County of Alameda v. Carleson, S.F. 22820

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtBURKE; WRIGHT
Citation488 P.2d 953,97 Cal.Rptr. 385,5 Cal.3d 730
Parties, 488 P.2d 953 COUNTY OF ALAMEDA et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. Robert B. CARLESON, as Director etc., Defendant and Respondent, California Welfare Rights Organization et al., Movants and Appellants. Mary HAVENS et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. Robert B. CARLESON, as Director, etc., Defendant and Appellant. COUNTY OF ALAMEDA et al., Petitioners, v. The SUPERIOR COURT OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Respondent; Robert B. CARLESON, as Director, etc., et al., Real Parties in Interest. CALIFORNIA WELFARE RIGHTS ORGANIZATION et al., Petitioners, v. The SUPERIOR COURT OF ALAMEDA COUNTY, Respondent; Robert B. CARLESON, as Director, etc., et al., Real Parties in Interest. Sac. 7898. In Bank
Decision Date21 September 1971
Docket NumberS.F. 22816 and 22817,S.F. 22820

Page 385

97 Cal.Rptr. 385
5 Cal.3d 730, 488 P.2d 953
COUNTY OF ALAMEDA et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
v.
Robert B. CARLESON, as Director etc., Defendant and Respondent,
California Welfare Rights Organization et al., Movants and Appellants.
Mary HAVENS et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
v.
Robert B. CARLESON, as Director, etc., Defendant and Appellant.
COUNTY OF ALAMEDA et al., Petitioners,
v.
The SUPERIOR COURT OF SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Respondent;
Robert B. CARLESON, as Director, etc., et al., Real Parties in Interest.
CALIFORNIA WELFARE RIGHTS ORGANIZATION et al., Petitioners,
v.
The SUPERIOR COURT OF ALAMEDA COUNTY, Respondent;
Robert B. CARLESON, as Director, etc., et al., Real Parties in Interest.
S.F. 22820.
Sac. 7898.
S.F. 22816 and 22817.
Supreme Court of California,
In Bank.
Sept. 21, 1971.

Page 387

[488 P.2d 955] Clifford Sweet, William R. Petrocelli, Lawrence A. Baskin, Denis Clifford, Oakland, and F. Hayden Curry for movants and appellants in No. 22820, plaintiffs and respondents in No. 7898, real parties in interest Association and others in No. 22816 and petitioners in No. 22817.

Evelle J. Younger, Atty. Gen., and Jay S. Linderman, Deputy Atty. Gen., for defendant and appellant in No. 7898, defendant and respondent in No. 22820 and real party in interest Director of Social Welfare in Nos. 22816 and 22817.

Richard J. Moore, Alameda County Counsel, Kelvin H. Booty, Jr., Deputy County Counsel, Daniel V. Blackstock, Butte County Counsel, Douglas J. Maloney, Marin County Counsel, Robert G. Berrey, San Diego County Counsel, Keith C. Sorenson, San Mateo Dist. Atty., William M. Siegel, Santa Clara County Counsel, and Calvin E. Baldwin, Tulare County Counsel, for plaintiffs and respondents in No. 22820, petitioners in No. 22816 and real parties in interest Counties in No. 22817.

No appearance for respondent in Nos. 22816 and 22817.

BURKE, Justice.

These consolidated cases involve questions of interpretation of certain provisions of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 602, subd. (a)), which set forth the requisites for a state plan for aid and services to needy families with children (AFDC program). At issue is the important question whether California's plan, as set forth in the Welfare and Institutions Code and implemented by regulations promulgated by

Page 388

[488 P.2d 956] the California Department of Social Welfare, conforms to the provisions of the federal Act. 1

In S.F. 22820 (hereafter 'the Alameda action'), plaintiff counties brought an action in February 1971 for declaratory and injunctive relief in Alameda County against defendant Carleson, Director of the Department of Social Welfare, contending that certain departmental regulations pertaining to eligibility for AFDC grants were invalid as interpreted and applied by Carleson. Since the effect of a judgment in counties' favor would be [5 Cal.3d 735] to terminate AFDC grants to certain welfare recipients, California Welfare Rights Organization 2 and three individual welfare recipients (hereafter collectively referred to as 'CWRO') sought to intervene as parties in the action, alleging that they had a direct pecuniary interest in the amount of AFDC grants, which interest would be directly affected by the result of counties' suit. The trial court denied intervention but permitted CWRO to appear as amicus curiae. CWRO, on March 25, noticed an appeal from the order denying intervention. Subsequently, on April 9, the trial court entered its judgment declaring certain of Carleson's regulations invalid; on April 13, the court issued a peremptory writ of mandate ordering him to amend, or alter his interpretation of those regulations along the lines requested by counties. CWRO filed a motion to vacate the judgment and renewed its application to intervene, but both motions were denied. 3 Thereupon, on May 7, CWRO noticed an appeal from the entire proceedings in the case; defendant Carleson, however, has not appealed therefrom. We transferred CWRO's appeal to this court and, on June 14, stayed further enforcement of the judgment pending our disposition of the appeal.

Pursuant to the judgment and writ of mandate in the Alameda action, Carleson had, on April 29, adopted an emergency regulation to become effective June 1, which would have the effect of terminating AFDC grants to certain recipients. In an attempt to enjoin Carleson from carrying that regulation into effect, CWRO (and three different welfare recipients) on May 17, initiated an action (Sac. 7898, hereafter 'the Sacramento action'), against Carleson in Sacramento County, seeking injunctive and other extraordinary relief. The trial court on May 25 issued a temporary restraining order enjoining Carleson from 'instituting' the emergency regulation, and an alternative writ of mandate compelling Carleson to rescind that regulation or to show cause on June 10 why such relief should not be granted. On June 1, Carleson noticed his appeal from the temporary restraining order. We transferred that appeal to this court and, on June 14, stayed the operation of that order pending appeal. Thereafter, on June 23, we stayed further enforcement of Carleson's emergency regulation pending our determination of the proceedings.

In S.F. 22816, counties (plaintiffs in the Alameda action) sought prohibition to restrain further proceedings in the Sacramento action, alleging that the court was without jurisdiction to proceed further in that action. We transferred the matter to this court and issued an alternative writ of prohibition to the Sacramento court.

[5 Cal.3d 736] Finally, in S.F. 22817, CWRO, on June 2, filed an original action in this court seeking supersedeas, prohibition and mandate to stay enforcement of the Alameda judgment, to enjoin Carleson from implementing the emergency regulation referred to above, to prohibit further enforcement of the Alameda judgment, and to compel

Page 389

[488 P.2d 957] Carleson to rescind the emergency regulation. As noted above, certain of the relief requested already has been granted by this court.

1. Procedural Matters

We have consolidated the foregoing cases so that this court might decide the important substantive issues common to each of them. Since the Alameda action proceeded to trial and judgment, and since the other actions now before us were filed either directly or indirectly in response to that judgment, the appeal therefrom provides the most appropriate vehicle for review of those issues, and our determination of that appeal would render moot the three remaining actions.

As indicated above, however, defendant Carleson chose not to appeal from the judgment obtained by counties in the Alameda action. Thus, the question arises whether CWRO, denied the status of intervener, had standing to appeal from that judgment. We have concluded that CWRO, by moving to vacate the judgment, made itself a party to the Alameda action for purposes of taking an appeal.

' Any aggrieved party' may appeal from an adverse judgment. (Code Civ.Proc. § 902.) It is generally held, however, that only parties of record may appeal; consequently one who is denied the right to intervene in an action ordinarily may not appeal from a judgment subsequently entered in the case. (Braun v. Brown, 13 Cal.2d 130, 133--134, 87 P.2d 1009; In re Veterans' Industries, Inc., 8 Cal.App.3d 902, 916, 88 Cal.Rptr. 303.) Instead, he may appeal from the order denying intervention. (Id.) 4 Nevertheless, one who is legally 'aggrieved' by a judgment may become a party of record and obtain a right to appeal by moving to vacate the judgment pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure, section 663. (Eggert v. Pac. States S. & L. Co., 20 Cal.2d 199, 201, 124 P.2d 815; Elliott v. Superior Court, 144 Cal. 501, 509, 77 P. 1109; Estate of Partridge, 261 Cal.App.2d 58, 60--63, 67 Cal.Rptr. 433; Butterfield v. Tietz, 247 Cal.App.2d 483, 484--485, 55 Cal.Rptr. 577; Estate of Sloan, 222 Cal.App.2d[5 Cal.3d 737] 283, 291--292, 35 Cal.Rptr. 167.) One is considered 'aggrieved' whose rights or interests are injuriously affected by the judgment. (Elliott v. Superior Court, Supra,144 Cal. at p. 509, 77 P. 1109; see Leoke v. County of San Bernardino, 249 Cal.App.2d 767, 770--771, 57 Cal.Rptr. 770; Buffington v. Ohmert, 253 Cal.App.2d 254, 255, 61 Cal.Rptr. 360.) Appellant's interest 'must be immediate, pecuniary, and substantial and not nominal or a remote consequence of the judgment.' (See Leoke v. County of San Bernardino, supra, 249 Cal.App.2d at p. 771, 57 Cal.Rptr. at p. 772.)

In the instant case, the judgment in the Alameda action, and the peremptory writ of mandate issued pursuant thereto, ordered defendant Carleson to amend or reinterpret his regulations in a manner which would, and did, 5 have the effect of terminating AFDC grants to welfare recipients such as the individual applicant-interveners and others represented by CWRO. The Alameda judgment was the initial essential step in the process ultimately resulting in the termination of benefits which, as noted in Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 262, 90 S.Ct. 1011, 1017, 25 L.Ed.2d 287, 'are a

Page 390

[488 P.2d 958] matter of statutory entitlement for persons qualified to receive them. Their termination involves state action that adjudicates important rights.' (See also fn. 8 at p. 262, 90 S.Ct. 1011.) Accordingly, it seems without question that CWRO 6 and its members were legally 'aggrieved' by the Alameda judgment, which had an immediate, pecuniary and substantial effect upon their right to AFDC benefits.

The trial court ordered CWRO's motion to vacate 'stricken' rather than simply denying it, evidently on the basis that such a motion is unavailable to review judicial error. 7 It is true that ordinarily a trial court cannot correct judicial, as distinguished from clerical, error except in accordance with statutory procedures. (Greene v. Superior Court, 55 Cal.2d 403, 405--406, 10 Cal.Rptr. 817, 359 P.2d 249; Duff v. Duff, 256 Cal.App.2d 781, 785, 64...

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379 practice notes
  • Whyte v. Schlage Lock Co., No. G028382.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 12, 2002
    ...and is sufficiently aggrieved by the order to have standing to appeal. (Code Civ. Proc., § 902; County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 736, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953.) The trial court denied Schlage's application for a stay pending appeal, and we denied Schlage's petition f......
  • Preston v. State Bd. of Equalization, No. S083632.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 2, 2001
    ...will not be disturbed by the courts so long as that determination has a reasonable basis." (County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 746, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953.) Consistent with this deference to the Legislature, courts have upheld the constitutionality of retroactive tax......
  • Residents of Beverly Glen, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 30, 1973
    ...more rigid standing requirements in order to permit an assertion of a 'public' cause of action is seen in County of Alameda v. Carleson, 5 Cal.3d 730, 737, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953. One of the plaintiffs and mandate petitioners there was the California Welfare Rights Organization, an ......
  • Molko v. Holy Spirit Ass'n for Unification of World Christianity
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 1986
    ...Assn. v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 458, 465, fn. 3, 156 Cal.Rptr. 14, 595 P.2d 592; County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 737, fn. 6, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953, appeal dismissed (1972) 406 U.S. 913, 92 S.Ct. 1762, 32 L.Ed.2d 112; Residents of Beverly Glen, I......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
378 cases
  • Whyte v. Schlage Lock Co., No. G028382.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 12, 2002
    ...and is sufficiently aggrieved by the order to have standing to appeal. (Code Civ. Proc., § 902; County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 736, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953.) The trial court denied Schlage's application for a stay pending appeal, and we denied Schlage's petition f......
  • Preston v. State Bd. of Equalization, No. S083632.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • April 2, 2001
    ...will not be disturbed by the courts so long as that determination has a reasonable basis." (County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 746, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953.) Consistent with this deference to the Legislature, courts have upheld the constitutionality of retroactive tax......
  • Residents of Beverly Glen, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 30, 1973
    ...more rigid standing requirements in order to permit an assertion of a 'public' cause of action is seen in County of Alameda v. Carleson, 5 Cal.3d 730, 737, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953. One of the plaintiffs and mandate petitioners there was the California Welfare Rights Organization, an ......
  • Molko v. Holy Spirit Ass'n for Unification of World Christianity
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 1986
    ...Assn. v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 458, 465, fn. 3, 156 Cal.Rptr. 14, 595 P.2d 592; County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 737, fn. 6, 97 Cal.Rptr. 385, 488 P.2d 953, appeal dismissed (1972) 406 U.S. 913, 92 S.Ct. 1762, 32 L.Ed.2d 112; Residents of Beverly Glen, I......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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