March 24, 2011

Summary of March 23, 2011 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, March 23, 2011. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted (not including grant-and-transfers), (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal, or (4) the Court has denied a Court of Appeal’s publication request.

Review Granted

Ennabe et al. v. Manosa et al., S189577 —Review Granted—March 23, 2011

This is a wrongful death action against the host of a house party at which communal alcoholic beverages were provided to guests who served themselves. Some guests were charged an admission fee before entering the party. The decedent was struck and fatally injured by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated guest who was under the legal drinking age.

The issues for review concern the broad immunity from civil liability that Civil Code section 1714, subdivision (c), affords to a social host who “furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person,” and the limitations that Business & Professions Code section 25602.1 places on that immunity where the defendant is “licensed, or required to be licensed” to sell alcohol, or sells or causes to be sold alcoholic beverages “to any obviously intoxicated minor.” Specifically, the questions presented are whether a social host who charges guests an admission fee to help defray the costs of providing alcoholic beverages is required to be licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, or is otherwise a person who “sells, or causes to be sold” an alcoholic beverage within the meaning of section 25602.1.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One, held in a published decision, Ennabe v. Manosa (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 707, that a social host who charges an admission fee to guests who then serve themselves does not engage in a sales transaction within the meaning of Business & Professions Code section 23025. The Court of Appeal further held that such a host is not required to be licensed under section 25602.1 because the exception in section 23399.1 for serving alcoholic beverages at private events without sale applies.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

None.

Court of Appeal Publication Request Denied

None.

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