AB 1390, as amended, Alejo. Groundwater: adjudication.
The California Constitution requires that the water resources of the State be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable. Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which applies to all groundwater basins in the state, all basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the Department of Water Resources as basins that are subject to critical conditions of overdraft, as specified, are required to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020.
This bill would establish special procedures for
begin delete adjudication actions,end delete which begin delete areend delete defined as begin delete actionsend delete filed in superior court to determine the rights to extract groundwater within a basin or store water from a basin, as specified. The bill would authorize the court to determine all rights to groundwater in a basin whether based on appropriation, overlying right, or other basis of right. The bill would require these special procedures to govern all adjudication actions except in specified cases not involving allocation of a basin’s groundwater supply.
This bill would require a complaint filed in an adjudication action to name certain defendants, including all counties or cities that provide water service and overlie the basin in whole or in part, and to be served and published in a specified manner. The bill would require the complaint to be accompanied by a draft notice and draft form answer, as specified, and would require the court to hold a preliminary hearing within 180 days of the filing of the complaint to determine if the action should proceed to comprehensively determine groundwater rights in the basin in accordance with the special procedures for adjudication actions. If the court makes that determination, based on a finding that at least one of 4 specified conditions is met, the bill would require the court to issue an order declaring the case an adjudication action and authorizing the service of the landowners of the basin. After the court order authorizing service of the landowners of the basin, the bill would require the plaintiff to file an ex parte application seeking court approval of the draft notice and draft form answer filed with the complaint. If the court approves the draft notice and draft form answer, the bill would require the assessor or assessors of the county or counties in which the basin to be adjudicated lies to include the court-approved notice and form answer with the next property tax bill sent to each landowner in the basin. The bill would require the plaintiff to reimburse the assessor or assessors for the costs of including the court-approved notice and form answer with the property tax bills and, after those materials have been included with the property tax bills, would require the plaintiff to file a declaration under penalty of perjury with the court attesting to the completion of the mailing. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would deem fulfillment of the service and publication provisions as effective service of process of the complaint and notice on all interested parties of the adjudication action for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the comprehensive effect of the adjudication action.
This bill would authorize the court to convene an initial case
management conference within 60 days of completion of service of the complaint and notice, as described above, after which the court could divide the adjudication action into phases. The bill would require the court to define the scope of any phase of the adjudication action by written order and would provide that the court’s discretion is not limited in ordering as many phases as the court deems appropriate for the expeditious and appropriate resolution of competing claims to the groundwater basin. In a phase of an adjudication action, the bill would require discovery to be strictly limited to the scope of the phase and would authorize the court to issue a written statement of decision at the completion of each phase. In addition, the bill would require each party to make, under penalty of perjury, specified initial disclosures within 60 days after the initial case management conference, except a plaintiff would be required to make the initial disclosures at the time it files the complaint. By expanding the
scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would authorize the court to appoint a special master in an adjudication action, and would provide that the special master’s duties could include, among other things, initiating a technical committee to conduct joint factfinding regarding the basin and would require the special master to compile a technical report of the findings, as specified. On or before January 1, 2017, the bill would require the Department of Water Resources to establish and maintain a list of individuals who may serve as special masters in adjudication actions and would prescribe the experience needed for an individual to be placed on the list.
begin delete Finally, upon entry of a final order or judgment finalizing an adjudication action under these special procedures, the bill would require the basin subject to the final order or judgment to be treated the same as certain adjudicated basins identified in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, including requiring the watermaster, or
local agency within the basin, or a portion of the basin, identified in the final order or judgment to submit certain documents to the department.end delete
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 830) is
2added to Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
9(1) Diverse economic, environmental, and social interests are
10implicated by sustainable groundwater management.
11(2) Efficient resolution of conflicts concerning right to use
12and manage groundwater will promote beneficial use of the waters
13of the state consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
14Constitution, the state water policies mandated in Chapter 1
15(commencing with Section 100) of Division 1 of the Water Code,
16and as intended by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
17(Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6 of the
19(3) Previous groundwater adjudication actions have taken more
20than a decade before issuance of a final judgment by the court in
21an adjudication action.
22(4) In light of the scope and complexities of groundwater
23adjudication actions, the state’s welfare will be promoted by the
24development of specially tailored legal procedures to efficiently
25process groundwater adjudication actions.
26(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:
27(1) Develop procedures to provide a more streamlined and
28expeditious groundwater adjudication process, while at the same
29time fully respecting established principles of water rights law and
30providing participants appropriate due process.
31(2) Establish procedures by which courts may conduct
32 comprehensive determinations of all rights to groundwater in a
34(3) Encourage early resolution of groundwater rights disputes.
35(4) Substantially reduce the time and expense of groundwater
36adjudications, while ensuring fair procedures to protect all parties’
37rights to groundwater.
P5 1(5) Ensure the judicial process is not used to unnecessarily delay
2or thwart the goal of managing groundwater in a sustainable
4(6) Reduce the burdens placed on the judiciary under the current
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
8(a) “Adjudication action” means an action filed in superior court
9to determine the rights to extract groundwater within a basin or
10store water from a basin, including, but not limited to, actions to
11quiet title respecting rights to extract or store groundwater or an
12action brought to impose a physical solution on a basin.
13(b) “Basin” means a groundwater basin or subbasin identified
14pursuant to Section 839.
15(c) “Bulletin 118” means the department’s report entitled
16“California’s Groundwater: Bulletin 118” updated in 2003, as it
17may be subsequently updated or revised.
18(d) “Complaint” means a complaint filed in superior court to
19determine rights to extract groundwater and includes any
20cross-complaint that initiates an adjudication action in response
21to a plaintiff’s complaint or other cross-complaint.
22(e) “Department” means the Department of Water Resources.
23(f) “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the earth
24within the zone below the water table in which the soil is
25completely saturated with water, but does not include water that
26flows in known and definite channels.
27(g) “Groundwater extraction facility” means a device or method
28for extracting groundwater from within a basin.
29(h) “Groundwater recharge” means the augmentation of
30groundwater, by natural or artificial means.
31(i) “Person” includes, but is not limited to, counties, local
32agencies, state agencies, federal agencies, tribes, business entities,
34(j) “Plaintiff” means the person filing the complaint initiating
35an adjudication action and includes a cross-complainant who
36initiates an adjudication action by cross-complaint.
37(k) “Sustainable Groundwater Management Act” means the
38provisions of Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of
39Division 6 of the Water Code.
(a) This chapter establishes special procedures for
begin delete adjudication actions.end delete This chapter shall
3not alter groundwater rights or the law concerning groundwater
4rights. The other provisions of this code apply to procedures in
begin delete adjudication actionsend delete to the extent they do
6not conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
7(b) In an adjudication action subject to this chapter, the court
8may determine, in the proceedings provided for in this chapter, all
9rights to groundwater in a basin whether based on appropriation,
10overlying right, or other basis of right.
11(c) The court’s final judgment in an adjudication action, as to
12the right to groundwater of each party, may declare the priority,
13 amount, purposes of use, extraction location, and place of use of
14the water, together with appropriate injunctive relief, subject to
15terms adopted by the court to implement a physical solution in the
17(d) The procedures of this chapter shall govern all adjudication
18actions, unless the court finds either of the following, in which
19case the action shall proceed in accordance with other provisions
21(1) The action concerns only claims that the operation of a
22party’s groundwater extraction facility is interfering with the
23physical availability of groundwater to one or more other parties’
24groundwater extraction facility or facilities and does not involve
25an allocation of the basin’s groundwater supply.
26(2) The action concerns only claims to extract, or to prevent
27interference with extractions of, a specific source of groundwater
28recharge and does not involve an allocation of the basin’s
30(e) In implementing this chapter and applying the other
31provisions of this code in an adjudication action, the court should
32expedite resolution of the adjudication action and, where a
33groundwater sustainability plan is required pursuant to the
34Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the court should
35encourage the parties to cooperatively develop a groundwater
36sustainability plan that may serve as the basis of a stipulated
37judgment setting forth a physical solution for management of the
(a) Unless a court orders otherwise for good cause, the
4complaint in an adjudication action shall name all of the following
5persons as defendants:
6(1) All counties or cities that provide water service and overlie
7the basin in whole or in part.
8(2) All general or special districts empowered to manage or
9replenish groundwater resources of the basin in whole or in part.
10(3) The operator of a public water system that uses groundwater
11from the basin to supply water service.
12(4) The operator of
a state small water system that uses
13groundwater from the basin to supply water service.
14(b) Within 30 days of the filing of the complaint, all of the
15following shall occur:
16(1) The plaintiff shall serve the complaint on all persons named
17as defendants pursuant to subdivision (a) in the manner prescribed
18by Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10) of Chapter 4 of
20(2) The plaintiff shall publish notice of the complaint pursuant
21to Section 6066 of the Government Code.
22(3) The plaintiff, or its representative, shall personally appear
23at a meeting of the board of supervisors of each county overlying
24the basin at least in part, and announce that the plaintiff has filed
25the adjudication action and where copies of the complaint may be
27(4) The court shall allow any person to intervene in the
28adjudication action upon an ex parte application that demonstrates
29that the person holds fee simple ownership in a parcel in the basin.
30A person filing the ex parte application shall give notice to the
31plaintiff consistent with the California Rules of Court.
(a) Within 180 days of the filing of a complaint to
33adjudicate groundwater rights, the court shall conduct a preliminary
34hearing to determine if the action should proceed to
35comprehensively determine groundwater rights in the basin in
36accordance with this chapter. At the preliminary hearing the court
37may hear expert or lay testimony and the plaintiff shall demonstrate
38one of the following:
39(1) There is substantial evidence that declining groundwater
40levels may cause an undesirable result in the basin.
P8 1(2) The court cannot provide adequate relief among the potential
2claimants to a groundwater right in the basin subject to the
3adjudication action unless the adjudication action is completed.
4(3) The parties sufficient to comply with Section 847 have
5agreed to a proposed judgment in the adjudication action.
6(4) Consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
7Constitution, the interests of groundwater rights holders will be
8expeditiously and effectively served by the completion of the
10(b) If, after the preliminary hearing, the court finds that any
11condition described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of
12subdivision (a) is met, the court shall issue an order declaring that
13the case is an adjudication action subject to this chapter and
14authorizing service of landowners in accordance with Section 833.
15(c) If, after the preliminary hearing, the court finds that no
16condition described in paragraph (1) to (4), inclusive, of
17subdivision (a) is met, the court shall either dismiss the adjudication
18action without prejudice, or find that the action is not subject to
19this chapter under Section 831 and permit the action to proceed
20pursuant to the other provisions of this code.
21(d) Before the preliminary hearing the court may allow expedited
22discovery consistent with this chapter. The court shall actively
23manage the expedited discovery to prevent delays in order to
24enable, to the greatest extent possible and pursuant to Section 833,
25service of landowners through the next mailing of property tax
26bills within the basin.
(a) Together with the filing of the complaint, the plaintiff
28shall file both of the following:
29(1) A draft notice titled “NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT OF
30GROUNDWATER BASIN ADJUDICATION” in no less than
3120-point font and the following text printed immediately below
32the draft notice title in no less than 14-point font:
33“THIS NOTICE IS IMPORTANT. ANY RIGHTS YOU CLAIM
34TO PUMP OR STORE GROUNDWATER FROM THE BASIN
35IDENTIFIED IN THIS NOTICE MAY BE AFFECTED BY A
36LAWSUIT INITIATED BY THE COMPLAINT SUMMARIZED
38A copy of the complaint may be obtained by contacting the
39plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney identified in this notice. If you
40claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin, either
P9 1now or in the future, you may become a party to this lawsuit by
2filing an answer to the lawsuit on or before the deadline specified
3in this notice by completing the attached form answer and filing
4it with the court indicated in this notice and by sending a copy of
5the form answer to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney.
6Failing to participate in this lawsuit could have a significant
7adverse effect on any right to pump or store groundwater that you
8may have. You may seek the advice of an attorney in relation to
9this lawsuit. Such attorney should be consulted promptly. A case
10management conference in this groundwater basin adjudication
11proceeding shall occur on the date specified in this notice. If you
12intend to participate in the groundwater adjudication proceeding
13to which this notice applies, you are advised to attend the initial
14case management conference in person or have an attorney
15represent you at the initial case management conference.
16Participation requires the production of all information regarding
17your groundwater use. You must provide this information by the
18date identified in this notice.
19A form answer is provided for your convenience. You may fill
20out the form answer and file it with the court. Should you choose
21to file the form answer, it will serve as an answer to all complaints
22and cross-complaints filed in this case.”
23(2) (A) A draft form answer titled “ANSWER TO
24ADJUDICATION COMPLAINT” in no less than 20-point font
25and the following text printed immediately below the draft form
26answer title in no less than 14-point font:
27“The undersigned denies all material allegations in the complaint
28or cross-complaint in this action that seeks to adjudicate rights in
29the groundwater basin and asserts all applicable affirmative
30defenses to that complaint.”
31(B) Notwithstanding any other law, the filing of an answer in
32the form described in subparagraph (A) in an adjudication action
33is sufficient to put at issue all material allegations and applicable
34affirmative defenses to the complaint in the adjudication action.
35If a party intends to seek adjustment of the basin’s boundaries, it
36shall disclose that intention in the form answer described in
38(b) The draft notice
described in paragraph (1) of subdivision
39(a) shall include the following information immediately following
40the text described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a):
P10 1(1) The name of the basin that is the subject of the adjudication
3(2) A space to be completed with the case number assigned to
4the adjudication action, and the name and address of the court and
5department to which the action is assigned.
6(3) The name, address, telephone number, and email address of
7the plaintiff, or plaintiff’s attorney, from which the complaint may
9(4) A space to be completed with a date upon which the court
10will hold a case management conference. The court shall determine
11the date for the case management conference.
12(5) The date an answer must be filed with the court.
13(6) A summary of the causes of action alleged in the complaint
14and the relief sought. The summary shall not exceed 25 lines.
15(c) Within 15 days of a court order authorizing service of
16landowners pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall file an ex
17parte application that seeks the court’s approval of plaintiff’s draft
18notice and draft form answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a). The
19plaintiff shall give at least 24 hours’ notice of the hearing on the
20ex parte application to all parties identified in subdivision (a) of
21Section 832 and any other party the plaintiff has served. The
22plaintiff’s notice of the ex parte application shall include a copy
23of the draft notice and draft form answer filed pursuant to
25(d) Once the court approves the draft notice, the draft notice
26shall substitute for the summons otherwise provided for in civil
27actions pursuant to Section 412.20.
28(e) Following a court order authorizing service of landowners
29pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall identify, as expeditiously
30as possible and using the records of the assessor or assessors of
31the county or counties in which the basin to be adjudicated lies,
32the names and addresses of all holders of fee title to real property
33within the basin. The plaintiff shall provide the court and all parties
34notice of its acquisition of, or sufficient access to, this information.
35Upon receipt of the court order authorizing service of landowners
36pursuant to this section and the plaintiff’s draft notice and draft
37form answer, as approved by an order of the court, the assessor or
38assessors shall include the court-approved notice and form answer
39with the next property tax bill sent to each landowner in the basin.
40The plaintiff shall reimburse the assessor or assessors for the costs
P11 1of including the court-approved notice and form answer, unless
2otherwise ordered by the court. The assessor or assessors may
3appear at any court proceeding concerning the costs associated
4with including the court-approved notice and form answer with
5the property tax bills.
6(f) After the assessor or assessors include the court-approved
7notice and form answer with the property tax bills pursuant to
8subdivision (e), the plaintiff shall file with the court a declaration
9under penalty or perjury attesting to the completion of the mailing.
10(g) Notwithstanding any other law, the fulfillment of the service
11provisions of this section, the publication provisions of paragraph
12(2) of subdivision (b) of Section 832, and the remaining service
13and notice provisions of this chapter shall be deemed effective
14service of process of the complaint and notice on all interested
15parties of the adjudication action for purposes of establishing in
16rem jurisdiction and the comprehensive effect of the adjudication
Within 15 days of the service of a complaint against or
19by a local agency in an adjudication action, and upon the motion
20of any party, the court shall either transfer the adjudication action
21for all purposes to a neutral county or request the chairperson of
22the Judicial Council to assign a disinterested judge from a neutral
23county to hear the adjudication action for all purposes. For purposes
24of this section, “local agency” has the same definition as that term
25is defined in subdivision (m) of Section 10721 of the Water Code.
In an adjudication action there may only be two
27disqualifications of judges pursuant to Section 170.6,
28notwithstanding the provisions of Section 170.6 concerning sides
29in an action. A request or motion to disqualify a judge under
30Section 170.6 shall be filed within 30 days of completion of service
31pursuant to Section 833, or within 30 days of a transfer or
32assignment pursuant to Section 834.
An adjudication action is presumed to be a complex case
34within the meaning of Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court
35unless a party demonstrates that the adjudication action is not
Service of pleadings in an adjudication action, other than
38the complaint initiating an adjudication action, shall occur
39electronically to the greatest extent possible. If available, service
40shall occur through a court-provided electronic service system. If
P12 1a court-provided electronic service system is unavailable, the
2parties shall serve documents by email or other equivalent
3electronic means to the greatest extent possible. To enable
4electronic service of pleadings, the attorneys
begin delete orend delete record or parties
5representing themselves shall include their email address in the
6captions of pleadings they file in the adjudication action.
(a) In managing an adjudication action, the court may,
11notwithstanding any other law, convene a case management
12conference within 60 days after service is completed pursuant to
14(b) After the initial case management conference the court may
15divide the adjudication action into phases. This section shall not
16limit the court’s discretion to order as many phases as the court
17deems appropriate for the expeditious and appropriate resolution
18of competing claims to the groundwater basin. The court shall
19define the scope of any phase of the adjudication action by written
20order and shall revisit that definition only upon a demonstration
21that continuing with the phase as previously defined would
22substantially impede the expeditious resolution of the adjudication
24(c) In a phase of an adjudication action, discovery shall be
25strictly limited to the scope of the phase, as defined in the court’s
26written order. The court may make any appropriate orders to ensure
27that discovery during a phase remains within the scope of the phase
28and, unless an injustice would otherwise result, shall impose
29monetary sanctions on parties, attorneys, or both parties and
30attorneys, who, during the phase, propound discovery outside the
31scope of the phase.
32(d) Pursuant to Section 632, a court may issue a written
33statement of decision at the completion of each phase of the
34adjudication action. If the court issues a written statement of
35decision, that written statement of decision shall be considered a
36resolution of the phase and shall be binding for the remainder of
37the adjudication action unless reversed or modified by an appellate
38court. Appellate review of a court’s written statement of decision
39that concludes a phase of the adjudication action may be by writ
40only and a party may only appeal the court’s final judgment.
P13 1(e) A court may facilitate the formation of a class or classes of
2overlying groundwater rights holders pursuant to the criteria
3specified in Section 382.
(a) Subject to subdivision (b), the initial basin boundaries
5for an adjudication action shall be the basin boundaries identified
6in Bulletin 118 as of the date the complaint initiating the
7adjudication action is filed. Based on these boundaries, the court
8and the parties shall initiate the procedures to serve the complaint
9in an adjudication action in accordance with Section 833.
10(b) The court may consider adjusting a basin’s boundaries at
11the initial phase of an adjudication action. The court may refer
12consideration of adjustment of a basin’s boundaries to the
13department for recommendations in accordance with the procedures
14described in Section 10722.2 of the Water Code. The court may
15stay any proceedings in the adjudication action pending the
16department’s resolution of any boundary adjustments, except the
17court shall not stay the parties’ initial disclosures made pursuant
18to Section 840.
19(c) If a court, based on department recommendations, adjusts
20the basin’s boundaries after completion of the initial phase of an
21adjudication action, the basin’s boundaries, as determined by the
22court, shall be the basin’s boundaries for all purposes in all
23subsequent phases of the adjudication action. Appellate review of
24a court’s determination of the basin’s boundaries after completion
25of the initial phase of the adjudication action may be by writ only
26and shall not be subject to any later writ or appeal.
(a) Except as otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered
28by the court, and without waiting for a discovery request, a party
29shall provide the court or special master initial disclosures that
30include all of the following information:
31(1) The name, address, telephone number, and email address of
32the party completing the form developed pursuant to subdivision
34(2) The quantity of any groundwater extraction from the basin
35by the party, or the party’s representative or agent, during each of
36the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the filing of the
38(3) The beneficial purpose of any use of groundwater from the
39basin or the beneficial use of any alternative water use that the
40party claims as its use of groundwater.
P14 1(4) The location of any extraction of groundwater from the basin
2by the party, or the party’s representative or agent.
3(5) The location of any beneficial use of groundwater from the
4basin or beneficial use of any alternative water use that the party
5claims as its use of groundwater.
6(6) The quantity of any beneficial use of any alternative water
7use that the party claims as its use of groundwater under any
8applicable law, including, but not limited to, Section 1005.1,
91005.2, or 1005.4 of the Water Code.
10(7) Identification of all surface water rights and contracts that
11the party claims provides the basis for its water right claims in the
13(8) The quantity of any replenishment of water to the basin that
14augmented the basin’s native water supply, resulting from the
15intentional storage of imported or non-native water in the basin,
16managed recharge of surface water, or return flows resulting from
17the use of imported water or non-native water on lands overlying
18the basin by the party, or the party’s representative or agent, during
19each of the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the filing of
21(9) The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email
22addresses of all persons possessing information that supports the
24(10) Any other information deemed appropriate by the court
25for initial disclosure in an adjudication action.
26(b) The Judicial Council shall develop a form for initial
27disclosures made pursuant to subdivision (a) to facilitate the
28consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration
29of adjudication actions.
30(c) (1) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by
31the court, and not including the plaintiff that initiates the
32adjudication action, a party shall make the initial disclosures
33described in subdivision (a) within 60 days after the initial case
34management conference in the adjudication action.
35(2) A plaintiff that initiates the adjudication action shall make
36the initial disclosures described in subdivision (a) at the time it
37files the complaint by lodging the required information with the
38court in an electronic format. The plaintiff shall serve the required
39information on the defendants or cross-defendants that it names
40when it serves the complaint.
P15 1(3) The court may order, after the initial case management
2conference, any supplemental disclosures, other than those
3described in subdivision (a), that may expedite resolution of the
5(d) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a party that is first
6served, or otherwise joined to the adjudication action, after the
7initial case management conference shall make the disclosures
8described in subdivision (a) within 30 days after being served or
9joined, unless a different time is set by stipulation of the parties
10or an order of the court. The court shall liberally consider any
11motions or applications to extend the time for a newly-served or
12-joined party to make the disclosures described in subdivision (a).
13(e) A party shall make its initial disclosures based on the
14information then reasonably available to it. A party is not excused
15from making its initial disclosures because it has not fully
16investigated the case, because it challenges the sufficiency of
17another party’s disclosures, or because another party has not made
19(f) A party that has made its initial disclosures, as described in
20subdivision (a), or that has responded to another party’s discovery
21request, shall supplement or correct a disclosure or response in
22either of the following situations:
23(1) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
24respect the disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect and
25the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been
26made known to the other parties during the disclosure or discovery
28(2) As ordered by the court.
29(g) To the greatest extent possible, a party shall serve his or her
30initial disclosures electronically through a court-provided electronic
31service system, email, or another method of electronic transmission.
32If it is not possible for the party to serve his or her disclosures
33electronically, he or she shall serve the disclosures in an electronic
34format saved on a portable storage media device such as a compact
35disc or flash drive.
36(h) A party’s obligations under this section may be enforced by
37a court on its own motion or the motion of a party pursuant to
P16 1(i) A party’s disclosures under this section shall be verified
2under penalty of perjury as being true and correct to the best of
3the party’s knowledge.
(a) In addition to all other disclosures required by this
5chapter, a party shall disclose to the other parties the identity of
6any expert witness it may use at trial to present evidence. For
7purposes of this chapter, “expert witness” means a witness qualified
8pursuant to Section 720 of the Evidence Code.
9(b) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the
10court, the disclosure made pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be
11accompanied by a written report prepared and signed by the expert
12witness if the witness is retained or specially employed by the
13party offering the expert witness to testify as an expert in the action,
14or if the expert witness’s duties as the party’s employee regularly
15involves giving expert testimony. The report shall include all of
17(1) A complete statement of all opinions the witness will express
18and the basis and reasons for those opinions.
19(2) The facts or data considered by the witness in forming his
20or her opinions.
21(3) Any exhibits the witness will use to summarize or support
22his or her opinions.
23(4) The witness’s qualifications, including a list of all
24publications authored by the witness in the previous 10 years.
25(5) A list of all other cases in which the witness testified as an
26expert at trial or by deposition in the last five years.
27(6) A statement of the compensation to be paid for the witness’s
28work and testimony in the adjudication action.
29(c) If subdivision (b) does not apply to an expert witness because
30of a stipulation by the parties or an order of the court, the witness’s
31disclosure shall include both of the following:
32(1) The subject matter on which the witness is expected to
34(2) A summary of the witness’s opinions, and the facts or data
35considered by the witness in forming his or her opinions.
36(d) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, a party shall make
37the disclosures of any expert witness it intends to present at trial,
38except for an expert witness presented solely for purposes of
39impeachment or rebuttal, at the times and in the sequence ordered
P17 1by the court. If there is no stipulation or court order, the disclosures
2of an expert witness shall be made as follows:
3(1) At least 30 days after the court’s entry of an order
4establishing the scope of the relevant phase of the adjudication
6(2) Except for a supplemental expert witness described in
7paragraph (3), at least 60 days before the date set for trial of the
8relevant phase of the adjudication action.
9(3) For a supplemental expert witness who will express an
10opinion on a subject to be covered by another expert witness
11designated by an adverse party that was not among the subjects
12covered by an expert witness initially disclosed by the party
13offering the supplemental expert witness, no more than 20 days
14after the initial expert witness disclosure date.
15(e) The court may modify the disclosure requirements of
16 subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, for expert witnesses presented
17solely for purposes of impeachment or rebuttal. In modifying the
18disclosure requirements, the court shall adopt disclosure
19requirements that expedite the court’s consideration of the issues
20presented and shall ensure that expert testimony presented solely
21for purposes of impeachment or rebuttal is strictly limited to the
22scope of the testimony that it intends to impeach or rebut.
23(f) (1) A party whose expert witness has made a disclosure
24pursuant to this section shall promptly supplement or correct the
25expert witness’s disclosure in either of the following instances:
26(A) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
27respect the disclosure is incomplete or incorrect, if the additional
28or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to
29the other parties during the disclosure or discovery process.
30(B) As ordered by the court.
31(2) A party’s duty to supplement or correct its expert witness’s
32disclosure includes the information included in the report and the
33information given during the expert witness’s deposition. Unless
34otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the court, any
35supplementation or correction shall occur at least 14 days before
36trial of the applicable phase of the adjudication action.
37(3) The court may authorize a supplemental deposition of an
38expert witness based on a supplemental disclosure made pursuant
39to this subdivision. The court shall appropriately condition the
40authorization of a supplemental deposition of an expert witness to
P18 1ensure the expeditious completion of the applicable phase of the
2adjudication action. The court may require the party whose expert
3makes the supplemental disclosure to pay some or all of the costs
4associated with the supplemental deposition.
5(g) To the greatest extent possible, the parties shall serve expert
6witness disclosures electronically through a court-provided
7electronic service system, email, or another method of electronic
8transmission. If it is not possible for the party to serve his or her
9expert witness disclosures electronically, he or she shall serve the
10expert witness disclosures in an electronic format saved on a
11portable storage media device such as a compact disc or flash
13(h) If a party or its expert witness fails to comply with this
14section, the court may exclude the expert witness’s testimony from
15trial, authorize additional depositions of the expert witness at the
16party’s expense, or take other appropriate action upon the noticed
17motion, or ex parte application, of a party.
(a) A court in an adjudication action may require the
19parties to submit written testimony of relevant witnesses in the
20forms of affidavits or declarations under penalty or perjury in lieu
21of presenting live testimony. The required written testimony may
22include, but is not limited to, expert witness opinions and testimony
23that authenticates documentary evidence. The court may order that
24the written testimony constitutes the entirety of the witness’s direct
25testimony, require the written testimony to include any exhibits
26offered in support of the written testimony, and, in the case of
27written testimony of an expert witness, require a statement of the
29(b) If the court requires the submission of written testimony
30 pursuant to subdivision (a), a complete copy of the direct testimony
31shall be served at least 21 days before trial of the applicable phase
32of the adjudication action. A complete copy of any rebuttal
33testimony shall be served no later than the first day of trial of the
34applicable phase of the adjudication action. The court shall ensure
35the rebuttal testimony is strictly limited to the scope of the direct
36testimony to which it responds.
37(c) If the contents of the written testimony would have been
38admissible if the witness testified orally, the written testimony
39shall be received by the court as a documentary exhibit if, at the
40trial of the applicable phase of the adjudication action, the witness
P19 1whose written testimony is being offered is made available for
2cross-examination by all parties.
(a) In an adjudication action, the court may appoint a
4special master whose duties may include the following:
5(1) Initiating a technical committee consisting of the parties,
6the parties’ designated representatives, or both, to conduct joint
7factfinding as to the basin’s safe yield of groundwater, water
8demand, and any other technical issues, as directed by the court.
9The special master shall compile a technical report of the findings
10in accordance with Section 844.
11(2) Conducting or facilitating mediation or settlement
13(3) Performing other tasks the court may deem appropriate.
14(b) The special master may be employed by the court as a
15full-time or part-time employee, or retained as an independent
16contractor. A special master’s compensation and other expenses
17related to the conduct of an adjudication action shall be fixed by
18the court, apportioned pro rata to the extent reasonably feasible to
19do so, and paid by all parties unless the parties agree to another
20allocation or the court determines that, in the interests of justice,
21another allocation is necessary. The court may provide for the
22collection and disbursement of special master fees as it deems
24(c) (1) To assist trial courts in selecting special masters the
25department shall, on or before January 1, 2017, establish and
26maintain a list of individuals who may serve as special masters in
27adjudication actions. To be placed on the list an individual shall
28have at least 10 years experience as either of the following:
29(A) A licensed professional engineer, professional hydrologist,
30or professional geologist.
31(B) An attorney licensed to practice law in the state.
32(2) The department shall establish any other qualifications that
33may be appropriate to ensure that individuals placed on the list are
34qualified to assist a court in an adjudication action.
(a) If a technical committee is established pursuant to
36Section 843, the special master shall provide all parties with a copy
37of a draft technical report he or she prepares and a notice setting
38a day at least 60 days after the draft technical report has been
39provided to all parties before which the parties may submit to the
40special master written objections to the draft technical report.
P20 1(b) An objection to the draft technical report shall identify the
2specific grounds and evidence on which the objection is based.
3Within 10 days after the close of the period for filing objections,
4the special master shall provide copies of the objections to all
6(c) The special master may notice and hold hearings, as he or
7she deems appropriate, to gather information or address issues
8raised in the objections to the draft technical report.
9(d) The special master shall consider the objections to the draft
10technical report and develop a final certified copy of the technical
11report that shall be filed with the court, together with a certified
12copy of all evidence considered by the special master in preparing
13the draft technical report, all evidence identified in the objections
14to the draft technical report, and all evidence considered by the
15special master in preparing the final technical report.
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of Division
179 of the Evidence Code shall apply to all mediations, settlement
18conferences, and other similar out-of-court negotiations in
19adjudications actions subject to this chapter.
(a) It is the policy of the state to encourage the
21compromise and settlement of adjudication actions.
22(b) Upon the motion of any party to an adjudication action, a
23court may do any of the following:
24(1) Stay an adjudication action for a period of up to one year,
25subject to renewal in the court’s discretion upon a showing of good
26cause, in order to facilitate any of the following:
27(A) (i) Timely development of a groundwater sustainability
28plan under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act that
29may serve as the basis of a stipulated judgment setting forth a
30physical solution for management of the basin.
31(ii) If the court stays an adjudication action for purposes of
32facilitating timely progress on a groundwater sustainability plan,
33the court may direct the parties to provide the court with regular
34updates on the progress in developing the groundwater
36(B) Technical studies that may be useful to the parties in
37developing a stipulated judgment or physical solution.
38(C) Voluntary mediation on all, or a portion of, the subject
39matters or legal questions identified in the adjudication action or
40any phase of the adjudication action.
P21 1(D) Compromise and settlement of
the adjudication action, a
2phase of the adjudication action, or any subject matter of the
3adjudication action or a phase of the adjudication action.
4(2) Schedule mandatory mediation and appointment of a neutral
5mediator concerning the adjudication action, a phase of the
6adjudication action, or any subject matter of the adjudication action
7or a phase of the adjudication action.
8(3) Schedule phases of trial in combination with mandatory
9mediation for purposes of fostering compromise concerning the
10adjudication action, a phase of the adjudication action, or any
11subject matter of the adjudication action or a phase of the
13(c) A stay may be extended for up to one year at a time. If a
14party opposes an extension of a stay, a stay may only be granted
15after a showing that there is good progress being made on the
16issues that were identified as the reasons for the stay. The total
17time period an adjudication action may be stayed shall not exceed
19(d) A stay pursuant to this section shall not stay, or otherwise
20delay, the parties’ obligations to provide initial disclosures pursuant
21to Section 840 unless the court determines the initial disclosures
22will not benefit resolution of the adjudication action.
(a) If a party, or a group of parties, submits a proposed
24stipulated judgment that is supported by (1) more than 50 percent
25of all named parties in the adjudication action and (2) groundwater
26rights holders holding title to at least 75 percent of the groundwater
27production during the past 10 years in the basin, the court shall
28impose any physical solution that is part of the stipulated judgment
29as a component of the final judgment in the adjudication action if
30the physical solution satisfies all of the following criteria:
31(1) It furthers the interests of the state in ensuring that the water
32resources of the state are put to beneficial use to the fullest extent
33that they are capable, as required by Section 2 of Article X of the
35(2) It is consistent with all water right priorities in the basin.
36(3) It treats all objecting parties equitably as compared to the
38(b) A party objecting to a proposed stipulated judgment shall
39demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the proposed
40stipulated judgment does not satisfy the criteria described in
P22 1paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a). If the objecting
2party is unable to make this showing, the court may impose the
3proposed stipulated judgment on all parties.
Upon entry of a final order or judgment finalizing an
5adjudication action under this chapter, the basin subject to that
6order or judgment shall, for purposes of compliance with the
7Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, be treated the same
8as if it were identified in subdivision (a) of Section 10720.8 of the
9Water Code. The watermaster, or a local agency within the basin,
10or a portion of the basin, identified in the final order or judgment
11shall do all of the following:
12(a) Within 90 days of entry of the final order or judgment,
13submit to the department a copy of the governing final judgment,
14or other judicial order or decree, and any amendments thereto.
15(b) Within 90 days of entry by a court,
submit to the department
16a copy of an amendment made to the governing final judgment,
17or other judicial order or decree.
18(c) Annually submit to the department a report containing the
19following information, to the extent available, for the basin, or the
20portion of the basin, subject to the adjudication:
21(1) Groundwater elevation data unless otherwise submitted
22pursuant to Section 10932 of the Water Code.
23(2) Annual aggregated data identifying groundwater extraction
24for the preceding water year.
25(3) Surface water supply used for, or available for use for,
26groundwater recharge or in-lieu use.
27(4) Total water use.
28(5) Change in groundwater storage.
29(6) The annual report submitted to the court.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
31Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
32the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
33district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
34infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
35for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
36the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
37the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California