New Livable California v. Association of Bay Area Governments

Plaintiff Does Not Have to Allege Prejudice to Assert Claim that JPA Meeting May Violate Brown Act.


Plaintiffs filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and petition for writ of mandate against the joint power authority for nine Bay Area counties (“Association”).  Plaintiff alleged a violation of the Brown Act’s vote reporting requirements for an Association board meeting convened to discuss a regional housing and transportation development proposal.  Plaintiff claimed prejudice by the board’s failure to publicly report the votes or abstentions of each member present.  The trial court sustained Defendant’s demurrer on the ground that the Association’s demurrer failed to allege prejudice.


Reversed.  A Plaintiff does not have to allege prejudice to state causes of action under section 54960 and 54960.1 of the Brown Act for declaratory and injunctive relief and mandamus.  The Court, however, stated that their ruling is limited to demurrer and expressed no opinion on the issue of whether Plaintiffs will be required to show prejudice before the trial court can declare any board action null and void under section 54960.1.