HB 289, Liability of Cities for Unlawful Assemblies

Municipal Impact
Position
Contact

Rep. Dave Belton
District 112
Contact Info

Evaluating
Charlotte Davis, (678) 686-6291
Last Updated:
Subject Area:
Resources:
3/30/2021
Municipal Powers | Public Safety |
bill text

This legislation would create a cause of action for injuries and damages against a city which is grossly negligent by allowing the commission of violence against persons or property during an assembly of two or more persons. Any person convicted of a violation of unlawful assembly would be ineligible for employment by any city and would be ineligible from any employment benefits extended by the city. 

Additionally, this bill would prevent cities with a police department which reduce annual appropriations for the police force by 30% or more of the previous fiscal year's appropriations from receiving state funding or state administered federal funding. 

Cities would be required to establish and maintain an application process for the granting of permits to hold assemblies, including protests and rallies, on public property. The applications would be required to be reviewed by an attorney representing the city and the head of the police department of the city. Any party making an application for such a permit would be required to provide the names, addresses, and contact information for everyone responsible for managing and maintaining order during the event, including an emergency action plan addressing first aid and security resources.

Further, the legislation would make civilly liable any city which intentionally obstructs or interferes with the ability of a law enforcement agency to provide reasonable law enforcement protection during a riot or unlawful assembly. The potential damages would include, but not be limited to, damages arising from personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage. The city's sovereign immunity would be specifically waived under this provision. 

Each city which provides electronic payroll deposit to its employees would be required to provide payroll deduction to any public safety employee  who requests such a deduction for the purpose of purchasing insurance that provides the public safety employee with legal representation during all civil, administrative, or criminal actions caused as a result of the officer's responsibilities as a public safety employee. 

Finally, any person who defaces a monument while participating in an unlawful assembly would be guilty of a felony. 

BILL STATUS
3/29/2021 - Tabled in Senate

Votes

2/26/2021 House Vote #114 Yea - 162 Nay - 0 Not Voting - 7 Excused - 11