County of Riverside v. Superior Court

30 Cal. 4th 278, 132 Cal. Rptr. 2d 713, 66 P.3d 718 (2003)

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County of Riverside v. Superior Court

California Supreme Court
30 Cal. 4th 278, 132 Cal. Rptr. 2d 713, 66 P.3d 718 (2003)

  • Written by Rose VanHofwegen, JD

Facts

The California legislature enacted an interest-arbitration statute requiring counties to submit economic issues that arose during negotiations with firefighter or law-enforcement unions to binding arbitration. Riverside County (plaintiff) and the Riverside Sheriff’s Association (defendant) reached an impasse negotiating the compensation the county paid probation-department employees. The sheriff’s association wanted to submit the dispute to arbitration under the new law. The county refused, claiming mandatory arbitration violated provisions in the California constitution giving the county exclusive authority to set employees’ compensation and prohibiting the legislature from delegating power over county decisions to a private person, such as an arbitrator. The sheriff’s association filed an action asking the Riverside County Superior Court to compel arbitration. The court ordered arbitration, reasoning the dispute raised issues of statewide and not purely local concern that supported the constitutionality of the legislation. The appellate court reversed, finding the new law unconstitutional. The sheriff’s association appealed, and the California Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Chin, J.)

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