Civil Law

Significant civil law legislation signed into law included: SB 183 (Corbett) clarifying who may commence and maintain an elder or dependent adult abuse action under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act where the elder or dependent adult has died; SB 241 (Kuehl) requiring that a county pay for appointed counsel for a minor in a guardianship proceeding if the court determines that the minor's parents are unable to pay; SB 313 (Scott) clarifying the adoption of children who are abandoned by their birth parents and the legal requirements of persons who desire to be their adoptive parents; SB 353 (Kuehl) allowing a court, upon a showing of good cause, to include on a protective order a grant to the petitioner the care, custody, or control over an animal in a domestic violence protection order; SB 362 (Simitian) prohibiting a person from requiring, coercing, or compelling any other individual to undergo the subcutaneous implanting of an identification device, as defined; SB 415 (Harman) eliminating the so-called "change of circumstances" courthouse hurdle in family law cases where a child support order has terminated due to the age of the child; SB 523 (Yee) establishing a pilot project in San Mateo County to authorize the superior court, when issuing an initial child support order, to also order the child support obligor to seek employment, and to submit proof, as described, that he/she has done so; SB 644 (Correa) removing the requirement that abstracts of judgment requiring the payment of money contain the social security number of the judgment debtor and, instead, requiring only the last four digits of that person's social security number; SB 686 (Corbett) allowing the State Bar of California to collect active membership dues of $390 for the year 2008, which is a $10 decrease from 2007; SB 767 (Ridley-Thomas) regulating liability of certain health care providers with respect to prescriptions; SB 771 (Kuehl) protecting the publicity rights of celebrities who died before July 1, 1985; AB 14 (Laird) enacting the Civil Rights Act of 2007 by amending miscellaneous code provisions prohibiting discrimination in specific government and business operations to add protected characteristics currently covered by general anti-discrimination laws; AB 102 (Ma) enacting the Name Equality Act of 2007, which among other things, allows one party or both parties to a marriage or registered domestic partnership to change their name by entering the new name on either a marriage license application or certificate of registered domestic partnership; AB 176 (Jones) implementing the child support program options and mandates contained in the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005; AB 341 (Spitzer) creating greater consistency in treatment of creditors' claims against an estate, regardless of whether the decedent's estate is being distributed through probate proceedings or trust administration; AB 361 (Ma) requiring notice of administration of decedent's estates be provided to the Franchise Tax Board; AB 367 (De Leon) enacting the final recommendations of the Collaborative Court Working Group on Enhanced Collections to improve the collection of court-ordered delinquent fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties, and assessments; AB 403 (Tran) requiring the court-appointed personal representative, in a subsequent administration of an estate, to be a holder of the decedent's lawyer-client privilege and requiring the California Law Revision Commission to study circumstances in which the attorney-client privilege should survive the death of the client; AB 500 (Lieu) revising and codifying existing court rule regarding telephonic appearances by counsel in civil matters; AB 702 (Portantino) enacting the Truth in Music Advertising Act, which specifically makes it a civil violation for any person to advertise or conduct a live musical performance through the use of certain deceptive practices; AB 714 (Maze) permitting a child welfare agency or licensed adoption agency to release information about specified children to their birth family if such release will promote the child's welfare; AB 861 (Tran) revising economic protections provided to parties obtaining a bifurcated, status dissolution pending final property distribution; AB 1013 (Krekorian) increasing the caps for repair and storage fees that may be recovered by the lienholder of a vehicle; AB 1640 (La Malfa) deleting various offensive terms concerning mental illness found within various California code sections and replacing them with the term "mentally incapacitated"; and AB 1723 (Assembly Judiciary Committee) revising the State Bar Act with respect to attorney trust accounts.

Vetoed significant civil law legislation included: SB 396 (Ridley-Thomas) requiring the Judicial Council to establish a commission on civil fees in the courts; AB 43 (Leno) enacting the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act redefining marriage as a union between two persons, making it gender-neutral; AB 1467 (Feuer) revising and recasting the provisions of Section 68511.3 of the Government Code, the current statute containing procedures for granting a court fee waiver to a litigant who cannot afford to pay the fee; and AB 779 (Jones) enhancing California's data security breach notification law.