PROCEEDINGS in mandate. Stay issued. Petition denied. Warren
C. Stracener, Judge. (Super. Ct. No. PC20150633)
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
J. Ciccozzi and David Livingston, County Counsel, Kathleen A.
Markham, Deputy County Counsel; Abbott & Kindermann, William
W. Abbott, Sacramento, and Glen C. Hansen, Sacramento, for
Jennifer Bacon Henning for California State Association of
Counties, Rural County Representatives of California, and
League of California Cities as Amici Curiae on behalf of
appearance for Respondent.
Law, Mark J. Leonardo, Malibu, Reid H. Breitman, Lancaster;
Benedon & Serlin, Douglas G. Benedon, Lancaster, Wendy S.
Albers, Woodland Hills, for Real Parties in Interest.
Bernard Carlson in pro. per. for Friends of El Dorado County
as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Real Parties in Interest.
parties in interest Thomas and Helen Austin (the Austins)
filed an action to recover development impact fees under the
Mitigation Fee Act (Gov. Code, � 66000 et seq.) for the
failure of petitioners County of El Dorado and its Community
Development Agency (collectively
"County") to make prescribed findings to justify
the continuing need for 11 fees assessed by the County and
its special districts. The trial court denied a second
demurrer that renewed the County’s previous claim
that the limitations period for the Austins’ action expired.
On the County’s petition for a writ of mandate to overturn
this ruling, we issued an alternative writ or order to show
cause and, with the acquiescence of the Austins, issued a
stay of proceedings. On plenary review, we shall vacate the
stay and deny the County’s petition for writ of
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
not act as an adjunct to the superior court’s motion
department. We should exercise discretion to review rulings
on pleadings with extreme reluctance, confining it
"to instances of such grave nature or of ... significant
legal impact." (Babb v. Superior Court (1971) 3
Cal.3d 841, 851, 92 Cal.Rptr. 179, 479 P.2d 379.) The present
case is simply a desultory request by particular landowners
for a refund of fees that a particular local entity failed to
justify. We are not aware, at least through the vehicle of
the present litigation, that floodgates will open to
challenges of mitigation fees for failure to make these
prescribed findings on a statewide basis if we do not rule in
the County’s behalf at the pleadings stage on the question of
the proper limitations period. This is as opposed to the
context of a subsequent ruling premised on a factual showing
as to the limitations period, or a ruling on the
merits of the underlying dispute that might moot the
whole issue— in contrast with the Babb
decision regarding the propriety of cross-complaints for
malicious prosecution in pending actions. Moreover, if the
purported size of the administrative record (as the County
asserts) were a ground for writ ...