CALIFORNIA HOMEOWNERS BILL OF RIGHTS: CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL No. 1474 RE: CONVENING GRAND JURY FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD

by Barry Fagan
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CALIFORNIA SENATE BILL No. 1474

CHAPTER 568

An act to amend Sections 781 and 923 of the Penal Code, relating to grand jury proceedings.

Approved by Governor September 25, 2012.

Filed Secretary of State September 25, 2012.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SB 1474, Hancock. Grand jury proceedings: Attorney General: powers and duties.

Existing law authorizes the Attorney General to convene the grand jury to investigate and consider certain criminal matters. The Attorney General is authorized to take full charge of the presentation of the matters to the grand jury, issue subpoenas, prepare indictments, and do all other things incident thereto to the same extent as the district attorney may do.

This bill also would authorize the Attorney General to convene a special statewide grand jury, as prescribed, for cases involving fraud or theft that occur in more than one county and were conducted by a single defendant or multiple defendants acting in concert.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

Section 781 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

781.

Except as provided in Section 923, when a public offense is committed in part in one jurisdictional territory and in part in another, jurisdictional territory or the acts or effects thereof constituting or requisite to the consummation of the offense occur in two or more jurisdictional territories, the jurisdiction for the offense is in any competent court within either jurisdictional territory.

SEC. 2.

Section 923 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

923.

(a) Whenever the Attorney General considers that the public interest requires, he or she may, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney, direct the grand jury to convene for the investigation and consideration of those matters of a criminal nature that he or she desires to submit to it. He or she may take full charge of the presentation of the matters to the grand jury, issue subpoenas, prepare indictments, and do all other things incident thereto to the same extent as the district attorney may do.

(b) Whenever the Attorney General considers that the public interest requires, he or she may, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney, petition the court to impanel a special grand jury to investigate, consider, or issue indictments for any of the activities subject to fine, imprisonment, or asset forfeiture under Section 14107 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. He or she may take full charge of the presentation of the matters to the grand jury, issue subpoenas, prepare indictments, and do all other things incident thereto to the same extent as the district attorney may do. If the evidence presented to the grand jury shows the commission of an offense or offenses for which venue would be in a county other than the county where the grand jury is impaneled, the Attorney General, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney in the county with jurisdiction over the offense or offenses, may petition the court to impanel a special grand jury in that county. Notwithstanding any other law, upon request of the Attorney General, a grand jury convened by the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision may submit confidential information obtained by that grand jury, including, but not limited to, documents and testimony, to a second grand jury that has been impaneled at the request of the Attorney General pursuant to this subdivision in any other county where venue for an offense or offenses shown by evidence presented to the first grand jury is proper. All confidentiality provisions governing information, testimony, and evidence presented to a grand jury shall be applicable, except as expressly permitted by this subdivision. The Attorney General shall inform the grand jury that transmits confidential information and the grand jury that receives confidential information of any exculpatory evidence, as required by Section 939.71. The grand jury that transmits information to another grand jury shall include the exculpatory evidence disclosed by the Attorney General in the transmission of the confidential information. The Attorney General shall inform both the grand jury transmitting the confidential information and the grand jury receiving that information of their duties under Section 939.7. A special grand jury convened pursuant to this subdivision shall be in addition to the other grand juries authorized by this section, this chapter, or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 893).

(c) Whenever the Attorney General considers that the public interest requires, he or she may, with or without the concurrence of the district attorney, impanel a special statewide grand jury to investigate, consider, or issue indictments in any matters in which there are two or more activities, in which fraud or theft is a material element, that have occurred in more than one county and were conducted either by a single defendant or multiple defendants acting in concert.

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Written by:

Barry Fagan
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