Current through the 2022 Legislative Session.
Section 1708.9 - Health or school facilities; violence towards those entering or exiting(a) It is unlawful for any person, except a parent or guardian acting toward his or her minor child, to commit any of the following acts:(1) By force, threat of force, or physical obstruction that is a crime of violence, to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person attempting to enter or exit a facility.(2) By nonviolent physical obstruction, to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with, or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with, any person attempting to enter or exit a facility.(b) For purposes of this section:(1) "Facility" means any public or private school grounds, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 626.8 of the Penal Code, or any health facility, as described in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.(2) To "interfere" means to restrict a person's freedom of movement.(3) To "intimidate" means to place a person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm to himself, herself, or another person.(4) "Nonviolent" means conduct that would not constitute a crime of violence.(5) "Physical obstruction" means rendering ingress to or egress from a facility impassable to another person, or rendering passage to or from a facility unreasonably difficult or hazardous to another person.(c) A person aggrieved by a violation of subdivision (a) may bring a civil action to enjoin the violation, for compensatory and punitive damages, for injunctive relief, and for the cost of suit and reasonable attorney's and expert witness' fees. With respect to compensatory damages, the plaintiff may elect, at any time prior to the rendering of a final judgment, to recover, in lieu of actual damages, an award of statutory damages in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).(d) The Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney may bring a civil action to enjoin a violation of subdivision (a), for compensatory damages to persons or entities aggrieved by the violation, and for the imposition of a civil penalty against each respondent. The civil penalty for a violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for a second or subsequent violation. The civil penalty for a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for a second or subsequent violation.(e) This section shall not be construed to impair the right to engage in any constitutionally protected activity, including, but not limited to, speech, protest, or assembly.(f) The adoption of the act that added this section is an exercise of the police power of the state for purposes of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the people of California, and this section shall be liberally construed to effectuate that purpose.(g) This section shall not be construed to restrict, inhibit, prevent, or bring a chilling effect upon any actions by a person that are reasonable under the circumstances to protect, secure, provide safety to, or prevent illness in any child or adult in a facility.Added by Stats 2014 ch 852 (AB 1256),s 2, eff. 1/1/2015.