BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 470|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
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                                      CONSENT 


          Bill No:  SB 470
          Author:   Jackson (D)
          Amended:  4/22/15  
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  6-0, 4/14/15
           AYES:  Jackson, Vidak, Anderson, Leno, Monning, Wieckowski
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Hertzberg

           SUBJECT:   Civil actions:  summary judgment


          SOURCE:    California Judges Association 
                     Judicial Council of California


          DIGEST:  This bill provides that a court, in ruling on a motion  
          for summary judgment, need rule only on those objections to  
          evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the motion  
          and provides that any and all objections not ruled upon are  
          deemed overruled and preserved on appeal.


          ANALYSIS:   


          Existing law: 


          1)Authorizes any party, pursuant to a specified procedure, to  
            move for summary judgment in any action or proceeding if it is  
            contended that the action has no merit or that there is no  
            defense to it and to move for summary adjudication as to  
            certain issues in the action or proceeding.  









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          2)Requires the court to grant a motion for summary judgment if  
            all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue  
            as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled  
            to a judgment as a matter of law.  


          3)Requires the court to consider all of the evidence set forth  
            in the papers, except evidence to which objections have been  
            made and sustained by the court, in determining whether the  
            papers show that there is no triable issue as to any material  
            fact.


          4)Requires that the summary judgment motion be supported by  
            affidavits, declarations, admissions, answers to  
            interrogatories, depositions, and matters of which judicial  
            notice shall or may be taken, and that the supporting papers  
            include a separate statement setting forth plainly and  
            concisely all material facts which that the moving party  
            contends are undisputed, as specified. 


          5)Provides that evidentiary objections not made at the hearing  
            shall be deemed waived. 


          6)Holds, in the case of Reid v. Google, Inc. (2010) 50 Cal.4th  
            512, 534, that if a trial court fails to rule expressly on  
            specific evidentiary objections, it is presumed that the  
            objections have been overruled, the trial court considered the  
            evidence in ruling on the merits of the summary judgment  
            motion, and the objections are preserved on appeal.   


          This bill: 


          1)Adds a provision to the existing summary judgment statute to  
            specify that the court need rule only on those objections to  
            evidence that it deems material to its disposition of the  
            motion for summary judgment.  








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          2)Specifies that any and all objections not ruled on are deemed  
            overruled and preserved on appeal.


          Background


          After the filing of a lawsuit, either party to an action may  
          move for summary judgment by contending that the action has no  
          merit or that there is no defense thereto.  Essentially, the  
          party filing the motion is claiming that all necessary factual  
          issues are resolved and need not be tried by the court because  
          they are so one-sided.  A motion for summary judgment must be  
          supported or opposed by admissible evidence such as affidavits,  
          declarations, admissions, answers to interrogatories,  
          depositions, and requests for judicial notice, as appropriate.   
          In determining whether the papers show that there is no triable  
          issue as to any material fact, the court must consider all of  
          the evidence set forth in the papers, except evidence to which  
          objections have been made and sustained by the court.  If the  
          court finds that there is no triable issue as to any material  
          fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a  
          matter of law, then the motion must be granted (which generally  
          disposes of the whole case).  If an issue of fact is presented  
          the court must permit trial thereof, though it may also find  
          that certain other issues "are without substantial controversy"  
          and grant summary adjudication as to those issues.  (See Code  
          Civ. Proc. Sec. 437c.)  In short, the purpose of the summary  
          procedure is to provide a method for prompt disposition of  
          actions in which there is no triable, material issue of fact on  
          which evidence shall be taken.  


          This bill is the product of a proposal recommended by the  
          Judicial Council's Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee,  
          Civil and Small Claims Committee and Appellate Advisory  
          Committee, to reduce the burdens on trial courts associated with  
          evidentiary objections in summary judgment proceedings.   
          According to those advisory committees' October 29, 2014 report  
          to the Judicial Council, advisory committee members (including  








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          both judges and attorneys) report that time and resources  
          expended in ruling on objections to evidence offered in support  
          of or in opposition to summary judgment motions are substantial.  
           (See Report to the Judicial Council, Judicial Council-Sponsored  
          Legislation: Evidentiary Objections in Summary Judgment  
          Proceedings (Oct. 29, 2014) (hereinafter, "Report")  
           
                                                                    Page  5



            Summary judgment motions have become one of the most  
            time-consuming pre-trial matters that civil courts handle, as  
            parties on both sides flood the courts with evidentiary  
            objections.  SB 470 is a carefully balanced, court efficiency  
            proposal that would not only save judges significant amounts  
            of time and resources when considering huge volumes of summary  
            judgment motion papers, but would also avoid any harm to the  
            litigants by preserving their rights on appeal with respect to  
            any properly raised objections that are not expressly ruled  
            upon by the court. . . . In turn, by reducing the burdens on  
            trial courts associated with evidentiary objections in summary  
            judgment proceedings, this proposal will allow the trial  
            courts to handle other motions and proceedings more swiftly.    



          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified4/21/15)


          California Judges Association (co-source)
          Judicial Council of California (co-source)
          California Chamber of Commerce


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified4/21/15)


          None received


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     Judicial Council of California and the  
          California Judges Association, co-sponsors of this bill, write  
          that "[j]udges may spend hours ruling on evidentiary objections  
          for a single summary judgment motion. Frequently, the number of  
          objections that pertain to evidence on which a court relies in  
          determining whether a triable issue of fact exists is a small  
          subset of the total number of objections made by the parties."   
          Accordingly, "[t]o reduce the burden on trial courts in ruling  








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          on numerous objections to evidence in summary judgment  
          proceedings, Code of Civil Procedure [S]ection 437c would be  
          amended by providing that a court need rule only on those  
          objections to evidence that it deems material to its disposition  
          of the summary judgment motion, and that objections not ruled on  
          are deemed overruled and preserved on appeal."





          Prepared by:Ronak Daylami / JUD. / (916) 651-4113
          4/22/15 16:20:34


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