Recently Enacted Government Code section 51039(g)(1) Permits Defendant’s Currently Charged or Previously Convicted of Sidewalk Vending to Petition to Have the Case Dismissed, Vacated, and Sealed!

Senate Bill 946 was approved by the Governor on September 17, 2018 and significantly changed the regulations relating to sidewalk vending.[1]

Senate Bill 946 was enacted by the California Legislature with the stated Legislative Intent to promote entrepreneurship and economic development opportunities to low income and immigrant communities. According to the California Legislature, sidewalk vending increases access to desired goods, such as culturally significant food and merchandise, and contributes to a safe and dynamic public space. Thus, the California Legislature declared that the safety and welfare of the general public is promoted by prohibiting criminal penalties for violations of sidewalk vending ordinances and regulations.

Therefore, Senate Bill 946 added Section 51039 to the California Government Code, which created a procedure by which a defendant could seek dismissal of any criminal prosecution under any local ordinance or resolution regulating or prohibiting sidewalk vendors that has not yet reached final judgement and also authorized a person who is currently serving, or who completed, a sentence, or who is currently subject to a fine, for a conviction of a misdemeanor or infraction for sidewalk vending to petition for dismissal of the sentence, fine, or conviction.

According to Section 51039(g)(2), when evaluating a Petition under this Section, the court must presume the petitioner satisfies the criteria for relief unless the party opposing the Petition proves by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner does not satisfy the criteria. If the Petitioner satisfies the criteria for relief, the court must grant the Petition to dismiss the sentence or fine, if applicable, and dismiss and seal the conviction because the sentence, fine, and conviction have been deemed legally invalid.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has created Form “CRIM 285” to be utilized when petitioning for relief under this Section!


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[1] For the full text of Senate Bill 946 please visit the following link: