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California State Parks Found. v. Superior Court of San Diego County

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20106
Nos. No. D049205, (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 05/10/2007)

A California appellate court held that a lower court erred in transferring environmental groups' California Environmental Quality Act claim to another venue. The groups filed suit challenging the certification of an environmental impact report for, and the decision approving the construction of, a toll road traversing portions of San Diego and Orange counties. The lower court held that California Code of Civil Procedure §393(b), which allows suits challenging actions taken by public officials to be filed in the county where some or all of the case of action arises, applies only to those involving personal rights or property. But the appellate court reversed, holding that the groups' action to vindicate public rights was properly filed in San Diego County. Based on the text of §393(b), case law interpreting that statute, and public policy considerations, §393(b) is not limited to actions involving personal rights or property.