Appellant City of Long Beach challenged an order of the Superior Court of Orange County (California), which dismissed appellant’s malicious prosecution action against respondent citizen on the basis that municipalities should not be permitted to sue for malicious prosecution.
Respondent citizen field suit against appellant City of Long Beach for false imprisonment, false arrest, and other causes of action. The jury found for appellant, and appellant instituted a malicious prosecution action against respondent. The trial court sustained respondent’s general demurrer to the complaint, and the court, viewing the order as one of dismissal, affirmed. The court found that the right to petition the government, like the other rights contained in U.S. Const. amend. I and in the Cal. ADA compliance Defense Const. Declaration of Rights, was accorded a paramount place in the democratic system. Because the act of filing suit against a governmental entity represented an exercise of the right of petition, it was absolutely privileged. Thus, the court found that governmental entities may not maintain actions for malicious prosecution against those who have previously sued such entities without success. The court stated that appellant could perhaps obtain redress for its litigation expenses through statutory remedies.
The court affirmed the dismissal of appellant City of Long Beach’s malicious prosecution action against respondent citizen. The court found that governmental entities may not maintain actions for malicious prosecution against those who have previously sued such entities without success; the bringing of such suits is absolutely privileged and protected as a fundamental right to petition the government.
Appellant franchise tax board challenged the judgment of the Superior Court, San Francisco County (California), which ordered appellant to refund the disputed taxes plus interest to appellee corporation in appellee’s action for refund of income taxes.
Appellee corporation brought suit against appellant franchise tax board for a refund of income taxes appellee paid pursuant to appellant’s reassessment. The complaint alleged that the taxes were illegally, erroneously, and arbitrarily determined. The trial court entered a judgment for appellee. Appellant challenged. The court reversed the judgment and remanded the cause to the trial court with directions to enter a judgment for appellant. The application of a taxing statute to uncontradicted facts was a question of law; thus, the court was not bound by the findings of fact made by the trial court. Appellant relied on the authority granted to it by Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code § 25137 in reassessing appellee’s income taxes. Furthermore, appellant’s method of calculating the property factor was reasonable because it was authorized by § 25137(d). Likewise, appellant’s calculation of the sales factor was reasonable because it applied the concept of sales in the state, which was provided in Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code § 25134. The state taxes did not violate the U.S. Const. amend. XIV, and appellant’s application of the statute was not an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.
The court reversed the trial court’s judgment ordering appellant franchise tax board to refund the disputed taxes plus interest to appellee corporation because appellant was authorized by statute to recalculate the taxes and its calculation was reasonable under the law. The court remanded the case to the trial court with directions to enter a judgment for appellant.