People ex rel. Lynch v. Superior Court

Decision Date30 January 1970
Citation1 Cal.3d 910,464 P.2d 126,83 Cal.Rptr. 670
CourtCalifornia Supreme Court
Parties, 464 P.2d 126 The PEOPLE ex rel. Thomas C. LYNCH, as Attorney General, etc., Petitioner, v. The SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY et al., Respondents. L.A. 29661.

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen., Herschel T. Elkins, John F. McLaren and Andrea Sheridan Ordin, Deputy Attys. Gen., for petitioner.

Brundage, Neyhart, Miller, Ross & Reich, Daniel Feins, Joe C. Ortega, Los Angeles, Eugene M. Swann and Peter N. Hagberg, Richmond, amici curiae on behalf of petitioner.

John D. Maharg, County Counsel, Edward H. Gaylord and Robert C. Lynch, Asst. County Counsel, and Michael H. Dougherty, Deputy County Counsel, for respondents.

Jones, Baxley, Crouch & McCarty, A. Morgan Jones, San Diego, James M. Conners, Vernon D. Stokes, Morrison, Foerster, Holloway, Clinton & Clark, Robert D. Raven, Paul E. Homrighausen, Alexander B. Aikman, San Francisco, Anderson, McPharlin & Conners, Peter R. Regal Jr., Charles J. Katz, Samuel W. Blum, Los Angeles, Louis C. Hoyt, Studio City, Philip M. Rosten, Los Angeles, William K. Day, San Francisco, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Samuel O. Pruitt, Jr., and John L. Endicott, Los Angeles, amici curiae on behalf of respondents.

BURKE, Justice.

The Attorney General, on behalf of the People of the State of California, seeks by petition for writ of mandate to secure a determination from this court that the provisions of section 537 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which specify the actions in which prejudgment attachment may issue, are void in their entirety. Cited in support of the petition is Sniadach v. Family Finance Corp. (1969) 395 U.S. 337, 89 S.Ct. 1820, 23 L.Ed. 349. We issued an order to show cause.

As ruled in the companion cases of McCallop v. Carberry, Cal., 83 Cal.Rptr. 666, 464 P.2d 122, and Cline v. Credit Bureau, Cal., 83 Cal.Rptr. 669, 464 P.2d 125, California's prejudgment wage garnishment procedures violate procedural due process requirements, under the rationale of Sniadach. Those cases deal with actual or threatened prejudgment levies upon the wages of the parties litigant, upon alleged claims of indebtedness.

In the present proceeding, however, there is before us no alleged debtor or creditor who is party to a prejudgment attachment of any property whatsoever, wages or otherwise, and who seeks relief with respect thereto. The Attorney General avers that 'The various clerks, sheriffs, and marshals of the State of California (who issue and serve writs of attachment) * * * wish to be advised as to what the law is in the State of California' with reference to application of the Sniadach ruling to California's prejudgment attachment procedures. The Attorney General requests us to provide such advice.

The rendering of advisory opinions falls within neither the functions nor the jurisdiction of this court. (See Cal. Const., art. III, § 1; art. VI, §§ 10, 11; see also Gov. Code, § 68808; Hill v. Hill (1947) 79 Cal.App.2d 368, 180 P.2d 378.) 1

The order to show cause is discharged as improvidently issued, and the petition is denied.


1 We, of course, do not question the authority of the Attorney General to file any civil action for the enforcement of the laws of the state or the United States Constitution, which in the absence of legislative restriction he deems necessary for the protection of public rights and interests. (Cal.Const., art. V, § 13; People ex rel. Mosk v....

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72 cases
  • People ex rel. Lynch v. San Diego Unified School Dist.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • August 13, 1971
    ...restriction he deems necessary for the protection of public rights and interests.' (People ex rel. Lynch v. Superior Court, 1 Cal.3d 910, 912, fn. 1, 83 Cal.Rptr. 670, 671, 464 P.2d 126, 127.) It is in the public interest to require a school district to comply with the provisions of the Uni......
  • People ex rel. Becerra v. Superior Court of Riverside Cnty.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • November 27, 2018
    ...Cal.Rptr.3d 50.) There is no general "public interest" exception to the requirement of standing. In People ex rel. Lynch v. Superior Court (1970) 1 Cal.3d 910, 83 Cal.Rptr. 670, 464 P.2d 126, the attorney general sought a declaration that the state’s prejudgment attachment laws were unconst......
  • Klim v. Jones
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of California
    • July 17, 1970
    ...had this problem before it in advisory form and accordingly declined to rule thereon in People ex rel Lynch v. Superior Court, 1 Cal.3d 910, 912, 83 Cal. Rptr. 670, 464 P.2d 126 (1970). 27 Without any judicial interposition between claim and imposition of the lien, Section 1861 permits self......
  • Blair v. Pitchess
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • July 1, 1971
    ...falls within neither the functions nor the jurisdiction of this court. (Citations.)' (People ex. rel. Lynch v. Superior Court (1970) 1 Cal.3d 910, 912, 83 Cal.Rptr. 670, 671, 464 P.2d 126, 127.) They also draw our attention to the long series of United States Supreme Court decisions which h......
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