An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 11/12-121 - June 14, 2012
Assemblyman Mike Feuer introduced AB 2299 after an Internet group allegedly publicized the home addresses of members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The bill would have created a costly public property record exemption for certain public and law enforcement officials, effectively resulting in title companies not having full access to all recorded documents containing addresses, names, or legal descriptions associated with police officers and other defined public safety officials (PSOs). The bill passed out of the State Assembly earlier this month on a vote of 68-0 before stalling in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee this week due to strong opposition by CLTA and others.
Specifically, AB 2299 would have authorized counties to create a system that would allow law enforcement officers and other public officials to redact their names, addresses, and legal descriptions from the property records. PSOs who would be entitled to hide ownership include: prison guards, judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys. If enacted, this bill could potentially cover tens of thousands of law enforcement officials of PSOs across California.
CLTA helped to pull together a broad coalition of opposition to the bill including CLTA, California Newspaper Publishers Association, the California Association of Realtors, and associations representing county recorders, county tax collectors, county assessors, and private investigators. On the proponent’s side of the bill, over 50 law enforcement organizations, unions, and other affiliated organizations representing law enforcement, judges, district attorneys, prison guards and others were strongly advocating the bill irrespective of its many negative impacts on real property transactions.
The CLTA continues to oppose AB 2299 as a real threat to public records, real estate transactions, collection of child support and other obligations. CLTA will closely watch the legislation and will mount strong opposition to it moving in the event that the author or proponents try to move the bill in future committee hearings.