California (San Francisco) –- Increase...

California (San Francisco) –- Increased Employee Contributions, Reduced Benefits

Posted by StuartBuck in California on January 6, 2015 with Comments Off on California (San Francisco) –- Increased Employee Contributions, Reduced Benefits

Law:

Public Employees Pension Reform Act (January 2013)

Type of reform:

The act increased employees’ contributions from 8 to 14 percent, reduced salaries, and reduced pension benefits.

Case:

McGlynn v. California, No. CPF 14 514052 (Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, filed Dec. 23, 2014)

Status of litigation:

The plaintiffs include six superior court judges who were elected prior to the effective date of the Public Employees Pension Reform Act. They allege 1) that the act violates the California Constitution because it reduces the salaries of elected officials while in office, 2) that upon their election to office they became members of the Judges Retirement System II (JRSII) and were entitled to earn pension benefits, and 3) that the act was retroactively applied to them and unfairly changed the terms of their membership in JRSII.

On Feb. 20, 2015, the state filed an answer to the verified writ of petition filed by the plaintiff. Also on that day, the state and the Board of Administration of CALPERS filed a demurrer to the petition, and a memorandum of points and authorities in support of the demurrer.

The case was assigned to Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith. On October 27, 2015, the court sustained the respondents’ demurrer to the verified petition and complaint for declaratory relief.  On November 9, plaintiff/appellant McGlynn and the other plaintiff judges filed a notice of appeal. The appeal record was certified to the Court of Appeals on December 9.

On December 10, the case was docketed in the First Court of Appeals as Case No. A146855.

The appellants filed their opening brief and appendix on April 4, 2016. The appellees filed a responsive brief on June 24. The appellants filed a reply brief on August 15. The docket reflects that briefing was then complete. On Aug. 25, 2016, the court sent a notice of waiver of oral argument.

On August 29, 2016, the court granted a request by the California Judges Association (CJA) to file an amicus curiae brief. The court directed the clerk of the court to file the amicus brief that was submitted with CJA’s application and gave notice that any party may file an answer brief, served in accordance with the local rules, within 20 days. On August 31, the respondent filed a request for oral argument.

On Sept. 19, 2016, the state filed a responsive brief to CJA’s amicus brief.

Nothing occurred until Sept. 27, 2017, when the court filed an order that requested supplemental briefing from all parties on the relevance, if any, of the following cases to the issue of the constitutionality of PEPRA’s annual adjustment to judge’s pension contributions:

  • S. v. Hatter, 532 U.S. 557 (2001);
  • DePascale v. State, 211 N.J. 40, 47 A.3d 690 (2012);
  • Bransten v. State, 117 A.D.3d 455 (N.Y.App.Div. 2014).

The court’s order further provided that the appellants could file supplemental briefing on or before Oct. 23, 2017, and that the respondents could file supplemental briefing on or before Nov. 13, 2017.

Additionally, the court’s order provided that the appellants’ appendix did not contain a “‘Judgment of dismissal under Code of Civil Procedure sections 581d, 583.250, 583.360, or 583.430,’ from which the notice of appeal indicates the appeal is taken, but contains only an order sustaining the demurrer. (AA 265, 269).” The court requested a judgment, or if none was entered in the trial court, then “respondents are directed to prepare one and present it to the trial court for signature within seven days of the date of this order, and once it is signed by the trial court to promptly provide this court with a copy.”  The court directed that it will “in the interests of justice and to prevent unnecessary delay, deem this appeal to be from that judgment.”

The appellant/petitioner filed its supplemental brief, with permission, on Oct. 30, 2017. Defendant/respondent State of California filed a supplemental brief on Nov. 13, 2017. The Court held oral argument on March 1, 2018, and the cause has been submitted.

Relevant Documents:

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