D. Cummins Corp. v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co.

A parent corporation lacked standing to seek a declaratory judgment regarding coverage under an insurance policy under which only its subsidiary corporation was an insured.  Though the CCP 1060 appears to grant almost anyone the right to seek declaratory relief, CCP 1061 allows a trial court to refuse to issue declaratory relief in any case in which its declaration is not necessary or proper under all the circumstances.  Here, the trial court did not abuse its discretion under CCP 1061 in dismissing a declaratory relief claim by the parent corporation and controlling shareholder of a subsidiary corporation.  The subsidiary had purchased insurance policies from the defendant insurers, but the parent was not made an insured under any of the policies. Even though the parent had an indirect practical interest in the subsidiary’s recovery under the insurance policies, it was not a party to those policies and lacked standing to sue under them, even for declaratory relief.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2 (Kline, P.J.); March 30, 2016 (published April 28, 2016); 2016 WL 1726079



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