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Sonoma County Wins Ruling on Arbitration

(CN) - Sonoma County cannot be compelled to arbitrate claims with its law enforcement officers, because that would violate the county's home rule rights, a California appeals court ruled.

In 2003, the California Supreme Court ruled that an earlier version of the law infringed on Riverside County's rights in a similar case.

The California Legislature passed a new law in response to the Supreme Court's ruling, but Sonoma County argued that the new law still falls short in protecting its home-rule rights.

Justice Jones of the 1st District Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed, reversing the lower court decision.

Jones ruled that the compensation of local law enforcement officials is a local matter, not a statewide concern.

"The (California) Supreme Court concluded (in Riverside) that these provisions constituted a legislative delegation of local authority to a private body."

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