Necessary and Indispensable Parties California

In City of San Diego v. San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 69, the court set forth the legal principles governing indispensable parties: "Under Code of Civil Procedure section 389, subdivision (a) a person is a 'necessary' party to a proceeding if '(1) in his absence complete relief cannot be accorded among those already parties or (2) he claims an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so situated that the disposition of the action in his absence may (i) as a practical matter impair or impede his ability to protect that interest or (ii) leave any of the persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations by reason of his claimed interest.' "If a person is determined to qualify as a 'necessary' party under one of the standards outlined above, courts then determine if the party is also 'indispensable.' Under this analysis 'the court shall determine whether in equity and good conscience the action should proceed among the parties before it, or should be dismissed without prejudice, the absent person being thus regarded as indispensable. The factors to be considered by the court include: (1) to what extent a judgment rendered in the person's absence might be prejudicial to him or those already parties; (2) the extent to which, by protective provisions in the judgment, by the shaping of relief, or other measures, the prejudice can be lessened or avoided; (3) whether a judgment rendered in the person's absence will be adequate; (4) whether the plaintiff or cross-complainant will have an adequate remedy if the action is dismissed for nonjoinder.' (Code Civ. Proc., 389, subd. (b).) "None of these factors is determinative or necessarily more important that another. Further, the court's consideration of these factors largely depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. 'Whether a party is necessary and/or indispensable is a matter of trial court discretion in which the court weighs "factors of practical realities and other considerations."' 'A court has the power to proceed with a case even if indispensable parties are not joined. Courts must be careful to avoid converting a discretionary power or rule of fairness into an arbitrary and burdensome requirement that may thwart rather than further justice.' " (City of San Diego v. San Diego City Employees' Retirement System, supra, 186 Cal.App.4th at p. 84.)