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Schmier v. Supreme Court of California

California Court of Appeal
98 Cal. Rptr. 2d 580 (2000)


Facts

Pursuant to California Rule of Court 8.1105(a), all California Supreme Court opinions must be published. However, not all California Court of Appeal opinions are published. Under California Rule of Court 8.1105(c), to be published, an appellate opinion must: (1) either establish a new rule of law, apply an existing rule to new facts, or modify or criticize an existing rule; (2) resolve or create an apparent conflict in the law; (3) involve a legal issue of continuing public interest; or (4) make a substantial contribution to legal literature by reviewing the history of an existing rule or law. Otherwise, an appellate opinion will be unpublished. Unpublished opinions are public and available on the internet, but they cannot be cited as legal authority or precedent. Any member of the public can ask the Court of Appeal to publish an opinion. Michael Schmier (plaintiff) sued the Supreme Court of California, the Court of Appeal of California, and the Judicial Council of California (defendants), seeking an injunction requiring that all opinions be published. Schmier alleged that California Rule of Court 8.1105 violated several laws, including: (1) constitutional due process and equal protection rights by creating an unlawful system of selective prospectivity; and (2) California Civil Code § 22.2, which states that English common law supplies the rule of decision for California state courts unless the English law is inconsistent with either the federal or state constitution or statutes. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit. Schmier appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Haning, 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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