April 19, 2012

Summary of April 18, 2012 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of The California State University, S199557—Review Granted—April 18, 2012

The City of San Diego, a local association of governments, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System filed petitions for a writ of mandate in the trial court, challenging the approval by the California State University (CSU) of plans to expand the San Diego State University campus, and CSU’s certification of the final environmental impact report (EIR) for the project. The trial court denied the petitions. The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division One, reversed in a published opinion, City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of Cal. State University (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 1134.

The questions presented include: Does a state agency satisfy its obligation under the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code section 21000 et seq. (CEQA) to mitigate the off-site environmental impacts of a project by requesting funds for such mitigation from the Legislature, consistent with this Court’s views as stated in City of Marina v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2006) 39 Cal.4th 341, 367 (Marina)? Or, as the Court of Appeal held in rejecting the Court’s analysis in Marina, must the agency also address in its EIR “[t]he availability of potential sources of funding other than the Legislature” and demonstrate “compelling reasons” showing those sources cannot, as a matter of law, be used to pay for mitigation? [Full disclosure: Horvitz & Levy LLP represents the petitioner, the Board of Trustees of the California State University, in this matter.]

Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach, S200872—Review Granted—April 18, 2012

This was an action by a city police officers’ association against the city for injunction against the disclosure of names of officers involved in shooting incidents over a five-year period under the California Public Records Act (CPRA). A newspaper intervened and filed an opposition. The City aligned itself with the officers’ association. The trial court denied the injunction without prejudice to future requests relating to individual officers. The association and the City filed a petition for writ of mandate.

In a published decision, Long Beach Police Officers Assn. v. City of Long Beach (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 292, the Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Three, affirmed the denial of an injunction. The court held the names of officers were not exempt information under the CPRA, the disclosure did not constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and the public interest served by withholding the names did not clearly outweigh the public interest served by their disclosure.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)




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