California Public Employee Relations

Pocket Guide to the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act

By Cecil Marr and Diane Marchant
Updated by Chris Gaspard, Dieter Dammeier and Richard Kreisler
15th edition, 2014

$22 each

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CPER's best-selling Pocket Guide!

Known statewide as the definitive guide to the rights and obligations established by the act covering peace officer discipline. CPER's Pocket Guide offers a clear explanation of the protections relating to investigations, interrogations, self-incrimination, privacy, polygraph exams, searches, personnel files, administrative appeals, and more. The Guide also includes the text of the act and summaries of all important cases, a table of cases, glossary, and index of terms. 


I. Introduction1
History of the Bill of Rights Act2
Analysis and Interpretation of the Act4
    A. Covered Employees4
    B. Procedures for Investigations of Peace Officers 6
        1. Complaints from the public 6
        2. The nature and scheduling of an interrogation under the Act 7
        3. Representation at investigations and interrogations9
        4. Self-incrimination and the 'Lybarger warning' 11
        5. Documents to be provided13
        6. Tape recording of interrogation 14
        7. Assignment of the accused officer during investigation15
    C. Privacy 15
        1. Polygraph examinations 15
        2. Financial records16
        3. Media attention17
        4. Searches17
        5. Internet 19
    D. Personnel Files20
        1. Entries to personnel files20
        2. Access to personnel files22
        3. Confidentiality of personnel records22
            a. Legislative history of personnel files statutes22
            b. Definition of a confidential personnel record24
        4. Discovery of confidential personnel records27
            a. Motion procedure 28
            b. Relationship to the California Public Records Act34
            c. Remedies for improper disclosure 34
    E. Disciplinary Proceedings 35
        1. Statutes of limitations36
        2. Penalty considerations 37
        3. Evidence tampering 38
    F. Administrative Appeals 39
        1. Right to an 'opportunity for administrative appeal'39
        2. Nature of an administrative appeal 41
    G. Remedies for Noncompliance 45
    H. Conclusion 49
II. Statutes 50
    A. Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act 50
    B. Penal Code Definition of Public Safety Officer ("Peace Officer")64
    C. Penal Code Provisions Pertaining to Peace Officers' Rights 86
    D. Evidence Code Provisions Pertaining to Peace Officers' Personnel
III. Major Court Decisions 96
    A. Covered Employees 97
    B. Interrogation Rights 97
    C. Statute of Limitations 100
    D. Preemption and Local Rules 101
    E. Polygraph Examinations 101
    F. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Pay Loss (Including Reduction
          While on Probation)
    G. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Personnel Documents 103
    H. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Probationary Discharge From
          Peace Officer Status
    I. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Transfer 105
    J. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Appeal Format 105
        1. Cases directly interpreting the Act 105
        2. Cases helpful in interpreting the Act 108
    K. Adverse Comments: Right to Respond 108
    L. Remedies for Violations of the Act 110
    M. Federal Decisions Interpreting the Bill of Rights Act 111
        1. Court of Appeals decisions 111
        2. Trial court decision 111
    N. Decisions Pertaining to Confidential Personnel Files 112
        1. Materials Covered by Penal Code Sec. 832.5 112
        2. State court procedure: notice to peace officer 113
        3. State court procedure: judicial finding of "good cause" based
              on declarations
        4. State court procedure: in camera hearing, exclusions and
              protective orders
        5. Personnel record cases under the California Public Records Act 115
        6. Personnel records in federal court 115
        7. Applying a federal statute in state court 116
    O. Criminal Sanctions for Filing False Complaints Against Peace Officers 116
IV. Glossary of Terms 117
V. Table of Cases 121
VI. Index to Cases and Subjects 133


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