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California Case Summaries™ (https://cacasesummaries.com)
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq. is the publisher of California Case Summaries™ which provides short summaries, organized by legal topic, of every new published civil and family law case helping California lawyers easily keep up with the new case law and fight for their clients. Monthly, quarterly, and annual single-user and discounted multi-user subscriptions are available. Monty hasbeen a California civil trial lawyer since 1980, a member of ABOTA since 1995, and currently works as a full-time mediator, arbitrator and referee with ADR Services, Inc. (ADR) where he conducts Zoom hearings throughout California.
CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT
Protecting Our Water and Environmental etc. v. County of Stanislaus (2020) _ Cal.5th _ , 2020 WL 5049384: In a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Public Resources Code, section 21000 et seq.) case addressing the distinction between discretionary and ministerial projects, the California Supreme Court reversed the portion of the Court of Appeal decision concluding that all well permit issuances by respondent were discretionary (not ministerial). It affirmed the portion of the decision finding that petitioners were entitled to a declaration that respondent’s ministerial categorization was unlawful. While respondent may be correct that many of its decisions are ministerial, under the ordinance authorizing the issuance of the permits, some of respondent’s decisions may be discretionary. Accordingly, classifying all issuances as ministerial violated CEQA. Although petitioners were entitled to a declaration to that effect, they were not yet entitled to injunctive relief because they had not demonstrated that all permit decisions covered by the classification practice were discretionary. (August 27, 2020.)
Reilly v. Marin Housing Authority (2020) _ Cal.5th _ , 2020 WL 5103649: The California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal decision affirming the ruling of the trial court. The California Supreme Court ruled that, the compensation petitioner received from the state and federally funded In-Home Supportive Services program for providing in-home care for a severely disabled adult daughter, should be excluded from income when calculating petitioner’s rental subsidy under the federal Housing Choice Voucher program in section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq., as amended by § 201(a) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974). (August 31, 2020.)
CALIFORNIA COURTS OF APPEAL
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum etc. v. Golden State Warriors (2020) _ Cal.App. 5th _ , 2020 WL 4760203: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting a motion to confirm an arbitration award concluding that defendant is obligated to continue servicing the debt incurred to renovate the Oracle Arena (Arena) in Oakland, California until 2027. The issue in the case was the meaning of the word “terminates” in section 6.4 of the license agreement governing defendant’s use of the Arena. The Court of Appeal agreed with the arbitrator that it was fully plausible to interpret the word terminates in section 6.4 as including a termination by nonrenewal. The arbitrator’s interpretation of the meaning of terminates decided a question of fact and therefore not subject to review on appeal. However, even assuming that the arbitrator addressed a question of law when interpreting section 6.4 of the license agreement, the Court of Appeal concluded that the parties intended this section to include a termination of the agreement upon defendant’s failure to exercise the first two options to renew. (C.A. 1st., August 18, 2020.)
Business and Professions Code
Eisenberg Village etc. v. Suffolk Construction Co., Inc. (2020) _ Cal.App. 5th _ , 2020 WL 5035826: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment in plaintiff’s action seeking disgorgement of all funds paid to defendant under Business and Professions Code section 7031, because defendant was an unlicensed contractor when it built a 108-unit assisted living facility in Reseda for plaintiff. Plaintiff filed its action five years after defendant completed the construction. The Court of Appeal ruled that the one-year statute of limitation under Code of Civil Procedure, section 340(a) applies to claims for disgorgement under section 7031(b), the discovery rule does not apply, and a section 7031(b) claim accrues upon the completion or cessation of the performance of the act or contract at issue. Because plaintiff failed to bring its section 7031(b) claim within one year after the completion or cessation of defendant’s performance, the action was barred by the statute of limitations. (C.A. 2nd, August 26, 2020.)
Martis Camp Community Assn. v. County of Placer (2020) _ Cal.App. 5th _ , 2020 WL 4745089: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment finding that respondent did not violate the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act; Government Code, section 54950 et seq.) or the statutory requirements for abandonment of a public road, and affirmed the trial court’s order sustaining a demurrer, without leave to amend, to petitioner’s inverse condemnation claim. However, the Court of Appeal reversed the part of the trial court’s judgment concluding that respondent did not violate the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Public Resources Code, section 21000 et seq.) in approving the road abandonment. The Court of Appeal ruled that respondent violated CEQA by relying on an addendum to the Martis Camp Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and failing to evaluate whether the abandonment of the road would require major revisions to that EIR. (C.A. 3rd, August 17, 2020.)
 And denying defendant’s motion to vacate the arbitration award.