Code Section Group

Code of Civil Procedure - CCP

PART 2. OF CIVIL ACTIONS [307 - 1062.20]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 10. ACTIONS IN PARTICULAR CASES [725a - 871.7]

  ( Title 10 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 7. Actions Relating to Groundwater Rights [830 - 852]

  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 672, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 3. Notice and Service of Complaint [835 - 836.5]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 672, Sec. 1. )

835.
  

(a) The plaintiff shall provide notice of the comprehensive adjudication to all of the following:

(1) A groundwater sustainability agency that overlies the basin or a portion of the basin.

(2) A city, county, or city and county that overlies the basin or a portion of the basin.

(3) A district with authority to manage or replenish groundwater resources of the basin in whole or in part.

(4) The operator of a public water system or state small water system that uses groundwater from the basin to supply water service.

(5) A California Native American tribe that is on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission.

(6) The Attorney General, the State Water Resources Control Board, the department, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

(7) A federal department or agency that manages a federal reservation that overlies the basin or a portion of the basin.

(8) A person identified under Section 836.5 who is not a party to the comprehensive adjudication.

(9) A person who is on a list, maintained by a groundwater management agency, of interested parties that have requested notice under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

(b) The plaintiff may provide notice under this section by first class mail or electronic mail.

(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the plaintiff shall provide notice under this section as follows:

(A) To any person entitled to notice under paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (a) within 15 days of the filing of the complaint.

(B) To any person entitled to notice under paragraphs (8) and (9) of subdivision (a) within 30 days of receipt of the name and address of the person entitled to notice.

(2) The plaintiff may take additional time as is reasonably necessary before providing notice under this section if the plaintiff determines that additional time is necessary to identify a person entitled to notice under this section, confirm the accuracy of the name or address of a person, or to determine if the conditions requiring notice have been satisfied.

(d) The plaintiff is not required to provide notice under this section to a person who has already been served or intervened in the action.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 86, Sec. 27. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2017.)

836.
  

(a) When the plaintiff files the complaint, the plaintiff shall also lodge with the court both of the following:

(1) (A) A draft notice titled “NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT OF GROUNDWATER BASIN ADJUDICATION” in no less than 20-point font and the following text printed immediately below the draft notice title in no less than 14-point font:

“THIS NOTICE IS IMPORTANT. ANY RIGHTS YOU CLAIM TO PUMP OR STORE GROUNDWATER FROM THE BASIN IDENTIFIED IN THIS NOTICE MAY BE AFFECTED BY A LAWSUIT INITIATED BY THE COMPLAINT SUMMARIZED BELOW.

A copy of the complaint may be obtained by contacting the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney identified in this notice. If you claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin, either now or in the future, you may become a party to this lawsuit by filing an answer to the lawsuit on or before the deadline specified in this notice. You may file an answer by completing the attached form answer, filing it with the court indicated in this notice, and sending a copy of the form answer to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney.

Failing to participate in this lawsuit could have a significant adverse effect on any right to pump or store groundwater that you may have. You may seek the advice of an attorney in relation to this lawsuit. Such attorney should be consulted promptly. A case management conference in this groundwater basin adjudication proceeding shall occur on the date specified in this notice. If you intend to participate in the groundwater adjudication proceeding to which this notice applies, you are advised to attend the initial case management conference in person or have an attorney represent you at the initial case management conference.

Participation requires the production of all information regarding your groundwater use. You must provide this information by the date identified in this notice.

A form answer is provided for your convenience. You may fill out the form answer and file it with the court. Should you choose to file the form answer, it will serve as an answer to all complaints and cross-complaints filed in this case.”

(B) The following information shall be provided immediately following the text described in subparagraph (A):

(i) The name of the basin that is the subject of the comprehensive adjudication and a link to the Internet Web site address where the department has posted a map of the basin.

(ii) A space to be completed with the case number assigned to the comprehensive adjudication, and the name and address of the court and department to which the action is assigned.

(iii) The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the plaintiff, or plaintiff’s attorney, from whom the complaint may be obtained and to whom a copy of the form answer should be sent.

(iv) A summary of the causes of action alleged in the complaint and the relief sought. The summary shall not exceed 25 lines.

(v) A date by which persons receiving the notice must appear in the comprehensive adjudication.

(2) (A) A draft form answer titled “ANSWER TO ADJUDICATION COMPLAINT” in no less than 20-point font and the following text printed immediately below the draft form answer title in no less than 14-point font:

“The undersigned denies all material allegations in the complaint or cross-complaint in this action that seeks to adjudicate rights in the groundwater basin and asserts all applicable affirmative defenses to that complaint.”

(B) Notwithstanding any other law, the filing of an answer in the form described in subparagraph (A) in a comprehensive adjudication is sufficient to put at issue all material allegations and applicable affirmative defenses to the complaint in the comprehensive adjudication. If a party intends to seek adjustment of the basin’s boundaries, it shall disclose that intention in the form answer described in subparagraph (A).

(b) Within 30 days of the assignment of a judge by the Chairperson of the Judicial Council, the plaintiff shall file a motion for approval of the draft notice and draft form answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a). The plaintiff’s motion shall include a copy of the draft notice and draft form answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) Once the court approves the draft notice, service of that notice in accordance with this section shall substitute for the summons otherwise provided for in civil actions pursuant to Section 412.20.

(d) (1) Following a court order approving the notice and form answer and authorizing service of landowners pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall do all of the following:

(A) Identify the assessor parcel numbers and physical addresses of all real property in the basin and the names and addresses of all holders of fee title to real property in the basin using the records of the assessor or assessors of the county or counties in which the basin to be adjudicated lies. The plaintiff shall provide the court and all parties with notice of its acquisition of, or sufficient access to, this information.

(B) Mail, by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, the notice, complaint, and form answer to all holders of fee title to real property in the basin. If the physical address of the real property differs from the address of the holder of fee title, the notice, complaint, and form answer shall be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the physical address of the real property and the address of the holder of fee title.

(C) If return receipt is not received for a parcel of real property, the plaintiff shall post a copy of the notice, complaint, and form answer in a conspicuous place on the real property.

(D) Within 20 days of the court order, publish the notice at least once per week for four consecutive weeks in one or more newspapers of general circulation in each county overlying the basin in whole or in part.

(2) Service pursuant to this subdivision is not required if the real property is owned by a person in a class of water users that are otherwise noticed in accordance with this chapter. If the owner is part of a class of water users proposed for certification, service is not required until the court acts on the proposal for certification.

(e) After completing the mailing pursuant to subdivision (d), the plaintiff shall file with the court a notice of the completion of the mailing.

(f) A property owner who has received notice of the comprehensive adjudication and transfers property during the pendency of the comprehensive adjudication shall disclose, on the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement, that the property is subject to a comprehensive adjudication and shall attach the court-approved notice to the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement.

(g) Following a court order authorizing service of landowners pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall serve any known person that pumps groundwater who would not otherwise be served pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section, except those who have been exempted by the court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 833 or those who are part of a class certified pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of this section. Service pursuant to this subdivision shall be by personal delivery or by mail in the manner prescribed by Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10) of Chapter 4 of Title 5.

(h) Service on the United States shall be made in accordance with Section 666 of Title 43 of the United States Code.

(i) The court may authorize any other procedures it finds appropriate and necessary to provide notice to persons who may hold groundwater rights in the basin.

(j) Compliance with the service and notice provisions of this chapter shall be deemed effective service of process of the complaint and notice on all interested parties of the comprehensive adjudication for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the comprehensive effect of the comprehensive adjudication.

(k) Whenever proceedings are instituted under this chapter, it shall be the duty of all claimants interested in the proceedings and having notice of the proceedings pursuant to this chapter to appear in the proceedings and to submit proof of their claims at the time, and in the manner, required by this chapter.

(l) The court may require notice to be made available in languages other than English.

(m) Within 15 days of the court order approving the notice and form answer, the plaintiff shall provide the notice and form answer to the department and each county and groundwater sustainability agency that overlies the basin or a portion of the basin. The department, and each county and groundwater sustainability agency that overlies the basin or a portion of the basin and has an Internet Web site shall do all of the following:

(1) Within 15 days of receiving the notice and form answer, post those documents on its Internet Web site.

(2) Provide a link to the notice and form answer on the home page of its Internet Web site.

(3) Maintain the posting and link described in paragraphs (1) and (2) for the entire time the comprehensive adjudication is pending. The plaintiff shall notify the department and each county and groundwater sustainability agency when the comprehensive adjudication is no longer pending.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 672, Sec. 1. (AB 1390) Effective January 1, 2016.)

836.5.
  

(a) Within 15 days of the court order approving the notice and form answer under Section 836, the plaintiff shall request from the following entities the names and addresses of persons reporting extractions within the basin under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or Part 5 (commencing with Section 4999) or Part 5.2 (commencing with Section 5200) of Division 2 of the Water Code:

(1) The State Water Resources Control Board.

(2) A local agency designated under Section 5009 of the Water Code as the local agency for a board-designated local area that includes the basin or a portion of the basin.

(3) A groundwater sustainability agency for the basin or a portion of the basin.

(b) The entities described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a) shall provide the plaintiff with the names, mailing addresses, and email addresses, if available, within 45 days of the plaintiff’s request. The State Water Resources Control Board shall also provide the mailing address and email addresses, if available, of any person known to the board who holds a permit or license authorizing underground storage in the basin or who claims a right to divert water for underground storage in the basin.

(c) Upon request, the plaintiff shall reimburse the reasonable costs incurred under this section by an entity described in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a).

(d) An entity shall not be held civilly liable for complying with this section.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 672, Sec. 1. (AB 1390) Effective January 1, 2016.)

CCPCode of Civil Procedure - CCP3.