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Legal Resources | Government Code |  GC  3309.5  

Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act   

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(a) It shall be unlawful for any public safety department to deny or refuse to any public safety officer the rights and protections guaranteed to him or her by this chapter.

(b) Nothing in subdivision (h) of Section 11181 shall be construed to affect the rights and protections afforded to state public safety officers under this chapter or under Section 832.5 of the Penal Code.

(c) The superior court shall have initial jurisdiction over any proceeding brought by any public safety officer against any public safety department for alleged violations of this chapter.

(d) (1) In any case where the superior court finds that a public safety department has violated any of the provisions of this chapter, the court shall render appropriate injunctive or other extraordinary relief to remedy the violation and to prevent future violations of a like or similar nature, including, but not limited to, the granting of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction prohibiting the public safety department from taking any punitive action against the public safety officer.

(2) If the court finds that a bad faith or frivolous action or a filing for an improper purpose has been brought pursuant to this chapter, the court may order sanctions against the party filing the action, the party's attorney, or both, pursuant to Sections 128.6 and 128.7 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Those sanctions may include, but not be limited to, reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by a public safety department as the court deems appropriate. Nothing in this paragraph is intended to subject actions or filings under this section to rules or standards that are different from those applicable to other civil actions or filings subject to Section 128.6 or 128.7 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(e) In addition to the extraordinary relief afforded by this chapter, upon a finding by a superior court that a public safety department, its employees, agents, or assigns, with respect to acts taken within the scope of employment, maliciously violated any provision of this chapter with the intent to injure the public safety officer, the public safety department shall, for each and every violation, be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) to be awarded to the public safety officer whose right or protection was denied and for reasonable attorney's fees as may be determined by the court. If the court so finds, and there is sufficient evidence to establish actual damages suffered by the officer whose right or protection was denied, the public safety department shall also be liable for the amount of the actual damages. Notwithstanding these provisions, a public safety department may not be required to indemnify a contractor for the contractor's liability pursuant to this subdivision if there is, within the contract between the public safety department and the contractor, a "hold harmless" or similar provision that protects the public safety department from liability for the actions of the contractor. An individual shall not be liable for any act for which a public safety department is liable under this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 22, Sec. 70.)