APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Michael T. Smyth, Judge. Reversed and remanded. (Super. Ct. No. SCD211358).
The opinion of the court was delivered by: McINTYRE, J.
CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION
In this case, we conclude that pawnbrokers have a right to procedural due process before a court can order that stolen property in their possession and subject to a 90-day hold under Business and Professions Code section 21647, be returned to the purported owners of the property. (All statutory references are to the Business and Professions Code unless otherwise designated.) We also reject the People's argument that the pawnbrokers, as nonparties to the action, lacked standing to appeal and that the order to turnover the property was not appealable.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Michael Anthony Hernandez and Steven Wade Gardner (defendants) admitted committing several residential burglaries and pawning the victims' property to certain pawnshops, including Nigal, Inc. (dba Express Financial Services and Express Pawn) and Unique Pawnbrokers, Inc. and Larry Taylor (dba Golden Hill Pawnbrokers and University Pawn Broker; collectively with Nigal, Inc., the pawnbrokers). The victims identified their property and the police put a 90-day hold on the stolen property under subdivision (a) of section 21647.
After defendants indicated that they did not object to returning the stolen property to the victims before the final disposition of the case against them, the People sought an order requiring that the pawnbrokers release the property pawned by defendants to the police or the victims. The trial court issued the order without providing notice to the pawnbrokers, who timely appealed from the order.
I. Standing to Appeal and Appealability
The People assert we must dismiss the appeal because (1) the pawnbrokers are not parties to the action and lack standing to appeal and (2) the order is not appealable. We reject these contentions.
Standing to appeal is jurisdictional (Marsh v. Mountain Zephyr, Inc. (1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 289, 295 (Marsh)) and the issue of whether a party has standing is a question of law (IBM Personal Pension Plan v. City and County of San Francisco (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 1291, 1299). Any party legally aggrieved by a challenged ruling has standing to appeal it (Code Civ. Proc., § 902) and a nonparty that is aggrieved by a judgment or order may become a party of record and obtain a right to appeal by moving to vacate the judgment. (Marsh, supra, 43 Cal.App.4th at p. 295.) Additionally, a nonparty may appeal if a judgment or order has a res judicata effect on the nonparty. (Ibid.) Such an effect on the nonparty must, however, be "immediate, pecuniary, and substantial and not nominal or a remote consequence of the judgment [or order]" in order to confer standing. (County of Alameda v. Carleson (1971) 5 Cal.3d 730, 737, citation omitted.)
Here, the challenged order is binding and the injurious effect of the order on the pawnbrokers was immediate, pecuniary and substantial. It requires the pawnbrokers to unconditionally release the property in their possession. Accordingly, the pawnbrokers have standing to appeal from the order.
The appealability of a judgment or order is also jurisdictional. (Marsh, supra, 43 Cal.App.4th at p. 297.) Generally, an order is not a final order until the final judgment in the matter has been entered. (Ibid.) However, a recognized exception to the "one final judgment" rule provides that an interim order is appealable if it is (1) collateral to the subject matter of the litigation; (2) final as to the collateral matter; and (3) directs ...