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AB-515 Environmental quality: California Environmental Quality Act: writ of mandate.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Senate  June 05, 2014
Amended  IN  Senate  March 17, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2013

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 515


Introduced by Assembly Member Dickinson

February 20, 2013


An act to amend Section 21168.9 of the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 515, as amended, Dickinson. Environmental quality: California Environmental Quality Act: writ of mandate.

(1)The

The California Environmental Quality Act requires the court, if it finds that a public agency has violated the requirements of the act, to issue an order, in the form of a peremptory writ of mandate, specifying what actions by the public agency are necessary to comply with the requirements of the act.
This bill would require the bill, for a peremptory writ of mandate to specify the time by which the public agency is to make an initial return of the peremptory writ of mandate containing specified information. Because a public agency would be required to file an initial return of the peremptory writ of mandate, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. containing specified mandates, would expressly authorize the court to require the public agency to prepare and file an initial return of the writ. The bill would require the trial court, to the extent feasible, to issue a determination indicating whether the actions specified in the initial return and any subsequent return are adequate to comply with the peremptory writ of mandate within 30 days of the filing of the return.

(2)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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.9 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21168.9.
 (a) If a court finds, as a result of a trial, hearing, or remand from an appellate court, that any determination, finding, or decision of a public agency has been made without compliance with this division, the court shall enter a judgment directing the issuance of a peremptory writ of mandate identifyingwith specificity what action by the public agency is necessary to comply with this division. The peremptory writ of mandate may include an order that includes one or more of the following mandates:
(1) A mandate that the determination, finding, or decision be voided by the public agency, in whole or in part.
(2) If the court finds that a specific project activity or activities will prejudice the consideration or implementation of particular mitigation measures or alternatives to the project, a mandate that the public agency and any real parties in interest suspend any or all specific project activity or activities, pursuant to the determination, finding, or decision, that could result in an adverse change or alteration to the physical environment, until the public agency has taken any actions that may be necessary to bring the determination, finding, or decision into compliance with this division.
(3) A mandate that the public agency take specific action as may be necessary to bring the determination, finding, or decision into compliance with this division.
(b) (1) A peremptory writ of mandate issued pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) shall include only specify those mandates or actions that are necessary to achieve compliance with this division and shall address only those specific project activities in noncompliance with this division.
(2) The peremptory writ of mandate shall be limited to that portion of a determination, finding, or decision or the specific project activity or activities found to be in noncompliance only if a court finds all of the following:
(A) The portion or specific project activity or activities are severable.
(B) Severance will not prejudice complete and full compliance with this division.
(C) The court has not found the remainder of the project to be in noncompliance with this division.
(3) The peremptory writ of mandate shall include the time by which the may require the public agency shall be required to prepare and file an initial return of the writ.
(c) An If the court issues a peremptory writ of mandate pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (a), an initial return of the peremptory writ of mandate shall may describe both of the following:
(1) The actions the public agency will take to come into compliance with the peremptory writ of mandate and this division.
(2) An estimated schedule for these actions.
(d) To the extent feasible, within 30 days of the filing of the initial return of the peremptory writ of mandate, the trial court shall issue a determination indicating whether the actions specified in the initial return are adequate to comply with the peremptory writ of mandate.
(e) The trial court shall retain jurisdiction over the public agency’s proceedings by way of a return of the peremptory writ of mandate until the court determines that the public agency has complied with this division. To the extent feasible, the trial court shall issue its determination on the return of the peremptory writ of mandate within 30 days of the filing of the return.
(f) This section does not authorize a court to direct a public agency to exercise its discretion in any particular way. Except as expressly provided in this section, this section is not intended to limit the equitable powers of the court.
(g) This section does not affect the authority of a court to allow those determinations, findings, or decisions of a public agency that are not found to be in violation of this division to proceed, if allowing the public agency to proceed does not, in any manner, prejudice complete and full compliance with this division.

SEC. 2.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.