Ronald F. v. Department of Developmental Services

One wrongly decided California Court of Appeal opinion is not sufficient grounds for avoiding the res judicata impact of a prior judgment on “change of applicable law” grounds since no other appellate court need follow that errant decision.  A decision of one California Court of Appeal is not a sufficient change of applicable law as to permit a plaintiff to avoid the res judicata effect of a prior judgment on “change of law” grounds.  No other California appellate court need follow the single Court of Appeal opinion.  And this decision determines the opinion on which plaintiff relied, Samantha C. v. Department of Developmental Services (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 71, was wrongly decided and should not be followed.  The decision states that Samantha C. misinterpreted Welf. & Inst. Code 4512(a)(5).  Mental retardation is not a condition requiring “treatment” similar to other mental disabilities listed in the section.  Samantha C. improperly decided that mental retardation required similar “services” not similar “treatment.”

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2 (Chavez, J.); February 1, 2017; 2017 WL 432807

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