In Woody's Group, Inc. v. City of Newport Beach, published January 29, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division 3, reversed a trial court's decision denying a writ of administrative mandamus, nullifying the challenged city counsel decision and directing the trial court to grant the writ. The city's municipal code provided that interested persons could appeal planning commission decisions to the city council if they used the city form and paid a filing fee. A city council member appealed a planning commission decision to the city council, via e-mail and without paying the filing fee. At the meeting, the councilmember spoke against the planning commission decision. The city council granted the appeal.
The appellate court ruled that the councilmember who brought the appeal should not have been part of the adjudicatory body -- the council -- hearing the appeal. It further ruled that because the appeal did not meet the procedural requirements of the municipal code, it should not have been brought.