Sometimes there is a case that seems to perfectly address the legal issue you are trying to make and the facts line up, but the case is unpublished. According to the California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115, unpublished cases generally cannot be relied upon. But, if you are quick enough, there is a possible way to request such cases become published.

This was a question we recently received during our 2020 Year-in-Review Eminent Domain webinar. If you weren’t able to join us during the webinar, you can still watch the recording here. Also, keep an eye out for other Nossaman LLP webinars, as another one is coming up on the horizon.

Under rule 8.1120, a request for an unpublished opinion to be ordered published may be made, provided it is delivered within 20 days after the opinion is filed. Also, this request is not limited to the parties to the case, but rather can be made by any person who can articulate why the opinion would meet the standards for publication.

Here on the California Eminent Domain Report, we frequently discuss cases with interesting facts or that present an eminent domain issue in a unique way, despite some of these cases being unpublished. If you think any of these unpublished opinions, or other opinions we don’t discuss, should warrant publication, we may be able to help. But remember, the window to request a decision be ordered published is short, so act quickly if you want an unpublished opinion considered for publication.