Retired Emples. Ass'n of Orange County v. County of Orange
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
June 29, 2010, Filed
ORDER CERTIFYING A QUESTION TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA
We respectfully ask the California Supreme Court to exercise its discretion to accept and decide the certified question below. This case is withdrawn from submission, and further proceedings in this court are stayed pending final action by the California Supreme Court. The parties shall notify the Clerk of this Court within one week after the California Supreme Court accepts or rejects certification, and again within one week if that Court renders an opinion.
[*1101] The panel retains jurisdiction over further proceedings.
I. Question Certified
Pursuant to Rule 8.548 of the California Rules of Court, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, before which this appeal is pending, requests that the Supreme Court of California answer the following question:
Whether, as a matter of California law, a California county and its employees can form an implied contract that confers vested rights to health benefits on retired county employees.
Defendant-Appellee in this case contends that decisions of the Supreme Court of California and [**3] the California Courts of Appeal support a conclusion that an implied contract to which a county is one party cannot confer such vested rights. Plaintiff-Appellant contends the contrary.
We understand that the Supreme Court of California may reformulate our question, and we agree to accept and follow the court's decision. To aid the Supreme Court in deciding whether to accept the certification, we provide the following background.
The Retired Employees Association of Orange County, Inc. ("REAOC") brought this suit against the County of Orange ("the County") on behalf of approximately 4,600 retirees formerly employed by the County. REAOC challenges the County's change to the structure of its health benefits under which the County began to split the pool of active and retired employees for purposes of setting premiums. The County began making healthcare plans available to retirees in 1966. Prior to 1984, the County determined premiums separately for active and retired employees. In 1984, the County began pooling active and retired employees for purposes of determining their premiums.Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.
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610 F.3d 1099 *; 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 13242 **; 49 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 1630; 30 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 1542
RETIRED EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION OF ORANGE COUNTY, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. COUNTY OF ORANGE, Defendant-Appellee.
Subsequent History: Request granted Retired Employees Association of Orange County, Inc. v. County of Orange, 2010 Cal. LEXIS 8154 (Cal., Aug. 18, 2010)
Certified question answered by Retired Employees Assn. of Orange County, Inc. v. County of Orange, 52 Cal. 4th 1171, 134 Cal. Rptr. 3d 779, 266 P.3d 287, 2011 Cal. LEXIS 12109 (2011)
Companion case at Harris v. County of Orange, 682 F.3d 1126, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11695 (9th Cir. Cal., 2012)
Prior History: [**1] D.C. No. 8:07-cv-01301-AG-MLG.
Retired Emples. Ass'n of Orange County, Inc. v. County of Orange, 632 F. Supp. 2d 983, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61942 (C.D. Cal., 2009)
retired employee, pooling, premiums, retirees, employees, benefits, retired
Constitutional Law, Congressional Duties & Powers, Contracts Clause, Application & Interpretation, Scope