Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Administrative Writ SOL Is Longer for Yes than for No.

Simonelli v. City of Carmel-by-the-Sea, No. H040488 (D6, as modified Sept. 28, 2015)

A homeowner filed a petition for writ of administrative mandamus against sued a city, challenging its issuance of a development permit for the lot next to hers. But she didn’t join the developer. The superior court denied the writ for failure to join an indispensable party, and then refused to permit her to amend because here petition was supposedly too late under a ninety-day statute of limitations in Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.6.

The court of appeal says the trial court was right on the first issue. Granting the writ would invariably affect the developer’s rights, which makes the developer a quintessential indispensable party § 389. But it got the statute of limitations issue wrong. Section 1094.6 applies to a writ challenging a local agency’s denial or revocation of a permit. It says nothing about a petition objecting to a granted permit application. So the homeowner should have been permitted to amend her petition to add the developer.

Reversed.

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