Gilpin v Porterville USD 2017 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 4

FACTS: Gilpin filed two actions against two separate employers. One of the defendants filed a Petition for Consolidation. The Trial Court denied the consolidation request and instead issued an Order Linking the two cases. The aggrieved defendant filed a Petition for Reconsideration, which was treated as a Petition for Removal.

ISSUE: Whether the Court can issue an Order that is not sanctioned by the Labor Code, California Code of Regulations, Evidence Code or California Code of Civil Procedure?

HELD: Petition for Removal granted and case remanded.

RATIONALE: Because there was no legal basis to issue the Order Linking the cases, the requested action must be viewed from the perspective of determining whether the criteria were fulfilled for an Order of Consolidation, pursuant to CCR Section 10579. There was irreparable harm to the aggrieved party by being required to comply with an illegal Order.

COMMENT: The moral of the story is for a party to always carefully review the title of any Order issued by the Judge, regardless of whether it’s beneficial or detrimental to the client. The irony of this outcome is that the Judge chastised the aggrieved defendant for failing to appreciate the difference between linking and consolidation, when, in reality, the question was moot because he was comparing a concept that was grounded in the law with a concept that was based on legal fantasy.