SB 1286

  • California Senate Bill
  • 2015-2016 Regular Session
  • Introduced in Senate Feb 19, 2016
  • Senate
  • Assembly
  • Governor

Peace officers: records of misconduct.


(1) Existing law requires a department or agency that employs peace officers to establish a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against those officers. Existing law authorizes a department or agency that employs custodial officers to establish a similar procedure for its officers. Existing law establishes retention requirements and access privileges, as specified, for those complaints and related reports or findings. Existing law requires the department or agency to provide written notification to the complaining party of the disposition of a complaint made pursuant to those provisions within 30 days of the disposition. This bill would require that notification to include, at a minimum, the charges framed in response to the complaint, the agency's disposition with respect to each of those charges, any factual findings on which the agency based its dispositions, and any discipline imposed or corrective action taken. By increasing the duties of local officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. (2) The California Public Records Act requires a state or local agency, as defined, to make public records available for inspection, subject to certain exceptions. Existing law provides that peace officer or custodial officer personnel records, as defined, and records maintained by any state or local agency relating to complaints against peace officers and custodial officers, or information obtained from these records, are confidential and prohibits the disclosure of those records in any criminal or civil proceeding except by discovery. Existing law describes exceptions to this policy for investigations or proceedings concerning the conduct of peace officers or custodial officers, or an agency or department that employs those officers, conducted by a grand jury, a district attorney's office, or the Attorney General's office. This bill would expand the scope of the exceptions to apply to, among other things, investigations or proceedings conducted by civilian review agencies, inspectors general, personnel boards, police commissions, civil service commissions, city councils, boards of supervisors, or any entities empowered to investigate peace officer misconduct on behalf of an agency, conduct audits of peace officer discipline on behalf of an agency, adjudicate complaints against peace officers or custodial officers, hear administrative appeals, or set policies or funding for the law enforcement agency. The bill would also require an entity described in those exceptions to comply with specified confidentiality provisions. This bill would require, notwithstanding any other law, certain peace officer or custodial officer personnel records and records relating to complaints against peace officers and custodial officers to be available for public inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act. The bill would provide that this information includes but is not limited to, the framing allegation or complaint, the agency's full investigation file, any evidence gathered, and any findings or recommended findings, discipline, or corrective action taken. The bill would require records disclosed pursuant to this provision to be redacted only to remove personal data or information, such as a home address, telephone number, or identities of family members, other than the names and work-related information of peace officers and custodial officers, to preserve the anonymity of complainants and witnesses, or to protect confidential medical, financial, or other information in which disclosure would cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy that clearly outweighs the strong public interest in records about misconduct by peace officers and custodial officers, or if there is a specific, particularized reason to believe that disclosure would pose a significant danger to the physical safety of the peace officer, custodial officer, or others. The bill would authorize an agency to withhold a record that is disclosable pursuant to these provisions during an investigation into the use of force until the peace officer's employing agency determines whether the use of force violated a law or agency policy or until the district attorney with jurisdiction over the use of force determines whether to file criminal charges for the use of force, whichever is later, and would prohibit an agency from withholding those records for longer than 180 days from the date of the use of force. (3) Existing law establishes discovery procedures for obtaining peace officer and custodial officer personnel files and files relating to complaints against peace officers and custodial officers. This bill would specify that those provisions do not bar or limit access in any proceeding to peace officer or custodial officer personnel records or records relating to complaints against peace officers and custodial officers, and would provide that those provisions do not require a party to a proceeding pending in a court or administrative agency to seek records through alternate means before filing a motion pursuant to the discovery provisions described above. (4) The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose. This bill would make legislative findings to that effect. (5) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Bill Sponsors (3)



May 27, 2016


May 27 hearing: Held in committee and under submission.

May 20, 2016


Set for hearing May 27.

May 09, 2016


May 9 hearing: Placed on APPR. suspense file.

Apr 29, 2016


Set for hearing May 9.

Apr 21, 2016


Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

  • Referral-Committee
  • Reading-2
  • Amendment-Passage
  • Reading-1
Com. on APPR.

Apr 20, 2016


From committee: Do pass as amended and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 5. Noes 1. Page 3522.) (April 12).

Mar 18, 2016


Set for hearing April 12.

Mar 03, 2016


Referred to Com. on PUB. S.

  • Referral-Committee
Com. on PUB. S.

Feb 22, 2016


Read first time.


From printer. May be acted upon on or after March 23.

Feb 19, 2016


Introduced. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.

Bill Text

Bill Text Versions Format
02/19/16 - Introduced PDF
04/21/16 - Amended Senate PDF

Related Documents

Document Format
No related documents.


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