McNeil v. Board of Retirement, Stanislaus County

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Writing for the CourtTRAYNOR; GIBSON; CARTER
PartiesA. M. McNEIL and C. W. Saunders, Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. BOARD OF RETIREMENT, COUNTY OF STANISLAUS et al., Defendants and Appellants. Sac. 6738.
Decision Date05 December 1958

Page 281

332 P.2d 281
51 Cal.2d 278
A. M. McNEIL and C. W. Saunders, Plaintiffs and Respondents,
v.
BOARD OF RETIREMENT, COUNTY OF STANISLAUS et al., Defendants and Appellants.
Sac. 6738.
Supreme Court of California, In Bank.
Dec. 5, 1958.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 30, 1958.

Page 282

[51 Cal.2d 280] Frederick W. Reyland, Jr., Count Counsel, David G. Dunford and William R. Mitchell, Asst. County Counsel, and Clayton M. Ham, Deputy County Counsel, Modesto, for appellants.

Robert D. Carter and Ralph Mr. Brown, Modesto, for respondents.

[51 Cal.2d 281] TRAYNOR, Justice.

Defendants appeal from a judgment in an action brought by plaintiffs, official court reporters of the superior court of Stanislaus County, for a declaration of their rights under the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937. Gov.Code, § 31450 et seq.

The amount of plaintiffs' pensions on retirement will depend on the amounts of their normal and additional contributions to the retirement system. Gov.Code, §§ 31627, 31673, 31675. The county must contribute to the retirement system an amount equal to the reporters' accumulated normal contributions. Thus the more plaintiffs are permitted to contribute, the more the county must contribute.

The benefits of the retirement law are obtained by membership in the retirement association. Gov.Code, § 31474. Officers and attache § of the superior court become members of the association under section 31554 of the Government Code. That section provides: 'In this section 'officer or attache of the superior court' includes all commissioners, phonographic reporters who are paid salaries or per diems by the county and whose contributions are based upon such salaries or per diems, secretaries, stenographers, investigators, messengers, or other employees of the court.' (Italics added.)

Defendant contends that the foregoing section limits the basis of contributions to the salaries and per diems received by plaintiffs from the county for their official duties as superior court reporters. Plaintiffs contend that in addition to salaries and per diems the basis of contribution also includes fees for transcribing notes (Gov.Code, §§ 69950, 69951) and fees for services they frequently render to other county agencies.

Prior to 1945 phonographic reporters of the superior court were specifically excluded from the retirement association. Stats.1939, ch. 973, p. 2726. In 1945 the definition of 'officer or attache of the superior court' was amended to include 'phonographic reporters who are paid salaries or per diems by the county and whose contributions shall be based upon such salaries or per diem, * * *' Stats.1945, ch. 1230, p. 2340. (Italics added.) This mandatory language clearly expressed a legislative purpose to restrict the basis of contributions to salaries or per diems. In 1947 the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 was codified as sections 31450 to 31822 of the Government Code and the words 'shall be' were changed to 'are.' Stats.1947, ch. 424, p. 1269. [51 Cal.2d 282] This change in the course of codification did not change the meaning. See Sobey v. Molony, 40 Cal.App.2d 381, 385, 104 P.2d 868; Gov.Code, §§ 2, 9. It is apparent from the plain words of section 31554 that it restricts membership in the retirement association not only to reporters who are paid salaries or per diems by the county but to reporters 'whose contributions are based upon such salaries or per diems.' If membership was not to be so restricted the Legislature would have omitted this phrase. See County of San Diego v. Milotz, 46 Cal.2d 761, 769, 300 P.2d 1.

Plaintiffs contend that the purpose of the words 'who are paid salaries or per diems by the county and whose contributions are based upon such salaries or per diems' is simply to exclude from the retirement association reporters who are not compensated by the county. This interpretation would render section 31554 completely superfluous, for the Legislature has excluded reporters not compensated by the county by defining 'compensation' as remuneration paid from county funds (Gov.Code, § 31460) and by making the rate of contribution to the retirement system in turn dependent on 'earnable compensation.'

Page 283

Gov.Code, § 31622. Thus regardless of section 31554, reporters who are not compensated by the county may not contribute at all to the retirement system.

If the basis of contribution of the official reporters of the superior court of Stanislaus County were not limited...

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16 practice notes
  • Petri Cleaners, Inc. v. Automotive Emp., Laundry Drivers and Helpers Local No. 88, No. 88
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • January 26, 1960
    ...518, 212 P.2d 233; Pac. Pipeline Const. Co. v. State Bd. of Equal., 49 Cal.2d 729, 735-736, 321 P.2d 729; McNeil v. Board of Retirement, 51 Cal.2d 278, 284-285, 332 P.2d The undisputed evidence establishes plaintiff's background of hostility to any A.F.L.-C.I.O. union. Jeffrey Winfrey, who ......
  • Crumpler v. Board of Administration
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 22, 1973
    ...where it would enlarge the power of a governmental agency or expand the authority of a public official. (McNeil v. Board of Retirement, 51 Cal.2d 278, 285, 332 P.2d 281; Boren v. State Personnel Board, 37 Cal.2d 634, 643, 234 P.2d 981; County of San Diego v. California Water, [32 Cal.App.3d......
  • Shoban v. Board of Trustees of Desert Center Unified School Dist.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1969
    ...where it would enlarge the power of a governmental agency or expand the authority of a public official. (McNeil v. Board of Retirement, 51 Cal.2d 278, 285, 332 P.2d 281; Boren v. State Personnel Board, 37 Cal.2d 634, 643, 234 P.2d 981; County of San Diego v. Cal. Water Etc. Co., 30 Cal.2d 8......
  • City of Long Beach v. Mansell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 9, 1970
    ...Cal. 709, 717, 238 P. 1038; Boren v. State Personnel Board (1951) 37 Cal.2d 634, 643, 234 P.2d 981; McNeil v. Board of Retirement (1958) 51 Cal.2d 278, 285--286, 332 P.2d 281) that a fundamental distinction is to be recognized between those cases where the public entity to be estopped has t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Petri Cleaners, Inc. v. Automotive Emp., Laundry Drivers and Helpers Local No. 88, No. 88
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • January 26, 1960
    ...518, 212 P.2d 233; Pac. Pipeline Const. Co. v. State Bd. of Equal., 49 Cal.2d 729, 735-736, 321 P.2d 729; McNeil v. Board of Retirement, 51 Cal.2d 278, 284-285, 332 P.2d The undisputed evidence establishes plaintiff's background of hostility to any A.F.L.-C.I.O. union. Jeffrey Winfrey, who ......
  • Crumpler v. Board of Administration
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 22, 1973
    ...where it would enlarge the power of a governmental agency or expand the authority of a public official. (McNeil v. Board of Retirement, 51 Cal.2d 278, 285, 332 P.2d 281; Boren v. State Personnel Board, 37 Cal.2d 634, 643, 234 P.2d 981; County of San Diego v. California Water, [32 Cal.App.3d......
  • Shoban v. Board of Trustees of Desert Center Unified School Dist.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 1969
    ...where it would enlarge the power of a governmental agency or expand the authority of a public official. (McNeil v. Board of Retirement, 51 Cal.2d 278, 285, 332 P.2d 281; Boren v. State Personnel Board, 37 Cal.2d 634, 643, 234 P.2d 981; County of San Diego v. Cal. Water Etc. Co., 30 Cal.2d 8......
  • City of Long Beach v. Mansell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • November 9, 1970
    ...Cal. 709, 717, 238 P. 1038; Boren v. State Personnel Board (1951) 37 Cal.2d 634, 643, 234 P.2d 981; McNeil v. Board of Retirement (1958) 51 Cal.2d 278, 285--286, 332 P.2d 281) that a fundamental distinction is to be recognized between those cases where the public entity to be estopped has t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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