A San Francisco Superior Court judge wants more debate on whether he should hear a furlough lawsuit filed by California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment and three SCIF employees.
Judge Peter Busch heard oral arguments this morning about whether the CASE/SCIF lawsuit, which names Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a defendant, is sufficiently different from furlough cases heard in Sacramento Superior Court. The procedural point is important because if the judge thinks the lawsuit isn't substantially different than those litigated in Sacramento, he won't consider it out of deference to the Sacramento court's jurisdiction.
Here's what happened in court today, according to Department of Personnel Administration spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley:
After hearing oral argument on the procedural matter, the judge ordered the parties to brief the issue of whether the case should be heard in SF or transferred to Sacramento where the other actions have been filed. The State's brief is due March 30; CASE's reply brief is due April 9. At the next hearing, set for April 15, the judge will decide if he should keep the case in SF; if so, he will also rule on the merits at the same time.
The lawsuit by CASE and SCIF employees Glen Grossman, Mark Henderson and Geoffrey Sims names Schwarzenegger, DPA Director Dave Gilb, Controller John Chiang and SCIF President Jan Frank. It claims that Schwarzenegger's furlough order shouldn't include SCIF employees because the quasi-govermental workers' compensation fund doesn't get money from the state's general fund and is run independently.
Click here to see court filings by various parties in the case. We'll post more as they become available.