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AB 272 – Allows Minors To Disaffirm Provisions In Enrollment Agreements That Waive Right To Bring Or That Require Arbitration Of Criminal Sexual Assault Or Criminal Sexual Battery Claims
Assembly Bill 272 (AB 272) authorizes a minor to disaffirm a provision in an educational institution’s enrollment agreement to the extent the provision is construed to waive a legal right, remedy, forum, proceeding, or procedure arising out of a criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual battery on that minor, regardless of whether a parent or legal guardian has signed the enrollment agreement on the minor’s behalf. The bill applies only to enrollment agreements for public or private schools maintaining a kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12. AB 272 expressly states that a minor’s act to disaffirm an offending provision does not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provisions in the enrollment agreement.
AB 272 defines “criminal sexual assault” and “criminal sexual battery: consistent with their definitions under the California Penal Code. AB 272 impacts the enforceability of an arbitration provision and a waiver/release provision in an enrollment agreement as to claims brought by the minor who has disaffirmed such provisions. However, it is unclear whether and if so, to what extent, AB 272 impacts the enforceability of an arbitration provision or a waiver/release provision in an enrollment agreement as to claims brought by a parent or legal guardian who signed the agreement on the minor’s behalf.
AB 272 takes effect on January 1, 2022. The practical impact of AB 272 is that K-12 schools with arbitration and/or waiver/release provisions in their enrollment agreements will need to evaluate the agreements and consider revising them next year.
(AB 272 adds Section 1002.7 et seq. to the California Code of Civil Procedure.)