A Loch Ness Sighting: A Writ Decision with a Dissent

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There was a time when I thought of a writ of prohibition as a mythical creature that only exists in fairy tales. As it turns out, the writ does exist. And in a decision on the writ that was entered this week, the Court of Appeals did something I have never seen before: issued a writ with a dissenting opinion.

Many readers are likely familiar with the Leandro v. State saga. The litigation has been going on for years.  On November 10th, the superior court ordered the State to transfer $1.7 billion within 30 days to increase funding for public education.  On November 24th, the State Controller filed a petition for writ of prohibition, temporary stay and writ of supersedeas.  Normally, the other parties would have had until December 6th to file a response. But due to the emergency nature of the relief sought, the Court of Appeals required parties to submit any response by November 30th. The State and the plaintiffs did so.

The same day, the Court issued a writ of prohibition to “restrain the trial court” from enforcing its order.  Judge Arrowood dissented from the panel’s decision and explained that, in his view, only the motion for temporary stay was properly before the panel.

Have you ever seen a dissent from a panel’s writ decision?

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