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Assembly Bill 840 was a single section bill that only enacted Family Code section 3044.  (See Exhibit #1c)  The measure was introduced by Assembly member Sheila Kuehl on February 24, 1999, with its genesis found in the Model Code on Domestic and Family Violence drafted by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  (See Exhibits #1a and #9, page 5)


Assembly Bill 840 was assigned to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Judiciary where policy issues raised by the bill were considered.  (See Exhibits #3 and #7)  One amendment was made to Assembly Bill 840 during the legislative process.  (See Exhibits #1b and #2)  Subsequent to legislative approval, Governor Gray Davis signed the bill on April 15, 1999, and it was recorded by the Secretary of State on that date as Chapter 445 of the Statutes of 1999.  (See Exhibits #1c and #2)


The Third Reading analysis of Assembly Bill 840, prepared by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses, provided the following summary of the bill as last amended on August 17, 1999:


. . . This bill creates a rebuttable presumption that an award of sole or joint physical or legal custody of a child to a person who has been found in a court proceeding to have perpetrated domestic violence would be detrimental to the best interest of the child.


The bill provides that in cases where both parents are perpetrators of domestic violence, the above presumption is not applicable.

(See Exhibit #9, page 1)