http://sol-reform.com/News/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Hamilton-Logo.jpg 0 0 SOL Reform http://sol-reform.com/News/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Hamilton-Logo.jpg SOL Reform2013-09-04 14:52:112013-09-06 14:53:00CA SB 131 Passes Assembly 44-15! Tell Senators to Vote YES!
BILL ANALYSIS Ó ----------------------------------------------------------------- |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE | SB 131| |Office of Senate Floor Analyses | | |1020 N Street, Suite 524 | | |(916) 651-1520 Fax: (916) | | |327-4478 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------- UNFINISHED BUSINESS Bill No: SB 131 Author: Beall (D) and Lara (D), et al. Amended: 6/19/13 Vote: 21 SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE : 5-1, 5/7/13 AYES: Evans, Corbett, Jackson, Leno, Monning NOES: Anderson NO VOTE RECORDED: Walters SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE : 5-1, 5/23/13 AYES: De León, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg NOES: Walters NO VOTE RECORDED: Gaines SENATE FLOOR : 21-10, 5/29/13 AYES: Beall, Block, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, Evans, Hancock, Hernandez, Hill, Jackson, Lara, Leno, Liu, Monning, Pavley, Price, Roth, Steinberg, Torres, Wolk, Wyland NOES: Anderson, Berryhill, Correa, Emmerson, Fuller, Gaines, Huff, Knight, Nielsen, Walters NO VOTE RECORDED: Calderon, Cannella, Galgiani, Hueso, Lieu, Padilla, Wright, Yee, Vacancy ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 44-15, 9/4/13 - See last page for vote SUBJECT : Damages: childhood sexual abuse: statute of limitations SOURCE : National Center for Victims of Crime CONTINUED SB 131 Page 2 DIGEST : This bill provides that the time limits for commencement of an action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse be applied retroactively to any claim that has not been adjudicated to finality on the merits as of January 1, 2014. This bill revives, for a period of one year, a cause of action, as specified, that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations as of January 1, 2014, provided that the plaintiff's 26th birthday was before January 1, 2003, and the plaintiff discovered the cause of his or her injury on or after January 1, 2004. This bill provides that a partyis entitled to conduct discovery before the court may rule on a motion challenging the sufficiency of the plaintiff's showing that a person or entity knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice, of any unlawful sexual conduct and failed to take reasonable steps, and to implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid those acts in the future. This bill specifies that this entitlement does not apply to a cause of action revived pursuant to these provisions. Assembly Amendments make technical changes. ANALYSIS : Existing law: 1. Generally provides that the time for commencing a civil action for damages shall be within two years of the injury or death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another. (Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 340) 2. Provides that the time for commencing an action based on injuries resulting from childhood sexual abuse, as defined, shall be eight years after the plaintiff reaches majority (i.e., 26 years of age) or within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the abuse, whichever occurs later. (CCP Section 340.1) 3. Provides that in civil actions, as described above, against persons or entities other than the perpetrator, whose intentional, negligent, or wrongful act was the legal cause of the sex abuse, the plaintiff must show that the person or CONTINUED SB 131 Page 3 entity knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice, of unlawful sexual conduct of an employee or agent, and failed to take reasonable steps, as specified, to avoid acts of unlawful sexual conduct in the future. (CCP Section 340.1) 4. For a period of one year commencing January 1, 2003, existing law revived certain actions that would otherwise be barred solely because the applicable statute of limitations had expired. This bill: 1. Provides that the time limits for commencement of an action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse be applied retroactively to any claim that has not been adjudicated to finality on the merits as of January 1, 2014. 2. Revives, for a period of one year, a cause of action, as specified, that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations as of January 1, 2014, provided that the plaintiff's 26th birthday was before January 1, 2003, and the plaintiff discovered the cause of his or her injury on or after January 1, 2004. 3. Provides that a party is entitled to conduct discovery before the court may rule on a motion challenging the sufficiency of the plaintiff's showing that a person or entity knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice, of any unlawful sexual conduct and failed to take reasonable steps, and to implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid those acts in the future. 4. Specifies that this entitlement does not apply to a cause of action revived pursuant to these provisions. Background Before 1990, claims of childhood sexual abuse were governed by a one year statute of limitations. (CCP Section 340(3).) However, if the cause of action accrued while the plaintiff was a minor, the statute was tolled until he/she became an adult. (CCP Section 352(a).) Thus, any complaint had to be filed CONTINUED SB 131 Page 4 within one year of the plaintiff's 18th birthday. In 1990, the Legislature rewrote the statute of limitations for cases involving adult trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse. (SB 108 (Lockyer), Chapter 1578, Statutes of 1990) That law provides that the time for commencing an action based on injuries resulting from "childhood sexual abuse" shall be eight years after the plaintiff reaches majority (i.e., age 26) or within three years of the date of the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that the psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the abuse, whichever occurs later. As subsequently interpreted by the courts, SB 108 changed the statute of limitations for actions against the perpetrators, but did not change it for actions against other responsible third parties. (See Debbie Reynolds Prof. Rehearsal Studios v. Superior Court (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 222; Tietge v. Western Province of the Services (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 382) In 1998, the Legislature responded to this interpretation and enacted AB 1651 (Ortiz, Chapter 1021, Statutes 1998) to apply the extended statute of limitations in actions against third parties. However, any action against any person or entity other than the sexual abuser would have to be commenced before the plaintiff's 26th birthday. (CCP Section 340.1(b).) In 2002, SB 1779 (Burton and Escutia, Chapter 149, Statutes of 2002) was enacted to extend the statute of limitations in cases against a third party who was not the perpetrator of the sexual abuse beyond age 26, when the third party knew or had reason to know of complaints against an employee or agent for unlawful sexual conduct and failed to take reasonable steps to avoid similar unlawful conduct by that employee or agent in the future. SB 1779 also created a one year window in which victims could bring a claim against a third party, when that claim would have otherwise been barred solely because the statute of limitations had expired. Almost 1,000 cases were filed in California during the one year window in 2003. However, between 2005 and 2012, about 50 cases were filed by victims who were over the age of 26 in 2003, but did not make a causal connection between childhood abuse and problems as an adult until after 2003. The Quarry brothers, who filed suit in 2007, were among those who filed one of these cases. The trial court dismissed the case based on their age in CONTINUED SB 131 Page 5 2003 (over 26 years of age), stating that the brothers should have brought their case within the one year window under SB 1779. The First District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's decision, and held that the one year window only applied to victims who were both over the age of 26 and had made the required causal connection more than three years prior to January 1, 2003. It held that victims like the Quarry brothers were not barred as of January 1, 2003, and could avail themselves of the option of filing a claim within three years from discovery. Ultimately the Quarry case and about 20 others were taken up by the California Supreme Court. (Quarry v. Doe (2009) 53 Cal.4th 945.) The Court held that the Legislature failed to make its retroactive intent in SB 1779 clear, and the rules of statutory construction required that when the Legislature amends a statute of limitations, that amendment is presumed to be prospective, and is retroactive only if the Legislature expressly provides that it is intended to be retroactive and revive previously time-barred claims. The majority found the language of SB 1779 did not satisfy that rule of construction, and must be interpreted prospectively, or limited to the one year window. The dissent disagreed, and invited the Legislature to fix the problem. FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: No Local: No SUPPORT : (Verified 9/4/13) National Center for Victims of Crime (source) American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy American Association of University Women Boys and Girls Club - Santa Barbara California Association of Chiefs of Police California Coalition Against Sexual Assaults California Nurses Association Child Abuse Listening Mediation College Democrats at Pacific Union College Consumer Attorneys of California Crime Victims United of California Equality California National Association of Social Workers CONTINUED SB 131 Page 6 National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence National Safe Child Coalition Peace Officers Research Association Protective Parents Association San Diego County District Attorney Santa Clara County District Attorney Waste Less Living, Inc. OPPOSITION : (Verified 9/4/13) California Association of Private School Organizations California Catholic Conference California Council of Nonprofit Organizations California State Alliance of YMCA La Raza Roundtable ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT : According to the author, "Over the last 27 years the California Legislature has come to have a better understanding of the insidious and latent nature of the injuries suffered by a child who has been sexually abused and the reasons why victims of childhood sex abuse often wait years before reporting the abuse to law enforcement or otherwise. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1, a remedial statute intended to provide redress the child sex abuse victims, has been amended no less than five times since its original enactment in 1986, consistent with this evolving knowledge of the latent effects of the original abuse." ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION : The California Catholic Conference (CCC). states, "Although this bill has now been amended several times in the Senate, we remain opposed, because the provision in the bill that would revive time-barred claims of childhood sexual abuse is tailored to provide relief only to a certain class of victims to the exclusion of the vast majority of child abuse victims. Although there have been concepts in the various iterations of the bill that the CCC could support, the current contents are unreasonable and inequitable. If the bill is intended, as its author has claimed, to provide access to justice for the victims of child abuse, it makes utterly no sense to exclude more than 90% of those victims access to the courts, while granting that same right to a precious few." ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 44-15, 9/4/13 CONTINUED SB 131 Page 7 AYES: Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Bonta, Bradford, Ian Calderon, Chau, Chesbro, Cooley, Dahle, Dickinson, Fong, Fox, Frazier, Gatto, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Hall, Roger Hernández, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Linder, Lowenthal, Mitchell, Morrell, Mullin, Nazarian, Pan, V. Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Salas, Skinner, Stone, Ting, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez NOES: Bocanegra, Chávez, Donnelly, Beth Gaines, Grove, Hagman, Harkey, Jones, Mansoor, Medina, Muratsuchi, Nestande, Patterson, Wagner, Wilk NO VOTE RECORDED: Achadjian, Alejo, Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla, Brown, Buchanan, Campos, Conway, Daly, Eggman, Garcia, Gorell, Holden, Logue, Maienschein, Melendez, Olsen, Perea, Vacancy, Vacancy AL:k 9/5/13 Senate Floor Analyses SUPPORT/OPPOSITION: SEE ABOVE **** END **** CONTINUED