ASSEMBLY BILL 2473 (BURTON – 1963)
CHAPTER 1886, STATUTES OF 1963
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The genesis of a majority of the language in current Penal Code section 632 can be traced to former Penal Code section 653j as added in 1963 by Assembly Bill 2473, which was a single-section bill that enacted former section 653j only. (See Exhibits #1a through #1d and #2) Assembly Bill 2473 was introduced by Assembly member Phillip Burton on April 17, 1963. (See Exhibits #1a and #2)
After introduction, Assembly Bill 2473 was heard by the Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure and the Senate Committee on Judiciary. (See Exhibits #2 and #3) The bill was amended twice in during the legislative process. (See Exhibits #1b, #1c, and #2) Following successful passage in the Assembly and the Senate, Assembly Bill 2473 received the approval of Governor Edmund G. Brown on July 19, 1963. The Secretary of State designated the bill to be Chapter 1886 of the Statutes of 1963. (See Exhibits #1d and #2)
The Senate Committee on Judiciary analysis of Assembly Bill 2473 provided the following summary of the bill as it was enacted:
An act to add Section 653j to the Penal Code, relating to the overhearing and recording of communications.
This act prohibits eavesdropping upon confidential communications with electronic devices and establishes a “high” misdemeanor (county jail to one year or $1000 fine or both). Evidence obtained by such means is inadmissible. The section is deemed to complement rather than repeal other sections of the Penal Code containing similar subject matter. Public utilities in normal course of their business and persons using hearing aids are excluded from application of the act.
(See Exhibit #3, page 161)
Assembly Bill 2473 was one of three bills introduced by Assembly member Burton in 1963 on wiretapping. The other two bills were Assembly Bill 2472 and Assembly Bill 2474, copies of which are included. (See Exhibits #8 and #10)