Chanler Plaintiffs Lose Challenge to AG's Regulation Requiring 45-Day Notice of Settlement— by Roger Pearson at Prop65 Clearinghouse

Posted: 05/17/2013  browse the blog archive

Excerpted from full article at Prop 65 Clearinghouse:

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has granted the Attorney General's request to dismiss a complaint by three clients of The Chanler Group arguing that the AG's regulation requiring Proposition 65 private plaintiffs to serve the AG with a proposed settlement at least 45 days prior to the motion to approve the settlement violates the state Constitution. The decision, in Held v. Harris, by Judge David Brown dismisses the action brought by plaintiffs Anthony Held, Russell Brimer, and John Moore on a motion on the pleadings brought by the AG's office. All three of these plaintiffs are long-time clients of The Chanler Group formed by long-time Prop. 65 attorney Clifford Chanler.

In 2001 one of the few successful amendments of Prop. 65 required that private enforcers give the Attorney General's office a chance to review any proposed settlement of a Prop. 65 action prior to judicial approval. In 2003 the AG adopted a regulation implementing the new requirement specifying that any motion to approve a settlement must be served on the AG's office at least 45 days prior to the hearing date on the motion unless court rules or applicable orders do not permit a 45 day notice [11 California Code of Regulations, section 3003]. The Chanler plaintiffs brought this action alleging that section 3003 improperly conflicts with Code of Civil Procedure section 1005(b), which provides that a party must give written notice of a hearing at least 16 court days before the hearing. The plaintiffs also argued that even if the court finds no conflict between the regulation and the statute, the AG violated the Constitution's Separation-of-Powers doctrine by taking an action reserved to the Legislature (i.e., specifying time limits for litigation notices).  link to source