Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, July 16, 2001


Page 4


Davis Signs Bill Into Law Providing for Consolidation of Various Probate Codes


By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer


Gov. Gray Davis has signed several bills into law that will impact the legal community, including one which will consolidate different Probate Code sections into a single chapter.

Claims against properties will no longer located in different chapters when Senate Bill 562 takes effect Jan. 1.

The bill, by Sen. Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno, consolidates the code sections into one comprehensive chapter for the probate court to determine property claims against estates of decedents, minors, and conservatees, and trusts.

Probate courts are also authorized by the bill to hear all civil actions involving estate property claims that are within their jurisdiction.

Noting that it is graduation from a law school, and not the number of years spent there that is important, SB 817 changes the eligibility requirements of the General Bar Exam to allow people who graduated from law school in less than three years to take the exam.

Authored by Sen. Ross Johnson, R-Irvine, the bill also changes the date from which an out-of-state attorney’s licensing term begins from the time an attorney applies for a license to the first day he or she takes the bar.

Out-of-state attorneys can take the attorney’s examination instead of the general bar exam when they have been licensed in another jurisdiction for four or more years.

A bill authored by Assemblyman Robert Pacheco, R-Walnut, allows certain legal assistants to renew their licenses up to 60 days prior to their license expiration.

Prior to AB 158, legal document assistants, unlawful detainer assistants and professional photocopiers were experiencing problems being able to register on the exact day their license expired,  Pacheco said.

Because the registration process also involved reprinting stationery on which their new license number must appear, some people attempted to circumvent the problem by applying for a new license before their old one expired, which reduced the time the license was effective, Pacheco said.

Costs were also increased because people were applying for licenses more often under the old law, he said.

AB 158 allows for the new license to take effect immediately after the old one expires.

“I’m just trying to help out the small businessman,” Pacheco said.

In an effort to prevent crime and increase public safety, Sen. Tom Torlakson’s  bill exempts Bay Area Rapid Transit District police from jury duty.

The exemption authored by the Arcata Democrat allows BART officers to spend the time they would have spent at jury duty on the job.

SB 1151, authored by Sen. Bob Margett, R-Arcadia, clarifies that legally authorized automatic 30-day stays on court orders affecting child custody do not apply to proceedings relating to a parental kidnapping of a child from the state or country which has jurisdiction over the custody proceeding.

In an effort to aid the courts through unification, Sen. Bill Marrow’s clean-up bill, SB 562, adds a provision to prevent misinterpretation of certain statutes relating to court authority and clarifies the jurisdictional classification of a petition to release a mechanic’s lien and a petition for relief from claim-filing requirements of the Tort Claims Act.

The bill by the Oceanside Republican also consolidates two provisions on the authority to appoint a receiver.

A bill by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, AB 1579, allows sheriffs to request independent legal counsel if a conflict of interest exists because county counsel is representing both the sheriff’s department and the board of supervisors.

Authored by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, AB 1704 increases the dollar amount individuals who file Chapter 11 bankruptcy can use for certain personal exemptions.

Also provided for in the bill were future automatic increases which would be tied to increases in exemption amounts under federal law.

Membership on county law libraries boards of trustees is no longer limited to attorneys, judges, or supervisors as AB 1103, authored by Assemblyman Lou Papan, D-Millbrae, increases diversity by allowing people outside the legal community to serve on the board.

The bill also allows the size of the board to be flexible and allows state bar members, and not just county bar members, to become board members.

All bills will go into effect Jan. 1.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company