May 2019 Update
The current update includes changes that reflect recent developments in case law, legislation, court rules, and jury instructions. Summarized below are some of the more important developments included in this update since publication of the 2018 update.
Review by Administrative Mandamus. Recent cases that discuss when administrative mandamus review is available include Boling v Public Employment Relations Bd. (2018) 5 C5th 898. See §1.10.
Due Process See §5.13 for a discussion of the a case holding that when a city sends a notice that a home be repaired or demolished via certified mail to the post office box listed as the owner’s address on county tax rolls for the property and also posts the notice on the property that is was sufficient notice to satisfy due process, and the fact that the owner did not actually receive the notice was immaterial. Rasooly v City of Oakley (2018) 29 CA5th 348. Additionally, a disciplinary body’s procedures must provide an opportunity for the panel to assess the claimant’s credibility and must allow the complaining party to appear either physically or through videoconference or similar technology. Doe v University of S. Cal. (2018) 29 CA5th 1212, 1232; Doe v Claremont McKenna College (2018) 25 CA5th 1055. See §6.61.
Adjudicatory Versus Nonadjudicatory Decision Making. See §§5.3, 5.19 and 5.22 for an interesting case holding that review by the Coastal Commission of a city’s land use plan for consistency with the California Coastal Act (Pub Res C §§30000–30900) was adjudicatory even though the city had been acting quasi-legislatively when it adopted or amended the land use plan. Beach & Bluff Conservancy v City of Solana Beach (2018) 28 CA5th 244.
Scope of Review. A reviewing court is not obligated to reject an agency’s interpretation set forth in a void policy and may conclude that the interpretation is valid so long as the court exercises its independent judgment; and in such instances, the court may consider the agency’s interpretation and the reasons proffered in support of it, and may adopt the interpretation if persuaded that it is correct. See Alvarado v Dart Container Corp. of Cal. (2018) 4 C5th 542, cited in §§6.48 and 6.49.
Standing. See §7.17 for an interesting case holding that a taxpayer who brought an action to contest a water district’s acquisition of real property had taxpayer standing under CCP §526a to challenge the contract under the conflict of interest statute, Govt C §1092.
Statute of Limitations. A local ordinance establishing a 90-day limitations period for challenges to decisions under the Land Development Code barred challenge to site development permit. See §9.8.
Trial and Judgment. In Alliance of Concerned Citizens etc. v City of San Juan Bautsita (2018) 29 CA5th 424, the trial court issued a decision in favor of petitioner and remanded to the agency prior to entry of final judgment. Although the trial court decision stated that it was “interlocutory” and not a final judgment, the court held that the decision was final for the purpose of appeal because it fully disposed of petitioner’s claim and that the substance and effect of the decision was controlling over its characterization by the superior court. However, in County of Los Angeles v Los Angeles County Civil Serv. Comm’n (2018) 22 CA5th 174, 178, a decision remanding matters to an agency before final judgment was interlocutory because it left “key issues” raised by the parties for further resolution by court. See §§14.29 and 14.38 for discussion.
Attorney Fees. In certain exceptional circumstances, a court may award attorney fees even where petitioner’s financial stake may significantly exceed litigation costs. City of Oakland v Oakland Police & Fire Retirement Sys. (2018) 29 CA5th 688. See §14.47 for discussion.
Preparation of the Record. If petitioners unreasonably delay and fail to timely prepare the record, the lead agency may take over responsibility for preparation of the record and may be entitled to costs thereafter. Landwatch San Luis Obispo County v Cambria Community Servs. Dist. (2018) 25 CA5th 638. See §§17.5 and 17.7 for discussion.