California SB 1431 has been signed by the governor amending CCP § 415.21, effective January 1, 2017.
It would require an investigator who is employed by an office of the Attorney General, a county counsel, a city attorney, a district attorney, or a public defender, upon the display of proper identification, to be granted access to a gated community for the sole purpose of performing lawful service of process or service of a subpoena.
The full text of the bill is posted here.
We posted Blog comments last September when an amendment to this law removed the requirement that the server identify the name of the defendant or witness to be served.
This law was initially passed in the 1993 as a response to the holding in a Court of Appeal decision which validated a substituted service on a security guard at a gated community. See Bein v. Brechtel-Jochim Group, Inc., 6 Cal.App.4th 1387, 8 Cal.Rptr. 351 (1992).
In 2015, the law for service of a defendant or witness at a gated community changed. A process server no longer needs to identify the person to be served.
This is a welcome change, given that policies at gated communities restrict access to servers, and frustrate service.
Here is the change:
Amendment to CCP § 415.21
CCP § 415.21 Access to Gated Community to Serve Process or Subpoena
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, any person shall be granted access to a gated
community for a reasonable period of time for the sole purpose of performing
lawful service of process or service of a subpoena,
upon identifying to the guard
the person or persons to be served, and upon displaying a current driver’s license
or other identification, and one of the following:
(1) A badge or other confirmation that the individual is acting in his or her
capacity as a representative of a county sheriff or marshal.
(2) Evidence of current registration as a process server pursuant to Chapter 16
(commencing with Section 22350) of Division 8 of the Business and Professions
Code or of licensure as a private investigator pursuant to Chapter 11.3
(commencing with Section 7512) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions
(b) This section shall only apply to a gated community that is staffed at the time
service of process is attempted by a guard or other security personnel assigned to
control access to the community.
See post discussing an amendment to this law, effective in 2017.