Hall v. University of Nevada, S.F. 22942

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Citation105 Cal.Rptr. 355,503 P.2d 1363,8 Cal.3d 522
Decision Date21 December 1972
Docket NumberS.F. 22942
Parties, 503 P.2d 1363, 81 A.L.R.3d 1234 Diane HALL, a minor, etc., et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA et al., Defendants and Respondents. In Bank

Page 355

105 Cal.Rptr. 355
8 Cal.3d 522, 503 P.2d 1363, 81 A.L.R.3d 1234
Diane HALL, a minor, etc., et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants,
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA et al., Defendants and Respondents.
S.F. 22942.
Supreme Court of California,
In Bank.
Dec. 21, 1972.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 24, 1973.

Page 356

[503 P.2d 1364] [8 Cal.3d 523] Bostwick & Rowe and Everett P. Rowe, San Jose, for plaintiffs and appellants.

Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, Michael H. Ahrens, Michael R. Sheehan and Paul H. Cyril, San Francisco, for defendants and respondents.

PETERS, Justice.

Plaintiffs appeal from an order quashing service of summons and complaint on the defendants, University of Nevada, a corporation, and the State of Nevada.

Plaintiffs filed suit in the San Francisco Superior Court to recover damages for personal injuries alleging that the injuries resulted from a collision in California between their automobile and a car owned by the University and State of Nevada and operated by their agent acting within the scope of his agency. 1

Service on the university and the state was made pursuant to section 17450 et seq. of the Vehicle Code which provide a method for service on nonresidents who have operated vehicles on the highways of this state, whose agents have done so, or who have consented to the use of their motor vehicles on our highways. With respect to accidents occurring in the state due to such use, the sections provide for service on the Director of Motor Vehicles and notice of service to the nonresident by registered mail.

[8 Cal.3d 524] The university and the state moved to quash service on the ground that California courts do not have jurisdiction over the State of Nevada and its governmental agencies. The motion was granted.

We have concluded that sister states who engage in activities within California are subject to our laws with respect to those activities and are subject to suit in California courts with respect to those activities. When the sister state enters into activities in this state, it is not exercising sovereign power over the citizens of this state and is not entitled to the benefits of the sovereign immunity doctrine as to those activities unless this state has conferred immunity by law or as a matter of comity.

This principle is illustrated by Parden v. Terminal R. Co., 377 U.S. 184, 190 et seq., 84 S.Ct. 1207, 12 L.Ed.2d 233, involving the operation by a state of a railroad in interstate commerce. The court recognized the general rule that a state is immune from suit in federal court by its own citizens and citizens of another state. The court, however, applied an exception to the general rule and held that because it engaged in interstate commerce, the state was subject to the Federal Employers' Liability Act (45 U.S.C. §§ 51--60) and could be sued under the act in the federal courts. The court, quoting from Maurice v. State of California, 43 Cal.App.2d 270, 275, 277, 110 P.2d 706, held that the state by engaging in interstate commerce by rail and thereby subjecting itself to the federal legislation must be deemed to have waived any right it may have had arising out of the general rule that a sovereign state may not be sued without its consent. 2 (See also California v. Taylor, 353 U.S. 553, 568, 77 S.Ct. 1037, 1 L.Ed.2d 1034; United States v. California, 297 U.S. 175, 185, 56 S.Ct. 421, 80 L.Ed. 567.)

Page 357

[503 P.2d 1365] The principle has also been recognized in state decisions relating to other states. Thus, in People v. Streeper (1957) 12 Ill.2d 204, 145 N.E.2d 625, 629--630, an injunction proceeding was permitted with respect to property owned by one state in another state, and in State v. Holcomb (1911) 85 Kan. 178, 116 P. 251, 254, taxation by one state of property therein owned by another state was permitted. Each proceeding was brought in the state where the property was owned. As pointed out in Streeper, the 'sovereignty...

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32 cases
  • Mandel v. Myers, S.F. 24217
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • June 18, 1981
    ...... of sovereign immunity must be deemed suspect." (Hall v. University of Nevada (1972) 8 Cal.3d 522, 526, 105 ......
  • Biscoe v. Arlington County, s. 83-1965
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 6, 1984
    ...solely by California law, and that California would not extend immunity to Nevada as a matter of comity. Hall v. University of Nevada, 8 Cal.3d 522, 503 P.2d 1363, 105 Cal.Rptr. 355 (1972) (en banc), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 820, 94 S.Ct. 114, 38 L.Ed.2d 52 (1973). After a remand and trial, t......
  • Ehrlich-Bober & Co., Inc. v. University of Houston, EHRLICH-BOBER
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • April 3, 1980
    ...... held that no such stricture inheres in the Federal Constitution (Nevada v. Hall, 440 U.S. 410, 99 S.Ct. 1182, 59 L.Ed.2d 416). New York is ......
  • Schoeberlein v. Purdue University, 66904
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • May 17, 1989
    ...Texas law)). Other States have refused to recognize State sovereign immunity laws: California (Hall v. University of Nevada (1972), 8 Cal.3d 522, 503 P.2d 1363, 105 Cal.Rptr. 355), Colorado (Peterson v. State (Colo.App.1981), 635 P.2d 241), District of Columbia (Biscoe v. Arlington County (......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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