De Kamp, 051883 CAAGO, AGO 83-105

Docket Nº:AGO 83-105
Case Date:May 18, 1983
Court:California
 
FREE EXCERPT
JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP Attorney General
RODNEY O. LILYQUIST Deputy Attorney General
AGO 83-105
No. 83-105
California Attorney General Opinion
Office of the Attorney General State of California
May 18, 1983
         THE HONORABLE LOUIS J. PAPAN, MEMBER, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY, has requested an opinion on the following question:          Does the 10 percent limitation of Welfare and Institutions Code section 18966 apply to the total fee paid for a certified copy of a birth certificate or only to that portion of the fee designated to finance child abuse programs?          CONCLUSION          The 10 percent limitation of Welfare and Institutions Code section 18966 applies to that portion of the fee paid for a certified copy of a birth certificate which is designated to finance child abuse programs.          ANALYSIS          Birth certificates are prepared by local registrars for those births occurring in their districts. (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 10000, 10050, 10059, 10100.)1 The original certificates are sent to and maintained by the State Registrar (§ 10061); copies are maintained by the local registrars (§ 10059) and the appropriate county recorders (§ 10060).          A person may obtain a copy of a birth certificate from the State Registrar, a local registrar or a county recorder. (§ 10575.) The fee for a certified copy is set forth in subdivision (b) of section 10605. The statute states in full:
"(a) A fee of three dollars ($3) shall be paid by the applicant for a certified copy of a fetal death, death, marriage, or marriage dissolution record. "(b) A fee of three dollars ($3) shall be paid by a public agency applicant for a certified copy of a birth certificate that the agency is required to obtain in the ordinary course of business. A fee of seven dollars ($7) shall be paid by any other applicant for a certified copy of a birth certificate. Four dollars ($4) of any seven dollar ($7) fee shall be exempt from subdivision (c) and shall be paid to either a county children's trust fund or to the State Children's Trust Fund, in conformity with Article 5 (commencing with Section 18965) of Chapter 11 of Part 6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. "(c) Each local registrar or county recorder collecting a fee pursuant to this section shall transmit 15 percent of the fee for each certified copy to the State Registrar by the 10th of the month following the month in which the fee was received." (Italics added.)
         Sections 113 and 114 allow for an administrative adjustment on an annual basis of various fees, including those for certified copies of birth certificates. Subdivision (a) of section 114 states in part: "The fees or charges . . . for the issuance of any certificate . . . pursuant to Sections . . . 10605 . . . of this code, may be adjusted annually by the percentage change determined pursuant to Section 113."2 Section 113, subdivision (a), in turn states:
"The fees or charges for the issuance or renewal of any permit, license, or registration . . . shall be adjusted annually by the percentage change printed in the Budget Act for those items appropriating funds to the department. The percentage change shall be determined by the Department of Finance, and shall include at least the total percentage change in salaries and operating expenses of the department. However, the total increase in amounts collected under this section shall not exceed the total increased cost of the program or service provided."
         The $7 fee specified in section 10605, subdivision (b), has been adjusted pursuant to sections 113-114 and is now $8.          The question presented for analysis concerns the legislative grant of an administrative "collection charge" to be deducted and retained from the $4 designated for the children's trust funds specified in subdivision (b) of section 10605. Specifically, we are asked whether the collection charge is limited to 10 percent of the $4 designated for the child abuse programs or 10 percent of the total $8 fee currently paid for each certified copy. We conclude that the former computation...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP