July 9, 2010 (Sacramento) --Assemblymember Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) announced today that AB 2674 has been signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. This legislation closes a loophole in state law that allowed a spouse convicted of soliciting the murder of a husband or wife to reap financial benefits such as community property in retirement and pension benefits from the injured spouse.
“Individuals should never profit from criminal activity. This bill updates our laws to close a loophole to ensure that community property claims are forfeited if one spouse tries to destroy the community through the solicitation of a third party to murder the other spouse,” said Assemblymember Block. “This legislation arose from a terrible tragedy when an individual solicited the murder of their spouse. AB 2674 is simple in concept, yet will have a lasting impact on the spouses and families that are affected. I am proud to see this common sense legislation signed into law because it will keep spouses from enduring further pain when these horrific events occur.”
AB 2674 is based upon the personal experience of Detective John Pomroy of the Pomona Police Department who was forced to turn over part of his CalPERS retirement and deferred compensation proceeds to his former wife convicted of soliciting his murder. Detective Pomroy sought a legislative remedy so that no one else would suffer this injustice.
Under existing law, when a spouse is convicted of attempting to murder their spouse, the victimized spouse is entitled to an award of 100% of the community property interest in the retirement and pension benefits. The victimized spouse is also entitled to prohibit any temporary or permanent award for spousal support, medical, life or other insurance benefits or payments to the convicted spouse as well and is entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs.
However, when a spouse is convicted of solicitation for murder of their husband or wife, current law is silent as to whether these remedies apply. AB 2674 expands these current protections to also include victim spouses whose wife or husband is convicted of soliciting the murder of their spouse.