In a county versus-court battle over in Alameda, the court won.
San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal ruled today that Alameda County Superior Court doesn’t have to come up with about $3.2 million in security costs demanded by Alameda County.
The reason? There was no written contract for the additional cash the county had to come up with after giving deputy sheriffs a retroactive 14.8 percent pay raise in 2002-03.
Stop us if you've heard this one ... "Get it in writing."
“Statutes must be given a reasonable and common-sense interpretation consistent with the Legislature’s purpose so as to achieve a sound policy outcome rather than absurdity,” Justice Peter Siggins wrote in the unpublished decision. “Here, the only reasonable conclusion is that the Trial Court Funding Act requires a written contract.”
The county had argued that the court’s refusal to pay the extra dough violated the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997, which transferred the costs of running courts from the counties to the state.
The First District also rejected the county’s argument that a contract for services could be oral as well as written.
“The trial court rejected that contention,” Siggins wrote. “So do we.”
Justices Stuart Pollak and Martin Jenkins concurred.
— Mike McKee