Amended in Senate June 6, 2016

Amended in Senate May 23, 2016

Amended in Senate August 31, 2015

Amended in Senate August 17, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 6, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 797


Introduced by Assembly Members Steinorth and Santiago

(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Quirk)

(Principal coauthor: Senator Glazer)

(Coauthors: Assembly Membersbegin insert Bloom,end insert Brown, Campos, Chang, Chávez, Chiu, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Lackey, Maienschein, McCarty, and Waldron)

(Coauthors: Senators Anderson and Pavley)

February 26, 2015


An act to add Section 43.100 to the Civil Code, and to amend Section 597.7 of the Penal Code, relating to trespass.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 797, as amended, Steinorth. Motor vehicles: rescue or provision of care for animal: civil and criminal liability.

Existing law authorizes a peace officer, humane officer, or animal control officer to take all steps reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle because the animal’s safety appears to be in immediate danger of specified harm. Existing law requires those persons who remove an animal from a vehicle to take the animal to an animal shelter or other place of safekeeping or, if deemed necessary, to a veterinary hospital for treatment, and to leave a notice in the vehicle that notifies the owner of, among other things, the location where the animal may be claimed. Existing law authorizes the owner to claim the animal only after paying all charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment, or impoundment of the animal.

This bill would expand the authorization and requirements applicable to a peace officer, humane officer, or animal control officer described above to include abegin delete fire fighterend deletebegin insert firefighterend insert or other emergency responder. The bill would additionally provide that a person may be required to pay for charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment, or impoundment of the animal removed from the vehicle. The billbegin delete would require a person who removes an animal from a vehicle under the circumstances described above to immediately turn the animal over to a representative from law enforcement, animal control, or other emergency responder who responds to the scene andend delete would exemptbegin delete theend deletebegin insert aend insert person from criminal liability forbegin delete removal of theend deletebegin insert actions taken reasonably and in good faith to remove anend insert animal from a vehiclebegin insert under the circumstances described aboveend insert if the person satisfies specifiedbegin delete conditions.end deletebegin insert conditions, including immediately turning the animal over to a representative from law enforcement, animal control, or other emergency responder who responds to the scene.end insert The bill would exempt a person from civil liability for property damage or trespass to a motor vehicle if the property damage or trespass occurred while the person was rescuing an animal pursuant to these provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 43.100 is added to the Civil Code, to
2read:

3

43.100.  

(a) There shall not be any civil liability on the part of,
4and no cause of action shall accrue against, abegin delete person, including a
5peace officer, fire fighter, humane officer, animal control officer,
6or other emergency responder,end delete
begin insert personend insert for property damage or
7trespass to a motor vehicle, if the damage was caused while the
8person was rescuing an animalbegin delete pursuant toend deletebegin insert in accordance withend insert
9 subdivision (b)begin delete or (d)end delete of Section 597.7 of the Penal Code.

P3    1(b) The immunity from civil liability for property damagebegin delete or
2trespassend delete
to a motor vehicle established bybegin delete this sectionend deletebegin insert subdivision
3(a)end insert
does not affect a person’s civil liability or immunity from civil
4liability for rendering aid to anbegin delete animal pursuant to Section 597.7
5of the Penal Code.end delete
begin insert animal.end insert

6

SEC. 2.  

Section 597.7 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

7

597.7.  

(a) A person shall not leave or confine an animal in any
8unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health
9or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate
10ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that
11could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or
12death to the animal.

13(b) (1) This section does not prevent a person from takingbegin delete allend delete
14begin insert reasonableend insert steps that arebegin delete reasonablyend delete necessary to remove an animal
15from a motor vehicle ifbegin insert the person holds a reasonable belief thatend insert
16 the animal’s safetybegin delete appears to beend deletebegin insert isend insert in immediate danger from heat,
17cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other
18circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering,
19disability, or death to the animal.

begin delete

20(2) If a person described in paragraph (1) removes the animal
21from a vehicle he or she shall immediately turn the animal over to
22a representative from law enforcement, animal control, or another
23emergency responder who responds to the scene.

end delete
begin delete

24(3) (A) A person acting under this subdivision, and in
25accordance with subparagraph (B), is not criminally liable for
26actions taken reasonably and in good faith in acting in accordance
27with this subdivision.

end delete
begin delete

28(B) Subparagraph (A) applies if the person does all of the
29following:

end delete
begin insert

30
(2) A person who removes an animal from a vehicle in
31accordance with paragraph (1) is not criminally liable for actions
32taken reasonably and in good faith if the person does all of the
33following:

end insert
begin delete

37 34(1)

end delete

35begin insert(A)end insert Determines the vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no
36reasonable manner for the animal to be removed from the vehicle.

begin delete

P4   1 37(2)

end delete

38begin insert(B)end insert Has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle
39is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering
40harm if it is not immediately removed from the vehicle, and, based
P4    1upon the circumstances known to the person at the time, the belief
2is a reasonable one.

begin delete

6 3(3)

end delete

4begin insert(C)end insert Has contacted a local law enforcement agency, the fire
5 department, animal control, or the “911” emergency service prior
6to forcibly entering the vehicle.

begin delete

9 7(4)

end delete

8begin insert(D)end insert Remains with the animal in a safe location, out of the
9elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until a peace officer,
10humane officer, animal control officer, or another emergency
11responder arrives.

begin delete

13 12(5)

end delete

13begin insert(E)end insert Used no more force to enter the vehicle and remove the
14animal from the vehicle than was necessary under the
15circumstances.

begin insert

16
(F) Immediately turns the animal over to a representative from
17law enforcement, animal control, or another emergency responder
18who responds to the scene.

end insert

19(c) Unless the animal suffers great bodily injury, a first
20conviction for violation of this section is punishable by a fine not
21exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) per animal. If the animal
22suffers great bodily injury, a violation of this section is punishable
23by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment
24in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and
25imprisonment. Any subsequent violation of this section, regardless
26of injury to the animal, is also punishable by a fine not exceeding
27five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment in a county jail not
28exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment.

29(d) (1) This section does not prevent a peace officer,begin delete fire fighter,end delete
30begin insert firefighter,end insert humane officer, animal control officer, or other
31emergency responder from removing an animal from a motor
32vehicle if the animal’s safety appears to be in immediate danger
33from heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water,
34or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause
35suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

36(2) A peace officer,begin delete fire fighter,end deletebegin insert firefighter,end insert humane officer,
37animal control officer, or other emergency responder who removes
38an animal from a motor vehicle, or who takes possession of an
39animal that has been removed from a motor vehicle, shall take it
40to an animal shelter or other place of safekeeping or, if the officer
P5    1deems necessary, to a veterinary hospital for treatment. The owner
2of the animal removed from the vehicle may be required to pay
3for charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical
4treatment, or impoundment of the animal.

5(3) A peace officer,begin delete fire fighter,end deletebegin insert firefighter,end insert humane officer,
6 animal control officer, or other emergency responder is authorized
7to take all steps that are reasonably necessary for the removal of
8an animal from a motor vehicle, including, but not limited to,
9breaking into the motor vehicle, after a reasonable effort to locate
10the owner or other person responsible.

11(4) A peace officer,begin delete fire fighter,end deletebegin insert firefighter,end insert humane officer,
12animal control officer, or other emergency responder who removes
13an animal from a motor vehiclebegin insert or who receives an animal rescued
14from a vehicle from another personend insert
shall, in a secure and
15conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written
16notice bearing his or her name and office, and the address of the
17location where the animal can be claimed. The animal may be
18claimed by the owner only after payment of all charges that have
19accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment, or
20impoundment of the animal.

21(5) begin deleteThis end deletebegin insertExcept as provided in subdivision (b), this end insertsection does
22not affect in any way existing liabilities or immunities in current
23law, or create any new immunities or liabilities.

24(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both
25this section and Section 597 or any other provision of law,
26including city or county ordinances.

27(f) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the
28transportation of horses, cattle, pigs, sheep,begin delete poultryend deletebegin insert poultry,end insert or
29other agricultural animals in motor vehicles designed to transport
30such animals for agricultural purposes.



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