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Disenhouse v. Peevey

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

June 3, 2014

MASADA DISENHOUSE, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
MICHAEL R. PEEVEY et al., Defendants and Respondents.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County No. 37-2013-00038448- CU-MC-CTL, Timothy B. Taylor, Judge.

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COUNSEL

Aguirre, Morris & Severson, Michael J. Aguirre, Christopher S. Morris and Maria C. Severson for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Douglas J. Woods, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Michael G. Witmer, Marc A. Leforestier and Kari Krogseng, Deputy Attorneys General for Defendants and Respondents.

OPINION

McCONNELL, P. J.

INTRODUCTION

In this case, we must reconcile a Public Utilities Code provision depriving the superior courts of jurisdiction "to enjoin, restrain, or interfere with the [Public Utilities Commission] in the performance of its official duties" (Pub. Util. Code, § 1759, subd. (a))[1] with a Government Code provision authorizing any interested person to "commence an action by mandamus, injunction, or declaratory relief for the purpose of stopping or preventing violations or threatened violations" of the state's opening meeting law. (Gov. Code, § 11130, subd. (a).) We conclude a person desiring to commence such an action against the Public Utilities Commission (commission) may only do so by filing a petition for writ of mandate in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal.[2]

BACKGROUND

Masada Disenhouse filed a complaint for an injunction in the superior court to stop members of the commission from proceeding with a meeting in San Diego in March 2013. Disenhouse alleged that, since the commission would not permit her to attend the meeting because of her affiliation with the Sierra Club, the meeting ...


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