30 Cal.4th 278, S107126, County of Riverside v. Superior Court

Docket NºS107126
Citation30 Cal.4th 278, 132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d 718
Party NameCounty of Riverside v. Superior Court
Case DateApril 21, 2003
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)

Page 278

30 Cal.4th 278

132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d 718

COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE et al., Petitioners,

v.

THE SUPERIOR COURT OF RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Respondent;

RIVERSIDE SHERIFF'S ASSOCIATION, Real Party in Interest.

S107126.

Supreme Court of California

April 21, 2003

Page 279

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 280

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 281

COUNSEL

William C. Katzenstein, County Counsel, Robert M. Pepper, Principal Deputy County Counsel; Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, Steven L. Mayer and Kimberly A. Bliss for Petitioners.

JoAnne Speers for League of California Cities as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Kathleen Bales-Lange, County Counsel (Tulare), Teresa M. Saucedo, Deputy County Counsel; J. Dennis Crabb, County Counsel (Alpine); Bernard C. Barmann, Sr., County Counsel (Kern), Steven L. Sanders, Deputy County Counsel; Alan K. Marks, County Counsel (San Bernardino), Carol A. Greene, Deputy County Counsel; John J. Sansone, County Counsel (San Diego), Diane Bardsley, Assistant County Counsel; and Frank O. Sieh, County Counsel (Ventura) for County of Tulare, County of Alpine, County of Kern, County of San Bernardino, County of San Diego and County of Ventura as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Timothy A. Bittle for Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Olins, Foerster & Hayes and Dennis J. Hayes for Real Party in Interest.

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, Manuel M. Medeiros, State Solicitor General, Andrea Lynn Hoch, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Louis R. Mauro, Acting Assistant Attorney General, and Christopher E. Krueger, Deputy Attorney General, as Amici Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Silver, Hadden & Silver, Stephen H. Silver; Carroll, Burdick & McDonough and Ronald Yank for Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs' Association et al., as Amici Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Page 282

Olson, Hagel, Waters & Fishburn, Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, George Waters, N. Eugene Hill, Thomas E. Gauthier; Woodley & McGillivary and Thomas A. Woodley for California Professional Firefighters, Peace Officers Research Association of California and International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, C.L.C., as Amici Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Green & Shinee and Helen L. Schwab for the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff's, the Pasadena Police Officers Association, the Torrance Police Officers Association, the Glendale Police Officers Association, the Bell Police Officers Association and the West Covina Police Officers Association as Amici Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Lackie & Dammeier, Dieter C. Dammeier and Michael A. Morguess for Los Angeles Police Protective League et al., as Amici Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Davis & Reno and Alan C. Davis for Daly City Firefighters, Local 1879, et al., as Amici Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

OPINION

CHIN, J.—

The Legislature recently enacted Senate Bill No. 402 (1999-2000 Reg. Sess.) (Senate Bill 402), which requires counties and other local agencies to submit, under certain circumstances, to binding arbitration of economic issues that arise during negotiations with unions representing firefighters or law enforcement officers. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1299 et seq.) We must determine whether this legislation violates either or both of two provisions of article XI of the California Constitution.1 Section 1, subdivision (b), states that a county's "governing body shall provide for the ... compensation ... of employees." Section 11, subdivision (a), forbids the Legislature to "delegate to a private person or body power to ... interfere with county or municipal corporation ... money ... or perform municipal functions."

We conclude, as did the Court of Appeal, that Senate Bill 402 violates both constitutional provisions. It deprives the county of its authority to provide for the compensation of its employees (§ 1, subd. (b)) and delegates to a private body the power to interfere with county financial affairs and to perform a municipal function (§ 11, subd. (a)).

Page 283

I. Facts and Procedural History

Riverside County (the County) and the Riverside Sheriff's Association (Sheriff's Association) engaged in negotiations over compensation for employees of the probation department. In May 2001, they reached an impasse. The Sheriff's Association requested that the dispute be submitted to binding arbitration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1299 et seq. The County refused, claiming that those provisions violate the California Constitution. The Sheriff's Association filed an action in the superior court to compel arbitration. The court ordered arbitration. It found the binding arbitration law constitutional, explaining, "The matters at issue, to wit, the possible disruption of law enforcement and firefighter services, are not matters of purely local concern but rather are of statewide concern. This statewide concern authorizes the Legislature to act and supports the constitutionality of this legislation."

The County filed a petition for a writ of mandate in the Court of Appeal asking that court to order the superior court to set aside its order compelling arbitration and enter a new order denying the motion to compel arbitration. The Court of Appeal granted the petition. It found that Senate Bill 402 violates both section 1, subdivision (b), and section 11, subdivision (a). We granted the Sheriff's Association's petition for review.

II. Discussion

A. Background

Senate Bill 402, entitled "Arbitration of Firefighter and Law Enforcement Officer Labor Disputes," added section 1299 et seq. to the Code of Civil Procedure. (Stats. 2000, ch. 906, § 2.) The Court of Appeal opinion describes the bill: "Senate Bill 402 empowers unions representing public safety employees to declare an impasse in labor negotiations and require a local agency to submit unresolved economic issues to binding arbitration. Each party chooses an arbitrator, who together choose the third arbitrator. The panel then chooses, without alteration, between each side's last best offer, based on a designated list of factors. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 1299.4, 1299.6.)" The bill applies to any local agency or any entity acting as an agent of a local agency, but it does not apply to the State of California even acting as such an agent. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1299.3, subd. (c).)

Senate Bill 402 includes legislative findings. "The Legislature hereby finds and declares that strikes taken by firefighters and law enforcement officers against public employers are a matter of statewide concern, are a

Page 284

predictable consequence of labor strife and poor morale that is often the outgrowth of substandard wages and benefits, and are not in the public interest. The Legislature further finds and declares that the dispute resolution procedures contained in this title provide the appropriate method for resolving public sector labor disputes that could otherwise lead to strikes by firefighters or law enforcement officers. [¶] It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the health and welfare of the public by providing impasse remedies necessary to afford public employers the opportunity to safely alleviate the effects of labor strife that would otherwise lead to strikes by firefighters and law enforcement officers." (Code Civ. Proc., § 1299.)

The County argues that the Legislature's compelling it to enter into binding arbitration of compensation issues violates section 1, subdivision (b), and section 11, subdivision (a). At the outset, we emphasize that the issue is not whether a county may voluntarily submit compensation issues to arbitration, i.e., whether the county may delegate its own authority, but whether the Legislature may compel a county to submit to arbitration involuntarily. The issue involves the division of authority between the state and the county, not what the county may itself do. (See Adams v. Wolff (1948) 84 Cal.App.2d 435, 442 [190 P.2d 665] [the predecessor version of section 11, subdivision (a), "is a restraint on the state Legislature's right to interfere with municipal affairs and in no way regulates what may be done by a municipal corporation by charter provision"].)

In deciding whether the Legislature has exceeded its power, we are guided "by well settled rules of constitutional construction. Unlike the federal Constitution, which is a grant of power to Congress, the California Constitution is a limitation or restriction on the powers of the Legislature. [Citations.] Two important consequences flow from this fact. First, the entire law-making authority of the state, except the people's right of initiative and referendum, is vested in the Legislature, and that body may exercise any and all legislative powers which are not expressly or by necessary implication denied to it by the Constitution. [Citations.] In other words, 'we do not look to the Constitution to determine whether the legislature is authorized to do an act, but only to see if it is prohibited.' [Citation.] [¶] Secondly, all intendments favor the exercise of the Legislature's plenary authority: 'If there is any doubt as to the Legislature's power to act in any given case, the doubt should be resolved in favor of the Legislature's action. Such restrictions and limitations [imposed by the Constitution] are to be construed strictly, and are not to be extended to include matters not covered by the language used.' " (Methodist Hosp. of Sacramento v. Saylor (1971) 5 Cal.3d 685, 691 [97 Cal.Rptr. 1]; accord, Pacific Legal Foundation v. Brown (1981) 29 Cal.3d 168, 180 [172 Cal.Rptr. 487].) On

Page 285

the other hand, "we also must enforce the provisions of our Constitution and 'may not lightly disregard or blink at ... a clear constitutional mandate.' " (Amwest Surety Ins. Co. v. Wilson (1995) 11 Cal.4th 1243, 1252 [48...

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49 practice notes
  • Campaign for Quality Education v. State, 042016 CAAPP1, A134423
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...not lightly disregard or blink at... a clear constitutional mandate.’ ” ’ ” (County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 284-285.) “ ‘It is within the legitimate power of the judiciary, to declare the action of the Legislature unconstitutional, wher......
  • 246 Cal.App.4th 896, A134423, Campaign for Quality Education v. State
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...not lightly disregard or blink at... a clear constitutional mandate.’ ” ’ ” (County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 285 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d 718].) " 'It is within the legitimate power of the judiciary, to declare the action ......
  • Contractor Beware: The Fine Line Between "Public Works" and "Private Projects" Under California's Prevailing Wage Law
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    • JD Supra United States
    • February 1, 2010
    ...provisions regarding wage and hour requirements concern compensation not working conditions.); County of Riverside v. Superior Court, 30 Cal. 4th 278, 285-288, 132 Cal. Rptr. 2d 713, 66 P.3d 718, 172 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2545, 148 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P 59724 (2003) (County, not the state, shall provi......
  • 164 Cal.App.4th 629, A115652, Curcini v. County of Alameda
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 5, 2008
    ...to determine the compensation of their employees (see Cal. Const., art. XI, § 1, subd. (b); County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 284-285 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d 718] (County of Riverside)), and that the County has exercised that power through its charter, ordin......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48 cases
  • Campaign for Quality Education v. State, 042016 CAAPP1, A134423
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...not lightly disregard or blink at... a clear constitutional mandate.’ ” ’ ” (County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 284-285.) “ ‘It is within the legitimate power of the judiciary, to declare the action of the Legislature unconstitutional, wher......
  • 246 Cal.App.4th 896, A134423, Campaign for Quality Education v. State
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • April 20, 2016
    ...not lightly disregard or blink at... a clear constitutional mandate.’ ” ’ ” (County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 285 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d 718].) " 'It is within the legitimate power of the judiciary, to declare the action ......
  • 164 Cal.App.4th 629, A115652, Curcini v. County of Alameda
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 5, 2008
    ...to determine the compensation of their employees (see Cal. Const., art. XI, § 1, subd. (b); County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 284-285 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d 718] (County of Riverside)), and that the County has exercised that power through its charter, ordin......
  • 239 Cal.App.4th 1020, C070484, City of Cerritos v. State
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 25, 2015
    ...the legislature is authorized to do an act, but only to see if it is prohibited” ’ ”]; County of Riverside v. Superior Court (2003) 30 Cal.4th 278, 284 [132 Cal.Rptr.2d 713, 66 P.3d To avoid this outcome, plaintiffs urge us to read an implied limitation into the meaning of other bills provi......
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