(1) Existing law establishes the Trial Court Trust Fund, the proceeds of which are apportioned to fund trial court operations, as well as providing for the direct payment or reimbursement of the actual costs of operating one or more trial courts upon the authorization of the participating courts. Existing law specifies certain fees and fines, including civil assessments, collected on or before December 31, 2005, that are to be deposited in a special account in the county treasury and transmitted monthly to the State Treasury for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund. This bill would no longer require the deposit of civil assessments collected on or before December 31, 2005, into a special account to be transmitted monthly for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund. (2) Existing law authorizes a court to impose a civil assessment of up to $300 against a defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court or who fails to pay all or any portion of a fine or to pay an installment of bail. Existing law requires this assessment be deposited in the Trial Court Trust Fund. This bill would, on or after July 1, 2022, decrease the civil assessment to up to $100 and require the assessment to be deposited with the county treasurer and transmitted to the State Treasurer for deposit, instead, into the General Fund. This bill would make conforming changes. Under existing law, the balance of any court-imposed costs, as specified, shall be unenforceable and uncollectible and any portion of a judgment imposing those costs shall be vacated. This bill would, on and after July 1, 2022, apply this provision to the balance of the court-imposed civil assessments imposed prior to July 1, 2022. Existing law requires that certain fees and fines collected by superior courts, including civil assessments collected on or after January 1, 2006, be deposited into a bank account established by the Administrative Office of the Courts for distribution, as specified, with the balance transmitted to the State Treasury for deposit in the Trial Court Trust Fund and other funds as required by law. This bill would remove court-imposed civil assessments from this provision. (3) Existing law requires the Judicial Council to develop an online tool for adjudicating infraction violations, including ability-to-pay determinations, to implement the tool on a phased schedule, and to make this tool available statewide on or before June 30, 2024. Existing law prohibits a defendant from being compelled to use this online tool and authorizes courts to allow defendants to agree to forfeit bail, plead guilty or nolo contendere, request an ability-to-pay determination, or otherwise adjudicate matters electronically for all infraction violations for which a personal appearance is not required. This bill would specify that trials conducted under these provisions are to be conducted by declaration through the online tool. The bill would make other clarifying and conforming changes to these provisions. (4) Existing law repealed specified fees contingent upon a criminal arrest, prosecution, or conviction for the cost of administering the criminal justice system, including lab fees, drug testing, and incarceration, among others. Existing law appropriated $25,000,000 in the 2021–22 fiscal year, and $50,000,000 in the 2022–23 fiscal year and each year thereafter, from the General Fund to the Controller for allocation pursuant to a schedule provided by the Department of Finance to counties to backfill revenues lost from the repeal of those fees. Existing law requires those funds to be allocated by the Controller according to a schedule provided by the Department of Finance. Existing law states the intent of the Legislature to pursue legislation to finalize the funding allocation methodology for distribution. This bill would require the Director of Finance to finalize a methodology for determining per-county allocations for those funds. The bill would require the methodology to distribute 50% of the annual appropriation based on the 3-year average of each county's adult population compared to that of the state, 25% of the appropriation based on the 3-year average of each county's total felony and misdemeanor arrests compared to that of the state, and 25% of the appropriation based on the 3-year average of each county's total traffic and nontraffic felony and misdemeanor filings compared to that of the state, as specified. The bill would require the Direct of Finance to, no later than October 1, 2022, provide the Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees on public safety, the Legislative Analyst's Office, and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee with the county allocation schedule. The bill would require, no later than May 1, 2023, each county's board of supervisors receiving fiscal relief pursuant to these provisions to submit a report to the Director of Finance, the Legislative Analyst's Office, and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee detailing the actual revenue lost from each individual fee repealed, as specified. The bill would require each county to additionally provide a report to those entities that documents how the backfill allocation was spent, as specified. By imposing additional duties on counties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. (5) Existing law authorizes counties to create work furlough programs and electronic home detention programs, as specified. Existing law authorizes counties to administer these programs directly through an administrator, or to enter into contracts with private agencies or entities to administer them. Existing law prohibits a county that implements one of these programs from imposing an administrative fee. This bill would also prohibit a privately operated program from imposing an administrative or application fee. (6) Existing law requires the court to grant a fee waiver to an applicant at any stage of the proceedings at both the appellate and trial court levels if the applicant meets specified standards of eligibility and application requirements, including a person who is receiving certain public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income or Medi-Cal, or who has a monthly income of 125% or less of the current poverty guidelines, as specified. An initial fee waiver excuses the applicant from paying, among other fees and costs, fees for the first pleading and other court fees and costs as specified in rules adopted by the Judicial Council. Existing law requires an applicant for a fee waiver to complete, under penalty of perjury, a Judicial Council application form containing specified information. This bill would require a court to grant a fee waiver to an applicant who has a monthly income of 200% or less of the current poverty guidelines or, additionally, who receives benefits under the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program) , or who receives unemployment compensation. The bill would require the Judicial Council to annually publish a table establishing the threshold monthly household income for this income-based fee waiver. By requiring an applicant who is requesting a fee waiver based on receiving WIC Program benefits or unemployment to complete, under penalty of perjury, a Judicial Council application form and a financial statement, this bill would expand the crime of perjury and impose a state-mandated local program. (7) Existing law repealed, as of January 1, 2022, an authorization for a county to require the courts of that county to impose an assessment of $15 upon a person, as specified. This bill would make conforming changes. (8) This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to provide greater access to justice while maintaining the integrity of criminal proceedings through the use of remote technology. (9) Existing law allows a defendant in a case charged with only a misdemeanor to appear by counsel, except as specified, and, if a defendant agrees, allows a defendant to appear by video for the initial court appearance, arraignment, and plea. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, allow a court, if a defendant agrees, to conduct all proceedings, except jury and court trials, remotely through the use of remote technology. Existing law requires a defendant in a criminal trial in which a felony is charged to be present at the arraignment, at the time of plea, during the preliminary hearing, during those portions of the trial when evidence is taken before the trier of fact, and at the time of the imposition of sentence. Existing law generally requires a defendant to be personally present at all other proceedings unless the defendant executes a written waiver of their right to be personally present. Existing law permits a defendant's appearance by video for certain proceedings, as specified. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, specify that a defendant would be required to be physically present at the proceedings listed above in felony cases and would allow a defendant to be physically or remotely present at all other proceedings, unless the defendant waived their right to be physically or remotely present with leave of the court and approval by defendant's counsel. Existing law permits a defendant to waive their right to be personally present with a written waiver approved by their counsel and filed with the court. Existing law authorizes a court to direct a defendant to be personally present at any proceeding or portion thereof. This bill would allow, until January 1, 2024, a defendant to waive the right to be physically or remotely present in writing and filed with the court or, with the court's consent, entered personally by the defendant or defendant's counsel. The bill would authorize the court to direct a defendant to be physically or remotely present at any particular proceeding. Existing law provides a form for a defendant's waiver of personal presence, which includes a waiver of the right to be present at the hearing or any motion, and an agreement that the attorney's presence representing the defendant's interests is the same as if the defendant were personally present in court. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, append the form to include that the defendant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives the right to be physically or remotely present at the hearing or motion. Existing law authorizes a court to permit the initial court appearance and arraignment of a defendant held in any state, county, or local facility within the county on felony or misdemeanor charges, except for those defendants who were indicted by a grand jury, to be conducted by 2-way electronic audiovideo communication between the defendant and the courtroom in lieu of the defendant's physical presence. Existing law requires the defendant to execute a written waiver if the defendant decides not to exercise the right to be physically present in the courtroom to make their plea. Existing law authorizes a judge to order a defendant's personal appearance in court for the initial court appearance and arraignment. In both misdemeanor and felony cases, existing law allows a judge to accept a plea of guilty or no contest from a defendant who is not physically in the courtroom but requires the parties to stipulate thereto in felony cases. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, upon a defendant's waiver of the right to be physically present, generally allow criminal proceedings to be conducted through the use of remote technology, and allow a defendant to withdraw their waiver at any time. Existing law allows a defendant, who does not wish to be personally present for noncritical portions of the trial, to make an oral waiver in open court or submit a written request to the court. Existing law authorizes the court, when a defendant has waived the right to be personally present, to require a defendant held in any state, county, or local facility within the county on felony or misdemeanor charges to be present for noncritical portions of the trial by 2-way electronic audiovideo communication between the defendant and the courtroom in lieu of the defendant's physical presence in the courtroom. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, authorize the court to direct the defendant to be physically present at any particular felony proceeding. The bill would prohibit a defendant charged with a felony to appear remotely for sentencing, except as specified, and a defendant charged with a felony or misdemeanor to appear remotely for a jury or court trial, except as specified. The bill would allow a witness to appear remotely at any misdemeanor or felony criminal proceeding, except for felony trials. The bill would authorize a court to allow a prosecuting attorney or defense counsel to participate in a criminal proceeding through the use of remote technology. The bill would require a court to require a prosecuting attorney, defense counsel, defendant, or witness to appear in person at a proceeding under specified circumstances. The bill would require an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore to be physically present in the courtroom when the court conducts a remote proceeding reported by a reporter. The bill would require a court to make findings on the record that any waiver entered into by the defendant was knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made by the defendant. The bill would authorize the Judicial Council to adopt rules to implement these provisions. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, allow a witness to testify in any misdemeanor or felony criminal proceeding, except for felony trials, through the use of remote technology with the consent of the parties on the record and the court and with the defendant's waiver of the right to have a witness testify in person on the record. The bill would require the court to make specified findings that a waiver entered into was knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made by the defendant. The bill would require the Judicial Council to adopt rules to implement the policies and provisions of the act. Existing law requires a defendant to be personally present in a preliminary hearing. Under existing law, the court is authorized to continue the hearing to holding to answer, filing an information, or discharging the defendant. Existing law prohibits these provisions from limiting the right of a defendant to waive the right to by present. This bill, until January 1, 2024, would include within these provisions the defendant's right to waive the right to appear through the use of remote technology. (10) Existing law requires each trial court to establish a trial court employment protection system to become the minimum employment protection system for all trial court employees. Except for layoffs for organizational necessity, existing law requires discipline, up to and including termination of employment, to be for cause. This bill would, until January 1, 2024, prohibit a trial court from retaliating against an official court reporter or official court reporter pro tempore for notifying a judicial officer that technology or audibility issues are interfering with the creation of the verbatim record for a remote proceeding. (11) Existing law authorizes a board of supervisors to establish in the county treasury a Courthouse Construction Fund for the purpose of assisting a county in the acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, and financing of courtrooms, a courtroom building, or court facilities. For any construction of court facilities in the County of Merced entered into by the board of supervisors and the presiding judge of the superior court, existing law requires, among other things, that revenue from civil assessments be available, as specified, for the purpose of augmenting other funds made available for construction. This bill would repeal these provisions. (12) This bill would appropriate $10,000,000 in the 2022–23 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Trial Court Trust Fund. (13) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above. (14) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as a bill providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill.
Approved by the Governor.
Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 57, Statutes of 2022.
Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling. (Ayes 63. Noes 15.).
Assembly Rule 77 suspended.
Assembly Rule 63 suspended.
Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Assembly. (Ayes 31. Noes 0. Page 4524.).
In Assembly. Concurrence in Senate amendments pending.
Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 10 p.m.
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 13. Noes 1.) (June 27).
From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to committee. Read second time, amended, and re-referred to Com. on B. & F.R.
In committee: Hearing postponed by committee.
In Senate. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment.
Read third time. Passed. Ordered to the Senate. (Ayes 56. Noes 18. Page 511.)
Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
Assembly Rule 96 suspended. (Ayes 53. Noes 17. Page 432.)
Ordered to second reading.
Withdrawn from committee.
From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re-refer to Com. on BUDGET. Read second time and amended.
Read first time.
From printer. May be heard in committee February 9.
Introduced. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|01/08/21 - Introduced|
|02/18/21 - Amended Assembly|
|06/26/22 - Amended Senate|
|06/29/22 - Enrolled|
|06/30/22 - Chaptered|
|02/24/21- ASSEMBLY FLOOR ANALYSIS|
|06/26/22- Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review|
|06/28/22- ASSEMBLY FLOOR ANALYSIS|
|06/28/22- Sen. Floor Analyses|
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