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The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is reminding lien claimants that they are required to file a declaration for any lien filed between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016 for which a filing fee was paid.

Labor Code section 4903.05(c) provides: lien claimants shall have until July 1, 2017. DWC recommends that lien claimants complete their submission by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30 in order to ensure a timely filing.

Senate Bill 1160, which became effective January 1, requires all lien claimants who filed a lien between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016, and paid a filing fee, to file the “Supplemental Lien Form and 4903.05(c) Declaration” form. Labor Code section 4903.05(c) was amended as part of the bill’s reform measures to combat fraud in the workers’ compensation system.

To comply with SB 1160’s requirements, DWC made available an e-form declaration and the WCAB promulgated regulations requiring the use of this form by e-filers and JET filers.

Liens claimants who fail to file the “Supplemental Lien Form and 4903.05(c) Declaration” will have their liens dismissed.

As with any court document, DWC says that the declaration must be served on the parties in the case. Rule 10324 states: No document, including letters or other writings, shall be filed by a party or lien claimant with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board unless service of a copy thereof is made on all parties together with the filing of a proof of service as provided for in Rule 10505.

DWC is currently reviewing and evaluating filed declarations for compliance with the legislation, and will be holding hearings to determine whether the declarations are accurate and comply with the requirements of section 4903.05(c).

Lien claimants should be aware that the filing of a false declaration is grounds for dismissal of the lien. The DWC has posted frequently asked questions on use of the new form, which can be found on the DWC Website.

And some of the lien claimants failed in their efforts to have the new law declared unconstitutional earlier this year.

In the case of the California Workers’ Compensation Interpreters Association et al. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board of the State of California the petition for writ of mandate was denied by the Court of Appeal. The case was filed pursuant to California Labor Code § 5955 challenging the declaration under penalty of perjury provisions of SB1160, part of the new lien law.

The Interpreters unsuccessfully argued that they do not “neatly” fit into any of the seven categories, and that section (G), the only one that mentions interpreters, is limited to interpretations during medical-legal events, but nothing is said about interpreting during treatment events. This they say will limit “thousands” of lien claimants from collecting liens since they cannot sign the declaration “without the risk of filing a false declaration.”

The Court of Appeal denied the petition in a terse docket entry that essentially concluded the case was premature since it assumed events in the future that had not yet happened at the WCAB.

“Because petitioners’ claims depend, at least in substantial part, on speculative future events, they are not appropriate for immediate judicial resolution. (Pacific Legal Foundation v. California Coastal Com., supra, 33 Cal.3d at p. 173 [agency guidelines might inhibit property owners from planning improvements to their land, but “the hardship inherent in further delay is not imminent or significant enough to compel an immediate resolution of the merits of plaintiffs’ claims”]; Wilson & Wilson v. City Council of Redwood City (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1559, 1582-1583 [courts will decline to adjudicate dispute if they are asked to speculate on the resolution of hypothetical situations]; see also Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton v. City of Stockton (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 70, 83 [writ petition ordinarily will not be granted to reach issues the trial court has not yet addressed, since such issues are not ripe for appellate court review].) “

“We therefore decline to exercise our discretion to entertain writ review of petitioners’ challenges. (See Landau v. Superior Court (1998) 81 Cal.App.4th 191, 201 [“an appellate court retains discretion to summarily deny extraordinary writ petitions on grounds related to the apparent merits of the action as well as upon grounds related to the formal or procedural sufficiency of the petition”].) The parties’ requests for judicial notice are denied as moot.”

It remains to be seen if this was their final or the first in a series of efforts to pursue this theory in response to SB 1160.