Bill Banning Civil Arrests in Courthouses Makes Governor Brown’s Desk (SB 349)
One of the major platforms for the Trump Administration since taking office has been to crack down on illegal immigration. As a result, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have reportedly made arrests of undocumented immigrants who were appearing in court.
In late August, ICE entered the Sacramento Superior Court and handcuffed and arrested a man inside the courtroom as his arraignment was concluded. The incident was the first of its kind in California.
Now, California lawmakers are proposing a law that would ban those arrests.
Senate Bill 349 would prevent civil arrests in California courthouses, including those with civil immigration matters. The bill would give judicial officers the ability to stop any civil arrests that may disrupt courtroom proceedings. As an extension, judicial officers would be granted the power to enforce and preserve order in judicial proceedings and to compel obedience.
Essentially, the proposed law would make it so that any person conducting business in a courthouse could not be subject to ICE arrest. Any violation of these provisions would be considered contempt of court.
“Civil arrests in our courthouses interrupt the administrations of justice and hurt all those who use our courts—crime victims, survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and witnesses who are aiding law enforcement,” said Senator Ricardo Lara, the bill’s author.
The Status of Senate Bill 349
SB 349 made its way through the state legislature through the “gut and amend” process. This allows lawmakers to amend the contents of a bill entirely and replace those contents, often changing a bill completely.
The gut and amend process is essentially a way to fast-track important bills or sneak it past any scrutiny. This process allows lawmakers to skip normal deadlines for introductions or amendments that a bill might normally face. Also bypassed are public review processes where anyone interested in or concerned with the bill can write to the lawmaker or testify during a hearing committee.
Senate Bill 349 was passed through the Senate and currently sits on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. He has until Sept. 30 to sign the bill or address any concerns he has with it. Considering his stance on California’s status as a sanctuary state and protecting immigrants, chances of SB 349 becoming law are high.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love has been arrested at a courthouse, know that you have rights. You should seek the help of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who can help you defend those rights.
At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal defense lawyers have more than 40 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of serious criminal offenses. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.