BILL NUMBER: SB 1241	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  MARCH 29, 2016

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Wieckowski

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2016

   An act to  amend Section 1286.2 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, relating to arbitration.   add Section
1799.208 to the Civil Code, relating to consumer contracts. 


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 1241, as amended, Wieckowski.  Arbitration awards.
  Consumer contracts.  
   Existing law, the Consumer Contract Awareness Act, defines a
consumer contract as a writing prepared by a seller that provides for
the sale or lease of goods or services for personal, family, or
household purposes, among other provisions. The act require a seller
to deliver a copy of a consumer contract to the consumer at the time
the contract is signed, and it prohibits the waiver of any provisions
of the act.  
   This bill would, in addition, provide that a provision in a
consumer contract that purports to designate the venue in which a
controversy arising from the consumer contract is litigated, or the
choice of law to be applied, is voidable by the consumer, with
respect to a controversy arising in California, if the provision
would deprive the consumer of the protection of California law or
require the consumer to litigate the controversy out of state. 

   Existing law establishes standards for arbitration, and requires
the court to vacate an arbitration award if it makes certain
findings.  
   This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to that
provision. 
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

   SECTION   1.    Section 1799.208 is added to
the   Civil Code   , to read:  
   1799.208.  (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a provision in a
consumer contract, as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 1799.201,
that purports to designate the venue in which a controversy arising
from the consumer contract may be litigated, or the choice of law to
be applied, is voidable by the consumer if the provision would do
either of the following:
   (1) Deprive the consumer of the protection of California law with
respect to a controversy arising in California.
   (2) Require the consumer to litigate outside of California a claim
arising in California.
   (b) For purposes of this section, litigation includes arbitration.
 
  SECTION 1.    Section 1286.2 of the Code of Civil
Procedure is amended to read:
   1286.2.  (a) Subject to Section 1286.4, the court shall vacate the
award if the court determines any of the following:
   (1) The award was procured by corruption, fraud or other undue
means.
   (2) There was corruption in an arbitrator.
   (3) The rights of the party were substantially prejudiced by
misconduct of a neutral arbitrator.
   (4) The arbitrators exceeded their powers and the award cannot be
corrected without affecting the merits of the decision upon the
controversy submitted.
   (5) The rights of the party were substantially prejudiced by the
refusal of the arbitrators to postpone the hearing upon sufficient
cause being shown therefor or by the refusal of the arbitrators to
hear evidence material to the controversy or by other conduct of the
arbitrators contrary to the provisions of this title.
   (6) An arbitrator making the award either: (A) failed to disclose
within the time required for disclosure a ground for disqualification
of which the arbitrator was then aware; or (B) was subject to
disqualification upon grounds specified in Section 1281.91 but failed
upon receipt of timely demand to disqualify himself or herself as
required by that provision. However, this subdivision does not apply
to arbitration proceedings conducted under a collective bargaining
agreement between employers and employees or between their respective
representatives.
   (b) Petitions to vacate an arbitration award pursuant to Section
1285 are subject to the provisions of Section 128.7.