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Review Of New 2006 Legislation For California

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)

Repealed.

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.

Clean-up (generally)

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.

DISCLAIMER:

"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. 

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, January 06, 2006 at 18:14 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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