Chapter 3.3. California Military Families Financial Relief Act Of 2005 of California Military And Veterans Code >> Division 4. >> Chapter 3.3.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
"California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005."
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Service member" means either of the following:
(1) A member of the militia, as defined in Section 120, called or
ordered into state military service pursuant to Section 143 or 146,
or in federal or state military service pursuant to Title 10 or 32 of
the United States Code.
(2) A reservist of the United States Military Reserve who has been
ordered to full-time federal active duty by the President of the
United States pursuant to Title 10 of the United States Code.
(b) "Military service" means either of the following:
(1) Full-time active state service or full-time active federal
service of a service member who is a member of the militia, as
described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(2) Full-time active duty of a service member who is a reservist,
as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), for a period of 30
No county recorder in this state may impose a fee for the
recordation of a power of attorney to act as the agent for a service
member for the period the service member is in military service.
(a) Any service member who is in military service, or any
spouse or legal dependent of that service member, may terminate,
without penalty, a mobile telephony services contract that meets both
of the following requirements:
(1) It is entered into on or after the effective date of this
(2) It is executed by or on behalf of the service member who is in
military service, or by any spouse or legal dependent of that
(b) Termination of the mobile telephony services contract shall
not be effective until both of the following occur:
(1) Thirty days after the service member who is in military
service or the spouse or legal dependent gives notice by certified
mail, return receipt requested, of the intention to terminate the
mobile telephony services contract, and provides a copy of the
service member's activation or deployment order and any other
information that substantiates the duration of the service member's
(2) Unless the service member who is in military service, or any
spouse or legal dependent of that service member, owns the mobile
communication device, the mobile communication device is returned to
the custody or control of the mobile telephony services company, or
the service member who is in military service or the service member's
spouse or legal dependent agrees in writing to return the mobile
communication device as soon as practicable after the military
service is completed.
(a) No person or entity licensed under the Business and
Professions Code, Corporations Code, Financial Code, or Insurance
Code shall market financial services or products to a service member
or former service member, or the spouse of a service member or former
service member, in a misleading or deceptive manner that suggests
any of the following:
(1) That the person or entity marketing the financial service or
product is acting on behalf of one or more branches of the United
States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(2) That the person or entity marketing the financial service or
product is an affiliate of one or more branches of the United States
military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(3) That the financial service or product is being offered on
behalf of one or more branches of the United States military or the
United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
(b) If a person who violates this section is licensed under any
state licensing law, a violation of this section shall be deemed a
violation of the laws under which that person is licensed.
(c) This section shall not apply to either of the following:
(1) Any bank as defined in Section 102 of the Financial Code.
(2) Any credit union as defined in Section 14002 of the Financial
(d) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Service member" means any of the following:
(A) An active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United
(B) An officer or enlisted member of the National Guard called or
ordered into active state service by the Governor pursuant to Section
143 or 146, or into active federal service by the President of the
United States, pursuant to Title 10 or 32 of the United States Code,
for a period of 30 days or more.
(C) A reservist of the United States Military Reserve who has been
called to full-time active duty for a period of 30 days or more.
(2) "Former service member" means a veteran as defined by Section
(a) If requested by a student granted an academic leave of
absence for military service, not later than one year after the
student's release from military service, other than a dishonorable
release, the institution in which the student is enrolled shall do
one of the following, as elected by the student:
(1) The institution shall make arrangements to reasonably
accommodate and assist the student so that he or she is able to meet
any and all coursework requirements that he or she may have missed
due to military service.
(2) The institution shall refund the tuition and fees paid by the
student for the academic term in which the student is required to
report for military service regardless of whether the student was
called to military service before the academic term had commenced or
after the academic term had commenced. The refund shall equal 100
percent of the tuition and fee charges the student paid the
institution for the applicable academic term.
(b) If requested by a student granted an academic leave of absence
for military service, not later than one year after the student's
release from military service, other than a dishonorable release, the
institution shall restore the student to the educational status the
student had attained prior to being called to military service
without loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants
awarded, or tuition and other fees paid prior to the commencement of
(c) If an institution fails to comply with this section, the
student may bring an action against the institution to enforce its
provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction of the county in
which the student resides. If the student resides outside of this
state, the action shall be brought in the court of the county in
which the campus of the institution previously attended by the
student is located. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees
and expenses if the student prevails in the action.
(d) The Legislature hereby requests that the University of
California adopt policies similar to those set forth in this section.
(e) For purposes of this section, "institution" includes any
public postsecondary educational institution and any private
postsecondary educational institution, as defined in Section 94858 of
the Education Code.
The State Bar of California shall waive the membership fees of
any member who is a service member if all of the following
requirements are met:
(a) The member was in good standing with the State Bar of
California at the time the member enters into military service.
(b) The membership fees are for the period for which the service
member is in military service.
(c) The service member, or the service member's spouse, provides
written notice to the State Bar of California that substantiates the
service member's military service.
On or after the effective date of the act adding this chapter,
any service member who terminates a motor vehicle lease pursuant to
the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act shall be allowed by the
lessor to make payment of any arrearages and other obligations that
are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease in equal
installments over a period equal to at least the period of military
(a) A qualified customer may apply for and shall receive
shutoff protection from a service provider for a period of 180 days.
The service provider may grant extensions after the initial 180-day
(b) A qualified customer may apply for shutoff protection for
utility service by notifying the service provider that he or she is
in need of assistance because of a reduction in household income as
the result of a member of a qualified household being called to
active duty status in the military.
(c) Notification of the need for assistance shall be submitted in
writing and accompanied by a copy of the activation or deployment
order of a service member that specifies the duration of the active
duty status. The written notification shall also include
self-certification that the qualified household of the qualified
customer will be occupied by the qualified customer's legal dependent
or dependents during the duration of the shutoff protection period.
(d) A qualified customer receiving assistance under this section
shall notify the service provider if the active duty status of the
service member will be extended.
(e) If the qualified customer moves out of the residence that is
receiving shutoff protection, he or she shall provide the service
provider a written notice that includes the date of service
termination and a forwarding address.
(f) Unless waived by the service provider, the shutoff protection
provided under this section shall not void or limit the obligation of
the qualified customer to pay for utility services received during
the time of assistance.
(g) All service providers shall do the following:
(1) Establish a repayment plan requiring minimum monthly payments
that allows the qualified customer to pay any past due amounts over a
reasonable time period not to exceed one year after the service
member's release from active military duty.
(2) Not charge late payment fees or interest to the qualified
customer during the period of military service or the repayment
(h) This section shall not affect or amend any rules or orders of
the Public Utilities Commission pertaining to billing standards.
(i) If terms and conditions under this section are not followed by
the qualified customer, the service provider may follow its
procedures and rules on customer standards and billing practices for
providing electric, water, and gas residential services.
(j) For public utilities regulated by the Public Utilities
Commission, the commission shall allow recovery of reasonable costs
incurred to implement this section.
(k) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Service provider" means a provider of utility services,
including, but not limited to, public utilities that are subject to
the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, local publicly
owned electric utilities, as defined by Section 9604 of the Public
Utilities Code, and public water, sewer, or solid waste collection
services, or any combination thereof. "Service provider" does not
include any corporation described in subdivision (a) of Section 234
of the Public Utilities Code.
(2) "Qualified customer" means the customer of record of a
(3) A "qualified household" is a residential household for which
the income is reduced because the customer of record, the spouse of
the customer of record, or the registered domestic partner of the
customer of record, as defined by Section 297.5 of the Family Code,
is a service member called to full-time active military service by
the President of the United States or the Governor of this state
during a time of declared national or state emergency or war.
The Military Department shall, to the extent reasonable and
feasible, inform all members of the militia of the benefits and
protections provided by this act, and of similar benefits and
protections provided by any other law.
(a) A person violating any provision of this chapter shall be
liable for actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs
incurred by the service member or other person entitled to the
benefits and protections of this chapter.
(b) A service member or other person seeking to enforce rights
pursuant to this chapter shall not be required to pay a filing fee or