Govt. Code §12956.3. County Recorder Restrictive Covenant Program

California Government Code  >   Chapter 1.1  > Govt. Code §12956.3. County Recorder Restrictive Covenant Program

*New statutes and amendments effective January 1, 2022 are shown in bold, underline italics. [ ] indicates an amendment of deleted text only.

(a) The county recorder of each county shall establish a restrictive covenant program to assist in the redaction of unlawfully restrictive covenants in violation of subdivision (l) of Section 12955.

            (b) Each county recorder as part of their restrictive covenant program shall undertake all of the following:

                  (1) By July 1, 2022, prepare an implementation plan, which shall be publicly available and may be posted on the internet website of the county recorder, that does all of the following:

                        (A) Outlines how the county recorder will carry out the identification and redaction of unlawfully restrictive covenants.

                        (B) Provides timelines for when elements of their plan will be accomplished.

                        (C) Provides how the county recorder’s office plans to track and maintain a record of homes with unlawfully restrictive covenants once they have been identified.

                  (2) Identify unlawfully restrictive covenants in violation of subdivision (l) of Section 12955 in the records of the county recorder’s office.

                  (3) Beginning January 1, 2022, index a restrictive covenant modification document under the title of “Restrictive Covenant Modification” and shall make that index available in their office for the public, and if the county recorder has an index online, include the title in the online index.

                  (4) Redact unlawfully restrictive covenants in the records of the respective county recorder’s office, subject to county counsel approval, by rerecording a copy of the original document with the unlawfully restrictive language redacted so that it is not readable or visible, using a Restrictive Covenant Modification Form substantially similar to the form set forth in subdivision (f) of Section 12956.2.

            (c) The county recorder shall retain each nonredacted record for future reference and public request needs.

            (d)  (1) The County Recorders Association of California shall submit status reports on the progress of each county’s restrictive covenant program established pursuant to this section by January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2025, to the Legislature. The report may describe the number of documents identified for redaction, and the implementation timelines for actions taken by each county recorder’s office.

                  (2) The County Recorders Association of California shall convene a best practices meeting to share concepts on implementation of this section no later than December 31, 2022, with all California county recorder offices and meet annually thereafter until December 31, 2027.

            (e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict, delay, or modify access to any official record, or modify any existing agreements regarding access to any official record.

            (f) For purposes of this section “redaction” and “redacted” mean the same as defined in Section 12956.1.

            (g) The failure of a county recorder to identify or redact illegal restrictive covenants, as required by this section, or the county recorder’s identification or redaction of any restrictive covenants that are later determined not to be illegal, shall not result in any liability against the county recorder or the county. [2021]