[UPDATED THROUGH SEPTEBMER 29, 2016]
Can You Appeal a Claim That Was Dismissed Without Prejudice With a Waiver of the Statute of Limitations? After the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal as being untimely and from a nonfinal judgment, the Supreme Court granted review on the issue of whether plaintiff can take an appeal regarding causes of action in a cross-complaint that were dismissed without prejudice with a waiver of the statute of limitations? Kurwa v. Kislinger, S234617 (opinion below B264641, nonpublished opinion). Review was granted 8/10/16.
Is Denial of Motion to Vacate Judgment Separately Appealable? After the Court of Appeal granted a motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely, the Supreme Court granted limited review of the following issue: Is the denial of a motion to vacate the judgment under C.C.P. § 663 separately appealable? Ryan v. Rosenfeld, S232582 (nonpublished order, entered 1/13/16, in case A145465). Review was granted 4/27/16.
Does Law of the Case Doctrine Bar Issue Being Raised on Second Appellate Review? After the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment, and held that its earlier opinion allowing the taxpayer suit was law of the case, the Supreme Court granted limited review on the following issues: (1) Does Civil Code § 3369 bar taxpayer actions brought under the authority of C.C.P. § 526a seeking to enjoin violations of Penal Code provisions concerning animal abuse? (2) Does the law of the case doctrine foreclose petitioners’ reliance upon that legal argument in this appeal? Leider v. Lewis, S232622 (opinion below B244414, formerly 243 Cal.App.4th 1078, mod. 244 Cal.App.4th 643c). Review was granted 4/27/16.
Can a Court Adopt a Policy that Denies a Verbatim Transcript for Appellate Review to Indigent Litigants? After the Fourth District, division one, Court of Appeal affirmed judgment for the defendant, the Supreme Court granted review of the following issue: In the case of a litigant who has been granted a fee waiver (Gov. Code, § 68631), can a county’s superior court employ a policy that has the practical effect of denying the services of an official court reporter to civil litigants who have been granted such a fee waiver, if the result is to preclude those litigants from procuring and providing a verbatim transcript for appellate review? Jameson v. Desta, S230899, (opinion below D066793, formerly 241 Cal.App.4th 491). Review was granted 1/27/16.
Is a Petition for Relief Needed to Support a Claim When a Timely Application to File a Late Claim Was Filed? After the Fourth District, division three, Court of Appeal affirmed an order denying a petition for relief under the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, § 810, et seq.), the Supreme Court granted review of the following issue: Must a claimant under the Government Claims Act file a petition for relief from Government Code § 945.4’s claim requirement, as set forth in Government Code § 946.6, if he has submitted a timely application for leave to present a late claim under Government Code § 911.6(b)(2), and was a minor at all relevant times? J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School Dist., S230510, (opinion below G049773, formerly 240 Cal.App.4th 1019). Review was granted 12/16/16.
Is Order Partially Granting Writ of Administrative Mandate Appealable? After the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from an order on a petition for writ of administrative mandate, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: Is a trial court order granting in part and denying in part a physician’s petition for writ of administrative mandate regarding a hospital’s disciplinary action and remanding the matter to the hospital for further administrative proceedings an appealable order? Dhillon v. John Muir Health, S224472 (case below A143195; dismissed on court’s own motion). Review was granted 4/8/15.
Can a Right to a Jury Trial Be Decided by Writ of Mandate?
The Supreme Court granted review of the following issues: (1) Did the Court of Appeal err by reviewing plaintiff’s right to a jury by writ of mandate rather than appeal? (See Nessbit v. Superior Court (1931) 214 Cal. 1.) (2) Is there a right to jury trial on a retaliation cause of action under Health & Safety Code § 1278.5? Shaw v. Superior Court, S221530 (opinion below B254958, formerly 229 Cal.App.4th 12). Review was granted 11/12/14.
What Is the Scope of Review Under CEQA? After the Court of Appeal reversed judgment for the City rejecting a petition for administrative mandate, the Supreme Court granted review concerning the standard and scope of judicial review under the California Environmental Quality Act. (CEQA; Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) Sierra Club v. County of Fresno, S219783 (opinion below F066798, formerlly 226 Cal.App.4th 704). Review was granted 10/1/14.
Is Failure to Issue a Statement of Decision Reversible Per Se? After the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in a civil action, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: Is a trial court’s error in failing to issue a statement of decision upon a timely request reversible per se? F.P. v. Monier, S216566 (opinion below C062329, formerly 222 Cal.App.4th 1087). Review was granted 4/16/14.
What Is the Standard of Review for a Subsequent EIR? After the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in an action for writ of administrative mandate, the Supreme Court granted review on the following issue: When a lead agency performs a subsequent environmental review and prepares a subsequent environmental impact report (EIR), a subsequent negative declaration, or an addendum, is the agency’s decision reviewed under a substantial evidence standard of review (Mani Brothers Real Estate Group v. City of Los Angeles (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1385), or is the agency’s decision subject to a threshold determination whether the modification of the project constitutes a “new project altogether,” as a matter of law (Save our Neighborhood v. Lishman (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1288)? Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist., S214061, (opinion below A135892, nonpublished opinion). Review granted 1/15/14. Update 4/1/16: Oral argument scheduled for 5/4/16. The briefs are here. Update 5/4/16: Case argued and submitted. Update 5/11/16: Submission of the matter is vacated and the Court directed the parties to submit supplemental briefs in the following questions: (1) Under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines § 15162, what standard of judicial review applies to an agency’s determination that no EIR is required as a result of proposed modifications to a project that was initially approved by negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration? (See generally Benton v. Board of Supervisors (1991) 226 Cal.App.3d 1467, 1479–1482.) (2) Does CEQA Guidelines § 15162, as applied to projects initially approved by negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration rather than EIR, constitute a valid interpretation of the governing statute? (Compare Bowman v. City of Petaluma (1986) 185 Cal.App.3d 1065, 1073–1074 with Benton at pp. 1479–1480.) Update 6/23/16: Cause is resubmitted. Update 9/19/16: Opinion issued. The unanimous Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal, and held that the agency’s decision was subject to review for substantial evidence. The Court explained that when an agency proposes changes to a previously approved project, its environmental review obligations depend on the effect of the proposed changes on the decision making process, and not on any abstract notion of whether this is a ”new” project. An agency that proposes project changes must determine whether it can rely on the previous environmental document in light of the proposed changes and whether major revisions to the previous environmental document are required due to the existence of new, previously unstudied significant environmental impacts. These are determinations for the agency to make in the first instance, subject to judicial review for substantial evidence. The Court held there is no place in this scheme for the courts to impose their own determination of whether the final proposal is a new project or a modified version of an old one.