Bill Text: CA AB508 | 2013-2014 | Regular Session | Amended

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Debt collection: homeless veterans.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Passed) 2013-09-06 - Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 234, Statutes of 2013. [AB508 Detail]

Download: California-2013-AB508-Amended.html


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Ian Calderon
    (   Coauthor:   Assembly Member  
Ammiano   ) 

                        FEBRUARY 20, 2013

   An act to add Section 1463.012 to the Penal Code, relating to debt


   AB 508, as amended, Ian Calderon. Debt collection: homeless
   Existing law requires the Judicial Council to adopt guidelines for
a comprehensive program concerning the collection of moneys owed for
fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties, and assessments imposed by
court order. Existing law prohibits a court from garnishing wages or
levying a bank account for the enforcement and collection of fees,
fines, forfeitures, or penalties imposed by a court against a person
under 25 years of age who has been issued a citation for truancy,
loitering, curfew violations, or illegal lodging that is outstanding
or unpaid if the court obtains information that the person is
homeless or has no permanent address, as defined.
    This bill would prohibit the issuance of an order for the
garnishment of earnings or the levy of a bank account or the earnings
of a homeless veteran, as defined, for the enforcement and
collection of fees, fines, forfeitures, or penalties imposed by a
court due to the violation of state or local law related to
loitering, curfew violations, or illegal lodging for a period of 5
years, as specified, if the court has reason to believe that the
debtor is a homeless veteran, as defined. The bill would make related
findings and declarations.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


  SECTION 1.  Section 1463.012 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
   1463.012.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
   (1) According to a new study, homeless veterans are more likely to
die on the streets than  the average  
nonveteran  homeless  person   persons
 . Those who return from serving and become homeless are 11
percent more likely to develop life-threatening diseases than
nonveteran homeless. 
   (2) According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development's most recent annual survey for point-in-time estimates
of homelessness, there were 16,461 homeless veterans in California in
January 2012, of whom 11,949 were considered unsheltered and living
on the streets.  
    (3)  Homeless veterans are routinely ticketed for
offenses that are the inevitable symptoms of homelessness. These
offenses include loitering, curfew violations, and illegal lodging.

   (3) The California Research Bureau has documented that if

    (4)     If  a homeless veteran fails
to  show up   appear  to contest or pay a
ticket, that homeless veteran's wages or bank accounts may be
    (5)  Garnishment of the wages and savings of homeless
veterans makes it far more difficult for homeless veterans to rent
their own apartments and end their homelessness by their own
willpower and initiative. 
    (6)  In many cases, taking money from homeless veterans
makes it more, and not less, likely that they will continue to be
homeless, and may actually encourage the commission of offenses the
laws are meant to dissuade, including illegal lodging and loitering.

    (7)  It is therefore in the best interest of the state
to discourage wage and bank account garnishment practices that make
it more difficult for veterans who are homeless to obtain housing
through their own hard work without being exculpated from the
offenses they commit.
   (b) Notwithstanding any other law, if a court, during the course
of its routine process to collect fees, fines, forfeitures, or other
penalties imposed by a court due to a citation issued for the
violation of a state or local law, obtains information indicating
that a person who has been issued a citation for loitering, curfew
violations, or illegal lodging that is outstanding or unpaid served
in the military within the last eight years and is homeless or has no
permanent address, the court shall not garnish the wages or levy
against bank accounts of that person for five years from the date
 the ticket issues   that the court obtained
that information  .
   (c) For purposes of this section  ,  a person is
considered to be "homeless" or as having "no permanent address" if
that person does not have a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime
residence, or has a primary nighttime residence that is one of the
   (1) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed
to provide temporary living accommodations, including, but not
limited to, welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional
housing for the mentally ill.
   (2) An institution that provides a temporary residence for
individuals intended to be institutionalized.
   (3) A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used
as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
   (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a court
from engaging in any other lawful debt collection activities.
   (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a court
to perform any further investigation or financial screening into any
matter beyond the scope of its regular duties.
   (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the
Judicial Council from altering any best practices or recommendations
for collection programs pursuant to Section 1463.010.
   (g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a court
from garnishing a person's wages or levying against a person's bank
accounts if the court, subsequent to its initial determination that
the person was a homeless veteran exempt from wage garnishment or
levy under this section, obtains evidence that the individual is no
longer homeless  , or that the court had, on a previous occasion,
suspended garnishment of that person's wages or levying against that
person's bank accounts pursuant to subdivision (b)  .