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AB-3027 California Environmental Quality Act: attorney’s fees.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/16/2018 09:00 PM

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 16, 2018


Assembly Bill
No. 3027

Introduced by Assembly Member Chávez

February 16, 2018

An act to add Section 21177.8 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


AB 3027, as amended, Chávez. California Environmental Quality Act: attorney’s fees.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant impact on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that impact. CEQA establishes procedures by which certain parties may file an action or proceeding challenging the lead agency’s action on the ground of noncompliance with CEQA.
Existing law authorizes the court, upon the motion of a party, to award attorney’s fees to a prevailing party in an action that has resulted in the enforcement of an important right affecting the public interest if 3 specified conditions are met.
This bill would, for a prevailing party that is a plaintiff or petitioner in an action or proceeding under CEQA, limit the awarding of attorney’s fees to certain persons or entities.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


 Section 21177.8 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

 In an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this division, a court may award attorney’s fees pursuant to Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure only to a prevailing plaintiff or petitioner that only if the prevailing plaintiff or petitioner is either of the following:
(a) A homeowner, property owner, or business owner owner, or a residential or commercial tenant whose tenancy is effective at the time the project application is submitted to the public agency, that is located within one of the following:
(1) The mailing radius established pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 65091 of the Government Code.
(2) A mailing radius otherwise established by the public agency for purposes of providing notice pursuant to this division.
(b) A nonprofit organization that qualifies under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code with an active membership of at least 50,000 formed solely primarily for the purpose of protecting the environment.