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People ex rel. Department of Transportation v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeal
7 Cal. Rptr. 2d 498 (1992)


Facts

Ernesto Verdeja (plaintiff) was driving on a state highway with two passengers (plaintiffs) when Seth Wood (defendant) drove his vehicle over the highway’s dirt center divider and hit Verdeja’s vehicle head-on. Verdeja and the passengers sued both Wood and the State of California, Department of Transportation (CalTrans) (defendant) using the official complaint form prepared and offered by the California Judicial Council (Judicial Council). The complaint set forth only these basic facts and alleged that CalTrans had maintained public property in a dangerous condition. CalTrans filed a demurrer, which is like a motion to dismiss, alleging that the complaint did not set forth enough facts to explain the reasons for any alleged liability for CalTrans. The trial court denied the motion and ruled that the use of the official complaint form was sufficient to overcome a demurrer.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Gilbert, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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