Assembly Bill 3657 (Rosenthal – 1982)
Chapter 440, Statutes of 1982 - AB 3657
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Code of Civil Procedure section 638 was amended in 1982 following legislative passage of Assembly Bill 3657. (See Exhibit #1c) Assembly member Herschel Rosenthal introduced the measure on March 18, 1982 at the request of the State Bar of California Committee on the Administration of Justice. (See Exhibits #1a; #4, document AP-4; and #9, document PE-5) Assembly Bill 3657 was a single-section bill that proposed to amend only section 638. (See Exhibit #1)
The measure was heard in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Judiciary where policy issues raised by the bill were considered. (See Exhibits #3 and #5) One amendment was made to Assembly Bill 3657 during legislative consideration. (See Exhibits #1b and #2) Subsequent to legislative approval, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed the bill on July 7, 1982, and the Secretary of State recorded it on July 8, 1982 as Chapter 440 of the Statutes of 1982. (See Exhibits #1c and #2)
A summary of the last amended version of Assembly Bill 3657 is found in the Consent analysis of the Senate Democratic Caucus as follows:
Existing law provides that, upon consent of the parties to civil litigation, a court may appoint a general referee to try any or all issues in an action and to report a finding and judgment or to ascertain a fact necessary to enable the court to determine an action or proceeding. In addition, when the parties do not consent, the court may upon the application of any party or its own motion, direct a reference in specified circumstances.
This bill would provide that the court could also order a reference upon the motion of a party to a written contract or lease that provided that any controversy arising from its terms would be heard by reference.
(See Exhibit #6, page 1)