States Right to Interfere With Vested Property Rights In California
Does the States Soverign Power Give it the Right to Interfere With Vested Property Rights When Compelling Public Intrerest Justifies It ?
In Addison v. Addison (1965) 62 Cal. 2d 558, 566 43 Cal. Rptr. 97, 399 P.2d 897, 14 A.L.R.3d 391, the court indicated that: " 'Vested rights, of course, may be impaired "with due process of law" under many circumstances.
The state's inherent sovereign power includes the so called "police power" right to interfere with vested property rights whenever reasonably necessary to the protection of the health, safety, morals, and general well being of the people.
The annals of constitutional law are replete with decisions approving, as constitutionally proper, the impairing of, and even the complete confiscation of, property rights when compelling public interest justified it.
The constitutional question, on principle, therefore, would seem to be, not whether a vested right is impaired by a marital property law change, but whether such a change reasonably could be believed to be sufficiently necessary to the public welfare as to justify the impairment.' "
The Addison court easily permitted impairment of vested property rights by the retroactive application of quasi-community legislation where it was justified by overriding societal concerns.