Lindsey v. Conteh

Referee’s award of discovery sanctions in excess of $5000 was as appealable as if it had been signed by a judge of the superior court, since an analysis of the stipulation and order appointing the referee indicated it was a general reference.  An order entered by a referee appointed pursuant to a general reference under CCP 638(a) is treated when entered as an order of the superior court and is appealable if it would be appealable if signed by a judge of the court.  Here, a referee’s order awarding discovery sanctions in excess of $5,000 was appealable.  The stipulation which resulted in appointment of the referee specifically mentioned CCP 638(a), appointing the referee to handle all discovery matters in the case.  The stipulation and order appointing the referee did not mention his finding facts and making recommendations but rather appeared to contemplate his resolving any discovery disputes. The parties’ conduct after the referee’s appointment confirmed the reference was general.  So the sanctions order was appealable.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Moore, Acting P.J.); March 23, 2017; 2017 WL 1091578

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