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


By Cecil Marr and Diane Marchant
Updated by Chris Gaspard and Richard Kreisler
16th edition, 2016

SKU: PSOP16 Category:


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.

Table of Contents


I. Introduction 1
History of the Bill of Rights Act 2
Analysis and Interpretation of the Act 4
    A. Covered Employees 4
    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 interrogations 10
        4. Self-incrimination and the ‘Lybarger warning’ 13
        5. Documents to be provided 15
        6. Tape recording of interrogation 16
        7. Assignment of the accused officer during investigation 17
    C. Privacy 17
        1. Polygraph examinations 17
        2. Financial records 18
        3. Media attention 18
        4. Searches 19
        5. Internet 21
    D. Personnel Files 21
        1. Entries to personnel files 21
        2. Access to personnel files 24
        3. Confidentiality of personnel records 25
            a. Legislative history of personnel files statutes 25
            b. Definition of a confidential personnel record 27
        4. Discovery of confidential personnel records 29
            a. Motion procedure 31
            b. Relationship to the California Public Records Act 36
            c. Remedies for improper disclosure 37
    E. Disciplinary Proceedings 38
        1. Statutes of limitations 38
        2. Penalty considerations 40
        3. Evidence tampering 41
    F. Administrative Appeals 42
        1. Right to an ‘opportunity for administrative appeal’ 42
        2. Nature of an administrative appeal 45
    G. Remedies for Noncompliance 49
    H. Conclusion 52
II. Statutes 53
    A. Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act 53
    B. Penal Code Definition of Public Safety Officer (“Peace Officer”) 68
    C. Code Sections Pertaining to Peace Officers’ Rights 91
    D. Evidence Code Provisions Pertaining to Peace Officers’ Personnel
III. Major Court Decisions 101
    A. Covered Employees 102
    B. Interrogation Rights 103
    C. Statute of Limitations 106
    D. Preemption and Local Rules 107
    E. Polygraph Examinations 108
    F. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Pay Loss (Including Reduction
While on Probation)
    G. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Personnel Documents 109
    H. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Probationary Discharge From
Peace Officer Status
    I. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Transfer 111
    J. Punitive Action, Appeal Rights: Appeal Format 112
        1. Cases directly interpreting the Act 115
        2. Cases helpful in interpreting the Act 116
    K. Adverse Comments: Right to Respond 116
    L. Remedies for Violations of the Act 117
    M. Federal Decisions Interpreting the Bill of Rights Act 118
        1. Court of Appeals decisions 118
        2. Trial court decision 119
    N. Decisions Pertaining to Confidential Personnel Files 119
        1. Materials Covered by Penal Code Sec. 832.5 119
        2. State court procedure: notice to peace officer 120
        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 122
        6. Personnel records in federal court 123
        7. Applying a federal statute in state court 124
    O. Criminal Sanctions for Filing False Complaints Against Peace Officers 124
IV. Glossary of Terms 125
V. Table of Cases 130
VI. Index to Subjects 142