Senate Bill 800 (Burton – 2002)
Chapter 722, Statutes of 2002, SB 800
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Senate Bill 800 as last amended on August 28, 2002 proposed to add Civil Code section 43.99 and to add Title 7, commencing with section 895, to Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code relating to construction defects. (See Exhibit A, #1i)
Prior to that time, however, the measure was used as a vehicle for a variety of legislative proposals. (See Exhibit A, #1a through #1h)
Senator Maurice Johannessen introduced Senate Bill 800 on February 23, 2001. (See Exhibit A, #1a) As introduced, the bill proposed to amend section 44011 of, and to add section 44017.4 to the Health and Safety Code and to amend sections 4000.1, 4153 and 5004 of and to add section 258 to the Vehicle Code. (See Exhibit A, #1a) In this form, the Senate Committee on Transportation considered the policy issues raised by the bill. (See Exhibit A, #2)
Health and Safety Code section 44017.4 and Vehicle Code sections 4000.1 and 4153 were deleted from the bill in the Senate April 5, 2001 amendments. (See Exhibit A, #1b) Senate Bill 800 was then examined in the Senate Committee on Appropriations. (See Exhibit A, #2) The measure was further amended in the Senate on April 25, 2001, proposing to revise Revenue and Taxation Code section 10753.5, and on May 21, 2001, deleting section 10753.5. (See Exhibit A, #1c and #1d) The Senate approved the measure and passed it to the Assembly. (See Exhibit A, #2)
Senate Bill 800 was first considered in the Assembly by its Committee on Transportation. (Exhibit A, #9) The Assembly gutted the bill on August 12, 2002 and proposed an act relating to state government. (See Exhibit A, #1e) The fiscal ramifications of the bill were examined in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. (Exhibit A, #13) On August 15, 2002, Senate Bill 800 was again gutted and provisions amending Code of Civil Procedure section 340 were proposed. (See Exhibit A, #1f) At this same time, Senator Gloria Romero was substituted as the bill’s author. (Id.)
On August 25, 2002, Code of Civil Procedure section 340 was deleted from the bill and section 664.8 was proposed to be added to the Code of Civil Procedure and Part 1.1 (commencing with section 17100) was proposed to be added to Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code relating to construction defects. (See Exhibit A, #1g) Senator John Burton and Assembly member Herb Wesson were substituted as co-authors of the bill in place of Senator Romero. (See Exhibit A, #1g) The legislation was referred to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and re‑referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations for hearing. (See Exhibit A, #2, #11 and #13)
Language proposing a new Civil Code section 43.99 was added to the measure on August 26, 2002. (See Exhibit A, #1h) A final amendment was made to Senate Bill 800 on August 28, 2002 deleting the reference to the Health and Safety Code sections and placing the language proposed by these sections into newly added Title 7, Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code commencing with section 895. (See Exhibit A, #1i)
With these amendments, the bill passed the Assembly and was returned to the Senate on August 29, 2002. (See Exhibit A, #2) Senate Bill 800 was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary where it was heard. (See Exhibit A, #5) The Senate concurred in the Assembly amendments on August 30, 2002. (See Exhibit A, #2) Governor Gray Davis signed the legislation on September 20, 2002, and the Secretary of State recorded it on that date as Chapter 722 of the Statutes of 2002. (See Exhibit A, #1j and #2)
The Unfinished Business analysis prepared by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses provided the following summary of Senate Bill 800 as last amended:
Assembly Amendments delete the Senate version of this bill relating to collector motor vehicles.
The bill now specifies the rights and requirements of a homeowner to bring an action for construction defects, including applicable standards for home construction, the statute of limitations, the burden of proof, the damages recoverable, a detailed prelitigation procedure, and the obligations of the homeowner.
This bill also provides that there is no personal monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages shall arise against, any person, in any of the specified categories, who is under contract with an applicant for a residential building permit to provide independent quality review of the plans and specifications provided with the application in order to determine compliance with all applicable requirements imposed pursuant to the State Housing Law or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to that law, or to inspect a work of improvement to determine compliance with these plans and specifications, except as specified.
(See Exhibit A, #17, page 1)