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When It Comes to Writs of Administrative Mandamus, the Appealability Rules Are Confused (published at CEB)

Tim Kowal     June 15, 2023

CEB has published my article, “When It Comes to Writs of Administrative Mandamus, the Appealability Rules Are Confused,” available here.

The article is about the mandamus case of County of Santa Cruz v. Santa Cruz County Civil Service Commission (D6 May 5, 2023 no. H049856) 2023 WL 3267749 (nonpub. opn.). The setup is that, when challenging an agency action via a writ of administrative mandamus, normally you have to assume the trial court’s ruling is the appealable order. But the Santa Cruz court permitted an appeal much later than that, when the appellant appealed from a statement of decision (which itself is usually not appealable).

Kowal_AppealabilityRules.pdf

The decision contradicts last year’s holding in Meinhardt v. City of Sunnyvale (2022) 76 Cal.App.5th 43 (but the Supreme Court granted review in Meinhardt).

My comment: It should make you nervous when courts are wishy-washy on appealability. Once the cases suggest an order might be appealable, you need to assume they are definitely appealable, because they’re treated as jurisdictional.

My original post of the same title is here.

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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