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 a comprehensive adjudication, which is defined as an action filed in superior court to comprehensively determine the rights to extract groundwater in a basin. The bill would authorize the court to determine all
begin delete rights toend delete
groundwater begin delete in a basinend delete
whether based on appropriation, overlying right, or other basis of right. The bill would begin delete requireend delete these special procedures begin delete to govern allend delete comprehensive adjudications begin delete except in cases not involvingend delete a comprehensive allocation of a basin’s groundwater begin delete supply or cases that can be resolved among a limited number of parties and that do not involve a comprehensive determination of rights to extract groundwater within the basin.end delete
This bill would require a complaint filed in an adjudication action to name certain defendants, including all general or special districts managing or replenishing groundwater resources in the basin in whole or in part, and to be served and published in a specified manner. The bill would require
begin delete the complaint to be accompanied byend delete a draft notice and draft form answer, as specified, begin delete and certain disclosures related to the plaintiff’s groundwater use. The bill 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 rights to extract groundwater within the basin in accordance with the special procedures for comprehensive adjudications. 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 a comprehensive adjudication, authorizing the service of the landowners of the basin, and requiring the assessor or assessors of the county or counties in which the basin to be adjudicated lies to provide the plaintiff access to certain records. After the court order
is issued,end delete the bill would require the plaintiff to identify the assessor parcel numbers and physical addresses of all real property begin delete withinend delete the basin and the names and addresses of all holders of fee title to real property begin delete withinend delete the basin, as specified; mail the notice, complaint, and form answer to all holders of fee title to real property in the basin, as specified; and publish the notice in one or more newspapers of general circulation, as specified. The bill would require the plaintiff to file with the court a notice of the completion of the mailing, and within 60 days begin delete after service is authorized,end delete to prepare and file begin delete aend delete notice of the comprehensive adjudication in the office of the county recorder of each county overlying the basin in whole or in
part. The bill, on the 60th day following completion of the mailing, as described above, 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 comprehensive adjudication for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the comprehensive effect of the comprehensive adjudication.
This bill would authorize the court to convene a case management conference
begin delete at such time the court deems appropriate, after which the court could divide the comprehensive adjudication into phases based on its own discretion or the motion of a party. The bill would require the court to define the scope of any phase of the comprehensive adjudication by written order. The bill 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 a comprehensive adjudication, 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.end delete In addition, the bill would require each party to begin delete make, under penalty of perjury,end delete specified initial disclosures to all other named parties and a special master, if one has been
assigned in the begin delete action, within 60 days after appearing in the comprehensive adjudication, except a plaintiff would be required to make the initial disclosures at the time it files the complaint.end delete 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 begin delete a special masterend delete in a comprehensive adjudication, begin delete who may be one or more individuals, to report on legal and factual issues designated under a specific order of reference. The bill 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 comprehensive adjudications and would prescribe the experience needed for an individual to be placed on the list.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 the 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 comprehensive groundwater adjudication actions
20have taken more than a decade before issuance of a final judgment
21by the court in the action.
22(4) In light of the scope and complexities of comprehensive
23groundwater adjudication actions, the state’s welfare will be
24promoted by the development of specially tailored legal procedures
25to efficiently process actions to comprehensively determine rights
26to extract groundwater in a basin.
27(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:
28(1) Develop procedures to provide a more
efficient process to
29comprehensively adjudicate groundwater rights, while at the same
30time fully respecting established principles of water rights law and
31providing participants appropriate due process.
32(2) Establish procedures by which courts may conduct
33 comprehensive determinations of rights to extract groundwater in
35(3) Encourage early resolution of groundwater rights disputes.
36(4) Substantially reduce the time and expense of comprehensive
37groundwater adjudications, while ensuring fair procedures to
38protect all parties’ rights to groundwater.
P6 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
9(a) “Basin” means a groundwater basin or subbasin identified
10pursuant to Section
begin delete 839.end delete
11(b) “Bulletin 118” means the department’s report entitled
12“California’s Groundwater: Bulletin 118” updated in 2003, as it
13may be subsequently updated or revised.
30 14(c)end delete
15 “Complaint” means a complaint filed in superior court to
16determine rights to extract groundwater and includes any
17cross-complaint that initiates a comprehensive adjudication in
18response to a plaintiff’s complaint or other cross-complaint.
34 19(d)end delete
20 “Comprehensive adjudication” means an action filed in
21superior court to comprehensively determine rights to extract
22groundwater in a basin.
37 33(e) “Department” means the Department of Water Resources.
38 34(f) “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the earth
35within the zone below the water table in which the soil is
36completely saturated with water, but does not include water that
37flows in known and definite channels.
38(g) “Groundwater extraction facility” means a device or method
39for extracting groundwater from within a basin.
P8 1(h) “Groundwater recharge” means the augmentation of
2groundwater, by natural or artificial means.
7 3(i) “Person” includes, but is not limited to, counties, local
4agencies, state agencies, federal agencies, tribes, business entities,
10 6(j) “Plaintiff” means the person filing the complaint initiating
7 a comprehensive adjudication and includes a cross-complainant
8who initiates a comprehensive adjudication by cross-complaint.
14 “Sustainable Groundwater Management Act” means the
15provisions of Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of
16Division 6 of the Water Code.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision
begin delete (e),end delete this chapter
begin delete establishes special procedures for an actionend delete that
23would comprehensively determine rights to extract groundwater
24in a basin, whether based on appropriation, overlying right, or
25other basis of right.
begin delete This chapter applies to an Indian tribe and the
26federal government, to the extent authorized by federal law. This
27chapter shall not alter groundwater rights or the law concerning
28groundwater rights. The other provisions of this code apply to
29procedures in a comprehensive adjudication to the extent they do
30not conflict with the provisions of this chapter.end delete
31(b) The court’s final judgment in a comprehensive
32as to the right to groundwater of each party, may declare the
33priority, amount, purposes of use, extraction location, and place
34of use of the water, together with appropriate injunctive relief,
35subject to terms adopted by the court to implement a physical
36solution in the comprehensive adjudication.
37(c) The procedures of this chapter shall govern all
38 comprehensive adjudications. If the court finds any one of the
39following, the action shall proceed in accordance with other
40provisions of law:
begin deleteThe end deleteaction concerns only begin delete claims that the operation groundwater extraction
3of a party’send delete
begin delete facilityend delete
4 is interfering with
begin delete the physical
5availability of groundwater to one or more other parties’end delete
6 groundwater extraction facility or facilities and does not involve
7a comprehensive allocation of the basin’s groundwater supply.
begin deleteThe end deleteaction concerns only claims to extract, or to
9prevent interference with extractions of, a specific source of
10groundwater recharge and does not involve a comprehensive
11allocation of the basin’s groundwater supply.
begin deleteThe end deleteaction can be resolved among a limited number
13of parties and does not involve a comprehensive determination of
14rights to extract groundwater within the basin.
8 17(d)end delete
18 In implementing this chapter and applying the other
19provisions of this code in a comprehensive adjudication, the court
20should expedite resolution of the comprehensive adjudication and,
21where a groundwater sustainability plan is required pursuant to
22the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the court should
23encourage the parties to cooperatively develop a groundwater
24sustainability plan that may serve as the basis of a stipulated
25judgment setting forth a physical solution for management of the
27(e) This chapter does not apply to the Antelope Valley
28Groundwater Cases (Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings
(a) Unless a court orders otherwise for good cause, the
9complaint in a comprehensive adjudication shall name all of the
10following persons as defendants:
11(1) All general or special districts managing or replenishing
12groundwater resources in the basin in whole or in part.
13(2) The operator of a public water system that uses groundwater
14from the basin to supply water service.
15(3) The operator of a state small water system that uses
16groundwater from the basin to supply water service.
17(b) The complaint in a comprehensive adjudication shall identify
18all counties or cities that provide water service and overlie the
19basin in whole or in part.
20(c) Within 30 days of the filing of the complaint, both of the
21following shall occur:
22(1) The plaintiff shall serve the complaint on all persons named
23as defendants pursuant to subdivision (a) and all counties or cities
24identified in the complaint pursuant to subdivision (b) in the
25manner prescribed by Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10)
26of Chapter 4 of Title 5.
plaintiff shall publish notice of the complaint pursuant
28to Section 6066 of the Government Code.
29(d) The court shall allow the following persons to intervene in
30the comprehensive adjudication:
31(1) A county or city identified in the complaint pursuant to
32subdivision (b). A county or city identified in the complaint
33pursuant to subdivision (b) that files an ex parte application shall
34give notice to the plaintiff consistent with the California Rules of
36(2) A person demonstrating, upon an ex parte application, that
37that person holds fee simple ownership in a parcel in the basin. A
38person filing the ex parte application shall give notice to the
39plaintiff consistent with the California Rules of Court.
(a) Within 180 days of the filing of a complaint to
2adjudicate groundwater rights, the court shall conduct a preliminary
3hearing to determine if the action should proceed to
4comprehensively determine rights to extract groundwater within
5the basin in accordance with this chapter. At the preliminary
6hearing the court may hear expert or lay testimony and the plaintiff
7shall demonstrate one of the following:
8(1) There is substantial evidence that declining groundwater
9levels may cause an undesirable result in the basin.
10(2) The court cannot provide adequate relief among the potential
11claimants to a groundwater right in the basin subject to the
12comprehensive adjudication unless the comprehensive adjudication
to Section 847, the parties have agreed to a
15proposed judgment in the comprehensive adjudication.
16(4) Consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
17Constitution, the interests of groundwater rights holders will be
18expeditiously and effectively served by the completion of the
20(b) If, after the preliminary hearing, the court finds that any
21condition described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of
22subdivision (a) is met, the court shall issue an order that does all
23of the following:
24(1) Declares that the case is a comprehensive adjudication
25subject to this chapter.
26(2) Authorizes service of landowners in accordance with Section
28(3) Requires the assessor or assessors of the county or counties
29in which the basin to be adjudicated lies to provide the plaintiff
30with access to any records necessary to obtain the information
31required under Section 833.
32(c) If, after the preliminary hearing, the court finds that no
33condition described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of
34subdivision (a) is met, the court shall either dismiss the action
35without prejudice, or find that the action is not subject to this
36chapter under Section 831 and permit the action to proceed
37pursuant to the other provisions of this code.
38(d) Before the preliminary hearing, the court may allow
39expedited discovery limited to the matters listed in paragraphs (1)
40to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (a). The court shall actively manage
P12 1the expedited discovery to minimize the burdens on responding
2parties and to prevent delays to the extent possible.
begin deleteAt the same time as filing end deletethe
5complaint, the plaintiff shall
begin delete lodge all of the following with the
7(1) (A) A draft notice titled “NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT
8OF GROUNDWATER BASIN ADJUDICATION” in no less than
920-point font and the following text printed immediately below
10the draft notice title in no less than 14-point font:
11“THIS NOTICE IS IMPORTANT. ANY RIGHTS YOU CLAIM
12TO PUMP OR STORE GROUNDWATER FROM THE BASIN
13IDENTIFIED IN THIS NOTICE MAY BE AFFECTED BY A
14LAWSUIT INITIATED BY THE COMPLAINT SUMMARIZED
16A copy of the complaint may be obtained by contacting the
17plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney identified in this notice. If you
18claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin, either
19now or in the future, you may become a party to this lawsuit by
20filing an answer to the lawsuit on or before the deadline specified
21in this notice. You may file an answer by completing the attached
22form answer, filing it with the court indicated in this notice, and
23sending a copy of the form answer to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s
25Failing to participate in this lawsuit could have a significant
26adverse effect on any right to pump or store groundwater that you
27may have. You may seek the advice of an attorney in relation to
28this lawsuit. Such attorney should be consulted promptly. A case
29management conference in this groundwater basin adjudication
30proceeding shall occur on the date specified in this notice. If you
31intend to participate in the groundwater adjudication proceeding
32to which this notice applies, you are advised to attend the initial
33case management conference in person or have an attorney
34represent you at the initial case management conference.
requires the production of all information regarding
36your groundwater use. You must provide this information by the
37date identified in this notice.
38A form answer is provided for your convenience. You may fill
39out the form answer and file it with the court. Should you choose
P13 1to file the form answer, it will serve as an answer to all complaints
2and cross-complaints filed in this case.”
3(B) The following information shall be provided immediately
4following the text described in subparagraph (A):
5(i) The name of the basin that is the subject of the comprehensive
begin delete adjudication.end delete
8(ii) A space to be completed with the case number assigned to
9the comprehensive adjudication, and the name and address of the
10court and department to which the action is assigned.
11(iii) The name, address, telephone number, and email address
12of the plaintiff, or plaintiff’s attorney, from which the complaint
begin delete obtained.end delete
15(iv) A statement advising anyone claiming the right to use
16groundwater within the basin that he or she must file an answer
17with the court within 90 days after service by mail, as provided
18for in this section.
34 19(v)end delete
20 A summary of the causes of action alleged in the complaint
21and the relief sought. The summary shall not exceed 25 lines.
24(2) (A) A draft form answer titled “ANSWER TO
25ADJUDICATION COMPLAINT” in no less than 20-point font
26and the following text printed immediately below the draft form
27answer title in no less than 14-point font:
28“The undersigned denies all material allegations in the complaint
29or cross-complaint in this action that seeks to adjudicate rights in
30the groundwater basin and asserts all applicable affirmative
31defenses to that complaint.”
32(B) Notwithstanding any other law, the filing of an answer in
33the form described in subparagraph (A) in a comprehensive
34adjudication is sufficient to put at issue all material allegations and
35applicable affirmative defenses to the complaint in the
36comprehensive adjudication. If a party intends to seek adjustment
37of the basin’s boundaries, it shall disclose that intention in the form
38answer described in subparagraph (A).
39(3) The initial disclosures required to be lodged by the plaintiff
40pursuant to Section 840.
P14 1(b) Within
begin delete 15 days of a court order authorizing service of the plaintiff shall file an ex parte application
2landowners pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 832.5,end delete
begin delete that seeks draft notice
5the court’s approval of plaintiff’send delete
6and draft form answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a). The
7plaintiff shall provide notice of the ex parte application to all parties
8in accordance with the California Rules of Court regarding ex parte
9hearings. Notice may be provided electronically. The plaintiff’s
10notice of the ex parte application shall include a copy of the draft
11notice and draft form answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a).
12(c) Once the court approves the draft notice, service of that
13notice in accordance with this section shall substitute for the
14summons otherwise provided for in civil actions pursuant to
16(d) (1) Following a court order approving the notice and form
17answer and authorizing service of landowners pursuant to this
18section, the plaintiff shall do all of the following:
19(A) Identify the assessor parcel numbers and physical addresses
20of all real property
begin delete withinend delete the basin and the names and addresses
21of all holders of fee title to real property
begin delete withinend delete the basin using
22the records of the assessor or assessors of the county or counties
23in which the basin to be adjudicated lies. The plaintiff shall provide
24the court and all parties with notice of its acquisition of, or
25sufficient access to, this information.
26(B) Mail, by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt
27requested, the notice, complaint, and form answer to all holders
28of fee title to real property in the basin. If the physical address of
29the real property differs from the address of the holder of fee title,
30the notice, complaint, and form answer shall be mailed by
31registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the physical
32address of the real property and the address of the holder of fee
34(C) If return receipt is not received for a parcel of real property,
35the plaintiff shall post a copy of the notice, complaint, and form
36answer in a conspicuous place on the real property.
37(D) Within 20 days of the court order, publish the notice at least
38once per week for four consecutive weeks in one or more
39newspapers of general circulation in each county overlying the
40basin in whole or in part.
P15 1(2) Service pursuant to this subdivision is not required if the
2real property is
begin delete part ofend delete a class of water users that are
3otherwise noticed in accordance with this chapter.
completion of end delete
5to subdivision (d), the plaintiff shall file with the court a notice of
6the completion of the mailing.
7(f) Within 60 days
begin delete after service is authorized,end delete the
9plaintiff shall prepare and file
begin delete aend delete notice of the
10comprehensive adjudication in the office of the county recorder
11of each county overlying the basin in whole or in part. The notice
12shall be recorded in a manner so
begin delete as to ensure that a personend delete researching the title of a parcel will find the notice.
14(g) Following a court order authorizing service of landowners
15pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall serve any known person
16that pumps groundwater who would not otherwise be served
17pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section or noticed pursuant to
18paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section
begin delete 832.end delete
19pursuant to this subdivision may be by personal delivery or by
20mail in the manner prescribed by Article 3 (commencing with
begin delete 413.10)end delete of Chapter 4 of Title 5.
22(h) Service on the United States shall be made in accordance
23with Section 666 of Title 43 of the United States Code.
24(i) The court may authorize any other procedures it finds
25appropriate and necessary to provide notice to persons who may
26hold groundwater rights in the basin.
27(j) On the 60th day following completion of the mailing, as set
28forth in this section, and notwithstanding any other law, the
29fulfillment of the service provisions of this section, the publication
30provisions of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section
begin delete 832,end delete
31 and the remaining service and notice provisions of this chapter
32shall be deemed effective service of process of the complaint and
33notice on all interested parties of the comprehensive adjudication
34for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the
35comprehensive effect of the comprehensive adjudication.
36(k) The court may require notice to be made available in
37languages other than English.
38(l) The plaintiff shall provide the notice, complaint, and form
39answer to the department. The department shall post the notice,
P16 1complaint, and form answer on the department’s Internet Web site
2within 15 days of receipt.
3(m) Section 389 shall not apply to a failure to join the United
4States or an Indian tribe to a comprehensive adjudication.
Within 15 days of the service of a complaint against or
6by a local agency in a comprehensive adjudication, the court may,
7and upon the motion of any party the court shall, request the
8chairperson of the Judicial Council to assign a judge from a neutral
9county to hear the comprehensive adjudication for all purposes.
10For purposes of this section, “local agency” has the same definition
11as that term is defined in subdivision (m) of Section 10721 of the
In a comprehensive adjudication there may only be two
14disqualifications of judges pursuant to Section 170.6, and only one
15disqualification by each side. For purposes of this section, in a
16comprehensive adjudication the parties claiming overlying
17groundwater rights will be on one side of the action and the parties
18claiming appropriative groundwater rights will be on the other side
19of the action. A request or motion to disqualify a judge under
20Section 170.6 shall be filed after service is completed pursuant to
21Section 833 and within 30 days of a judge being assigned.
(a) A comprehensive adjudication is presumed to be a
23complex case within the meaning of Rule 3.400 of the California
24Rules of Court unless a party demonstrates that the comprehensive
25adjudication is not complex.
26(b) The presiding judge shall assign a comprehensive
27adjudication to one judge for all purposes.
Service of pleadings and papers in a comprehensive
5adjudication, other than the complaint initiating a comprehensive
6adjudication, shall occur electronically to the greatest extent
7possible. The court may provide, or authorize the use of, an
8electronic service system. If an electronic service system is not
9provided or authorized by the court, the court and the parties shall
10serve documents by email or other equivalent electronic means to
11the greatest extent possible. To enable electronic service of
12pleadings and papers, the attorneys of record or parties representing
13themselves shall include an email address for service in the captions
14of all pleadings they file in the comprehensive adjudication.
(a) In managing a comprehensive adjudication the court
19may, notwithstanding any other law, convene a case management
20conference at such time the court deems appropriate.
21(b) After service is completed pursuant to Section 833 and a
22case management conference is held, the court may, based on its
23own discretion or the motion of a party, divide the comprehensive
24adjudication into phases. This section does not limit the court’s
25discretion to order as many phases as the court deems appropriate
26for the expeditious and appropriate resolution of competing claims
27to the groundwater basin. The court shall define the scope of any
28phase of the comprehensive adjudication by written order and shall
29revisit that definition only upon a demonstration that continuing
30with the phase as previously defined would substantially impede
31the expeditious resolution of the comprehensive adjudication.
32(c) In a phase of a comprehensive adjudication, discovery shall
33be strictly limited to the scope of the phase, as defined in the court’s
34written order. The court may make any appropriate orders to ensure
35that discovery during a phase remains within the scope of the phase
36and, unless an injustice would otherwise result, shall impose
37monetary sanctions on parties, attorneys, or both parties and
38attorneys, who, during the phase, propound discovery outside the
39scope of the phase.
P19 1(d) Pursuant to Section 632, a court may
issue a written
2statement of decision at the completion of each phase of the
3comprehensive adjudication. If the court issues a written statement
4of decision, that written statement of decision shall be considered
5a resolution of the phase and shall be binding for the remainder of
6the comprehensive adjudication unless reversed or modified by
7an appellate court. Appellate review of a court’s written statement
8of decision that concludes a phase of the comprehensive
9adjudication may be by writ only and a party may only appeal the
10court’s final judgment.
11(e) A court may facilitate the formation of a class or classes of
12overlying groundwater rights holders pursuant to the criteria
13specified in Section 382.
(a) Subject to subdivision (b), the initial basin boundaries
15for a comprehensive adjudication shall be the basin boundaries
16identified in Bulletin 118 as of the date the complaint initiating
17the comprehensive adjudication is filed. The plaintiff shall use
18these boundaries in initiating the procedures to serve the complaint
19on landowners in a comprehensive adjudication in accordance with
21(b) The court may consider adjusting a basin’s boundaries at
22the initial phase of a comprehensive adjudication. The court may
23refer consideration of adjustment of a basin’s boundaries to the
24department for recommendations in accordance with the procedures
25described in Section 10722.2 of the Water Code. The court may
26stay any proceedings in the comprehensive adjudication pending
27the department’s resolution of any boundary adjustments. During
28the stay, the court may require the parties to make initial disclosures
29pursuant to Section 840.
30(c) If a court, following receipt of
31recommendations, determines the basin’s boundaries separately
32and before the trial of other issues in the comprehensive
33adjudication, the basin’s boundaries as determined by the court
34shall be the basin’s boundaries for all purposes in all subsequent
35phases of the comprehensive adjudication. Appellate review of a
36court’s determination of the basin’s boundaries may be by writ
37only and shall not be subject to any later writ or appeal.
(a) Except as otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered
30by the court,
begin delete and without waiting for a discovery request, a party all of the following information:
31shall provide to all other named parties and, if one has been
32assigned in the action, the special master, initial disclosures that
37(1) The name, address, telephone number, and email address of
begin delete party completing a form developed pursuant to subdivision
P22 1(2) The quantity of any groundwater
begin delete extractionend delete from
2the basin by the
begin delete party, or the party’s representative or agent, during preceding the filing of
3each of the 10 calendar years immediatelyend delete
7(3) The claimed basis of the right to extract groundwater.end delete
8(4) The beneficial purpose of any use of groundwater from the
9basin or the beneficial use of any alternative water use that the
10party claims as its use of groundwater.
11(5) The location of any extraction of groundwater from the basin
12by the party, or the party’s representative or agent.
13(6) The location of any beneficial use of groundwater from the
14basin or beneficial use of any alternative water use that the party
15claims as its use of groundwater.
12 24(7)end delete
25 The quantity of any beneficial use of any alternative water
26use that the party claims as its use of groundwater under any
27applicable law, including, but not limited to, Section 1005.1,
281005.2, or 1005.4 of the Water Code.
16 29(8)end delete
30 Identification of all surface water rights and contracts that
31the party claims provides the basis for its water right claims in the
32 comprehensive adjudication.
19 33(9)end delete
34 The quantity of any replenishment of water to the basin
35that augmented the basin’s native water supply, resulting from the
36intentional storage of imported or non-native water in the basin,
37managed recharge of surface water, or return flows resulting from
38the use of imported water or non-native water on lands overlying
39the basin by the party, or the party’s representative or agent, during
P23 1each of the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the filing of
27 3(10)end delete
4 The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email
5addresses of all persons possessing information that supports the
30 7(11)end delete
8 Any other
begin delete information deemed appropriate by the court
9for initial disclosure in a comprehensive adjudication.end delete
11(b) The Judicial Council may develop a form for initial
12disclosures made pursuant to subdivision (a) to facilitate the
13consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration
14of comprehensive adjudications. The Judicial Council may
15coordinate with the department in developing the form.
16(c) (1) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by
17the court, and not including the plaintiff that initiates the
18 comprehensive adjudication, a party shall make the initial
19disclosures described in subdivision (a) within 60 days after
20appearing in the comprehensive adjudication.
21(2) A plaintiff that initiates a comprehensive adjudication shall
22make the initial disclosures described in subdivision (a) at the time
23it files the complaint by lodging the required information with the
24court in an electronic format. The plaintiff shall serve the required
25information on the defendants or cross-defendants that it names
26when it serves the complaint.
27(3) The court may order, after the initial case management
28conference, any supplemental disclosures, other than those
29described in subdivision (a), that may expedite resolution of the
31(d) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a party that is first
32served, or otherwise joined to the comprehensive adjudication,
33after the initial case management conference shall make the
34disclosures described in subdivision (a) within 30 days after being
35served or joined, unless a different time is set by stipulation of the
36parties or an order of the court. The court shall liberally consider
37any motions or applications to extend the time for a newly-served
38or -joined party to make the disclosures described in subdivision
22 40(e)end delete
P24 1 A party shall make its initial disclosures based on the
2information then reasonably available to it. A party is not excused
3from making its initial disclosures because it has not fully
4investigated the case, because it challenges the sufficiency of
5another party’s disclosures, or because another party has not made
28 7(f)end delete
8 A party that has made its initial disclosures, as described in
9subdivision (a), or that has responded to another party’s discovery
10request, shall supplement or correct a disclosure or response in
begin delete eitherend delete of the following situations:
12(1) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
13respect the disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect and
14the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been
15made known to the other parties during the disclosure or discovery
37 21(2)end delete
22 As ordered by the court.
38 23(g)end delete
24 To the greatest extent possible, a party shall serve his or her
begin delete electronically through an electronic service
26system, an electronic document repository, email, or another
27method of electronic transmission.end delete
28possible for the party to serve his or her disclosures electronically,
29he or she shall serve the disclosures in an electronic format saved
30on a portable storage media device such as a compact disc or flash
5 32(h)end delete
33 A party’s obligations under this section may be enforced by
34a court on its own motion or the motion of a party
begin delete pursuant to
35Section 2030.300.end delete
8 36(i)end delete
37 A party’s disclosures under this section shall be verified
38under penalty of perjury as being true and correct to the best of
39the 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 comprehensive adjudication.
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
P26 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 comprehensive
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 comprehensive adjudication.
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 comprehensive adjudication.
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
P27 1ensure the expeditious completion of the applicable phase of the
2comprehensive adjudication. The court may require the party whose
3expert makes the supplemental disclosure to pay some or all of
4the costs associated with the supplemental deposition.
5(g) To the greatest extent possible, the parties shall serve expert
6witness disclosures electronically through an electronic service
7system, an electronic document repository, email, or another
8method of electronic transmission. If it is not possible for the party
9to serve his or her expert witness disclosures electronically, he or
10she shall serve the expert witness disclosures in an electronic
11format saved on a portable storage media device such as a compact
12disc or flash drive.
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 may require the parties in a comprehensive
23adjudication to submit written testimony of relevant witnesses in
24the forms of affidavits or declarations under penalty of perjury in
25lieu of presenting live testimony. The required written testimony
26may include, but is not limited to, expert witness opinions and
27testimony that authenticates documentary evidence. The court may
28order that the written testimony constitutes the entirety of the
29witness’s direct testimony, require the written testimony to include
30any exhibits offered in support of the written testimony, and, in
31the case of written testimony of an expert witness, require a
32statement of the witness’s qualifications.
33(b) If the court requires the submission of written testimony
34 pursuant to subdivision (a), a complete copy of the direct testimony
35shall be served at least 21 days before
begin delete trial of the applicable phase A complete copy of any
36of the comprehensive adjudication.end delete
37rebuttal testimony shall be served no later than the first day of
begin delete trial
38of the applicable phase of the comprehensive adjudication. The
39court shall ensure the rebuttal testimony is strictly limited to the
40scope of the direct testimony to which it responds.end delete
P28 1(c) If the contents of the written testimony would have been
2admissible if the witness testified orally, the written testimony
3shall be received by the court as a documentary exhibit
begin delete if, at the
4trial of the applicable phase of the comprehensive adjudication,end delete
5 the witness whose written testimony is being offered is made
6available for cross-examination by all parties.
(a) In a comprehensive adjudication, the court may
8appoint a special master to report on legal and factual issues
9designated under a specific order of reference. A special master’s
10duties may include the following:
11(1) Initiating a technical committee consisting of the parties,
12the parties’ designated representatives, or both, to conduct joint
13factfinding as to the basin’s safe yield of groundwater, water
14demand, and any other technical issues, as directed by the court.
15The special master shall compile a technical report of the findings
16in accordance with Section 844.
17(2) Overseeing settlement discussions.
18(3) Performing other tasks the court may deem appropriate.
19(b) The special master may be one or more individuals employed
20by the court as full-time or part-time employees, or retained as
21independent contractors. A special master’s compensation and
22other expenses related to the conduct of a comprehensive
23adjudication shall be fixed by the court, apportioned pro rata to
24the extent reasonably feasible to do so, and paid by all parties
25unless the parties agree to another allocation or the court determines
26that, in the interests of justice, another allocation is necessary. The
27court may provide for the collection and disbursement of special
28master fees as it deems appropriate.
29(c) (1) To assist trial courts in selecting special masters the
30department shall, on or before January 1, 2017, establish and
31maintain a list of individuals who may serve as special masters in
32comprehensive adjudications. To be placed on the list, an individual
33shall have at least 10 years experience as either of the following:
34(A) A licensed professional engineer, professional hydrologist,
35or professional geologist.
36(B) An attorney licensed to practice law in the state.
37(2) The department shall establish any other qualifications that
38may be appropriate to ensure that individuals placed on the list are
39qualified to assist a court in a comprehensive adjudication.
(a) If a technical committee is established pursuant to
2Section 843, the special master shall provide all parties with a copy
3of a draft technical report he or she prepares and a notice setting
4a day at least 60 days after the draft technical report has been
5provided to all parties before which the parties may submit to the
6special master written objections to the draft technical report.
P30 1(b) An objection to the draft
begin delete technicalend delete report shall identify the
2specific grounds and evidence on which the objection is based.
begin delete Within 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
begin delete technicalend delete report.
9(d) The special master shall consider the objections to the draft
begin delete technicalend delete report and develop a final begin delete certified copy of the technicalend delete
11 report that shall be filed with the court, together with
begin delete 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.end delete
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of Division
189 of the Evidence Code shall apply to all mediations, settlement
19conferences, and other similar out-of-court negotiations in
20comprehensive adjudications subject to this chapter.
(a) It is the policy of the state to encourage the
22compromise and settlement of comprehensive adjudications.
23(b) Upon the motion of any party to a comprehensive
24adjudication, a court may do any of the following:
25(1) Stay a comprehensive adjudication for a period of up to one
26year, subject to renewal in the court’s discretion upon a showing
27of good cause, in order to facilitate any of the following:
28(A) (i) Timely development of a groundwater sustainability
29plan under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act that
30may serve as the basis of a stipulated judgment setting forth a
31physical solution for management of the basin.
32(ii) If the court stays a comprehensive adjudication for purposes
33of facilitating timely progress on a groundwater sustainability plan,
34the court may direct the parties to provide the court with regular
35updates on the progress in developing the groundwater
37(B) Technical studies that may be useful to the parties in
38developing a stipulated judgment or physical solution.
P31 1(C) Voluntary mediation on all, or a portion of, the subject
2matters or legal questions identified in the comprehensive
3adjudication or any phase of the comprehensive adjudication.
4(D) Compromise and settlement of the comprehensive
5adjudication, a phase of the comprehensive adjudication, or any
6subject matter of the comprehensive adjudication or a phase of the
7 comprehensive adjudication.
8(2) Schedule mandatory mediation and appointment of a neutral
9mediator concerning the comprehensive adjudication, a phase of
10the comprehensive adjudication, or any subject matter of the
11comprehensive adjudication or a phase of the comprehensive
13(3) Schedule phases of trial in combination with mandatory
14mediation for purposes of fostering compromise concerning the
15comprehensive adjudication, a phase of the comprehensive
16adjudication, or any subject matter of the comprehensive
17adjudication or a phase of the comprehensive adjudication.
18(c) A stay may be extended for up to one year at a time. If
36 a party opposes an extension of a
stay, a stay may only
37be granted after a showing that there is good progress being made
38on the issues that were identified as the reasons for the stay and
39that no rights or interest would be impaired by the stay.
begin delete The total
P33 1time period a comprehensive adjudication may be stayed shall not
2exceed 5 years.end delete
32 3(d)end delete
4 A stay pursuant to this section shall not stay, or otherwise
5delay, the parties’ obligations to provide initial disclosures pursuant
begin delete 840end delete unless the court determines the initial
7disclosures will not benefit resolution of the comprehensive
begin deleteA end deleteparty or parties begin delete may submitend delete
25 a proposed stipulated
begin delete judgment to the court. The court may impose all of the
26any physical solution that is part of the stipulated judgment as a
27component of the final judgment in the comprehensive adjudication
28if the physical solution satisfiesend delete
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
38compared to the stipulating parties.
8 16(b)end delete
17 A party may object to a stipulated judgment proposed
18pursuant to this section on the basis that it does not satisfy the
19criteria described in subdivision (a). The stipulated judgment may
20be in effect while any objections are being resolved.
(a) Before the court issues a final judgment in the
10comprehensive adjudication, a party may file a motion for an order
11determining that the judgment is consistent with
begin delete the sustainability the
12goal ofend delete
13Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
14(b) For any basin required to develop a
15sustainability plan under the Sustainable Groundwater Management
16Act, the department shall provide a report to the court evaluating
17if the judgment is consistent with
begin delete the sustainability goal ofend delete
18 the Sustainable
19Groundwater Management Act.
20(c) If the court determines that the judgment will achieve
begin delete the established by the Sustainable Groundwater Management
21sustainability goal for the basinend delete
23Act, the judgment shall be considered an alternative to a
24groundwater sustainability plan and shall be deemed to satisfy the
25objectives of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
26(d) The court shall have sole jurisdiction to determine if the
27judgment complies with the Sustainable Groundwater Management
29(e) The court may consider a motion made pursuant to
30subdivision (a) for a proposed judgment before the court enters
32(f) For purposes of this section, “judgment” means a judgment,
33settlement, or other final order concluding proceedings in the
34comprehensive adjudication in the superior court.
35(g) Nothing in this section is intended to
undermine the goals
36and outcomes of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
37to the extent water rights, as determined by the court, are not
The court may appoint a groundwater sustainability agency
3to serve as the watermaster in any judgment entered in a
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
6Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
7the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
8district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
9infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
10for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
11the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
12the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California