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VOLUME 16 | NUMBER 4 | APRIL/ MAY 2016

LACBA Family Law Section Executive Committee
Legis & Amicus Brief Subcommittee Report
March 15, 2016

Charles K. Wake, Paula Teske, and Eve Lopez

Editor's Notes: This summary has been provide by Charles Wake, Family Law practitioner in Los Angeles, California, Paula S. Teske, CFLS, whose practice is located in Los Angeles, California, and Eve Lopez, CFLS, whose practice is also located in Los Angeles, California.

The principal currently pending bills affecting family law (excluding dependency) are:

1. AB 1762

  1. Summary:
    Existing law allows a court to issue an order to set aside a verdict of guilty and dismiss an accusation or information against a defendant who has been convicted of solicitation or prostitution if the defendant has completed any term of probation for that conviction and if he or she can establish by clear and convincing evidence that the conviction was a result of his or her status as a victim of human trafficking.

    This bill would instead allow an individual convicted of a nonviolent crime while he or she was human trafficking victim to apply to the court to vacate the conviction at any time after it was entered. The bill would allow an individual adjudicated a ward of the juvenile court as the result of a nonviolent crime committed while he or she was a human trafficking victim to apply to have the petition dismissed. If the application is granted, the bill would require court to have all records in the case sealed and to release the defendant from all penalties and disabilities, as provided. The bill would define “human trafficking victim” and “nonviolent crime” for these purposes.

  2. Status:
    1. Introduced 2/2/16
    2. Assembly Public Safety Comm. hearing scheduled 3/29/16

2. AB 1834

  1. Summary:
    Existing law authorizes a superior court to appoint official reporters and official reporters pro tempore as are deemed necessary for the performance of the duties of the court and its members. Existing law also authorizes a court to use electronic recording equipment to record an action or proceeding in a limited civil case, or a misdemeanor or infraction case, if an official reporter or an official reporter pro tempore is unavailable.

    This bill would additionally allow a court to use electronic recording equipment in a family law case if an official reporter or an official reporter pro tempore is unavailable.

  2. Status:
    1. Introduced 2/9/16
    2. Assembly Judiciary Comm. hearing scheduled 3/29/16

3. AB 2098

  1. Summary:
    Existing law requires the court to consider and give due weight to the wishes of a child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation. Existing law also requires the court to permit a child who is 14 years of age or older to address the court regarding custody or visitation, unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child’s best interests.

    This bill would instead require the court to permit a child who is 7 years of age or older to address the court regarding custody or visitation, unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child’s best interests.

  2. Status:
    1. Introduced 2/17/16
    2. Assembly Judiciary Comm. hearing scheduled 3/29/16

4. SB 917

  1. Summary:
    Existing law authorizes a court to issue orders relating to matters under the Family Code, including, among others, restraining orders and orders for child support.

    This bill would require a court, at the conclusion of a hearing conducted pursuant to the Family Code, to provide each party who is present at the hearing with a written order setting forth the basic terms of any orders that were made at the hearing. The bill would also require the Judicial Council, on or before July 1, 2017, to adopt a rule of court to implement these provisions.

  2. Status:
    1. Introduced 1/27/16
    2. Referred to Senate Judiciary Comm. on 2/4/16; No hearing presently scheduled.

5. SB 1255

  1. Summary:
    Existing law regulates the characterization and division of property upon the dissolution of marriage or the legal separation of the parties. Under existing law, debt incurred by a spouse after the date of separation is generally confirmed to that spouse. Existing law similarly provides that the earnings of a spouse are separate property if the spouse is living separate and apart from the other spouse.

    Under existing case law, a spouse is required to be living in a separate residence in order to be considered living separate and apart from the other spouse, for purposes of characterizing the earnings of the spouse.

    This bill would define “date of separation” for purposes of the Family Code to mean the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, as evidenced by the spouse’s expression of his or her intent to end the marriage and conduct that is consistent with that intent. The bill would direct a court to take into account all relevant evidence in determining the date of separation. The bill would specify that its provisions apply retroactively to cases pending on January 1, 2017. The bill would also make related, conforming changes.

  2. Status:
    1. Introduced 2/18/16
    2. Referred to Judiciary Comm. on 3/3/16; no hearing presently scheduled.


                                                                                                                                                                         
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