, and the adoption of voluntary and mandatory load management programs, and may also engage in activities to accelerate and participate in the development of alternative sources of energy including, but not limited to, the supply of equipment for use in connection therewith, and may do all things necessary or convenient to the full exercise of the powers herein granted. The interest rates charged on extended payment contracts for such materials or equipment shall not exceed that necessary to cover the district’s full cost of money plus its administrative costs and anticipated losses due to nonpayment on such contracts.

(b) This section does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, the existing law.

(Added by renumbering Section 12823 (as added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 14) by Stats. 1979, Ch. 373.)

12826.
  

Every district shall comply with Section 8029.5.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 549, Sec. 3.)

12827.
  

The board of a district that has owned and operated an electric distribution system for at least eight years and has a population of 250,000 or more may engage in programs to encourage economic development that benefits its ratepayers.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 53, Sec. 2. Effective April 26, 1994.)

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