Section 1546.2

(a)

It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to authorize the department to take quick, effective action to protect the health and safety of residents of community care facilities and to minimize the effects of transfer trauma that accompany the abrupt transfer of clients through a system whereby the department may apply for a court order appointing a receiver to temporarily operate a community care facility. The receivership is not intended to punish a licensee or to replace attempts to secure cooperative action to protect the clients health and safety. The receivership is intended to protect the clients in the absence of other reasonably available alternatives. The receiver shall assume the operation of the facility in order to bring it into compliance with law, facilitate a transfer of ownership to a new licensee, or ensure the orderly transfer of clients should the facility be required to close.

(b)

(1)Whenever circumstances exist indicating that continued management of a community care facility by the current licensee would present a substantial probability or imminent danger of serious physical harm or death to the clients, or the facility is closing or intends to terminate operation as a community care facility and adequate arrangements for the relocation of clients have not been made at least 30 days prior to the closing or termination, the director may petition the superior court for the county in which the community care facility is located for an order appointing a receiver to temporarily operate the community care facility in accordance with this section.

(2)

The petition shall allege the facts upon which the action is based and shall be supported by an affidavit of the director. A copy of the petition and affidavit, together with an order to appear and show cause why temporary authority to operate the community care facility should not be vested in a receiver pursuant to this section, shall be delivered to the licensee, administrator, or a responsible person at the facility to the attention of the licensee and administrator. The order shall specify a hearing date, which shall be not less than 10, nor more than 15, days following delivery of the petition and order upon the licensee, except that the court may shorten or lengthen the time upon a showing of just cause.

(c)

(1)If the director files a petition pursuant to subdivision (b) for appointment of a receiver to operate a community care facility, in accordance with Section 564 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the director may also petition the court, in accordance with Section 527 of the Code of Civil Procedure, for an order appointing a temporary receiver. A temporary receiver appointed by the court pursuant to this subdivision shall serve until the court has made a final determination on the petition for appointment of a receiver filed pursuant to subdivision (b). A receiver appointed pursuant to this subdivision shall have the same powers and duties as a receiver would have if appointed pursuant to subdivision (b). Upon the director filing a petition for a receiver, the receiver shall complete its application for a provisional license to operate a community care facility. For purposes of a provisional license issued to a receiver, the licensees existing fire safety clearance shall serve as the fire safety clearance for the receivers provisional license.

(2)

At the time of the hearing, the department shall advise the licensee of the name of the proposed receiver. The receiver shall be a certified community care facility administrator or other responsible person or entity, as determined by the court, from a list of qualified receivers established by the department, and, if need be, with input from providers of residential care and consumer representatives. Persons appearing on the list shall have experience in the delivery of care services to clients of community care facilities, and, if feasible, shall have experience with the operation of a community care facility, shall not be the subject of any pending actions by the department or any other state agency, and shall not have ever been excluded from a department licensed facility nor have had a license or certification suspended or revoked by an administrative action by the department or any other state agency. The receivers shall have sufficient background and experience in management and finances to ensure compliance with orders issued by the court. The owner, licensee, or administrator shall not be appointed as the receiver unless authorized by the court.

(3)

If at the conclusion of the hearing, which may include oral testimony and cross-examination at the option of any party, the court determines that adequate grounds exist for the appointment of a receiver and that there is no other reasonably available remedy to protect the clients, the court may issue an order appointing a receiver to temporarily operate the community care facility and enjoining the licensee from interfering with the receiver in the conduct of his or her duties. In these proceedings, the court shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall require an appropriate bond to be filed by the receiver and paid for by the licensee. The bond shall be in an amount necessary to protect the licensee in the event of any failure on the part of the receiver to act in a reasonable manner. The bond requirement may be waived by the licensee.

(4)

The court may permit the licensee to participate in the continued operation of the facility during the pendency of any receivership ordered pursuant to this section and shall issue an order detailing the nature and scope of participation.

(5)

Failure of the licensee to appear at the hearing on the petition shall constitute an admission of all factual allegations contained in the petition for purposes of these proceedings only.

(6)

The licensee shall receive notice and a copy of the application each time the receiver applies to the court or the department for instructions regarding his or her duties under this section, when an accounting pursuant to subdivision (i) is submitted, and when any other report otherwise required under this section is submitted. The licensee shall have an opportunity to present objections or otherwise participate in those proceedings.

(d)

A person shall not impede the operation of a receivership created under this section. The receivers access to, or possession of, the property shall not be interfered with during the term of the receivership. There shall be an automatic stay for a 60-day period subsequent to the appointment of a receiver of any action that would interfere with the functioning of the facility, including, but not limited to, cancellation of insurance policies executed by the licensees, termination of utility services, attachments or setoffs of client trust funds and working capital accounts, and repossession of equipment in the facility.

(e)

When a receiver is appointed, the licensee may, at the discretion of the court, be divested of possession and control of the facility in favor of the receiver. If the court divests the licensee of possession and control of the facility in favor of the receiver, the department shall immediately issue a provisional license to the receiver. Notwithstanding the applicable sections of this code governing the revocation of a provisional license, the provisional license issued to a receiver shall automatically expire upon the termination of the receivership. The receiver shall possess the provisional license solely for purposes of carrying out the responsibilities authorized by this section and the duties ordered by the court. The receiver shall have no right to appeal the expiration of the provisional license.

(f)

A receiver appointed pursuant to this section:

(1)

May exercise those powers and shall perform those duties ordered by the court, in addition to other duties provided by statute.

(2)

Shall operate the facility in a manner that ensures the safety and adequate care for the clients.

(3)

Shall have the same rights to possession of the building in which the facility is located, and of all goods and fixtures in the building at the time the petition for receivership is filed, as the licensee and administrator would have had if the receiver had not been appointed.

(4)

May use the funds, building, fixtures, furnishings, and any accompanying consumable goods in the provision of care and services to clients and to any other persons receiving services from the facility at the time the petition for receivership was filed.

(5)

Shall take title to all revenue coming to the facility in the name of the receiver who shall use it for the following purposes in descending order of priority:

(A)

To pay wages to staff. The receiver shall have full power to hire, direct, manage, and discharge employees of the facility, subject to any contractual rights they may have. The receiver shall pay employees at the same rate of compensation, including benefits, that the employees would have received from the licensee or wages necessary to provide adequate staff for the protection of the clients and compliance with the law.

(B)

To preserve client funds. The receiver shall be entitled to, and shall take, possession of all property or assets of clients that are in the possession of the licensee or operator of the facility. The receiver shall preserve all property, assets, and records of clients of which the receiver takes possession.

(C)

To contract for outside services as may be needed for the operation of the community care facility. Any contract for outside services in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) shall be approved by the court.

(D)

To pay commercial creditors of the facility to the extent required to operate the facility. Except as provided in subdivision (h), the receiver shall honor all leases, mortgages, and secured transactions affecting the building in which the facility is located and all goods and fixtures in the building of which the receiver has taken possession, but only to the extent of payments which, in the case of a rental agreement, are for the use of the property during the period of receivership, or which, in the case of a purchase agreement, come due during the period of receivership.

(E)

To receive a salary, as approved by the court.

(F)

To do all things necessary and proper to maintain and operate the facility in accordance with sound fiscal policies. The receiver shall take action as is reasonably necessary to protect or conserve the assets or property of which the receiver takes possession and may use those assets or property only in the performance of the powers and duties set out in this section and by order of the court.

(G)

To ask the court for direction in the treatment of debts incurred prior to the appointment, if the licensees debts appear extraordinary, of questionable validity, or unrelated to the normal and expected maintenance and operation of the facility, or if payment of the debts will interfere with the purposes of receivership.

(g)

(1)A person who is served with notice of an order of the court appointing a receiver and of the receivers name and address shall be liable to pay the receiver, rather than the licensee, for any goods or services provided by the community care facility after the date of the order. The receiver shall give a receipt for each payment and shall keep a copy of each receipt on file. The receiver shall deposit amounts received in a special account and shall use this account for all disbursements. Payment to the receiver pursuant to this subdivision shall discharge the obligation to the extent of the payment and shall not thereafter be the basis of a claim by the licensee or any other person. A client shall not be evicted nor may any contract or rights be forfeited or impaired, nor may any forfeiture be effected or liability increased, by reason of an omission to pay the licensee, operator, or other person a sum paid to the receiver pursuant to this subdivision.

(2)

This section shall not be construed to suspend, during the temporary management by the receiver, any obligation of the licensee for payment of local, state, or federal taxes. A licensee shall not be held liable for acts or omissions of the receiver during the term of the temporary management.

(3)

Upon petition of the receiver, the court may order immediate payment to the receiver for past services that have been rendered and billed, and the court may also order a sum not to exceed one months advance payment to the receiver of any sums that may become payable under the Medi-Cal program.

(h)

(1)A receiver shall not be required to honor a lease, mortgage, or secured transaction entered into by the licensee of the facility and another party if the court finds that the agreement between the parties was entered into for a collusive, fraudulent purpose or that the agreement is unrelated to the operation of the facility.

(2)

A lease, mortgage, or secured transaction or an agreement unrelated to the operation of the facility that the receiver is permitted to dishonor pursuant to this subdivision shall only be subject to nonpayment by the receiver for the duration of the receivership, and the dishonoring of the lease, mortgage, security interest, or other agreement, to this extent, by the receiver shall not relieve the owner or operator of the facility from any liability for the full amount due under the lease, mortgage, security interest, or other agreement.

(3)

If the receiver is in possession of real estate or goods subject to a lease, mortgage, or security interest that the receiver is permitted to dishonor pursuant to paragraph (1), and if the real estate or goods are necessary for the continued operation of the facility, the receiver may apply to the court to set a reasonable rent, price, or rate of interest to be paid by the receiver during the duration of the receivership. The court shall hold a hearing on this application within 15 days. The receiver shall send notice of the application to any known owner of the property involved at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

(4)

Payment by the receiver of the amount determined by the court to be reasonable is a defense to any action against the receiver for payment or possession of the goods or real estate, subject to the lease or mortgage, which is brought by any person who received the notice required by this subdivision. However, payment by the receiver of the amount determined by the court to be reasonable shall not relieve the owner or operator of the facility from any liability for the difference between the amount paid by the receiver and the amount due under the original lease, mortgage, or security interest.

(i)

A monthly accounting shall be made by the receiver to the department of all moneys received and expended by the receiver on or before the 15th day of the following month or as ordered by the court, and the remainder of income over expenses for that month shall be returned to the licensee. A copy of the accounting shall be provided to the licensee. The licensee or owner of the community care facility may petition the court for a determination as to the reasonableness of any expenditure made pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (f).

(j)

(1)The receiver shall be appointed for an initial period of not more than three months. The initial three-month period may be extended for additional periods not exceeding three months, as determined by the court pursuant to this section. At the end of one month, the receiver shall report to the court on its assessment of the probability that the community care facility will meet state standards for operation by the end of the initial three-month period and will continue to maintain compliance with those standards after termination of the receivers management. If it appears that the facility cannot be brought into compliance with state standards within the initial three-month period, the court shall take appropriate action as follows:

(A)

Extend the receivers management for an additional three months if there is a substantial likelihood that the facility will meet state standards within that period and will maintain compliance with the standards after termination of the receivers management. The receiver shall report to the court in writing upon the facilitys progress at the end of six weeks of any extension ordered pursuant to this paragraph.

(B)

Order the director to revoke or temporarily suspend, or both, the license pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 1550) and extend the receivers management for the period necessary to transfer clients in accordance with the transfer plan, but for not more than three months from the date of initial appointment of a receiver, or 14 days, whichever is greater. An extension of an additional three months may be granted if deemed necessary by the court.

(2)

If it appears at the end of six weeks of an extension ordered pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) that the facility cannot be brought into compliance with state standards for operation or that it will not maintain compliance with those standards after the receivers management is terminated, the court shall take appropriate action as specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1).

(3)

In evaluating the probability that a community care facility will maintain compliance with state standards of operation after the termination of receiver management ordered by the court, the court shall consider at least the following factors:

(A)

The duration, frequency, and severity of past violations in the facility.

(B)

History of compliance in other care facilities operated by the proposed licensee.

(C)

Efforts by the licensee to prevent and correct past violations.

(D)

The financial ability of the licensee to operate in compliance with state standards.

(E)

The recommendations and reports of the receiver.

(4)

Management of a community care facility operated by a receiver pursuant to this section shall not be returned to the licensee, to any person related to the licensee, or to any person who served as a member of the facilitys staff or who was employed by the licensee prior to the appointment of the receiver unless both of the following conditions are met:

(A)

The department believes that it would be in the best interests of the clients of the facility, requests that the court return the operation of the facility to the former licensee, and provides clear and convincing evidence to the court that it is in the best interests of the facilitys clients to take that action.

(B)

The court finds that the licensee has fully cooperated with the department in the appointment and ongoing activities of a receiver appointed pursuant to this section, and, if applicable, any temporary manager appointed pursuant to Section 1546.1.

(5)

The owner of the facility may at any time sell, lease, or close the facility, subject to the following provisions:

(A)

If the owner closes the facility, or the sale or lease results in the closure of the facility, the court shall determine if a transfer plan is necessary. If the court so determines, the court shall adopt and implement a transfer plan consistent with the provisions of Section 1556.

(B)

If the licensee proposes to sell or lease the facility and the facility will continue to operate as a community care facility, the court and the department shall reevaluate any proposed transfer plan. If the court and the department determine that the sale or lease of the facility will result in compliance with licensing standards, the transfer plan and the receivership shall, subject to those conditions that the court may impose and enforce, be terminated upon the effective date of the sale or lease.

(k)

(1)The salary of the receiver shall be set by the court commensurate with community care facility industry standards, giving due consideration to the difficulty of the duties undertaken, and shall be paid from the revenue coming to the facility. If the revenue is insufficient to pay the salary in addition to other expenses of operating the facility, the receivers salary shall be paid from the emergency client contingency account as provided in Section 1546. State advances of funds in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) shall be approved by the director. Total advances for encumbrances and expenditures shall not exceed the sum of forty-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine dollars ($49,999) unless approved by the director in writing.

(2)

To the extent state funds are advanced for the salary of the receiver or for other expenses in connection with the receivership, as limited by subdivision (g), the state shall be reimbursed from the revenues accruing to the facility or to the licensee or an entity related to the licensee. Any reimbursement received by the state shall be redeposited in the account from which the state funds were advanced. If the revenues are insufficient to reimburse the state, the unreimbursed amount shall constitute grounds for a monetary judgment in civil court and a subsequent lien upon the assets of the facility or the proceeds from the sale thereof. Pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 697.010) of Division 2 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a lien against the personal assets of the facility or an entity related to the licensee based on the monetary judgment obtained shall be filed with the Secretary of State on the forms required for a notice of judgment lien. A lien against the real property of the facility or an entity related to the licensee based on the monetary judgment obtained shall be recorded with the county recorder of the county where the facility of the licensee is located or where the real property of the entity related to the licensee is located. The lien shall not attach to the interests of a lessor, unless the lessor is operating the facility. The authority to place a lien against the personal and real property of the licensee for the reimbursement of any state funds expended pursuant to this section shall be given judgment creditor priority.

(3)

For purposes of this subdivision, entity related to the licensee means an entity, other than a natural person, of which the licensee is a subsidiary or an entity in which any person who was obligated to disclose information under Section 1520 possesses an interest that would also require disclosure pursuant to Section 1520.

(l)

(1)This section does not impair the right of the owner of a community care facility to dispose of his or her property interests in the facility, but any facility operated by a receiver pursuant to this section shall remain subject to that administration until terminated by the court. The termination shall be promptly effectuated, provided that the interests of the clients have been safeguarded as determined by the court.

(2)

This section does not limit the power of the court to appoint a receiver under any other applicable provision of law or to order any other remedy available under law.

(m)

(1)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the receiver shall be liable only for damages resulting from gross negligence in the operation of the facility or intentional tortious acts.

(2)

All governmental immunities otherwise applicable to the State of California shall also apply in the use of a receiver in the operation of a facility pursuant to this section.

(3)

The licensee shall not be liable for any occurrences during the receivership except to the extent that the occurrences are the result of the licensees conduct.

(n)

The department may adopt regulations for the administration of this section. This section does not impair the authority of the department to temporarily suspend licenses under Section 1550.5 or to reach a voluntary agreement with the licensee for alternate management of a community care facility including the use of a temporary manager under Section 1546.1. This section does not authorize the department to interfere in a labor dispute.

(o)

This section does not apply to a residential facility that serves six or fewer persons and is also the principal residence of the licensee.

(p)

This section does not apply to a licensee that has obtained a certificate of authority to offer continuing care contracts, as defined in paragraph (8) of subdivision (c) of Section 1771.

Location: https://www.weblaws.org/california/codes/ca_health_and_safety_code_section_1546.2.

Original source: https://­leginfo.­legislature.­ca.­gov/­faces/­codes_displaySection.­xhtml?lawCode=HSC&sectionNum=1546.­2.­ External link icon (last accessed December 5, 2016).