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Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 803-811

SECTION 803

An action may be brought by the attorney-general, in the name of the people of this state, upon his own information, or upon a complaint of a private party, against any person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any public office, civil or military, or any franchise, or against any corporation, either de jure or de facto, which usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any franchise, within this state. And the attorney-general must bring the action, whenever he has reason to believe that any such office or franchise has been usurped, intruded into, or unlawfully held or exercised by any person, or when he is directed to do so by the governor.

SECTION 804

Whenever such action is brought, the Attorney General, in addition to the statement of the cause of action, may also set forth in the complaint the name of the person rightly entitled to the office, with a statement of his right thereto.

SECTION 805

In every such action judgment may be rendered upon the right of the defendant, and also upon the right of the party so alleged to be entitled, or only upon the right of the defendant, as justice may require.

SECTION 806

If the judgment be rendered upon the right of the person so alleged to be entitled, and the same be in favor of such person, he will be entitled, after taking the oath of office and executing such official bond as may be required by law, to take upon himself the execution of the office.

SECTION 807

If judgment be rendered upon the right of the person so alleged to be entitled, in favor of such person, he may recover, by action, the damages which he may have sustained by reason of the usurpation of the office by the defendant.

SECTION 808

When several persons claim to be entitled to the same office or franchise, one action may be brought against all such persons, in order to try their respective rights to such office or franchise.

SECTION 809

When a defendant, against whom such action has been brought, is adjudged guilty of usurping or intruding into, or unlawfully holding any office, franchise, or privilege, judgment must be rendered that such defendant be excluded from the office, franchise, or privilege, and that he pay the costs of the action. The Court may also, in its discretion, impose upon the defendant a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, which find, when collected, must be paid into the Treasury of the State.

SECTION 810

When the action is brought upon the information or application of a private party, the Attorney General may require such party to enter into an undertaking, with sureties to be approved by the Attorney General, conditioned that such party or the sureties will pay any judgment for costs or damages recovered against the plaintiff, and all the costs and expenses incurred in the prosecution of the action.

SECTION 811

The action provided for in this chapter may be maintained by the board of supervisors or any county or city and county or the legislative body of any municipal corporation, respectively, in the name of such county, city and county or municipal corporation against any person who usurps, intrudes into or unlawfully holds or exercises any franchise, or portion thereof, within the respective territorial limits of such county, city and county or municipal corporation and which is of a kind that is within the jurisdiction of such board or body to grant or withhold.

How to Submit a Question of Law for AG Consideration

The Attorney General is authorized to give opinions on questions of law to state legislators, heads of state departments, district attorneys, county counsels, sheriffs, and to city attorneys in their prosecutorial capacities. For more information about requesting an opinion, please see our FAQs and the Guidelines for AG Opinions.pdf a downloadable resource provided for users' reference.

To submit a request, or to ask questions about how to submit a request, please contact:

  • Susan Duncan Lee
  • Supervising Deputy Attorney General
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Opinion Unit, Dept. of Justice
  • 455 Golden Gate Ave., Suite 11000
  • San Francisco, CA 94102

  • Susan.Lee@doj.ca.gov


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