California

INTRODUCTION

ABSTRACT

TEMPORARY


AUTHORITY

Article XI, section 1 of the California Constitution specifically authorizes the California Legislature to “prescribe uniform procedure for county formation, consolidation, and boundary change.”[1] Similarly, section 2 of the same article provides the Legislature with authority to describe uniform procedure for establishing cities.[2] Subsequently, Article XI section 3 explicitly permits such counties and cities to adopt charters for local governance.[3]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 1

[2] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 2

[3] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 3; see also Cal. Gov. Code §§ 23700, 34450 (permitting a county, city, or city and county to adopt a charter for its own governance).


FORMATION PROCEDURE

A city, county, or city and county may adopt a charter by the majority vote of its electors, which is effective when filed with the Secretary of State.[1] Further, the governing body or charter commission of a county or city has authority to propose a charter, and an election to determine whether to draft a charter may be required by initiative or by the governing body.[2] The specific requirements for filing a County or city Charter are provided by the California Government Code.[2]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 3(a).

[2] Cal. Const. art. XI, §§ 3(b-c).

[3] Cal Gov. Code §§ 23700-23714, 34450-34461; but see Board of Education of City and County of San Francisco v. Hyatt, 152 Cal. 515, 519 (1907) (“It is well settled that the Legislature has power to pass acts curing the failure to comply with statutory requirements that might originally have been dispensed with in the proceedings of municipal corporations.”) (Internal citation omitted).


MODIFICATION

A charter for a city or county may be “amended, revised, or repealed” by the same procedure for establishing a charter. amended, revised, or repealed in the same manner.[1]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 3(a); see also Locality, Introduction: Formation Procedure, California; compare Harder v. Denton, 9 Cal.App.2d 607, 608 (1935) (“[T]he Legislature possessed no authority thereafter to pass any law which would limit, alter, or amend any of the provisions of the city charter.”).


PARTIES

LOCAL JURISDICTION

The local jurisdiction governed by a charter may include a county, city, or city and county;[1] “A county is the largest political division of the State having corporate powers.”[2] Cities include territories classified pursuant to Tit. IV, Div. I, Ch. 2 of the California Government Code.[3] The governing body of a charter county, or city is identified under the charter pursuant to article XI, sections 4 and 5 of the California Constitution.[4]

STATE

The California Constitution defines the state,[5] recognizes California as an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution as the Supreme Law of the land.[6] Further, the boundaries of the state of California are described under Article III, section 2 of the California Constitution.[7]

UNITED STATES

Under Article VI, clause 1 of the United States Constitution new states may be added to the Union, but may not be created by within the jurisdiction of existing states, except as provided.[8]

CITIZENS

Under section 1 of the 14th Amendment all citizens born in or naturalized to the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens of the country.[9] Under the California Government Code, generally citizens include individuals born and residing in California or Citizens of the United States residing in California.[10] The State Legislature has authority to define residence.[11] Residence generally includes an individual’s domicile which is typically includes their home or where they live and have intent to remain.[12]

THIRD PARTIES

Issues related to individuals who are not considered residents of California as defined by the elections Code,[13] may include citizens or entities from other states,[14] or other countries.[15]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 3(a); see also Cal. Gov. Code §§ 23700, 34450.

[2] Cal. Gov. Code § 23000; compare Cal. Gov. Code § 19 (West) (“‘County’ includes city and county.”); Dineen v. City and County of San Francisco, 38 Cal.App.2d 486, 490 (1940) (“[c]ounties are political subdivisions of the state for purposes of government.”); U.S. v. Certain Parcels of Land in Riverside County, California, 67 F.Supp. 780, 798 (1946) (“counties in California are classified as legal subdivisions of this State; are mere political subdivisions of the state with limited powers, and are in fact agents of the State”) (Internal citation and quotation marks omitted).

[3] Cal. Gov. Code Tit. IV, Div. I, Ch. 2 (Defining Charter and General Law Cities); Cal. Gov. Code § 20 (“‘City’ includes ‘city and county’ and ‘incorporated town,’ but does not include ‘unincorporated town’ or ‘village.'”); see also Griffin v. Colusa County, 44 Cal.App.2d 915, 920 (1941) (“Cities, however, are municipal corporations and not state agencies.”).

[4] Cal. Const. art. XI, §§ 4, 5.

[5] Cal. Gov. Code § 18 (“‘State’ means the State of California, unless applied to the different parts of the United States. In the latter case, it includes the District of Columbia and the territories.”).

[6] Cal. Const. art. 3, § 1.

[7] Cal. Const. art. 3, § 2; see also Cal. Gov. Code § 18 (West) (“‘State’ means the State of California, unless applied to the different parts of the United States. In the latter case, it includes the District of Columbia and the territories.”).

[8] U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 1.

[9] U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1.

[10] Cal. Gov. Code § 241

[11] Cal. Const. art. II, § 2.

[12] Cal. Const. art. II, § 3; see also Prowd v. Cunningham, 57 Cal.App. 458, 460 (1922) (“When we speak of a citizen of the United States we mean one who is born within the limits of or who has been naturalized by the laws of the United States; and when we speak of a citizen of a state we mean a citizen of the United States whose domicile is in such state. While the word is not convertible with ‘resident,’ nevertheless it is often used synonymously with such term without any implication of political privileges.”).

[13] Cal. Elec. Code § 2021; see also Locality, California: Introduction: Parties-Third Parties.

[14] See e.g. Cal. Gov. Code § 241(a); see also Cal. Gov. Code § 242.

[15] See e.g. Cal. Gov. Code § 241(a) (explaining children of transient aliens and of alien public ministers and consuls” are not considered citizens of California); see also Cal. Gov. Code § 242.


PURPOSE

Article XI, Section 3 of the California Constitution, provides that a charter may be adopted by a city or county, “[f]or its own government…”[1] Sections 4 and 5 of article XI further provide counties and cities, respectively, formed under a charter with broad powers in the management of municipal affairs.[2] Further, article XI, section 7.5 grants local provides authority and process for local authorities to enact measures.[3] Thus, several authorities have recognized that the purpose of charters is to grant home rule to local governance.[4]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 3.

[2] Cal. Const. art. XI, §§ 4-5.

[3] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7.5.

[4] See e.g. Brown v. Francisco, 123 Cal.App.2d 413, 416 (1954) (the provisions related to charters are intended to permit “home rule to counties upon action by the county electorate.”); Lesem v. Getty, 23 Cal.App.2d 57, 60 (1937) (stating the general purpose of the charter provisions is “to give local self–government or county home rule to counties of the state by means of charters framed under said constitutional amendment.”).


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

STRUCTURE

GENERALLY

The system of governance in charter cities and counties may vary slightly based on the level of autonomy each is granted and the requirements applicable to each system.[1]

LEGISLATIVE

Generally, the governing body of a county or city has authority to act in a legislative capacity on behalf of the relevant jurisdiction.[2] Section 4 of Article XI, requires county charters to provide for “a governing body of 5 or more members,”[3] Members of the board are then required to select a Chairman to preside over all meetings[4] and may select a vice chairman to preside over meetings in the Chairman’s absence.[5]

Under article XI, section 5 of the California Constitution a city charter may “provide that the city governed thereunder may make and enforce all ordinances and regulations in respect to municipal affairs, subject only to restrictions and limitations provided in their several charters and in respect to other matters they shall be subject to general laws.”[6] Charter cities may also maintain certain alternative governance structures as provided.[7]

EXECUTIVE

The governing body of a county or city will also generally serve executive functions of the jurisdiction.[8] Section 24000 of the California Government Code enumerates required officers in general law and charter counties.[9] Under article XI, section I the Legislature or governing body may provide for additional officers not established by law[10] and must provide in its charter for matters regarding “[a]n elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, other officers…”[11] Similarly, California courts have also recognized authority in charter cities to establish offices not otherwise provided for by law.[12]

JUDICIAL

Although counties and cities typically operate within the judicial jurisdiction otherwise defined by the state of California, the governing body of a county or city under a charter may serve certain quasi-judicial functions.[13]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, §§ 4-5 (defining the authority of counties and cities respectively; the former must have a governing board, the latter being granted more lenience with respect to “sub-government”).

[2] E.g. Cal. Gov. Code §§ 25120-25132 (West); see also e.g. Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West) (describing authority to enact provisions regarding strictly municipal functions); Hopping v. City of Richmond, 170 Cal. 605, 609-10 (1915) (recognizing legislative powers vested in the governing body of a city).

[3] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4; see also Cal. Gov. Code § 25000 (West).

[4] Cal. Gov. Code § 25020 (West).

[5] Cal. Gov. Code § 25020.1 (West).

[6] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5.

[7] Cal. Gov. Code Tit. IV, Div. II, Ch. 2 (West); see also Socialist Party v. Uhl, 155 Cal. 776, 788 (1909) (“[t]hat the election of municipal officers is strictly a municipal affair goes without question.”).

[8] E.g. Cal. Gov. Code § 25250 (West); see also e.g. Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West) (describing authority to oversee functions of municipal officers); Hopping v. City of Richmond, 170 Cal. 605, 610 (1915) (recognizing executive functions of the governing body of a city).

[9] Cal. Gov. Code § 24000 (West) (Officers include: “(a) A district attorney. (b) A sheriff. (c) A county clerk. (d) A controller. (e) An auditor, who shall be ex officio controller. (f) A treasurer. (g) A recorder. (h) A license collector. (i) A tax collector, who shall be ex officio license collector. (j) An assessor. (k) A superintendent of schools. (l) A public administrator. (m) A coroner. (n) A surveyor. (o) Members of the board of supervisors. (p) A county veterinarian. (q) A fish and game warden. (r) A county librarian. (s) A county health officer. (t) An administrative officer. (u) A director of finance. (v) A road commissioner. (w) A public guardian. (x) Such other officers as are provided by law.”).

[10] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 1 (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4 (West).

[12] Lesem v. Getty, 23 Cal.App.2d 57, 63 (1937) (“[a] fair construction of the constitutional provisions give a chartered city the right to create offices not provided for by law.”).

[13] E.g. Cal. Gov. Code § 25203 (West); see also Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West) (describing the plenary authority of a city’s governing body regarding strictly municipal matters); Federal Construction Corporation v. Curd, 179 Cal. 489, 494 (1918) (recognizing judicial functions relegated to the governing bodies of cities).


ELECTIONS

GENERALLY

Article XI, section 4 of the California Constitution requires a charter to establish the governing body of a county “elected (1) by district or, (2) at large, or (3) at large, with a requirement that they reside in a district” and subjects charter to State laws regarding apportionment of the population in governing districts.[1] The State Legislature retains authority over the necessary qualifications and tenure of elected officials in charter counties;[2] thus, charter counties only have authority regarding the compensation, terms, and removal of elected municipal officials.[3]

Charter cities generally have greater authority over municipal affairs than charter counties, including election and appointment of municipal officials.[4] However, where a charter does not specify alternative election procedures, elections are governed by the general law, because a city is subject “to restrictions and limitations provided in their several charters and in respect to other matters they shall be subject to general laws.”[5] The plenary authority of charter cities over the procedure, time, and terms for elections are “subject only to the restrictions of [Article XI]…”[6]

LEGISLATIVE

Article XI, section 4 of the California Constitution requires a charter to establish the governing body of a county as described.[7] As well, California Government Code section 25000 prohibits more than three members of a county board from being elected at the same time, establishes terms for board members, and provides election procedure should the terms of more than three members expire contemporaneously and for adopting limits on the tenure of a member.[8] Additionally, potential board members generally must meet certain districting and residence qualifications to be eligible for election.[9] Charter cities are permitted to provide term and tenure limits, differing from state provisions, for city council members by provision in their charter or later enacting such restrictions.[10]

EXECUTIVE 

In addition to the members of the Board who may exercise certain executive functions,[11] a charter must provide for the election or appointment of an elected sheriff, an elected district attorney, an elected assessor, and other officers; which includes for “ other officers their election or appointment, compensation, terms and removal.”[12] Thus, charter counties are required to provide for “[t]he fixing and regulation… of the appointment and number of assistants, deputies, clerks, attachés, and other persons to be employed,” and for establishing regulation by municipal bodies of the necessary qualifications, the terms and tenure of appointment, and the manner for appointment or removal of such persons.[13] Sections 24001 through 24012 of the California Government Code stipulate the requirements for the municipal officers and applicable exceptions to such requirements.[14] Charter cities are permitted to provide term and tenure limits differing from state provisions, for both city council members and elected mayors by provision in their charter or later enacting such restrictions.[15]

JUDICIAL

The election of judicial officials in cities or counties generally will only be relevant with respect to selecting members of the governing body considering such entities will generally only have quasi-judicial authority.[16]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4(a) (West).

[2] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 1(b) (West) (recognizing authority of general law counties regarding the “the number, compensation, tenure, and appointment of employees.”); compare Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4(b) (West) (“[c]ounty charters shall provide for… The compensation, terms, and removal of members of the governing body.”); Younger v. Board of Supervisors, 93 Cal.App.3d 864, 872-73 (1979) (“[t]he exclusion of the words “qualifications” and “tenure” from the grant of powers to charter counties regarding county officers and the specific inclusion of the power to set “qualifications” and “tenure” for non-elected employees discloses an intent by the framers of the Constitution to retain statewide control over the qualifications of the former while releasing such control over the latter.”).

[3] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4(f) (West).

[4] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5(a-b) (West) (“[i]t shall be competent in any city charter to provide that the city governed thereunder may make and enforce all ordinances and regulations in respect to municipal affairs…”); see also Socialist Party v. Uhl, 155 Cal. 776, 788 (1909) (“[t]hat the election of municipal officers is strictly a municipal affair goes without question.”).

[5] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5(a) (West).

[6] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5(a) (West); see e.g. Cal. Const. art. XI, § 11 (West) (‘[t]he Legislature may not delegate to a private person or body power to make, control, appropriate, supervise, or interfere with county or municipal corporation improvements, money, or property, or to levy taxes or assessments, or perform municipal functions.”).

[7] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4(a) (West).

[8] Cal. Gov. Code § 25000 (West).

[9] Cal. Gov. Code § 25040 (West).

[10] Cal. Gov. Code § 36502(b) (West).

[11] See Locality, California: Local Government: Structure–Exec.

[12] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4 (West).

[13] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4(f)

[14] Cal. Gov. Code §§ 24001-24012 (West) (however, the applicability of these provisions are contingent on whether the office is an elected or appointed position within the charter).

[15] Cal. Gov. Code § 36502(b) (West).

[16] See Locality California: Local Government: Structure–Judicial


POWERS

GENERALLY

A charter city or county is subject to constitutional limitations and may not grant itself powers not conferred by constitution because a charter is considered a restriction on rather than a grant of authority.[1] Further, constitutional charter provisions have the full force and effect of legislative enactments.[2] Article XI section 3 of the California Constitution grants authority to counties and cities to propose, enact, and revise chapters or provisions of charters.[3]

LEGISLATIVE

Section 4, under article XI of the California Constitution grants counties with certain legislative powers over affairs concerning payment, selection, and removal of local officials and conducting county business including all powers granted to counties by Constitution or statute.[4] Cities however, are vested with greater authority to make ordinances and regulations regarding municipal affairs, which supersede inconsistent laws.[5] Although the term municipal affairs is dynamic,[6] it generally encompasses four primary categories strictly of municipal purview.[7] A charter city and county may be formed by consolidation of a county and all cities within.[8] A charter city or county is permitted to make ordinances and regulations regarding “local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.[9] However, charter counties, cities, or counties and cities are prohibited from submitting to voters a measure which excludes from application a section of the relevant territory or includes alternative provisions in any proposal.[10] A city may request that the Legislature require an encompassing county carry out a municipal function, and a county may agree with a city to do so provided both the city and county are permitted to do so by their charters.[11] Municipal corporations are permitted to establish or purchase public works.[12] However, charter counties, charter cities, and charter cities and counties are prohibited from granting officers extraordinary compensation unless otherwise specified by law and may not require that employees reside within their jurisdiction of employment, except for requirements for a reasonable and specific distances.[13] Charter cities and counties are not subject to interference by private third parties regarding municipal functions and powers, except as provided where the Legislature directs the deposit of funds with a banking institution.[14] Local governments may only enact taxes within specific requirements[15] and may be entitled to allotments of state funding as provided by law.[16]

EXECUTIVE

Under article XI, section 4 counties are granted with authority regarding the powers and functions of county officers; including their compensation and regulation.[17] Section 5 of the same article grants charter cities with similar, broader, authority regarding the function of municipal officers.[18] Section 7 permits charter counties or cities to enforce all constitutionally and statutorily valid ordinances and regulations including local, police, and sanitary laws.[19] When directed by the Legislature, or in agreement with a charter city, a county may perform specified municipal functions not otherwise required.[20] Further, municipal corporations, including persons or corporations within laws of the jurisdiction, may carry out public works to provide citizens “with light, water, power, heat, transportation, or means of communication;” however, it may provide such services outside its boundaries except within the boundaries of another, non-consenting, municipal corporation.[21] Charter counties and cities may only levy taxes when properly enacted.[22]

JUDICIAL

Under article XI section 4 of the California Constitution a county charter must provide for the duties and functions public officers.[23] Similarly, article XI section 5 grants cities broad authority over municipal affairs.[24] Both counties and cities may sue and be sued[25] and exercise very limited control over quasi-judicial matters.[26]

 

[1] Adams v. Wolff, 84 Cal.App.2d 435, 440 (1948) (“A charter adopted under constitution section, like the state Constitution itself, does not constitute a ‘grant’ of power but constitutes a ‘limitation’ of power.”).

[2] Dairy Belle Farms v. Brock, 97 Cal.App.2d 146, 153-54 (1950).

[3] Cal. Const. art. XI § 3 (West).

[4] Cal. Const art. XI, § 4 (West); see also Cal.Gov. Code § 23004 (West).

[5] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5(a) (West).

[6] See Shean v. Edmonds, 89 Cal.App.2d 315, 324 (1948) (“The term ‘municipal affairs,’ it has been stated, is not a fixed quantity, but fluctuates with every change in the conditions upon which it is to operate.”).

[7] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5(b) (West)

[8] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 6 (West) (charter city powers supersede county powers).

[9] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7 (West).

[10] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7.5 (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 8 (West).

[12] Cal Const. art. XI, § 9 (West).

[13] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 10 (West).

[14] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 11 (West).

[15] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 14 (West).

[16] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 15 (West).

[17] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4 (West).

[18] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West).

[19] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7 (West).

[20] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 8 (West).

[21] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 9 (West).

[22] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 14 (West).

[23] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4 (West).

[24] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West).

[25] Cal. Gov. Code § 23004 (West); Cal. Gov. Code § 34501 (West).

[26] E.g. Cal. Gov. Code § 25203 (West); Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West) (describing the plenary authority of a city’s governing body regarding strictly municipal matters); see also Federal Construction Corporation v. Curd, 179 Cal. 489, 494 (1918) (recognizing judicial functions relegated to the governing bodies of cities).


DUTIES

GENERALLY

Section 4 under article XI of the California Constitution delineates the duty counties have in forming and enumerating a charter, which includes defining matters with respect to local officers.[1] Similarly, section 5 stipulates the necessary elements of a city charter including the matters regarding local officers.[2]

LEGISLATIVE

Section 4 of article XI requires the charter of a county to provide for a governing board, the performance of all functions required by statute, and the duties of the governing board.[3] Similarly, a city is allowed to make all ordinances, including for the operation of subgovernment.[4] Charter cities and counties have a duty to make laws not in conflict with general laws.[5] Local governing bodies have a duty not to submit certain measures to voters for approval.[6] Further, a county has the duty to perform municipal functions upon request by a city within the county and approval of the Legislature.[7] As well, cities and counties have a duty not to grant employees additional payment, except under specified circumstances, and not impose a residence requirement on employees, with certain exceptions.[8]

EXECUTIVE

Under article XI, section 4 charter counties are responsible for naming county officers and the duties of such officers.[9] Similarly, charter cities are permitted to regulate the conduct of city police forces and subgovernment.[10] Charter cities and counties have a duty to enforce laws not in conflict with general laws.[11]  Additionally, local bodies have a duty not to levy a property tax under certain circumstances.[12]

JUDICIAL

Considering quasi-judicial authority is vested in the governing body of a charter county or city, the same authority to stipulate the duties of the governing bodies for legislative affairs, would exist in the county or city through its charter.[13] Charter cities and counties have a duty to enforce laws not in conflict with general laws.[14] Counties and cities also have a duty to comply with procedures stipulated by the Legislature regarding claims.[15]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. XI, section 4 (West).

[2] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West).

[3] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4 (West).

[4] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5 (West).

[5] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7 (West).

[6] Cal Const. art. XI, § 7.5 (West).

[7] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 8 (West).

[8] Cal. Const. art XI, § 10 (West).

[9] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 4 (West).

[10] Cal. Const. art., XI § 5 (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7 (West).

[12] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 14 (West).

[13] See section discussing structure of zone government; See section discussion duties of legislature of local jurisdiction

[14] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 7 (West).

[15] Cal. Const. art. XI, § 12 (West).


HOST GOVERNMENT

STRUCTURE

GENERAL

Under article III, section 1 of the California Constitution, California is considered an inseparable portion of the United States and the latter’s Constitution is the Supreme Law.[1] The state government is composed of legislative, executive, and judicial branches and Persons exercising the power of the legislative, executive, or judicial branches may not exercise powers of any other branch unless otherwise provided.[2]

LEGISLATIVE

California has a bicameral Legislature with Assembly and Senate houses.[3] Article IV, section 2 defines the number and terms of members of each house[4] and section 11 provides for committee selection in either house.[5]

EXECUTIVE

The state executive power is vest in the governor,[6] who may be granted authority to reorganize executive duties and functions,[7] and is the commander-in-chief of the state militia.[8] The Lieutenant Governor is considered President of the Senate[9] and serves in the Governor’s place when vacancy occurs.[10] Article V, section 11 provides for the election of other executive officers including: (1) Attorney General, (2) Controller, (3) Secretary of State, and (4) Treasurer.[11] The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the state subject to the powers and duties of the governor, and is responsible for overseeing the management of district attorneys, sheriffs, and subordinate legal officers.[12]

JUDICIAL

The judicial branch is composed of the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and Superior Courts.[13] The Supreme Court is composed of a Chief Justice and six associate justices.[14] The Courts of Appeal consist of one presiding justice and two or more associate justices and may have one or more divisions each and are separated into districts by the Legislature.[15] The Legislature defines the number of judges, officers, and employees the Superior Court of each county and the Chief Justice of each Superior Court is responsible for assigning judges to the appellate division the court.[16] Article VI, section 6 describes the members composing the Judicial Council, which may appoint an Administrative Director of the Courts.[17] Similarly, section 7 describes the members of the Commission of Judicial Appointments,[18] section 8 identifies members of the Commission on Judicial Performance,[19] and section 9 describes the State Bar.[20]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. III, § 1 (West).

[2] Cal. Const. art. III, § 3 (West).

[3] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 1 (West).

[4] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 2 (West).

[5] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 11 (West).

[6] Cal. Const. art. V, § 1 (West).

[7] Cal. Const. art. V, § 6 (West).

[8] Cal. Const. art. V, § 7 (West).

[9] Cal. Const. art. V, § 9 (West).

[10] Cal. Const. art. V, § 10 (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. V, § 11 (West); Cal Gov. Code §§ 1000-01, 12800 (West); 12800

[12] Cal. Const. art. V, § 13 (West).

[13] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 1 (West).

[14] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 1 (West).

[15] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 3 (West).

[16] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 4 (West).

[17] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 6 (West).

[18] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 7 (West).

[19] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 8 (West).

[20] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 9 (West).


ELECTIONS

GENERALLY

The procedure for selecting legislative, executive, and judicial members for the State of California are established generally by Articles IV through VI of the California Constitution and the California Elections Code.[1]

LEGISLATIVE

Article IV section 2 of the California Constitution stipulates the number of members of the State Senate and Assembly, their respective terms, their tenure limits, the date for Legislative elections, residency requirements, and procedure in the event of vacancy.[2] Section 5 stipulates procedure for reviewing qualifications of members and restrictions on eligibility while receiving compensation for lobbying activities.[3] Further, the state is divided into forty Senatorial Districts and 80 Assembly Districts each District elects one member of the Legislature.[4] Section 7 of article IV delineates the procedure for each house to select its leaders.[5] Selection of committees for conducting business may be provided by the Legislature or either house.[6] Legislative officers are prohibited from holding any other offices during their term serving their term.[7]

EXECUTIVE

Article V, section 2 defines the term and tenure limits and necessary qualifications for electing the Governor of California.[8] The Governor is generally permitted to appoint individuals to fill vacancies in other executive offices;[9] however nominees for certain positions require confirmation by a majority of the Senate and Assembly to serve the duration of the term for the relevant vacancy unless the Legislature fails to confirm or reject such nominees within a specified time.[10] Further, the Governor may, as provided by statute, reorganize and assign the functions of appointed executive officers.[11] The Lieutenant Governor must have the same qualifications as the governor,[12] and may be required to act a Governor under certain circumstances.[13] Section 11 stipulates that election period and term limits applicable to the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, and Treasurer.[14] Finally, the California Constitution provides restrictions on executive officers regarding: (1) compensation; (2) conflicts; (3) earned income; (4) honorarium; (5) gifts; (6) appearances; and (7) lobbying.[15]

JUDICIAL

Sections 2 and 3 f article VI provide for the Chief Justice and presiding judge in the Supreme Court and subordinate courts respectively[16] and section 4 permits the Chief Justice to appoint judges of appellate courts pursuant to limits on the number of judges and officers in Superior Courts stipulated by the State Legislature.[17] Article VI also provides for matters regarding the composition of the Judicial Council,[18] Commission on Judicial Appointments,[19] Commission on Judicial Performance,[20] and State Bar.[21] Section 15 stipulates the necessary qualifications, with respect to Bar Membership and experience, for individuals to be elected as judges,[22] in accordance with the article 16, which defines the matters including districting, term limits, election procedure, and vacancies.[23] Further, the Constitution provides for matters regarding eligibility of judicial officers to hold other positions,[24] their disqualification or suspension,[25] and oversight of subordinate judicial officers by the Commission on Judicial Performance.[26] The Legislature defines the compensation of judges, but judges may be denied such compensation under certain circumstances,[27] and matters regarding retirement of judges.[28] The Constitution permits temporary judges, with necessary qualifications, to be appointed to hear matters until final determination.[29] Finally, the trial courts are permitted to appoint subordinate officers pursuant to provisions made by the Legislature.[30]

 

[1] Cal. Const. arts. IV-VI; see also Cal. Gov. Code.

[2] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 2 (West).

[3] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 5 (West).

[4] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 6 (West).

[5] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 7 (West).

[6] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 11 (West).

[7] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 13 (West).

[8] Cal. Const. art. V, § 2 (West).

[9] Cal. Const. art. V, § 5(a) (West).

[10] Cal. Const. art. V, § 5(b) (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. V, § 6 (West).

[12] Cal. Const. art. V, § 9 (West).

[13] Cal. Const. art. V, § 10 (West).

[14] Cal. Const. art. V, § 11 (West).

[15] Cal. Const. art. V, § 14 (West).

[16] Cal. Const. art. VI, §§ 2-3 (West).

[17] Cal Const. art. VI, § 4 (West).

[18] Cal Const. art. VI, § 6 (West).

[19] Cal Const. art. VI, § 7 (West).

[20] Cal Const. art. VI, § 8 (West).

[21] Cal Const. art. VI, § 9 (West).

[22] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 15 (West).

[23] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 16 (West).

[24] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 17 (West).

[25] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 18 (West).

[26] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 18.1 (West).

[27] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 19 (West).

[28] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 20 (West).

[29] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 21 (West).

[30] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 22 (West).


POWERS

GENERALLY

The powers of the California government are separated in to the legislative, judicial, and executive functions which may not be combined,[1] and are subject to the United States Constitution as the Supreme Law of the land.[2]

LEGISLATIVE

The Senate and Assembly are vested with legislative authority in California, except to the extent the People retain powers of initiative and referendum.[3] Although charter counties and cities are permitted to make laws respecting local affairs, any applicable act by the State Legislature regarding matters of statewide concern generally is controlling.[4] Counties generally have authority as stipulated in their charters within constitutional and statutory limitations.[5] Thus, powers not enumerated as within the purview of counties by Constitution or charter remain with the State.[6] Cities generally also are limited to making laws regarding municipal affairs and are subject to constitutional and statutory restraints.[7] However, the Legislature is prohibited from delegating municipal functions to private persons or entities.[8] Conversely, unless restricted by constitutional provision, the state legislature has full control of property held by counties and may dispose of such property without providing compensation to the county or counties in question.[9]

EXECUTIVE

The supreme executive power of the state is held by the Governor, who is responsible for ensuring that the law is upheld.[10] The governor has authority to require executive officers to provide information regarding the performance of their duties[11] and to fill vacancies in executive offices pursuant to certain requirements.[12] Further, the governor may be granted authority to reorganize the structure and functions of appointed executive offices.[13] The Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the state militia, which he has authority to call forth.[14] Additionally, the Governor has authority under certain circumstances to grant reprieves, pardons, commutations, and review and alter parole decisions.[15] The Lieutenant Governor has a casting vote as the President of the Legislature,[16] and may be authorized to exercise powers of the Governor under limited circumstances.[17] Moreover, the attorney general is the chief law officer of the state with authority over district attorneys, sheriffs, and other law enforcement officials which includes matters regarding the duties and reporting requirements for such officers, the authority to prosecute crimes in superior courts, and aid district attorneys in the performance of their duties as required by the public interest or as directed by the governor.[18] The California Constitution imposes several restrictions on State officers regarding: (1) compensation; (2) conflicts of interest; (3) earned income; (4) honorarium; (5) gifts; (6) appearances; and (7) lobbying.[19] Finally, administrative agencies lack authority to declare a statute unenforceable.[20]

JUDICIAL

The Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, and Superior Courts are vested with the judicial authority of the state.[21] The Chief Justice is authorized to call sessions of the Supreme Court at anytime, and judgments require concurrence of at least for present justices.[22] The Courts of Appeal, and their respective districts, are defined by the Legislature, consist of three or more judges, and judgments are reached by concurrence of at least two present judges.[23] The number of superior court justices and subordinate officers is defined by the Legislature and the former may serve in more than one superior court as provided by the Legislature and with concurrence of the affected counties.[24] Article VI, section 6 specifically defines the authority of the Judicial Council including in matters regarding: (1) appointing and delegating certain duties to an Administrative Director of the Courts; (2) review of judicial business and adoption of rules in specified matters consistent with statute; (3) assignment of judges in accordance with necessary procedure; and (4) receipt of reports from judges as provided by the Chief Justice.[25] Importantly, article VI, section 10 defines the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, appellate courts, superior courts, and their judges, and stipulates the authority of courts to comment on evidence in opinions as necessary to judgment.[26] Subsequently, section 11 defines the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and appellate courts.[27] Except in matters regarding a judgment of death, the Supreme Court is authorized to transfer matters, before decision and in accordance with established procedure, to itself from appellate courts, to appellate courts from itself, and between appellate courts.[28] Further, article VI, section 13 limits that authority of courts to overturn decisions on review for procedural errors unless resulting in a miscarriage of justice.[29] Additionally, the Supreme Court has authority to limit the publication of its decisions, and those of the appellate courts, to matters which it deems appropriate.[30] Further, individuals must meet certain qualifications and are subject to certain restrictions under the Constitution with respect to their ability to exercise judicial authority.[31] Finally, under certain conditions, temporary judges are authorized to hear matters to final determination.[32]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. III, § 3 (West).

[2] Cal. Const. art. III, § 1 (West).

[3] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 1 (West).

[4] See County of Riverside v. Superior Court, 30 Cal.4th 278, 287 (2003) (“It is well established that the Legislature may regulate labor relations in the public sector because it is a matter of statewide concern.”) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted); Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. v. City of San Diego, 120 Cal.App.4th 374, 387 (2004) (“Although a charter represents the supreme law of a charter city, it is subject to preemptive state law.”); see also Roble Vista Associates v. Bacon, 97 Cal.App.4th 335, 339 (2002) (“If otherwise valid local legislation conflicts with state law, it is preempted by such law and is void.”) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).

[5] See Definition and Scope of Powers of Zone

[6] Cal. Const. art. XI, §§ 4-5 (West).

[7] See Definition and Scope of Powers of Zone

[8] County of Riverside v. Superior Court, 30 Cal.4th 278, 285, 292 (2003) (holding “[a]n express grant of authority to the county necessarily implies the Legislature does not have that authority” and the power of compensating county employees a municipal function vested in county which could not be delegated to private third party by state legislature).

[9] Los Angeles County v. Graves, 210 Cal. 21, 25 (1930) (“The counties are mere governmental agencies of the state, and the property intrusted [sic] to their governmental management is public property, the proprietary interest in which belongs to the public. If there be a legal title in the county, it is a title held in trust for the whole public. In the absence of constitutional restrictions, the Legislature has full control of the property so held by the counties as agencies of the state.”); see also Reclamation District No. 1500 v. Superior Court in and for Sutter County, 171 Cal. 672, 679 (1916) (“In the absence of constitutional restrictions, the Legislature has full control of the property held by the counties as agencies of the state, and may dispose of that property without the consent of the county or without compensating it.”).

[10] Cal. Const. art. V, § 1 (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. V, § 4 (West).

[12] Cal. Const. art. V, § 5 (West).

[13] Cal. Const. art. V, § 6 (West).

[14] Cal. Const. art. V, § 7 (West).

[15] Cal. Const. art. V, § 8 (West).

[16] Cal. Const. art. V, § 9 (West).

[17] Cal. Const. art. V, § 10 (West).

[18] Cal. Const. art. V, § 13 (West).

[19] Cal. Const. art. V, § 14 (West).

[20] Cal. Const. at. III, § 3.5 (West).

[21] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 1 (West).

[22] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 2 (West).

[23] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 3 (West).

[24] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 4 (West).

[25] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 6 (West).

[26] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 10 (West) (“The Supreme Court, courts of appeal, superior courts, and their judges have original jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceedings. Those courts also have original jurisdiction in proceedings for extraordinary relief in the nature of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition. The appellate division of the superior court has original jurisdiction in proceedings for extraordinary relief in the nature of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition directed to the superior court in causes subject to its appellate jurisdiction. Superior courts have original jurisdiction in all other causes. The court may make any comment on the evidence and the testimony and credibility of any witness as in its opinion is necessary for the proper determination of the cause.”).

[27] Cal. Const. Art. VI, § 11 (West).

[28] Cal. Const. Art. VI, § 12 (West).

[29] Cal. Const. Art. VI, § 13 (West).

[30] Cal. Const. Art. VI, § 14 (West).

[31] Cal. Const. Art. VI, §§ 15, 17 (West).

[32] Cal. Const. Art. VI, § 21 (West).


DUTIES

GENERALLY

State officers or agents charged with exercising legislative, executive, or judicial functions generally have a duty to refrain from exercising functions of any other branch except as provided.[1] Further, the powers and rights conferred on local governments and individuals respectively, which may be characterized as imposing certain negative obligations on the State and its officers and agents.[2]

LEGISLATIVE

Article IV, section 2 stipulates the necessary procedure and restrictions imposed for selecting members of the State Legislature,[3] and the requirements on the Legislature for holding sessions.[4] Further, to avoid the appearance of adverse influences the Constitution imposes several obligations on members of the State Legislature restricting certain activities related to: (1) receipt of compensation; (2) conflicts of interest; (3) earned income; (4) receipt of travel and living expenses; and (5) receipt of retirement benefits and allowances.[5] As well, members of the Legislature are generally required to participate in the Federal Social Security Program and the state only is only obligated to pay the employer’s share.[6] Each house of the Legislature has a duty to inspect the qualifications of its members, and such members are subject to laws the Legislature has a duty to pass regarding acceptance of gifts, conflicts of interest, lobbying activities after completion of membership,[7] and must be selected by districts.[8] Article IV, section 7 imposes several duties on the Legislature including: (1) choosing officers; (2) adopting rules for proceedings; (3) maintaining a journal of proceedings; (4) holding and recording rollcall votes upon request of 3 or more members; (5) holding open and public sessions except under certain circumstances and pursuant to certain concurrence and voting procedures; and (6) either house refraining from holding a recess of more than ten days or to another location without approval of the other house.[9] The Constitution further mandates the maximum permissible budget for compensation of Legislators, employees, and operating expenses and equipment applicable to each member.[10] Furthermore, article IV, section 8 stipulates the specific duties the Legislature with regard to bills including: (1) not voting on bills, other than budget mattes, within the first 31 days of session except by rollcall vote of three-fourths of the membership of the house; (2) enacting only laws by statute established by bill, read by title on three days in each house except as provided rollcall vote of two-thirds of the membership, printed and distributed with amendments to members, and by majority rollcall vote of each house; (3) having effect on specific dates depending on the type of bill and timeframe adopted; and (4) providing a statement of facts in one section of urgency bills, passed separately in each house by rollcall vote of two-thirds of membership, and limited to certain matters.[11] Section 8.5 further imposes a duty on the Legislature generally to refrain from enacting laws which include or exclude any political subdivision of the state or which contain alternative or cumulative provisions contingent on the amount of votes for or against the bill.[12] In addition, statutes are only permitted to have a single-subject established in their title[13] and must be presented to the Governor only becoming effective after approval by the Governor, two-thirds majority vote on reconsideration following veto by the governor, and at the time specified pursuant to the Constitution.[14] Subsequently, the Legislature generally has a duty to enact a budget submitted by the Governor, in accordance with specified procedure and before submitting legislation to the Governor with respect to the appropriation of funds.[15] Moreover, Legislators are specifically prohibited from holding other state offices or employment except elected positions during their Legislative term.[16] Legislators influenced in their official capacity by “bribery, promise of reward, intimidation, or other dishonest means” are guilty of a felony.[17] The Senate is responsible for trying impeachment proceedings,[18] and the Legislature has a duty to prohibit the sale of lottery tickets in the State.[19] Finally, the President pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the minority leader of each house has a duty to report the goals and objectives of each house at the opening of each session and progress at the close of each session.[20] However, members of the Legislature are immune from civil process during, or within five days, of a session.[21]

EXECUTIVE

The Governor has the duty to ensure that the law is faithfully enforced[22] and must meet certain qualifications.[23] The Governor has a duty to annually report to the Legislature on the condition of the state;[24] similarly, subordinate officers have a duty to furnish information related to their duties as directed by the Governor.[25] The Governor has a duty to nominate an individual to fill a vacancy in the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, or Attorney General, or on the State Board of Equalization.[26] Further, the Governor must report the any grant of reprieve, pardon, or commutation, or the affirmation, modification, or reversal of a parole authority decision and the pertinent facts and reasons for such actions.[27] Moreover, the Lieutenant governor has a duty to act as the Governor under certain circumstances[28] and must meet the same qualifications as the Governor.[29] Further, the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, and Treasurer must be elected at the contemporaneously with the Governor.[30] The Attorney General has several duties including: (1) ensuring the laws are uniformly and adequately enforced; (2) to prosecute any violations of law in superior courts when the Attorney General believes such laws are not being adequately enforced; and (3) assisting district attorneys in discharging their duties as required by the public interest or as directed by the Governor.[31] Finally, the Constitution requires State officers to avoid the appearance of impropriety by refraining from certain activities related to: (1) receipt of compensation; (2) conflicts of interest; (3) earned income; (4) accepting honorarium or gifts; (5) appearances; and (6) lobbying.[32]

JUDICIAL

The duties of the Chief Justice, appellate judges, and superior court judges, regarding districting and functions of such individuals, are established under article VI, sections 2 through 4 of the California Constitution.[33] Article VI, section 6 generally defines the duties of the Judicial Council including: (1) reviewing judicial business, making recommendations to courts and rules, and other functions within statutory limits; (2) expediting the judicial process; and (3) receiving reports of judges as required by the Chief Justice.[34] Additionally, the Judicial Council is responsible for establishing rules and procedures regarding the transfer and remand of cases.[35] Furthermore, on review, courts have a duty to only reverse cases for procedural errors which result in a miscarriage of justice.[36] The Supreme Court and Appellate Courts generally have a duty to issue written opinions, including the reason for their judgment, in determining matters.[37] Judges must meet certain general qualifications to serve judicial duties[38] and must be elected by procedures established pursuant to the California Constitution.[39] In general, judges are prohibited from exercising functions of public employment or office other than those for which they are elected, from receiving fines or fees for personal use, and from collecting retirement from a public teaching position while holding judicial office.[40] The Commission on Judicial Performance has a duty to suspend judges that plea guilty, no contest, or are convicted of crimes constituting a felony under California or federal law or involving moral turpitude.[41] The Commission on Judicial Performance must also exercise oversight of subordinate judicial officers[42] and has a duty to provide “the text of any private admonishment, advisory letter, or other disciplinary action together with any information that the Commission on Judicial Performance deems necessary to a full understanding of the commission’s action” requested by certain officers of the United States or individual states regarding individuals under consideration for employment with such bodies.[43]

 

[1] Cal. Const. art. III, § 3 (West).

[2] E.g. Cal. Const. art. I, § 7 (West); Cal. Const. art. XI, §§ 11, 15 (West); see also Kline v. San Francisco Unified School District, 40 Cal.App.2d 174, 177 (1940) (“The settled rule is that when a statute fixes a definite rule of action upon a public official for the benefit of the public at large the official may not escape that rule by act of omission or commission.”).

[3] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 2 (West).

[4] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 3 (West).

[5] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 4 (West).

[6] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 4.5 (West).

[7] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 5 (West).

[8] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 6 (West).

[9] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 7 (West).

[10] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 7.5 (West).

[11] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 8 (West).

[12] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 8.5 (West).

[13] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 9 (West).

[14] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 10 (West).

[15] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 12 (West).

[16] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 13 (West).

[17] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 15 (West).

[18] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 18 (West).

[19] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 19 (West).

[20] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 22 (West).

[21] Cal. Const. art. IV, § 14 (West).

[22] Cal. Const. art. V, § 1 (West).

[23] Cal. Const. art. V, § 2 (West).

[24] Cal. Const. art. V, § 3 (West).

[25] Cal. Const. art. V, § 4 (West).

[26] Cal. Const. art. V, § 5 (West).

[27] Cal. Const. art. V, § 8 (West).

[28] Cal. Const. art. V, § 10 (West).

[29] Cal. Const. art. V, § 9 (West).

[30] Cal. Const. art. V, § 11 (West).

[31] Cal. Const. art. V, § 13 (West).

[32] Cal. Const. art. V, § 14 (West).

[33] Cal. Const. art. VI, §§ 2-4 (West).

[34] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 6 (West).

[35] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 12 (West).

[36] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 13 (West).

[37] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 14 (West).

[38] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 15 (West).

[39] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 16 (West).

[40] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 17 (West).

[41] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 18 (West).

[42] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 18.1 (West).

[43] Cal. Const. art. VI, § 18.5 (West).


CITIZENS

RIGHTS

Citizens of the state of California, including those residing in chartered municipalities, enjoy broad rights.[1] Specifically, the California Constitution recognizes the inalienable rights of people respecting life, liberty, property, safety, happiness, and privacy.[2] Citizens also enjoy other expansive civil rights including: freedom of press,[3] the right to instruct representatives,[4] religious liberty,[5] freedom from quartering soldiers,[6] freedom from involuntary labor,[7] Due Process and Equal Protection,[8] and freedom from disqualification in business based on their sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.[9] Further, the California Constitution contains extensive provisions regarding rights in legal proceedings including those related to: (1) ex post facto laws;[10] (2) detention of witnesses;[11] (3) habeus corpus;[12] (4) bail;[13] (5) searches and seizures;[14] (6) felony prosecution by indictment or information;[15] (7) preliminary hearings;[16] (8) general rights in criminal proceedings;[17] (9) jury trials;[18] (10) cruel or unusual punishment;[19] (11) treason;[20] (12) eminent domain; [21] (13) the death penalty;[22] (14) victims’ rights;[23] (15) due process in criminal proceedings;[24] and (16) joining of criminal matters.[25] Finally, California permits citizens to renounce their allegiance to the State by changing their residence.[26]

 

[1] Cal Const. art. I (West).

[2] Cal Const. art. I, § 1 (West).

[3] Cal Const. art. I, § 2 (West).

[4] Cal Const. art. I, § 3 (West).

[5] Cal Const. art. I, § 4 (West).

[6] Cal Const. art. I, § 5 (West).

[7] Cal Const. art. I, § 6 (West).

[8] Cal Const. art. I, § 7 (West).

[9] Cal Const. art. I, § 8 (West).

[10] Cal Const. art. I, § 9 (West).

[11] Cal Const. art. I, § 10 (West).

[12] Cal Const. art. I, § 11 (West).

[13] Cal Const. art. I, § 12 (West).

[14] Cal Const. art. I, § 13 (West).

[15] Cal Const. art. I, § 14 (West).

[16] Cal Const. art. I, § 14.1 (West).

[17] Cal Const. art. I, § 15 (West).

[18] Cal Const. art. I, § 16 (West).

[19] Cal Const. art. I, § 17 (West).

[20] Cal Const. art. I, § 18 (West).

[21] Cal Const. art. I, § 19 (West).

[22] Cal Const. art. I, § 27 (West).

[23] Cal Const. art. I, § 28 (West).

[24] Cal Const. art. I, § 29 (West).

[25] Cal Const. art. I, § 30 (West).

[26] Cal. Gov. Code § 272 (West).


DUTIES

Every citizen of California owes the state allegiance[1] and subject to the California’s jurisdiction while in the state.[2] Duties of citizens may arise by virtue of the rights of third parties.[3]

 

[1] Cal. Gov. Code § 271 (West).

[2] Cal. Gov. Code § 270 (West).

[3] E.g. Cal. Const. art. I, § 16 (West); see also Cal. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 191 (West) (“The Legislature recognizes that trial by jury is a cherished constitutional right, and that jury service is an obligation of citizenship.”).


THIRD PARTIES

RIGHTS

A citizen of the United States who is not also a citizen of California generally enjoys the same rights as a citizen of California,[1] including the right to the protection of the state while in California.[2] Under article I, third parties who are not citizens of California hold the same property rights as citizens.[3] Moreover, aliens in California, although not entitled to all the same rights as citizens and residents of California, do enjoy the same rights as citizens regarding life, liberty, property, and equal protection of the laws without regard to race, color, or nationality by virtue of the 14th Amendment,[4] whether legally or illegally in the United States.[5]

 

[1] Cal. Gov. Code § 273 (West); but see Lyons v. Cunningham, 66 Cal. 42, 43-44 (1884) (citizenship does not necessitate the extension of all political rights by a state); Van Valkenburg v. Brown, 43 Cal. 43, 52-53 (1872) (holding the Fourteenth Amendment does not prohibit a state from limiting the right to vote to citizens of that state because “by the second section of the amendment under consideration it is provided that the action of the State authority denying the right of citizens of the United States to vote, so far from being null and void, shall furnish a new basis of Federal numbers in the State, upon which a new apportionment of representation in Congress is to follow.”).

[2] Cal. Gov. Code § 270 (West).

[3] Cal. Const. art. I, § 20 (West).

[4] U.S. Const. amend. 14; see also Purdy & Fitzpatrick v. State, 71 Cal.2d 566, 578-86 (1969) (“The Fourteenth Amendment applies to and protects all ‘persons’; therefore the equal protection clause extends to aliens.”).

[5] Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 215 (1982) (“That a person’s initial entry into a State, or into the United States, was unlawful, and that he may for that reason be expelled, cannot negate the simple fact of his presence within the State’s territorial perimeter… And until he leaves the jurisdiction—either voluntarily, or involuntarily in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States—he is entitled to the equal protection of the laws that a State may choose to establish.”); but cf. Raffaelli v. Committee of Bar Examiners, 7 Cal.3d 288, 292-93 (1972) (demonstrating that only laws ostensibly discriminating against legal aliens generally are subjected to close judicial scrutiny compared to laws apparently discriminating against illegal aliens).


DUTIES

A United States citizen who is not a citizen of California, has the same duties as citizens of California while in the State.[1]

 

[1] Cal. Gov. Code. § 273 (West); Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 215 (1982) (“That a person’s initial entry into a State, or into the United States, was unlawful, and that he may for that reason be expelled, cannot negate the simple fact of his presence within the State’s territorial perimeter. Given such presence, he is subject to the full range of obligations imposed by the State’s civil and criminal laws.”); see also Section on Duties of Citizens.