California Court Inherent Power

In Rutherford v. Owens-Illinois, Inc. (1997) 16 Cal. 4th 953 [67 Cal. Rptr. 2d 16, 941 P.2d 1203] the court summarized the law applicable to a trial court's inherent power to control litigation before it. The court stated: "It is also well established that courts have fundamental inherent equity, supervisory, and administrative powers, as well as inherent power to control litigation before them. 'In addition to their inherent equitable power derived from the historic power of equity courts, all courts have inherent supervisory or administrative powers which enable them to carry out their duties, and which exist apart from any statutory authority. "It is beyond dispute that 'Courts have inherent power . . . to adopt any suitable method of practice, both in ordinary actions and special proceedings, if the procedure is not specified by statute or by rules adopted by the Judicial Council.' That inherent power entitles trial courts to exercise reasonable control over all proceeding connected with pending litigation . . . in order to insure the orderly administration of justice. "Courts are not powerless to formulate rules of procedures where justice demands it." The Legislature has also recognized the authority of courts to manage their proceedings and to adopt suitable methods of practice. ' " (16 Cal. 4th at p. 967.)