Constructive Notice Established as Obstacle to Relation Back Doctrine

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Attorneys Nicholas B. Brummel and Lawrence S. Zucker II analyze Organizacion Comunidad de Alviso v. City of San Jose.

March 1, 2021
Nicholas B. Brummel & Lawrence S. Zucker II - Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP

In Organizacion Comunidad de Alviso v. City of San Jose, the Sixth Appellate District held that the relation back doctrine was inapplicable where a plaintiff received constructive notice of a defendant’s identity months prior to the last date where filing was permitted pursuant to an applicable statute of limitations.

In Organizacion Comunidad de Alviso, Mark Espinoza, an Organizacion Comunidad de Alviso (OCA/Plaintiff) representative, asked the City of San Jose (“the city”) to place him on the public notice list for a proposed rezoning project. He also twice specifically requested a copy of the notice of determination (NOD) documenting the city’s certification of an environmental impact report (EIR) and approval of the project. Despite Espinoza diligently requesting all notices for the project, the city, in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), failed to send Espinoza the legally operative second NOD for the project; the first NOD was provided to OCA, but named an incorrect party in interest.

Reprinted courtesy of Nicholas B. Brummel, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Lawrence S. Zucker II, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP

Mr. Brummel may be contacted at
Mr. Zucker may be contacted at


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