SENATE BILL 679 (MELLO – 1991)
CHAPTER 774, STATUTES OF 1991
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The heading of Chapter 11, relating to abuse of elders and dependent adults, of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code was amended, the sections comprising this chapter, Welfare and Institutions Code sections 15600, et seq., were amended, and sections 15657, et seq., were added to the Welfare and Institutions Code in 1991 following legislative passage of Senate Bill 679. (See Exhibit A, #1f) Senator Henry Mello introduced the legislation on March 5, 1991 on behalf of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. (See Exhibit A, #1a and #14b, page 1)
Senate Bill 679 was assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary where policy issues raised by the bill were considered. (See Exhibit A, #3) After approval by that Committee, the Senate Committee on Appropriations examined its fiscal ramifications. (See Exhibit A, #2) The Senate amended the bill once on May 8, 1991. (See Exhibit A, #1b and #2) Senate Bill 679 was approved by the Senate and forwarded to the Assembly on May 30, 1991. (See Exhibit A, #2)
While in the Assembly, the Committee on Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Administration of Justice considered the policy issues raised by the bill. (See Exhibit A, #8) Subsequent to approval by that Committee, Senate Bill 679 was assigned to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means, which examined its fiscal implications. (See Exhibit A, #10) Three amendments were made to Senate Bill 679 by the Assembly, on July 12, August 20, and September 10, 1991. (See Exhibit A, #1c through #1e and #2) The Assembly thereafter approved the bill and returned it to the Senate. (See Exhibit A, #2)
The Senate approved the Assembly amendments and forwarded Senate Bill 679 to the Governor on September 30, 1991. (See Exhibit A, #2) Governor Pete Wilson signed the bill on October 9, 1991, and it was recorded by the Secretary of State as Chapter 774 of the Statutes of 1991. (See Exhibit A, #1f and #2)
The Unfinished Business analysis prepared by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses summarized Senate Bill 679, as last amended September 10, 1991, stating:
DIGEST: This bill would authorize attorney’s fees and specified damages where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant is liable for actionable abuse of an elder or dependent adult and that the defendant had been guilty of recklessness, oppression, fraud, or malice in the commission of the abuse.
This bill provides that the superior court having jurisdiction over conservatorships have [sic] concurrent jurisdiction over these civil suits.
Assembly Amendments made clarifying changes and added double joining language.
(See Exhibit A, #14b, page 1)