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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.497. Review of California Environmental Quality Act cases under Public Resources Code sections 21178-21189.3

(a) Application

(1)This rule governs actions or proceedings in the Court of Appeal alleging that a public agency has approved or is undertaking an environmental leadership development project in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act. As used in this rule, an "environmental leadership development project" or "leadership project" means a project certified by the Governor under Public Resources Code sections 21182-21184.

(2)Except as otherwise provided in Public Resources Code sections 21178-21189.3 and this rule, the provisions of the Public Resources Code and the CEQA Guidelines adopted by the Natural Resources Agency (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15000 et seq.) governing judicial actions or proceedings to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul acts or decisions of a public agency on the grounds of noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality Act apply in proceedings governed by this rule.

(b) Service

Except as otherwise provided by law, all documents that this rule requires be served on the parties must be served by personal delivery, electronic service, express mail, or other means consistent with Code of Civil Procedure sections 1010, 1011, 1012, and 1013 and reasonably calculated to ensure delivery of the document to the parties not later than the close of the business day after the document is filed or lodged with the court.

(c) Petition

(1)Service and filing

A person alleging that a public agency has approved or is undertaking a leadership project in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act must serve and file a petition for a writ of mandate in the Court of Appeal with geographic jurisdiction over the project.

(2)Form and contents

In addition to any other applicable requirements, the petition must:

(A)State that the project at issue was certified by the Governor as a leadership project under Public Resources Code sections 21182-21184 and is subject to this rule;

(B)Provide notice that the person or entity that applied for certification of the project as a leadership project must make the payments required by (h);

(C)Include any other claims required to be concurrently filed by the petitioner under Public Resources Code section 21185; and

(D)Be verified.

(d) Administrative record

(1)Lodging and service

Within 10 days after the petition is served on the lead public agency, that agency must lodge the certified final administrative record with the Court of Appeal and serve on the parties a copy of the certified final administrative record and notice that the record has been lodged with the court.

(2)Form and contents

(A)Unless otherwise ordered by the Court of Appeal, the lead agency must lodge with the court one copy of the record in electronic format and one copy in paper format and serve on each party one copy of the record in electronic format. The record in electronic format must comply with rules 3.1365 and 3.1367. The record in paper format must comply with rules 3.1365 and 3.1368.

(B)A party may request the record in paper format and pay the reasonable cost or show good cause for a court order requiring the lead agency to serve the requesting party with one copy of the record in paper format.

(C)The record must include all of the materials specified in Public Resources Code section 21167.6.

(3)Motions regarding the record

(A)Any request to augment or otherwise change the contents of the administrative record must be made by motion in the Court of Appeal. The motion must be served and filed within 25 days after the record is served.

(B)Any opposition or other response to the motion must be served and filed within 10 days after the motion is filed.

(C)The Court of Appeal may appoint a special master to hear and decide any motion regarding the record. The order appointing the special master may specify the time within which the special master is required to file a decision.

(e) Notice of settlement

The petitioner must immediately notify the court if the case is settled.

(f) Response to petition

(1)Within 25 days after service of the administrative record or within the time ordered by the court, the respondent and any real party in interest must serve and file any answer to the petition; any motion challenging the sufficiency of the petition, including any motion to dismiss the petition; and any other response to the petition. Any such answer, motion, or other response from the same party must be filed concurrently.

(2)Any opposition or other response to a motion challenging the sufficiency of the petition must be served and filed within 10 days after the motion is filed.

(g) Briefs

(1)Service and filing

Unless otherwise ordered by the court:

(A)The petitioner must serve and file its brief within 40 days after the administrative record is served.

(B)Within 30 days after the petitioner's brief is filed, the respondent public agency must-and any real party in interest may-serve and file a respondent's brief.

(C)Within 20 days after the respondent's brief is filed, the petitioner may serve and file a reply brief.

(2)Form and contents

The briefs must comply as nearly as possible with rule 8.204.

(h) Certificate of Interested Entities or Persons

(1)Each party other than a public agency must comply with the requirements of rule 8.208 concerning serving and filing a Certificate of Interested Entities or Persons.

(2)The petitioner's certificate must be included in the petition. Other parties must include their certificate in their brief, or if the party files an answer or other response to the petition, a motion, an application, or an opposition to a motion or application in the Court of Appeal before filing its brief, the party must serve and file its certificate at the time it files the first answer, response, motion, application, or opposition. The certificate must appear after the cover and before any tables.

(3)If a party fails to file a certificate as required under (1) and (2), the clerk must notify the party by mail that the party must file the certificate within 10 days after the clerk's notice is mailed and that failure to comply will result in one of the following sanctions:

(A)If the party is the petitioner, the court will strike the petition; or

(B)If the party is the real party in interest, the court will strike the document.

(4)If the party fails to comply with the notice under (3), the court may impose the sanctions specified in the notice.

(i) Court costs

(1)In fulfillment of the provision in Public Resources Code section 21183 regarding payment of the Court of Appeal's costs:

(A)Within 10 days after service of the petition on the real party in interest, the person who applied for certification of the project as a leadership project must pay a fee of $100,000 to the Court of Appeal.

(B)If the Court of Appeal incurs any of the following costs, the person who applied for certification of the project as a leadership project must also pay, within 10 days of being ordered by the court, the following costs or estimated costs:

(i)The costs of any special master appointed by the Court of Appeal in the case; and

(ii)The costs of any contract personnel retained by the Court of Appeal to work on the case.

(2)If the fee or costs under (1) are not timely paid, the Court of Appeal may transfer the case to the superior court with geographic jurisdiction over the project, and the case will proceed under the procedures applicable to projects that have not been certified as leadership projects.

(j) Extensions of time

The court may order extensions of time only for good cause and in order to promote the interests of justice.

Rule 8.497 adopted effective July 1, 2012.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (b). This provision does not apply to service of the petition on the respondent public agency or real party in interest because the method of service on these parties is set by Public Resources Code sections 21167.6 and 21167.6.5.

Subdivision (c). Under this provision, a proceeding in the Court of Appeal is initiated by serving and filing a petition for a writ of mandate as provided in rule 8.25, not by filing a complaint and serving a summons and the complaint.

Subdivision (d)(3)(C). Public Resources Code section 21185 provides that the court may appoint a master to assist the court in managing and processing cases subject to this rule. Appointment of a special master to hear and decide motions regarding the record is just one example of when a court might make such an appointment.

Subdivision (f). A party other than the petitioner who files an answer, motion, or other response to a petition under (e) may be required to pay a filing fee under Government Code section 68926 if the answer, motion, or other response is the first document filed in the proceeding in the reviewing court by that party. See rule 8.25(c).

Subdivision (g). On application of the parties or on its own motion, the court may set different briefing periods. For example, if a motion to augment or otherwise modify the contents of the record is filed, the court might order that petitioner's brief be filed within a specified time after that motion is decided.

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