If a party is unhappy with the outcome of litigation in the trial court, that party generally has the right to appeal the decision. But what happens if the dissatisfied party voluntarily complies with the trial court’s judgment, so that a reversal on appeal would have no practical effect? May that party still appeal? The Second District Court of Appeal considered this question recently and said “No.”
In Building a Better Redondo, Inc. v. City of Redondo Beach (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 852, the nonprofit organization Building a Better Redondo (“BBR”) brought a petition for writ of mandate and declaratory relief claim against the City of Redondo Beach. BBR sought to compel the City to seek voter approval before passing proposed major changes in allowable land use in the City. The trial court ruled in favor of BBR and issued a writ ordering the City to submit the proposed changes to a public vote.
The City appealed the judgment, but it also voluntarily complied with the writ of mandate, adding the proposed changes to the November 2, 2010 ballot. The voters approved the ballot measure by a 52.5% majority, and the proposed changes were implemented.
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