(a) Except as the Attorney General is empowered to act in the enforcement of the criminal laws of this state, and except as the Attorney General is expressly empowered by subdivisions (b), (c) and (d), the Attorney General shall have no powers with respect to any corporation incorporated or classified as a religious corporation under or pursuant to this code.
(b) The Attorney General shall have authority to institute an action or proceeding under Section 803 of the Code of Civil Procedure , to obtain judicial determination that a corporation is not properly qualified or classified as a religious corporation under the provisions of this part.
(c) The Attorney General shall have the authority (1) expressly granted with respect to any subject or matter covered by Sections 9660 to 9690 , inclusive; (2) to initiate criminal procedures to prosecute violations of the criminal laws, and upon conviction seek restitution as punishment; and (3) to represent as legal counsel any other agency or department of the State of California expressly empowered to act with respect to the status of religious corporations, or expressly empowered to regulate activities in which religious corporations, as well as other entities, may engage.
(d) Where property has been solicited and received from the general public, based on a representation that it would be used for a specific charitable purpose other than general support of the corporation's activities, and has been used in a manner contrary to that specific charitable purpose for which the property was solicited, the Attorney General may institute an action to enforce the specific charitable purpose for which the property was solicited; provided (1) that before bringing such action the Attorney General shall notify the corporation that an action will be brought unless the corporation takes immediate steps to correct the improper diversion of funds, and (2) that in the event it becomes impractical or impossible for the corporation to devote the property to the specified charitable purpose, or that the directors or members of the corporation in good faith expressly conclude and record in writing that the stated purpose for which the property was contributed is no longer in accord with the policies of the corporation, then the directors or members of the corporation may approve or ratify in good faith the use of such property for the general purposes of the corporation rather than for the specific purpose for which it was contributed.
As used in this section, “solicited from the general public” means solicitations directed to the general public, or to any individual or group of individuals who are not directly affiliated with the soliciting organization and includes, but is not limited to, instances where property has been solicited on an individual basis, such as door to door, direct mail, face to face, or similar solicitations, as well as solicitations on a more general level to the general public, or a portion thereof, such as through the media, including newspapers, television, radio, or similar solicitations.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any individual rights of action which were accorded under law in existence prior to the enactment of Chapter 1324 of the Statutes of 1980.
As used in this section, “individual rights of action” include only rights enforceable by private individuals and do not include any right of action of a public officer in an official capacity regardless of whether the officer brings the action on behalf of a private individual.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require express statutory authorization by the California Legislature of any otherwise lawful and duly authorized action by any agency of local government.
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