Thursday, June 9, 2011

CCBA Bills Clear Senate Judiciary Committee

The second-house phase of the legislative process began this week, as Senate policy committees started serious consideration of Assembly bills and vice-versa. Three bills sponsored by the Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA) were among the bills first to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee at its June 7 hearing, and all three were approved and passed to the Senate Floor, where they should be heard next week.

Only one of the three measures generated any controversy: AB 433, by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), which would remove unnecessary impediments in the legal processes for obtaining a judgment relating to change of gender and, for California citizens, a revised birth certificate reflecting that change. The bill, which is co-sponsored by the Transgender Law Center, Equality California and the CCBA (Resolution 04-12-2010, by the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom), was approved on a vote of 4-1.

AB 454 by Assemblymember Jim Silva (based on Resolution 05-07-2009 by the Women Lawyers of Sacramento), which would require that the party protected by a civil protective or restraining order be given prior notice, as specified, of any hearing to modify or terminate the order by personal service, was approved by the committee on a unanimous 5-0 vote.

And AB 354, also by Assemblymember Silva, was approved on the committee's Consent Calendar. AB 354 (based on Resolution 06-04-2010 by the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills bar associations), would provide that when a person has taken, concealed, or disposed of the real or personal property of a conservatee, minor, estate of a decedent, or trust by the use of undue influence in bad faith or through the commission of elder or dependent adult financial abuse, the person is liable for twice the value of the property recovered in a conservatorship, guardianship, estate, or trust proceeding.

All three measures are currently on track to obtain all necessary votes and be sent to Governor Brown for signature before the Legislature is scheduled to break for its summer recess in July.

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