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Successful Defense of Assembly Bill 1775 in Court and on Appeal

January 31, 2017

We obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a complex matter where plaintiffs filed suit against defendants the Attorney General of California and a local District Attorney for declaratory and injunctive relief to enjoin and prohibit the Attorney General and the district attorneys of the State of California from enforcing Assembly Bill (“A.B.”) 1775.

Specifically, in the lawsuit, plaintiffs claimed that A.B. 1775’s recent amendment to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (“CANRA”), Penal Code § 11165.1(c), requiring psychotherapists to report to law enforcement authorities any patient who has downloaded or viewed child pornography on the internet or on his cell phone, violates the patient’s constitutional right to privacy regarding his confidential communications with a psychotherapist under the California Constitution and the U.S. Constitution, and subjects psychotherapists to criminal prosecution and loss of their licenses if they fail to comply with this alleged illegal reporting requirement.

We demurred to the Complaint, arguing that plaintiffs failed to state a claim for declaratory relief because the recently amended California Penal Code § 11165.1 does not violate patients’ rights to privacy under Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The Los Angeles Superior Court agreed and sustained our demurrer to plaintiffs’ Complaint without leave to amend.

The dismissal was sustained on appeal.  Our firm also handled the appeal.