California Appellate Opinion on Legislative History
November 15, 2005 at 1:40 PM
A recent opinion from the Third District, California Court of Appeal sheds light on which documents can be considered part of a California statute’s legislative history. In Kaufman & Broad Communities, Inc. v. Performance Plastering, Inc., 133 Cal. App. 4th 26 (2005), Judge Sims notes wryly that "many attorneys apparently believe that every scrap of paper that is generated in the legislative process constitutes the proper subject of judicial notice . . . [t]his must stop." Id. at 29. Judge Sims proceeds to devote a substantial portion of his opinion to a discussion of exactly which "documents . . . constitute cognizable legislative history." Id. A few examples of documents discussed in the opinion that obviously do not constitute legislative history: magazine articles, letters to the governor in favor of a bill, and documents of unknown author or origin.
Thanks to Nanna Frye, law librarian with the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, for highlighting this opinion.