BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 144


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          Date of Hearing:  April 14, 2015
          Counsel:               Gabriel Caswell

                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                                  Bill Quirk, Chair





          AB  
                       144 (Mathis) - As Amended  March 26, 2015


                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee


          SUMMARY:  Specifies that the fourth violation of illegal dumping  
          on private property shall be a misdemeanor punishable by up to  
          30 days in the county jail.    

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)States that it is unlawful to dump or cause to be dumped waste  
            matter in or upon a public or private highway or road,  
            including any portion of the right-of-way thereof, or in or  
            upon private property into or upon which the public is  
            admitted by easement or license, or upon private property  
            without the consent of the owner, or in or upon a public park  
            or other public property other than property designated or set  
            aside for that purpose by the governing board or body having  
            charge of that property.  (Pen. Code,  374.3, subd. (a).)  

          2)Provides it is unlawful to place, deposit, or dump, or cause  
            to be placed, deposited, or dumped, rocks, concrete, asphalt,  
            or dirt in or upon a private highway or road, including any  
            portion of the right-of-way of the private highway or road, or  
            private property, without the consent of the owner or a  
            contractor under contract with the owner for the materials, or  
            in or upon a public park or other public property, without the  








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            consent of the state or local agency having jurisdiction over  
            the highway, road, or property.  (Pen. Code,  374.3, subd.  
            (b).)  

          3)States that a person violating dumping provisions is guilty of  
            an infraction. Each day that waste placed, deposited, or  
            dumped in violation the law is a separate violation.  (Pen.  
            Code,  374.3, subd. (c).)  

          4)Provides these provisions do not restrict a private owner in  
            the use of his or her own private property, unless the  
            placing, depositing, or dumping of the waste matter on the  
            property creates a public health and safety hazard, a public  
            nuisance, or a fire hazard, as determined by a local health  
            department, local fire department or district providing fire  
            protection services, or the Department of Forestry and Fire  
            Protection, in which case this section applies.  (Pen. Code,   
            374.3, subd. (d).)  

          5)Specifies a person convicted of dumping shall be punished by a  
            mandatory fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars  
            ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon a  
            first conviction, by a mandatory fine of not less than five  
            hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand five hundred  
            dollars ($1,500) upon a second conviction, and by a mandatory  
            fine of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) nor  
            more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) upon a third or  
            subsequent conviction. If the court finds that the waste  
            matter placed, deposited, or dumped was used tires, the fine  
            prescribed in this subdivision shall be doubled.  (Pen. Code,  
             374.3, subd. (e).)  

          6)Provides that the court may require, in addition to any fine  
            imposed upon a conviction, that, as a condition of probation  
            and in addition to any other condition of probation, a person  
            convicted under this section remove, or pay the cost of  
            removing, any waste matter which the convicted person dumped  
            or caused to be dumped upon public or private property.  (Pen.  
            Code,  374.3, subd. (f).)  

          7)Except when the court requires the convicted person to remove  
            waste matter which he or she is responsible for dumping as a  








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            condition of probation, the court may, in addition to the fine  
            imposed upon a conviction, require as a condition of  
            probation, in addition to any other condition of probation,  
            that a person convicted of a violation of this section pick up  
            waste matter at a time and place within the jurisdiction of  
            the court for not less than 12 hours.  (Pen. Code,  374.3,  
            subd. (g).)  

          8)States that a person who places, deposits, or dumps, or causes  
            to be placed, deposited, or dumped, waste matter in violation  
            of this section in commercial quantities shall be guilty of a  
            misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for  
            not more than six months and by a fine. The fine is mandatory  
            and shall amount to not less than one thousand dollars  
            ($1,000) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) upon a  
            first conviction, not less than three thousand dollars  
            ($3,000) nor more than six thousand dollars ($6,000) upon a  
            second conviction, and not less than six thousand dollars  
            ($6,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) upon a  
            third or subsequent conviction.

          9)Defines "commercial quantities" means an amount of waste  
            matter generated in the course of a trade, business,  
            profession, or occupation, or an amount equal to or in excess  
            of one cubic yard. This subdivision does not apply to the  
            dumping of household waste at a person's residence.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown
                          
          COMMENTS:  

          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "Under existing  
            law, dumping in non-commercial quantities on private property  
            is only an infraction and subject to a minor fine and no jail  
            time. Illegal dumping on private property is a serious issue  
            for property owners, law enforcement agencies, and communities  
            as a whole. Dumpers impose significant clean-up costs upon the  
            owners of the afflicted property. Dumping also poses a costly  
            burden on law enforcement officials whom are called to respond  
            when an incident occurs. Communities also suffer more than a  
            nuisance as property values and revenues to local government  








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            suffer due to blight from dumping. While the costs and  
            negative outcomes associated with illegal dumping on private  
            property can be high, the penalties for offenders whom are  
            apprehended are too minor to provide adequate deterrence from  
            this behavior. This bill would increase the penalty for  
            illegal dumping on private property in non-commercial  
            quantities from an infraction to a misdemeanor, subject to  
            stiffer fines and up to 30-days of jail time, to discourage  
            illegal dumping."

          2)Clarification of No Repeat Misdemeanors:  Under existing law,  
            provisions exist which state that each day that waste placed,  
            deposited, or dumped in violation the law is a separate  
            violation.  (Pen. Code,  374.3, subd. (c).)  Under current  
            law, this provision only applies to infractions.  This bill  
            specifically exempts the elevated misdemeanor provision for a  
            fourth or subsequent violation from this provision.   
            Therefore, under this bill for example, if waste were present  
            on private property for and the defendant was guilty of three  
            or more prior offenses, they would be charged with one  
            misdemeanor rather than 30 misdemeanors.  The bill does not  
            change existing law in this respect.  Persons charged with  
            infractions may still be charged daily fines for the waste  
            left on private property.  
          
          3)Creates a New Misdemeanor:  This bill creates a new  
            misdemeanor where there is currently an infraction penalty.   
            Every fourth or subsequent violation of dumping waste on  
            private property shall now be punishable by a misdemeanor  
            penalty of up to 30 days in the county jail.  As a result of  
            imposing a misdemeanor penalty, this legislation will permit  
            accused persons to apply for the aid of a public defender.   
            Additionally, persons charged with misdemeanor offenses may  
            demand a jury trial in Superior Court. 
          
          4)Keeps Existing Fines in Place:  Under current law the existing  
            fines for illegal, non-commercial, dumping are significant.   
            The fines are on a graduated scale that increases for repeated  
            violations of the law.  The fines additionally include minimum  
            mandatory fines.  This committee generally does not create  
            mandatory minimum fines because they infringe upon judicial  
            discretion.  The fine for the misdemeanor offense in this case  








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            does include a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $750  
            and up to $3,000.  This fine is the existing fine imposed for  
            a third or subsequent infraction.  Therefore, the fine is not  
            increasing as a result of this legislation.   

          5)Penalty Assessments:  The amount spelled out in statute as a  
            fine for violating a criminal offense are base figures, as  
            these amounts are subject to statutorily-imposed penalty  
            assessments, such as fees and surcharges.  Assuming a  
            defendant is fined the maximum fine of $3,000 under Penal Code  
            Section 502, the following penalty assessments would be  
            imposed pursuant to the Government and Penal codes:



                ------------------------------------------------------- 
               |Base Fine:                                    |$3,000.0|
               |                                              |       0|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Penal Code  1464 assessment ($10 for every   |$3,000.0|
               |$10):                                         |       0|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Penal Code  1465.7 assessment (20%           | $600.00|
               |surcharge):                                   |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Penal Code  1465.8 assessment ($40 per       |  $40.00|
               |criminal offense):                            |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Government Code  70372 assessment ($5 for    |$1,500.0|
               |every $10):                                   |       0|








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               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Government Code  70373 assessment ($30 for   |  $30.00|
               |felony or misdemeanor offense):               |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Government Code  76000 assessment ($7 for    |$2,100.0|
               |every $10):                                   |       0|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Government Code  76000.5 assessment ($2 for  | $600.00|
               |every $10):                                   |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Government Code  76104.6 assessment ($1 for  | $300.00|
               |every $10):                                   |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Government Code  76104.7 assessment ($4 for  |$1,200.0|
               |every $10):                                   |       0|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
               |----------------------------------------------+--------|
               |Fine with Assessments:                        |        |
               |                                              |$12,370.00*|
               |                                              |        |
               |                                              |        |
                ------------------------------------------------------- 
            


            *In addition to the assessments detailed in the chart, the  
            defendant could be subject to pay "actual administrative  








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            costs" related to his or her arrest and booking (Gov. Code,   
            29550 et seq.) and victim restitution for damages impose by  
            the court.


          6)The Proposed Amendments:   The bill, as introduced, made all  
            illegal dumping on private property a misdemeanor penalty.  As  
            a result, all persons charged with these offenses would be  
            permitted jury trials in Superior Court as opposed to routine  
            infraction and fine offenses.  This elevation triggers other  
            ancillary rights, such as the right to a public defender if  
            the person charged is indigent.  The proposed amendments work  
            with the existing graduated penalties for the offense.  Under  
            existing law there are graduated fines for a first, second, or  
            third violation.  As amended, this bill would impose a  
            misdemeanor upon a fourth or subsequent violation of illegal  
            dumping on private property.  Local prosecutors would be more  
            likely to prosecute these offenses, and the ancillary impacts  
            of elevating an infraction to a misdemeanor are lessened  
            because the body of people who could be charged with these  
            offenses is much smaller.  Additionally, this bill now targets  
            serial illegal dumpers with stronger criminal penalties rather  
            than people who engage in this conduct on a single occasion.   
            The amendments removed all opposition from the bill.  

          7)Prior Legislation:  AB 1992 (Canciamilla), Chapter 416,  
            Statutes of 2006, imposed the graduated penalties and  
            increased fines for second and third violations of illegal  
            dumping offenses.  AB 1992 went through the Assembly Committee  
            on Natural Resources Committee and was not heard in the Public  
            Safety Committee.  


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

          Support
          
          None

          Opposition
          
          None








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          Analysis Prepared  
          by:              Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744