California Government Code > Chapter 1.1 > Govt. Code §12956.2. Removing Discriminatory Provisions from Recorded Documents
*New statutes and amendments effective January 1, 2023 are shown in bold, underline italics. [ ] indicates an amendment of deleted text only.
(a) (1) A person who holds or is acquiring an ownership interest of record in property that the person believes is the subject of an unlawfully restrictive covenant in violation of subdivision (l) of Section 12955 may record a document titled Restrictive Covenant Modification. A title company, escrow company, county recorder, real estate broker, real estate agent, or other person also may record the modification document provided for in this section. The county recorder may waive the fee prescribed for recording and indexing instruments pursuant to Section 27361 in the case of a restrictive covenant modification document. The modification document shall include a complete copy of the original document containing the unlawfully restrictive covenant language with the unlawfully restrictive language redacted.
(2) Beginning July 1, 2022, if a title company, escrow company, real estate broker, or real estate agent has actual knowledge that a declaration, governing document, or deed that is being directly delivered to a person who holds or is acquiring an ownership interest in property includes a possible unlawfully restrictive covenant, they shall notify the person who holds or is acquiring the ownership interest in the property of the existence of that covenant and their ability to have it removed through the restrictive covenant modification process. There shall be no presumption that a party providing a document has read the document or has actual knowledge of its content.
(3) Beginning July 1, 2022, if requested before the close of escrow, the title company or escrow company directly involved in the pending transaction shall assist in the preparation of a Restrictive Covenant Modification pursuant to this section, but the title company or escrow company shall have no liability associated with the recordation of a Restrictive Covenant Modification that contains modifications not authorized by this section on behalf of the requester.
(b) (1) Before recording the Restrictive Covenant Modification document, the county recorder shall submit the modification document and the original document to the county counsel who shall determine whether the language in the original document contains an unlawful restriction based on age, race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, disability, genetic information, veteran or military status, national origin, source of income as defined in subdivision (p) of Section 12955, or ancestry. The county counsel shall return the documents and inform the county recorder of its determination within a period of time specified in paragraph (2). The county recorder shall refuse to record the modification document if the county counsel or their designee finds that the original document does not contain an unlawful restriction as specified in this subdivision or the modification document contains modifications not authorized by this section.
(2) For documents recorded pursuant to subdivision (a), the period of time shall be a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three months, from the date the request for recordation is made, unless extraordinary circumstances apply.
(c) If a person requests to record a modification document, that person shall provide a return address in order for the county recorder to notify this person of the action taken by the county counsel on the respective property. The notice required pursuant to this subdivision may be made on a postcard mailed by first-class mail..
(d) The modification document shall be indexed in the same manner as the original document being modified. It shall contain a recording reference to the original document in the form of a book and page or instrument number, and date of the recording.
(e) Subject to covenants, conditions, and restrictions that were recorded after the recording of the original document that contains the unlawfully restrictive language and subject to covenants, conditions, and restrictions that will be recorded after the Restrictive Covenant Modification, the restrictions in the Restrictive Covenant Modification, once recorded, are the only restrictions having effect on the property. The effective date of the terms and conditions of the modification document shall be the same as the effective date of the original document.
(f) A Restrictive Covenant Modification form shall be prepared and accepted for submission and recordation in all counties in substantially the following form:
RESTRICTIVE COVENANT MODIFICATION:
The following referenced document contains a restriction based on age, race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, disability, veteran or military status, genetic information, national origin, source of income as defined in subdivision (p) of Section 12955 of the Government Code, or ancestry, that violates state and federal fair housing laws and is void. Pursuant to Section 12956.2 of the Government Code, this document is being recorded solely for the purpose of redacting and eliminating that restrictive covenant as shown on page(s) ___ of the document recorded on ___________(date) in book _______ and page _____ or instrument number _________ of the official records of the County of __________________, State of California.
Attached hereto is a true, correct and complete copy of the document referenced above, with the unlawful restrictive covenant redacted.
This modification document shall be indexed in the same manner as the original document being modified, pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 12956.2 of the Government Code.
The effective date of the terms and conditions of the modification document shall be the same as the effective date of the original document.
(Signature of submitting party)
_______ County Counsel, or their designee, pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 12956.2 of the Government Code, hereby states that it has determined that the original document referenced above contains an unlawful restriction and this modification may be recorded.
________County Counsel, or their designee, pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 12956.2 of the Government Code, finds that the original document does not contain an unlawful restriction, or the modification document contains modifications not authorized, and this modification may not be recorded.
(g) The county recorder shall make available to the public Restrictive Covenant Modification forms onsite in an appropriately designated area, or online on the county recorder’s internet website, either of which shall be deemed to satisfy the requirement of paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 12956.1 to provide a Restrictive Covenant Modification form if the procedural information for appropriate processing is attached to the form. Those forms shall permit multiple submissions on behalf of different homes and for processing homes in batches with respect to a modification document that affects multiple homes or lots. The forms shall also permit the submission of a restrictive covenant modification form for a homeowners’ association or a common interest development to modify covenants, conditions, and restrictions that will correct unlawfully restrictive covenants for multiple dwellings within a subdivision.
(h) If a person causes to be recorded a modified document pursuant to this section that contains modifications not authorized by this section, the county recorder shall not incur liability for recording the document. The liability that may result from the unauthorized recordation is the sole responsibility of the person who caused the modified recordation as provided in subdivision (a).
(i) (1) A restrictive covenant modification that is approved by county counsel or their designee and recorded pursuant to this section removes the illegal covenant from all property affected by the original covenant regardless of who submits the modification.
(2) This section does not affect the obligations of the governing board of a common interest development as defined in Section 4100 or 6534 of the Civil Code if the board of directors of that common interest development is subject to the requirements of Section 4225 or of subdivision (b) of Section 6606 of the Civil Code.
(j) For purposes of this section, “redaction” and “redacted” mean the same as defined in Section 12956.1. 
 Note that “genetic information” was deleted from this location as part of SB-752, the Commercial and Industrial CID bill, in the 2013 legislative session. It was not deleted from all the other places that it had been added, as in Civil Code §51, Govt. Code 12926, etc. The deletion was not mentioned in the bill, is unrelated to the subject matter of the bill and appears to have been inadvertent.