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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.548. Decision on request of a court of another jurisdiction

(a) Request for decision

On request of the United States Supreme Court, a United States Court of Appeals, or the court of last resort of any state, territory, or commonwealth, the Supreme Court may decide a question of California law if:

(1)The decision could determine the outcome of a matter pending in the requesting court; and

(2)There is no controlling precedent.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Form and contents of request

The request must take the form of an order of the requesting court containing:

(1)The title and number of the case, the names and addresses of counsel and any unrepresented party, and a designation of the party to be deemed the petitioner if the request is granted;

(2)The question to be decided, with a statement that the requesting court will accept the decision;

(3)A statement of the relevant facts prepared by the requesting court or by the parties and approved by the court; and

(4)An explanation of how the request satisfies the requirements of (a).

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Supporting materials

Copies of all relevant briefs must accompany the request. At any time, the Supreme Court may ask the requesting court to furnish additional record materials, including transcripts and exhibits.

(d) Serving and filing the request

The requesting court clerk must file an original and 10 copies of the request in the Supreme Court with a certificate of service on the parties.

(e) Letters in support or opposition

(1)Within 20 days after the request is filed, any party or other person or entity wanting to support or oppose the request must send a letter to the Supreme Court, with service on the parties and on the requesting court.

(2)Within 10 days after service of a letter under (1), any party may send a reply letter to the Supreme Court, with service on the other parties and the requesting court.

(3)A letter or reply asking the court to restate the question under (f)(5) must propose new wording.

(f) Proceedings in the Supreme Court

(1)In exercising its discretion to grant or deny the request, the Supreme Court may consider whether resolution of the question is necessary to secure uniformity of decision or to settle an important question of law, and any other factor the court deems appropriate.

(2)An order granting the request must be signed by at least four justices; an order denying the request may be signed by the Chief Justice alone.

(3)If the court grants the request, the rules on review and decision in the Supreme Court govern further proceedings in that court.

(4)If, after granting the request, the court determines that a decision on the question may require an interpretation of the California Constitution or a decision on the validity or meaning of a California law affecting the public interest, the court must direct the clerk to send to the Attorney General-unless the Attorney General represents a party to the litigation-a copy of the request and the order granting it.

(5)At any time, the Supreme Court may restate the question or ask the requesting court to clarify the question.

(6)After filing the opinion, the clerk must promptly send file-stamped copies to the requesting court and the parties and must notify that court and the parties when the decision is final.

(7)Supreme Court decisions pursuant to this rule are published in the Official Reports and have the same precedential effect as the court's other decisions.

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 8.548 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 29.8 effective January 1, 2003.

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