Articles Posted in California Supreme Court

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After a school district (District) approved the conversion of an existing public school into a charter school, a union (UTLA) claimed that the District failed to comply with collective bargaining agreement provisions (CBPs) concerning charter school conversion. UTLA petitioned to compel arbitration pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement. The trial court denied the petition, finding that the collective bargaining provisions (CBPs) regulating charter school conversion were unlawful because they conflicted with the Education Code, and therefore, arbitration of those unlawful provisions should not be compelled. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the court's function in adjudicating a petition to compel arbitration was limited to determining whether there was a valid arbitration agreement that had not been waived. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a court faced with a petition to compel arbitration to enforce CBPs between a union and a school district should deny the petition if the CBPs at issue directly conflict with provisions of the Education Code; and (2) because UTLA had not identified with sufficient specificity which CBPs the District allegedly violated, the case was remanded for identification of those specific provisions and to address whether the provisions conflicted with the Education Code. View "United Teachers of L.A. v. L.A. Unified Sch. Dist." on Justia Law

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C.A., a minor, sued his public high school guidance counselor and the school district for damages arising out of sexual harassment and abuse by the counselor. At issue was whether the district court could be found vicariously liable for the acts of its employees - not for the acts of the counselor, which were outside the scope of her employment, but for the negligence of supervisory or administrative personnel who allegedly knew, or should have known, of the counselor's propensities and nevertheless hired, retained, and inadequately supervised her. The court concluded that plaintiff's theory of vicarious liability for negligent hiring, retention, and supervision was a legally viable one. Ample case authority established that school personnel owed students under their supervision a protective duty of ordinary care, for breach of which the school district could be held vicariously liable. If a supervisory or administrative employee of the district was proven to have breached that duty by negligently exposing plaintiff to a foreseeable danger of molestation by his guidance counselor, resulting in his injuries, and assuming no immunity provision applied, liability fell on the school district. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment. View "C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High School, et al. " on Justia Law

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The Association sought extraordinary writ relief from the court, arguing that two measures intended to stabilize school funding by reducing or eliminating the diversion of property tax revenues from school districts to the state's community redevelopment agencies, was unconstitutional. At issue was whether the state Constitution (1) redevelopment agencies, once created and engaged in redevelopment plans, have a protected right to exist that immunized them from statutory dissolution by the Legislature; and (2) redevelopment agencies and their sponsoring communities have a protected right not to make payments to various funds benefiting schools and special districts as a condition of continued operation. Answering the first question "no" and the second "yes," the court largely upheld Assembly Bill 1X 26 and invalidated Assembly Bill 1X27. The court held that Assembly Bill 1X 26, the dissolution measure, was a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state Constitution. The court held that Assembly Bill 1X 27, the measure conditioning further redevelopment agency operations on additional payments by an agency's community sponsors to state funds benefits schools and special districts, was invalid. View "Cal. Redevelopment Assoc., et al. v. Matosantos, et al." on Justia Law