BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 470


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          SENATE THIRD READING


          SB  
          470 (Jackson)


          As Amended  July 9, 2015


          Majority vote


          SENATE VOTE:  35-0


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          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                   |Noes                 |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Judiciary       |10-0 |Mark Stone, Wagner,    |                     |
          |                |     |Alejo, Chau, Chiu,     |                     |
          |                |     |Gallagher,             |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |Cristina Garcia,       |                     |
          |                |     |Holden, Maienschein,   |                     |
          |                |     |O'Donnell              |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          SUMMARY:  Specifies which evidentiary objections a court is  
          required to resolve when ruling on a motion for summary judgment  
          or summary adjudication.  Specifically, this bill:  









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          1)Allows a court, when ruling on a motion for summary judgment  
            or a motion for summary adjudication, to rule only on those  
            objections to evidence that it deems material to its  
            disposition of the motion.


          2)Requires that any objections to evidence that are not ruled on  
            for purposes of a motion for summary judgment or a motion for  
            summary adjudication are preserved for appeal. 


          EXISTING LAW: 


          1)Requires a 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 the moving party is entitled to judgment  
            as a matter of law.  


          2)Requires the court to consider all of the evidence set forth  
            in the papers, except that to which objections have been made  
            and sustained by the court, and all inferences reasonably  
            deducible from the evidence.  Also specifies that summary  
            judgment may not be granted by the court based on inferences  
            reasonably deducible from the evidence, if contradicted by  
            other inferences or evidence, which raise a triable issue as  
            to any material fact.  


          3)Requires that a motion for summary adjudication proceed in all  
            procedural respects as a motion for summary judgment.  


          4)Requires the court to grant a motion for summary adjudication  
            only if it completely disposes of a cause of action, an  
            affirmative defense, a claim for damages, or an issue of duty.  
             








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


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None


          COMMENTS:  According to the Judicial Council of California, a  
          sponsor of this bill:


               Published opinions illustrate the large number of  
               objections made in summary judgment papers and the  
               huge volume of motion papers overall. "We recognize  
               that it has become common practice for litigants to  
               flood the trial courts with inconsequential written  
               evidentiary objections, without focusing on those that  
               are critical [footnote omitted]." (Reid v. Google,  
               Inc. (2010) 50 Cal.4th 512, 532.)  In one reported  
               case, the moving papers in support of summary judgment  
               totaled 1,056 pages, plaintiff's opposition was nearly  
               three times as long and included 47 objections to  
               evidence, and the defendants' reply included 764  
               objections to evidence.  (Nazir v. United Airlines,  
               Inc. (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 243, 249, 250-251, and  
               254.)  


          The Value of Summary Judgment Rulings.  In a motion for summary  
          judgment, the moving party contends that the action has no merit  
          or that there is no applicable defense to the claim asserted.   
          The motion must be supported (or opposed) by affidavits,  
          declarations, admissions, answers to interrogatories,  
          depositions, and requests for judicial notice.  The supporting  
          papers must include a separate statement, all material facts  
          which the moving party contends are undisputed.  Each material  
          fact must be followed by a reference to the supporting evidence.  








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           In making a determination of whether the evidence submitted  
          shows that there is no triable issue as to any material fact or  
          no applicable defense to the claim, the court must consider all  
          of the evidence set forth in the papers, other than 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, or alternatively that there is no applicable  
          defense to the claim, the moving party is entitled to a judgment  
          as a matter of law and the court must grant the motion.  Either  
          way, when the court decides the motion at this pre-trial stage,  
          the parties are more likely to settle the matter, or shorten the  
          time required for an actual trial. 


          Summary Adjudication Motions.  In a summary adjudication motion,  
          the moving party asks the court to rule on the merits of a  
          particular cause of action, affirmative defense, or claim for  
          damages.  If the motion is granted, the claim or defense is  
          resolved pre-trial.  The type of evidence presented for a  
          summary adjudication motion is the same type of evidence  
          required to be presented in a motion for summary judgment,  
          including affidavits, declarations, admissions, answers to  
          interrogatories, depositions, and requests for judicial notice.   
          If the motion is granted, then the issue raised by the moving  
          party is resolved prior to trial.  The remaining matters must  
          still be litigated, but time is saved because fewer issues  
          remain to be resolved at trial.  If the ruling will not be  
          dispositive of the entire cause of action or affirmative  
          defense, the court is not authorized by law to hear the motion  
          for summary adjudication. 


          Prior Confusion Among the Courts is Resolved by the Supreme  
          Court.  Prior to the Supreme Court's ruling in Reid v. Google,  
          supra (Reid), there was no definite procedure in place for a  
          court, considering an appeal of a lower court's ruling on a  
          motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, to  
          interpret the trial court's intentions when a party had made an  
          evidentiary objection in a motion for a summary judgment or  








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          summary adjudication but the trial court had failed to rule on  
          the objection.  The Reid court explained that while the summary  
          judgment statute requires that the trial court consider all  
          evidence unless an objection to it has been raised and  
          sustained, "the subdivision does not mandate that, in the  
          absence of express rulings, the underlying objections are waived  
          on appeal."  (Id. at 526-527.)  To provide a definitive answer,  
          the Reid Court held that "evidentiary objections made 'at the  
          hearing shall [not] be deemed waived'?even if the trial court  
          fails to rule on them expressly."  (Reid v. Google, supra, 50  
          Cal. 4th at p. 527 [citation to internal quotation omitted].)


          This Bill Codifies The California Supreme Court Decision in Reid  
          v. Google.  This bill codifies the Supreme Court's decision in  
          Reid by clarifying that a court is only required to rule on  
          objections to evidence that it deems material to the actual  
          summary judgment or summary adjudication motion that is before  
          the court.  Further, this bill codifies the holding, from that  
          same Supreme Court decision, that any evidentiary objection not  
          ruled on by the court when granting or denying a motion for  
          summary judgment or summary adjudication must be preserved for  
          appellate review.  This bill is helpful to judicial economy  
          because pretrial hearing on motions for summary judgment and  
          summary adjudication will be significantly shorter in duration  
          because judges are no longer required to rule on every  
          evidentiary objection that has been presented in the moving  
          papers.  Trial courts will have more time to hear cases and  
          handle other matters that are currently backlogged in the  
          courts.  


          The author explains the reason for this bill as follows:


               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  








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               balanced, court efficiency proposal that would not  
               only save judges significant amounts of time and  
               resources when considering huge volumes of summary  
               judgment or summary adjudication motion papers, but  
               would also avoid any harm to the litigants by  
               preserving their rights on appellate review with  
               respect to any properly raised objections that are not  
               expressly ruled upon by the court.


               To reduce the burden on trial courts in ruling on  
               numerous objections to evidence in summary judgment  
               and summary adjudication proceedings, this bill would  
               amend California's summary judgment statute, Section  
               437(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure, to expressly  
               authorize trial courts to rule only on those  
               objections to evidence that it deems material to its  
               disposition of the motion for summary judgment or  
               summary adjudication.  This bill would specify  
               objections to evidence that are not ruled on for  
               purposes of the motion are preserved for appellate  
               review.


               In doing so, this bill will save the time of research  
               attorneys and judicial officers without impacting the  
               litigants negatively.  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. 




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Khadijah Hargett / JUD. / (916) 319-2334  FN:  
          0001152









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