Court of Appeal Adopts Amici’s Position Regarding “Honorably Retired Peace Officers,” Advocated by Jones & Mayer, in Gore v. Yolo County

Jones & Mayer is pleased to report that the Third Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals completely supported the position taken by the firm on behalf of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Police Chiefs’ Association, California District Attorneys’ Association, and California Peace Officers’ Association as Amici Curiae in support of Defendants and Appellants in the case of Gore v. Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.

The issue before the Court was whether or not a peace officer who quits before reaching the age of 50, become an “honorable retired peace officer” pursuant to former section 12027 of the Penal Code, when he/she reaches age 50 and begins to draw his/her pension from PERS?
The Court ruled that the officer does not attain that status and, therefore, “has no right to a CCW (carry concealed weapons) identification certificate,” as an honorably retired officer would normally have. The Court of Appeal noted that “the Legislature defined “honorably retired” as “all peace officers who have qualified for, and have accepted, a service or disability retirement.” (Former section 12027, subd. (a)(1)(A).) That was exactly the argument presented by Jones & Mayer, on behalf of amici, and the position the firm has advocated for years.

As such, the Court held that “at the point in time that an employee leaves employment, he or she falls into one of three categories — a resigned employee, a terminated employee, or a retired employee. These categories describe the manner in which the employment ended. The only persons entitled under the statute to carry a concealed and loaded weapon are retired employees, i.e., those employees who are no longer employed because they reached retirement age working as peace officers, and accepted retirement upon leaving employment. In other words, someone who quits or is fired before retirement age is not an honorably retired peace officer, even when they later reach retirement age and are entitled to collect their pension. (Emphasis added.)