includes proposed additions to law or the previous version of the bill.
includes proposed deletions to law or the previous version of the bill.
PASSED THE SENATE AUGUST 30, 2012
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 28, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 24, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 6, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JULY 5, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE JANUARY 4, 2012
INTRODUCED BY Senator Lieu
(Principal coauthor: Senator Rubio)
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Cook)
(Coauthors: Senators Anderson, Fuller, Strickland, and Vargas)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Huffman and Jeffries)
FEBRUARY 18, 2011
An act to add Section 594.37 to the Penal Code, relating to
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 661, Lieu. Crime: picketing.
Existing law makes it a crime for a person to disturb, obstruct,
detain, or interfere with any person carrying or accompanying human
remains to a cemetery or funeral establishment, or engaged in a
funeral service or an interment.
This bill would make it a crime, punishable by a fine not
exceeding $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 6
months, or by both, for a person to engage in picketing, as defined,
except upon private property, which is targeted at a funeral, as
defined, during the time period beginning one hour prior to the
funeral and ending one hour after the conclusion of the funeral. The
bill would set forth related findings and declarations.
Because this bill would create a new crime, the bill would impose
a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares the
(1) It is generally recognized that families have a compelling
interest in organizing and attending funerals for deceased relatives.
(2) The interests of families in privately and peacefully mourning
the loss of deceased relatives are violated when funerals are
disrupted by picketing.
(3) Picketing of funerals causes emotional disturbance and
distress to grieving families who participate in funerals.
(4) Full opportunity exists for the exercise of freedom of speech
and other constitutional rights at times other than within one hour
prior to or during a funeral and one hour following the conclusion of
(5) President Barack Obama signed the Honoring America's Veterans
and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, a wide-ranging
package of benefits for military personnel. As part of this new
federal law, the restriction on protests of service member funerals
around national cemeteries was expanded to 300 feet. By enacting this
expansion on the restriction around funerals, the President is
signifying the importance and need to protect the deceased and their
mourners during funerals.
(b) The purpose of this act is to protect the privacy of grieving
families and to preserve the peaceful character of cemeteries,
mortuaries, and places of worship during the time one hour before and
one hour after a funeral.
(c) By restricting application of this act to speech that is
targeted at a funeral, the Legislature intends to limit the amount of
speech that is subject to the act and to make it as narrowly
tailored as possible while furthering the purpose of the act.
SEC. 2. Section 594.37 is added to the Penal Code
, to read:
594.37. (a) It is unlawful, except upon private property, for a
person to engage in picketing targeted at a funeral during the time
period beginning one hour prior to the funeral and ending one hour
after the conclusion of the funeral.
(b) Any violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by a fine not
exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in a county
jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Funeral" means the ceremony or memorial service held in
connection with the burial or cremation of a deceased person.
"Funeral" does not mean any nonburial or noncremation activities,
businesses, or services.
(2) "Picketing," for purposes of this section only, means protest
activities engaged in by any person within 300 feet of a burial site,
mortuary, or place of worship.
(3) "Protest activities" includes oration, speech, use of sound
amplification equipment in a manner that is intended to make or makes
speech, including, but not limited to, oration audible to
participants in a funeral, or similar conduct that is not part of the
funeral, before an assembled group of people.
(4) "Targeted at" means directed at or toward the deceased person
or the attendees of a funeral.
(d) The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision
of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity
shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given
effect without the invalid provision or application.
SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California