CACI No. 1813. Definition of “Access” (Pen. Code, § 502(b)(1))

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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1813.Definition of “Access” (Pen. Code, § 502(b)(1))
The term “access” means to gain entry to, instruct, cause input to, cause
output from, cause data processing with, or communicate with the
logical, arithmetical, or memory function resources of a computer,
computer system, or computer network.
A person can access a computer, computer system, or computer network
in different ways. For example, access can be accomplished by sitting
down at a computer and using the mouse and keyboard, or by using a
wireless network or some other method or tool to gain remote entry.
New May 2020
Directions for Use
This instruction should be read with CACI No. 1812, Comprehensive Computer
Data and Access Fraud Act - Essential Factual Elements, for claims that require that
the defendant “access” a computer, computer system, or computer network. (See
Pen. Code, § 502 (c)(1), (2), (4), (7), and (11).)
Sources and Authority
• “Access” Defined. Penal Code section 502(b)(1).
• “Underscoring that ‘accessing’ a computer’s ‘logical, arithmetical, or memory
function’ is different from the ordinary, everyday use of a computer to which
people are accustomed when they speak of ‘using’ a computer, another
subdivision criminalizes ‘us[ing] or caus[ing] to be used computer services’
without permission. Principles of statutory interpretation obligate us to give
different meanings to the words ‘use’ and ‘access’ in order to avoid rendering
either word redundant.” (Chrisman v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 155
Cal.App.4th 29, 34 [65 Cal.Rptr.3d 701], internal citation and footnote omitted.)
• “Public access computer terminals are increasingly common in the offices of
many governmental bodies and agencies, from courthouses to tax assessors. We
believe subdivision (c)(7) was designed to criminalize unauthorized access to the
software and data in such systems, even where none of the other illegal activities
listed in subdivision (c) have occurred.” (People v. Lawton (1996) 48
Cal.App.4th Supp. 11, 15 [56 Cal.Rptr.2d 521].)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Property, § 229 et
seq.
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