APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Yolo County, Timothy L. Fall, Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. CV 02-478).
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Davis, J.
CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION
California has a pair of "holiday statutes" that essentially state that whenever a legal or contractual act is required to be performed on a holiday, the act may be performed on the next business day without any adverse consequence. (Civ. Code, §§ 9, 11.) The question in this appeal is whether these state holiday statutes apply to a national bank's credit card payment due dates. They do not. This is because these state laws are preempted by a federal law stating that a national bank may make non-real estate loans without regard to state law limitations concerning the terms of credit; these terms include the schedule for repayment of principal and interest and the payments due. (12 C.F.R. § 7.4008(d)(2)(iv); see 12 U.S.C. § 21 et seq., § 93a (National Bank Act).)
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment rejecting plaintiffs' lawsuit because it is preempted.
This case comes before us as a third amended class action complaint, a demurrer to which the trial court sustained without leave to amend.
In reviewing a general demurrer sustained without leave to amend, we must determine whether, assuming the facts alleged in the complaint are true, a cause of action has been or can be stated. (Ball v. GTE Mobilnet of California (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 529, 534-535 (Ball).)
In the third amended complaint, plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, allege they are credit card customers of defendant Bank of America, N.A. (USA) (BofA-USA), a national bank.*fn1
Plaintiffs allege that the California and Arizona "holiday statutes"--specifically, California Civil Code sections 9 and 11 and Arizona Revised Statute section 1-303--prohibit BofA-USA from charging late fees or interest for credit card payments "posted on the first business day after a Holiday due date, when such fee[s] or interest would not have been due if the payment was posted on the Holiday due date"; and that BofA-USA violated this prohibition.*fn2
Plaintiffs allege three causes of action, each of which aligns with one of the three holiday statutes. Each cause alleges that the respective holiday statute violation is an "unlawful" act under California's Unfair Competition Law. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq., see § 17200 ["unfair competition shall mean and include any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice . . ."].) Plaintiffs seek to stop BofA-USA from further violating the holiday laws, and to have BofA-USA make restitution to each class member.
The trial court sustained BofA-USA's demurrer without leave to amend based on federal preemption of these state holiday statutes.
"A demurrer is an appropriate vehicle to secure a dismissal of a state law action based on federal law preemption." (Ball, supra, 81 Cal.App.4th at p. 535.)
1. Principles of Preemption
Under the Supremacy Clause of the federal Constitution, federal law can preempt state ...