Assemblywoman Burke’s First Bill Signed Into Law

For immediate release:

Allows counties and courts to use e-mail notifications in dependency court hearings

Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill, authored by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles), which allows counties and courts to save money and time by issuing certain notifications by e-mail.

Under current law, courts must issue notification of certain juvenile dependency hearings to all parties, including the juvenile, their parents, guardians, other relatives, and attorneys.  In Los Angeles County alone, 12,000 dependency court hearings are held each month, with different notice requirements for each hearing. 

AB 879 authorizes courts to issue the required notifications by e-mail, if the county and court have developed an electronic notification system, and all of the parties, including the judge and county social workers have agreed to the option.

“Our juvenile courts see some of the most challenging cases, and for fractured families, transition age youth, and others involved in the process, receiving accurate and timely notice for each hearing is the first step towards a more stable future,” Burke said. “AB 879 modernizes an outdated and all too often ineffective notification process, saving our courts precious time and resources.”

AB 879 is Burke’s first bill to be signed into law. The bill received broad, bipartisan support in the legislature and was supported by Los Angeles County, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, and the Juvenile Court Judges of California. The provisions of AB 879 will go into effect on January 1st, 2016.

Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke represents the 62nd Assembly District, which consists of the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale, El Segundo, and Gardena as well as the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, and parts of Del Rey. Additionally, the 62nd Assembly District includes the unincorporated Los Angeles County communities of Del Aire, West Athens, Lennox, Westmont, and Marina del Rey.