Quote of the Day - "I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law."
Attorney James Toledano from Santa Ana gave his twenty-sixth annual presentation of new laws of interest to California business litigators at the Orange County Bar Association Business Litigation Section meeting today. Jim was kind enough to give me permission to post his review, subject to his wonderful disclaimer below, for your use:
Small Claims (CCP § 116.221, etc.)
Raises jurisdictional limit, for individuals only, to $7,500, requires itemization of debt and payments, raises fees, requires pro-tems to pass law and ethics course every three years, modifies deadline for cases to be heard, limits recoverable costs of service of process, limits court's power to correct decision.
Sanctions (CCP §§ 128.6, 128.7)
Removes the hold on sanctions under CCP § 128.6 (which replicates § 128.5 as to current cases) and makes § 128.7 no longer subject to automatic repeal.
Disqualification of Judge Who Discusses Employment with "Neutrals" (CCP § 170.1)
Abrogates interpretation of law in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (C3 Entertainment, Inc.) (2004) 125 Cal.App.4th 250, 254-258 (rev. granted 2005) in which the Court of Appeal read the law expansively to disqualify judges who had contacts with ADR providers or those who worked for them.
Statute of Limitations, Discrimination Involving Violence (CCP § 338)
Amends three-year statute to add violations of Civil Code § 51.7, a part of the Unruh Civil Rights Act that makes acts of violent discrimination unlawful.
Insufficient Filing Fee (CCP § 411.21) [eff. July 19, 2005]
Provides that insufficient fee for first paper is grounds to void filing, sets procedures.
Service of Subpoena in Gated Community (CCP §§ 415.21)
Adds service of subpoena as basis to gain entry to gated community, but does not affect existing law as to substituted service on guard.
Proof of Service (CCP §§ 412.10, 417.30, 583.210, etc.)
Provides that clerk is to retain original summons and replaces requirement of "return of summons" with requirement that proof of service of copy of summons be filed.
SLAPP Motion Hearing Date (CCP § 425.16)
Makes it the duty of the clerk, not the party, to set SLAPP motion within the 30-day period and abrogates contrary Court of Appeal decisions.
SLAPPback Motions (CCP § 425.18)
Imposes regulations and sanctions analogous to anti-SLAPP law on motions to strike causes of action arising out of the grant of a SLAPP motion in an earlier action.
Injunctions Against Violence (CCP §§ 527.8, 527.10)
Expands effect of injunction against violence by employee against employer, prohibits person against whom any personal injunction is granted from legal access to personal records of person granted the injunction.
Offers to Compromise (CCP § 998)
Sets out specific terms to be included in 998 offer and provides that written acceptance may be made by attorney.
Electronic Summons (CCP § 1010.6)
Requires court to issue official summons upon request of party electronically filing complaint.
Subpoenaing Personal Consumer Records (CCP § 1985.3)
Provides that consumer need not give notice to self when subpoenaing own records.
Mediation Pilot Program Rules (Rules 1640-1640.8, CRC)
Unruh Civil Rights Act (Civ. Code §§ 51, 51.7, 51.8, 52, 53)
States that civil rights law bars discrimination and violence arising from marital status or sexual orientation, that this is intended to clarify, not change, existing law and adds definitions of certain terms.
Mobilehomes (Civ. Code§§ 798.19.5 ff.)
More changes in mobilehome regulatory law.
Disclosure of Supplemental Tax Bills (Civ. Code § 1102.6c)
Requires seller to disclose possibility of supplemental tax bills.
Form of Acknowledgment (Civ. Code § 1189)
Requires acknowledgments to be exactly as provided by statute.
Financial Record-keeping and Disclosure, HOA (Civ. Code §§ 1357.120 ff)
Continues process of regulating the conduct of homeowner associations.
HOA Liens for Assessments (Civ. Code §§ 1367.3, 1367.4)
Greatly limits power of homeowner associations to record liens for unpaid assessments.
Discrimination in Approval of Changes in Occupied Residence (Civ. Code § 1378)
Applies Fair Employment and Housing Act to decisions to approve or reject proposed owner's changes or modifications to residence.
Postponement of Foreclosure Sale (Civ. Code §§ 2924b, 2924g)
Permits postponement of foreclosure sale for a total of 365 days, rather than 3 times, before new notice of sale required; provides that email address is not an "actually known address" for valid service.
Motor Vehicle Purchase Contracts (Civ. Code § 2981, 2982, 2982.2)
Provides for further disclosures in motor vehicle purchase contracts.
Stop Notice Releases (Civ. Code § 1936)
Provides manner in which a stop notice release may be made enforceable.
Filing fees (Gov. C. §§ 70600ff; various provisions of CCP)
Filing fees have generally been made reasonably uniform, and of course increased. Exceptions are where a county (e.g., Riverside) has an added fee to pay for courthouse construction. In addition, as part of the state takeover of the courts system, makes all fees payable to the court, rather than to local jurisdictions.
There were the usual clean-up laws (three, again this year), this time correcting such things as references to the proper section of the Discovery Act, as amended effective last July 1.
"The selection of the statutes described, and the descriptions thereof, are the choice solely of the author of this document. His opinions, biases and other ideas are solely his responsibility and are not that of the Orange County Bar Association, the Business Litigation Section thereof, or of any person to whom he may be related or connected by blood, former marriage, potential marriage, domestic partnership or civil union, friendship, former friendship, former partnership, or past or future political or any other affiliation, nor of his former campaign committee(s) or, for that matter, any rational person."
Just as an FYI, Jim Toledano selects new statutes of interest to business litigators. This list does not include all new statutes for this coming year, and not all those that may be of interest to business litigators, either. There are other changes to the law not included here, so consult with your favorite attorney if you want to know more. Remember too, these are only summaries, not the actual laws.