Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1052 California Environmental Quality Act: judicial challenge: identification of parties and contributors.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.

 Section 21175 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21175.
 (a) In any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul any act or decision of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with this division, the following information shall be disclosed in the complaint or petition:
(1) If an individual or group of individuals is the named plaintiff or petitioner, the name and city of legal residence, or county of legal residence if legal residence is in an unincorporated area, of each individual.
(2) If a business entity, labor organization, environmental entity, trade association entity, or other entity that has a registered tax identification number with the federal government as either a for-profit or nonprofit entity is the named plaintiff or petitioner, the legal name of each entity and, if applicable, the name under which each entity is operating in California.
(3) If an ad hoc group, or a collection of those groups, is the named plaintiff or petitioner, the identity and the amount of the contribution of each member of the group who has contributed or committed to contribute, including any contingent contribution agreement, an amount in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) toward the cost of the action or proceeding in either a cash contribution or services in lieu of a cash contribution.
(b) (1) If at any time during the course of an action or proceeding under this division any person or entity contributes in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) toward a plaintiff’s or petitioner’s costs of the action or proceeding in a cash contribution, services in lieu of a cash contribution, or contingent contribution agreement, a notice of contribution shall be filed with the court and disclosed to the respondent public agency and real party in interest.
(2) The plaintiff or petitioner may request the court to prohibit the disclosure of one or more financial contributors in a public pleading. The court may grant the request after weighing all relevant factors, including the inherent public interest and private attorney general principles, which serve as the policy and legal rationale for allowing private enforcement of this division.
(c) Failure to comply with this section shall be grounds for dismissal of the action or proceeding on the court’s own motion or on the motion of any party to the action or proceeding. Failure to comply with this section during a postjudgment proceeding shall result in any motion of the noncompliant party for attorneys’ fees being denied on the court’s own motion or on the motion of any party to the action or proceeding.
(d) To enable a court to assess whether the financial burden of private enforcement supports the award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure in actions or proceedings brought pursuant to Section 21167, the complaint or petition shall identify any pecuniary or business interest related to the project or issues involved in the action or proceeding of any party identified pursuant to subdivision (a).
(e) Enforcement of this division by private, nongovernmental parties is intended to further the goals of this division, and, in furtherance of the public disclosure goals of this division, the Legislature declares that it is in the public’s interest to know the identity and any financial or pecuniary interest of any private, nongovernmental party seeking to enforce this division.