Kashmiri v. Regents of University of Cal., No. A113662.

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtLambden
Docket NumberNo. A113662.
PartiesMohammad KASHMIRI et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. The REGENTS OF the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Defendant and Appellant.
Decision Date02 November 2007
67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635
156 Cal.App.4th 809
Mohammad KASHMIRI et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
v.
The REGENTS OF the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Defendant and Appellant.
No. A113662.
Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2.
November 2, 2007.
As Modified November 15, 2007.

[67 Cal.Rptr.3d 638]

University of California Office of General Counsel Charles F. Robinson, Jeffrey A. Blair, Christopher M. Patti, Michael R. Goldstein, James Ernst Hoist, Oakland, Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, Jerome B. Falk, Jr., Ethan P. Schulman, Keith D. Kessler, San Francisco, Attorneys for Defendant and Appellant The Regents of the University of California.

Brown, Goldstein & Levy, Andrew D. Freeman, Deborah T. Eisenberg, Staci J. Krupp, and Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Rubin & Demain, Jonathan Weissglass, Danielle E. Leonard, San Francisco, Attorneys for Plaintiffs and Respondents Mohammad Kashmiri, et al.

American Medical Association, Jon N. Ekdahl, Leonard A. Nelson, Barat S. McClain, and California Medical Association, Catherine I. Hanson, San Francisco, Attorneys for Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

LAMBDEN, J.


Mohammad Kashmiri, Benson R. Cohen, Anupama K. Menon, Sally Schwettmann, John Alden, Janet Lee, Teddy Miller, and Jennifer Blake, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons (collectively, respondents), filed an action for injunctive and declaratory relief and for damages against The Regents of the University of California (the Regents or University) after the University increased various fees. The University asserts that it did not breach any contract with the students and, even if it did, this court should reduce the damages by the amount of grant money provided by the University to the students.

We conclude that implied contracts were formed between the University and respondents. The University breached its contracts with the professional students when it raised the professional educational fees for continuing students after promising on its website and in its catalogues that such fees would not be raised for the duration of the students' enrollment in the professional program. The University also breached its contracts with the students attending the spring and summer session

67 Cal.Rptr.3d 639

in 2003 by raising the educational fees for these terms after the students had received bills specifying the exact amount to be paid. We also reject the University's challenge to the damages award, since the record contains no facts to establish the amount the University now claims should be deducted from the award. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the lower court.

BACKGROUND1

The Regents set and receive the educational fees for all students attending the University of California (UC).2 On January 21, 1994, the Regents approved a fee policy that included an educational fee for all UC students and a professional degree fee (PDF) for some UC graduate students.

The PDF

For the 1994-1995 academic year, the Regents imposed a PDF on all students in graduate professional degree programs, including dentistry, veterinary medicine, business/management, law, and medicine. In the 1996-1997 academic year, the University also charged the PDF fee for students enrolled in graduate programs in nursing, optometry, pharmacy, and theater, film, and television.

The PDF policy approved in January 1994 stated that the following factors would be considered when assessing the PDF: "the amount of resources required to sustain academic quality at, and enrollments in, the particular professional program; the ability of UC to remain competitive with other institutions; the cost of education for each specific program; the average fees charged by comparable public and private institutions for each specific program; overall State General Fund support for the University; and other market-based factors that permit University programs to compete successfully for students." Additionally, the policy called for the PDF to "be phased in over time so that the total fees charged to students enrolled in each of the five professional programs be similar to the average fee charged for that program by comparable, high-quality institutions across the nation." At least one-third of the total fee revenue was to be "used to provide supplemental financial aid, including loan forgiveness programs, to help maintain the affordability of a professional school education. . . ."

When approving the professional fee policy, the Regents declared that "the level of the [PDF] remain the same for each student for the duration of his or her enrollment in the professional degree program, with increases in the fee applicable to new students only, until such time as the fee for each professional program reaches approximately the average of fees charged for that program by comparable high-quality institutions across the nation."

The Office of the President of the University maintains on its website an annual guide to student fees and deposits, described as "`the official guide for all University departments in the area of general University fees and deposits and miscellaneous University fees for which Regental or Presidential approval is required.'" Immediately following the foregoing language is the phrase, in bold font, "Fees are subject to change without notice." Following this phrase are links to specified fees

67 Cal.Rptr.3d 640

and other topics, including "Fee for Selected Professional School Students[.]" At the web pages for the professional school students during the academic years of 1994-1995 to 2002-2003, the following statement was posted: "Increases in the Fee apply to new students only. The Fee will remain the same for each student for the duration of his or her enrollment in the professional degree program." The particular schedules of the PDF were posted on the website of the Office of the President of the University.

Additionally, from the academic year of 1994-1995 through the academic year of 2002-2003, the University's annual budget documents provided: "Until the fee is fully phased in, the level of the [PDF] remains the same for each student for the duration of his or her enrollment in the professional degree program, with increases in the fee applicable to new students only."

The catalogues for Boalt Hall School of Law (Boalt) at UC Berkeley for the academic years of 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 stated the following: "The [PDF] is one component of the total fees for J.D. students. For students entering in [1999 or 2000], the [PDF] is $6,000 per year, and it will remain at that level for their three years in the J.D. program. Other components of total fees, however, could change." Similarly, the Boalt catalogues for the academic years of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 provided: "All students who enter the J.D. Program pay tuition and fees. The [PDF] is one component of the total fees. The professional degree fee remains at the same level for the three years in which the student is enrolled in the program. Other components of total fees, however, could change."3

In addition to the various catalogues and the University's website admonishing that fees were subject to change,4 many catalogues for the professional schools cautioned that policies could be changed. Thus, Boalt's catalogues for the academic years of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 provided: "[UC], Berkeley reserves the right to add, amend, delete or otherwise modify its policies, information, rules and regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, the modification of its degree programs or courses of study; its rules affecting the admission and retention of students, or the granting of credit and degrees; the academic calendar, course offerings or course content; and its fees, tuition and other charges, whenever it deems such changes desirable or necessary." Similarly, the UC Davis School of Law catalogues for the academic years of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 contained the following language under the heading "Costs of Education": "Tuition and fees are subject to legislative and gubernatorial action—they may change without notice."5

67 Cal.Rptr.3d 641

PDF Charged

From 1994 until the 2002-2003 academic year, the University did not raise the PDF for continuing students. The PDF was increased three times during this period, but the increases applied only to incoming students. On December 16, 2002, the Regents approved increases in the PDF for the spring 2003 term for all professional students, both incoming and continuing students. The increases were as follows: $150 for nursing and theater, film, and television; $250 for pharmacy and optometry; $350 for veterinary medicine; and $400 for medicine, business, law, and dentistry.

On July 17, 2003, the Regents voted to increase the PDF by 30 percent for the academic year of 2003-2004, for continuing as well as for newly enrolled students. For this academic year, the Regents charged the following PDF, no matter when the student entered the program: law, $9,473; medicine, $8,173; business, $9,360; dentistry, $8,060; veterinary medicine, $6,565; pharmacy, $4,875; optometry, $4,875; nursing, $2,925; and theater, film, and television, $3,185. Approximately 6,315 continuing professional degree students were impacted by the increase in the PDF.

The Regents again authorized an increase in the PDF for the academic year of 2004-2005, for both incoming and continuing students. These increases were as follows: $4,500 for business, medicine, and dentistry; $4,000 for veterinary medicine; $3,800 for law, pharmacy, and optometry; and $2,600 for theater, film, and television. The lowest PDF charged was $2,925 for nursing students and the highest was $15,792 for business students at UCLA. For the academic year of 2005-2006, the Regents increased the PDF by three percent above the fee of the prior year.

Educational Fee

The educational fee is a mandatory charge assessed against each student attending UC....

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  • Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Superior Court of L.A. Cnty., B259424
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 7, 2015
    ...implied] contract between [a] student and the institution is created....” ’ ” (Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 824, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635 (Kashmiri ).) Rosen contends that applying those two principles here, she entered into an implied-in-fact contra......
  • Truly Nolen of A. v. Superior Court of San Diego Cnty., No. D060519.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 9, 2012
    ...make factual findings on disputed extrinsic evidence. (See Civ.Code, § 1636; Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 842, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635;Oceanside 84, Ltd. v. Fidelity Federal Bank (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1441, 1448, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 487;Malmstrom v. Kais......
  • Victrola 89, LLC v. Jaman Props. 8 LLC, B295439
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 11, 2020
    ...the particular and specific provision is paramount to the general provision." ( Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 834, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635.) Thus, the Agreement’s specific directive that its enforcement will be governed by the FAA is paramount to any......
  • Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases Antelope Valley—east Kern Water Agency v. L. A. Cnty. Waterworks Dist. No. 40, Cross, F078517
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 20, 2018
    ...parties’ conduct created an implied agreement is generally a question of fact]; Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 829, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635 [same]; People v. Gibbs (1971) 16 Cal.App.3d 758, 764, 94 Cal.Rptr. 458 [on motion to suppress "whether there w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
165 cases
  • Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Superior Court of L.A. Cnty., B259424
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • October 7, 2015
    ...implied] contract between [a] student and the institution is created....” ’ ” (Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 824, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635 (Kashmiri ).) Rosen contends that applying those two principles here, she entered into an implied-in-fact contra......
  • Truly Nolen of A. v. Superior Court of San Diego Cnty., No. D060519.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 9, 2012
    ...make factual findings on disputed extrinsic evidence. (See Civ.Code, § 1636; Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 842, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635;Oceanside 84, Ltd. v. Fidelity Federal Bank (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 1441, 1448, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 487;Malmstrom v. Kais......
  • Victrola 89, LLC v. Jaman Props. 8 LLC, B295439
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 11, 2020
    ...the particular and specific provision is paramount to the general provision." ( Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 834, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635.) Thus, the Agreement’s specific directive that its enforcement will be governed by the FAA is paramount to any......
  • Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases Antelope Valley—east Kern Water Agency v. L. A. Cnty. Waterworks Dist. No. 40, Cross, F078517
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 20, 2018
    ...parties’ conduct created an implied agreement is generally a question of fact]; Kashmiri v. Regents of University of California (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 809, 829, 67 Cal.Rptr.3d 635 [same]; People v. Gibbs (1971) 16 Cal.App.3d 758, 764, 94 Cal.Rptr. 458 [on motion to suppress "whether there w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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