Supreme Court of California

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Williams & Fickett v. Co. of Fresno, 224476

In a property tax refund case presenting the question of whether the nullity exception applies to the exhaustion of administrative remedies principle, so that a timely assessment appeal is not required as a first step in the exhaustion process, when an assessment on nonexempt property is challenged on the ground that the taxpayer does not own the property involved, the Court of Appeal's decision is affirmed where: 1) the taxpayer must seek an assessment reduction through the assessment appeal process before the county board of equalization or a county assessment appeals board, or obtain a stipulation under section 5142(b) that such proceedings are unnecessary, in order to maintain a postpayment superior court action under section 5140 that seeks reduction of the tax; 2) the decision in Parr-Richmond Industrial Corp. v. Boyd (1954) 43 Cal.2d 157 provides otherwise and is overruled; and 3) because plaintiff and others in its position could reasonably have relied on Parr-Richmond in opting not to pursue timely assessment appeal proceedings under section 1603, this ruling has prospective effect only.

Appellate Information

  • Argued
  • Submitted
  • Decided
  • Published 2017/06/06




  • Supreme Court of California


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