2009 California Civil Code - Section 3504-3508.2 :: Title 4. Motion Pictures

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 3504-3508.2

3504.  As used in this title:
   (a) "Animal" means any amphibian, bird, mammal or reptile. It does
not include any fish or insect.
   (b) "Motion picture" means any motion picture, regardless of
length or content, which is exhibited in a motion picture theater to
paying customers, or is exhibited on television to paying customers
or under the sponsorship of a paying advertiser. It shall not include
motion pictures made for scientific, research, or educational
purposes, or motion pictures exhibited as home movies, or amateur
films, which are shown free or at cost to friends, neighbors or civic
groups.
   (c) "Person" means individuals, corporations, associations,
partnerships, limited liability companies, trustees, lessees, agents
and assignees.

3505.  (a) The exhibition of any motion picture, if any intentional
killing of, or cruelty to, a human being or an animal is shown in the
motion picture and such intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a
human being or an animal actually occurred in the production of the
motion picture for the purpose of such production, is a nuisance,
which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented.
   (b) As used in this section, "killing" and "cruelty" mean conduct
which both (1) results in the death or the infliction of any physical
injury or wound, including, but not limited to, any temporary or
permanent physical harm resulting from the administration of any drug
or chemical, and (2) is patently offensive to the average person,
applying contemporary statewide community standards. It does not
include conduct committed against a human being to which the human
being has given his or her consent. In determining whether conduct is
patently offensive, the trier of fact may consider any or all of the
following: (i) the degree or extent of the physical injury
inflicted, (ii) the manner in which the injury is inflicted, (iii)
the extent to which the injuring or wounding or acts resulting
therein are depicted on the screen, (iv) the number of instances of
infliction of injury, wound or harm occurring in the making of the
motion picture, and (v) whether such conduct is lawful or unlawful
under any provision of law other than this title.
   (c) For the purposes of this section, it shall not be a
requirement that the entire motion picture and all of the conduct
resulting therein be taken into account in determining whether a
nuisance exists, and to this end, the Legislature finds and declares
that any specific conduct which intentionally results in the killing
of, or cruelty to, an animal or a human being in the making of a
motion picture is unnecessary and is a nuisance, and that if a motion
picture cannot be completed in the absence of such conduct, it is,
therefore, a nuisance in its entirety.

3506.  Whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a nuisance
as defined in this title is kept, maintained or is in existence in
any county, the district attorney or the Attorney General, in the
name of the people of the State of California, shall, on a proper
showing, commence an action in equity to abate and prevent the
nuisance and to perpetually enjoin the person conducting or
maintaining it, and the owner, lessee or agent of the building, or
place, in or upon which the nuisance exists, from maintaining or
permitting it. As used herein, a proper showing to commence an action
under this title must be based upon evidence independent of the
motion picture itself that intentional killing of, or cruelty to, a
human being or an animal actually occurred in the production of the
motion picture for the purpose of such production.

3507.  Whenever an action is initiated under this title to abate an
alleged nuisance, an adversary trial on the merits shall be held
pursuant to Section 3507.2. If the court finds that the exhibition of
the particular motion picture constitutes a nuisance, it shall issue
a permanent injunction to abate and prevent the continuance or
recurrence of such nuisance. No temporary restraining order or
preliminary injunction shall be granted in such an action. An appeal
may be taken from an order issuing a permanent injunction, and any
injunction issued pursuant to this title by the trial court may be
stayed by such court pending the outcome of such appeal. No appeal
may be taken from a ruling by the trial court denying an injunction
requested under this title.

3507.1.  In actions brought under this title, the motion picture
shall be admissible into evidence. The burden of proof that the
exhibition of the particular motion picture constitutes a nuisance
shall be met by the district attorney or Attorney General only when
clear and convincing evidence, independent of the motion picture
itself, is provided that the acts alleged actually occurred in the
production of the motion picture.

3507.2.  Actions brought under this title shall be brought as
promptly as possible. Such actions shall have precedence over all
actions, excepting criminal proceedings and election contests. It is
also the intent of the Legislature that actions commenced under this
title be adjudicated in the most speedy and expeditious manner.

3507.3.  Any violation or disobedience of an injunction or order
expressly provided for by this title is punishable as a contempt of
court by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more
than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

3507.4.  The distributor who furnished a motion picture to a person
who is made a defendant in an action under this title, and the
producer of a motion picture which is the subject of this title shall
be jointly and severally liable, upon proof and after an opportunity
to appear and interpose any appropriate defenses, to such person and
the exhibitor for damages, including loss of profits, attorney's
fees, and other costs of defending such action. Such distributor and
such producer shall actively assist in such defense to the extent
that such person possesses information necessary to such defense
concerning the production of the motion picture which is not
otherwise available to the defendant. The exhibitor shall not be
liable upon any portion of any contract made on or after January 1,
1979, which requires the exhibition or advertisement of a motion
picture subject to this title on or after the date of the filing of
any action under this title, if the motion picture by final decision
of a court is determined to be a nuisance under this title.

3508.  (a) This title shall not apply to any of the following:
   (1) The exhibition of any motion picture, such as a newsreel or
documentary, involving acts of killing or cruelty which were not
intentionally committed for the purpose of producing the motion
picture.
   (2) Any motion picture made, in whole or in part, prior to January
1, 1979.
   (3) Any motion picture all or part of which has been edited or
remade so that any previous conduct which constituted a nuisance
under this title no longer appears.
   (4) The taking of any animal as permitted by any provision of the
Fish and Game Code or pursuant thereto in accordance with regulations
adopted by the Fish and Game Commission unless the time, place, or
manner of such taking violates any provision of law except this
title. This title shall apply to any other animal whether or not the
time, place, or manner of the taking is prohibited by any laws other
than this title, however, this title shall not apply to the taking of
any animal authorized by law in any other jurisdiction unless the
time, place or manner of such taking is prohibited by law or
regulation.
   (5) A motion picture which includes scenes of killing or cruelty
to animals if the acts constituting the killing or cruelty were
authorized by the laws governing such acts in the jurisdiction where
the scenes were filmed.
   (6) Any motion picture which bears within its contents a statement
from the producer of the motion picture that all scenes depicting
animals were filmed without the intentional killing of, or cruelty to
an animal or that any killing or cruelty to an animal was authorized
by the laws of the jurisdiction where the scenes were filmed or that
the film is otherwise exempt under this title.
   (7) Any motion picture if the exhibitor thereof has a written
signed statement, or a copy thereof, from the producer of the motion
picture that all scenes depicting animals were filmed without the
intentional killing of, or cruelty to an animal or that any killing
or cruelty to an animal was authorized by the laws of the
jurisdiction where the scenes were filmed or that the film is
otherwise exempt under this title.
   (b) This title shall not apply in any case in which it would
conflict with federal supremacy in the field of television
broadcasting.

3508.1.  Any producer who willfully misstates or causes to be
misstated any fact contained in a statement under paragraph (6) or
(7) of Section 3508 is guilty of a misdemeanor.

3508.2.  If any provision of this title or the application thereof
to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall
not affect other provisions or applications of this title which can
be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to
this end the provisions of this title are severable.


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