Sections 600-605: Shareholders' Meetings and Consents

California Corporations Code > Sections 600-605
CALIFORNIA GENERAL CORPORATION LAW - CHAPTER 6


Section 600:

(a)  Meetings of shareholders may be held at such place within or without this state as may be stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. If no other place is stated or so fixed, shareholder meetings shall be held at the principal executive office of the corporation. Unless prohibited by the bylaws of the corporation, if authorized by the board of directors in its sole discretion, and subject to the requirement of consent in clause (b) of Section 20 and those guidelines and procedures as the board of directors may adopt, shareholders not physically present in person or by proxy at a meeting of shareholders may, by electronic transmission by and to the corporation (Sections 20 and 21) or by electronic video screen communication, participate in a meeting of shareholders, be deemed present in person or by proxy, and vote at a meeting of shareholders whether that meeting is to be held at a designated place or in whole or in part by means of electronic transmission by and to the corporation or by electronic video screen communication, in accordance with subdivision (e).

(b)  An annual meeting of shareholders shall be held for the election of directors on a date and at a time stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. However, if the corporation is a regulated management company, as defined in Section 23701m of the Revenue and Taxation Code, a meeting of shareholders shall be held as required by the Federal Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 80a-1, et seq.). Any other proper business may be transacted at the annual meeting.

(c)  If there is a failure to hold the annual meeting for a period of 60 days after the date designated therefor or, if no date has been designated, for a period of 15 months after the organization of the corporation or after its last annual meeting, the superior court of the proper county may summarily order a meeting to be held upon the application of any shareholder after notice to the corporation giving it an opportunity to be heard. The shares represented at such meeting, either in person or by proxy, and entitled to vote thereat shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of such meeting, notwithstanding any provision of the articles or bylaws or in this division to the contrary. The court may issue such orders as may be appropriate, including, without limitation, orders designating the time and place of such meeting, the record date for determination of shareholders entitled to vote and the form of notice of such meeting.

(d)  Special meetings of the shareholders may be called by the board, the chairman of the board, the president or the holders of shares entitled to cast not less than 10 percent of the votes at the meeting or such additional persons as may be provided in the articles or bylaws.

(e)  A meeting of the shareholders may be conducted, in whole or in part, by electronic transmission by and to the corporation or by electronic video screen communication (1) if the corporation implements reasonable measures to provide shareholders (in person or by proxy) a reasonable opportunity to participate in the meeting and to vote on matters submitted to the shareholders, including an opportunity to read or hear the proceedings of the meeting concurrently with those proceedings, and (2) if any shareholder votes or takes other action at the meeting by means of electronic transmission to the corporation or electronic video screen communication, a record of that vote or action is maintained by the corporation. Any request by a corporation to a shareholder pursuant to clause (b) of Section 20 for consent to conduct a meeting of shareholders by electronic transmission by and to the corporation, shall include a notice that absent consent of the shareholder pursuant to clause (b) of Section 20, the meeting shall be held at a physical location in accordance with subdivision (a).

Section 601:

(a)  Whenever shareholders are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting a written notice of the meeting shall be given not less than 10 (or, if sent by third-class mail, 30) nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting to each shareholder entitled to vote thereat. That notice shall state the place, date and hour of the meeting, the means of electronic transmission by and to the corporation (Sections 20 and 21) or electronic video screen communication, if any, by which shareholders may participate in that meeting, and (1) in the case of a special meeting, the general nature of the business to be transacted, and no other business may be transacted, or (2) in the case of the annual meeting, those matters that the board, at the time of the mailing of the notice, intends to present for action by the shareholders, but subject to the provisions of subdivision (f) any proper matter may be presented at the meeting for that action. The notice of any meeting at which directors are to be elected shall include the names of nominees intended at the time of the notice to be presented by the board for election.

(b)  Notice of a shareholders' meeting or any report shall be given personally, by electronic transmission by the corporation, or by first-class mail, or, in the case of a corporation with outstanding shares held of record by 500 or more persons (determined as provided in Section 605) on the record date for the shareholders' meeting, notice may also be sent third-class mail, or other means of written communication, addressed to the shareholder at the address of that shareholder appearing on the books of the corporation or given by the shareholder to the corporation for the purpose of notice; or if no address appears or is given, at the place where the principal executive office of the corporation is located or by publication at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal executive office is located. The notice or report shall be deemed to have been given at the time when delivered personally, sent by electronic transmission by the corporation, deposited in the mail, or sent by other means of written communication. An affidavit of mailing or electronic transmission by the corporation of any notice or report in accordance with the provisions of this division, executed by the secretary, assistant secretary or any transfer agent, shall be prima facie evidence of the giving of the notice or report.
    If any notice or report addressed to the shareholder at the address of that shareholder appearing on the books of the corporation is returned to the corporation by the United States Postal Service marked to indicate that the United States Postal Service is unable to deliver the notice or report to the shareholder at that address, all future notices or reports shall be deemed to have been duly given without further mailing if the same shall be available for the shareholder upon written demand of the shareholder at the principal executive office of the corporation for a period of one year from the date of the giving of the notice or report to all other shareholders.
    Notice given by electronic transmission by the corporation under this subdivision shall be valid only if it complies with Section 20. Notwithstanding the foregoing, notice shall not be given by electronic transmission by the corporation under this subdivision after either of the following:

(1)  The corporation is unable to deliver two consecutive notices to the shareholder by that means.

(2)  The inability to so deliver the notices to the shareholder becomes known to the secretary, any assistant secretary, the transfer agent, or other person responsible for the giving of the notice.
(c)  Upon request in writing to the corporation addressed to the attention of the chairperson of the board, president, vice president or secretary by any person (other than the board) entitled to call a special meeting of shareholders, the officer forthwith shall cause notice to be given to the shareholders entitled to vote that a meeting will be held at a time requested by the person or persons calling the meeting, not less than 35 nor more than 60 days after the receipt of the request. If the notice is not given within 20 days after receipt of the request, the persons entitled to call the meeting may give the notice or the superior court of the proper county shall summarily order the giving of the notice, after notice to the corporation giving it an opportunity to be heard. The procedure provided in subdivision (c) of Section 305 shall apply to that application. The court may issue orders as may be appropriate, including, without limitation, orders designating the time and place of the meeting, the record date for determination of shareholders entitled to vote and the form of notice.

(d)  When a shareholders' meeting is adjourned to another time or place, unless the bylaws otherwise require and except as provided in this subdivision, notice need not be given of the adjourned meeting if the time and place thereof (or the means of electronic transmission by and to the corporation or electronic video screen communication, if any, by which the shareholders may participate) are announced at the meeting at which the adjournment is taken. At the adjourned meeting the corporation may transact any business that might have been transacted at the original meeting. If the adjournment is for more than 45 days or if after the adjournment a new record date is fixed for the adjourned meeting, a notice of the adjourned meeting shall be given to each shareholder of record entitled to vote at the meeting.

(e)  The transactions of any meeting of shareholders, however called and noticed, and wherever held, are as valid as though had at a meeting duly held after regular call and notice, if a quorum is present either in person or by proxy, and if, either before or after the meeting, each of the persons entitled to vote, not present in person or by proxy, provides a waiver of notice or consent to the holding of the meeting or an approval of the minutes thereof in writing. All those waivers, consents and approvals shall be filed with the corporate records or made a part of the minutes of the meeting. Attendance of a person at a meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of and presence at the meeting, except when the person objects, at the beginning of the meeting, to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened and except that attendance at a meeting is not a waiver of any right to object to the consideration of matters required by this division to be included in the notice but not so included, if the objection is expressly made at the meeting. Neither the business to be transacted at nor the purpose of any regular or special meeting of shareholders need be specified in any written waiver of notice, consent to the holding of the meeting or approval of the minutes thereof, unless otherwise provided in the articles or bylaws, except as provided in subdivision (f).

(f)  Any shareholder approval at a meeting, other than unanimous approval by those entitled to vote, pursuant to Section 310, 902, 1152, 1201, 1900, or 2007 shall be valid only if the general nature of the proposal so approved was stated in the notice of meeting or in any written waiver of notice.

Section 602:

(a)  Unless otherwise provided in the articles, a majority of the shares entitled to vote, represented in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum at a meeting of the shareholders, but in no event shall a quorum consist of less than one-third (or, in the case of a mutual water company, 20 percent) of the shares entitled to vote at the meeting or, except in the case of a close corporation, of more than a majority of the shares entitled to vote at the meeting. Except as provided in subdivision (b), the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares represented and voting at a duly held meeting at which a quorum is present (which shares voting affirmatively also constitute at least a majority of the required quorum) shall be the act of the shareholders, unless the vote of a greater number or voting by classes is required by this division or the articles.

(b)  The shareholders present at a duly called or held meeting at which a quorum is present may continue to transact business until adjournment notwithstanding the withdrawal of enough shareholders to leave less than a quorum, if any action taken (other than adjournment) is approved by at least a majority of the shares required to constitute a quorum or, if required by this division or the articles, the vote of a greater number or voting by classes.

(c)  In the absence of a quorum, any meeting of shareholders may be adjourned from time to time by the vote of a majority of the shares represented either in person or by proxy, but no other business may be transacted, except as provided in subdivision (b).

Section 603:

(a)  Unless otherwise provided in the articles, any action that may be taken at any annual or special meeting of shareholders may be taken without a meeting and without prior notice, if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, shall be signed by the holders of outstanding shares having not less than the minimum number of votes that would be necessary to authorize or take that action at a meeting at which all shares entitled to vote thereon were present and voted.

(b)  Unless the consents of all shareholders entitled to vote have been solicited in writing, both of the following shall apply:

(1)  Notice of any shareholder approval pursuant to Section 310, 317, 1152, 1201 or 2007 without a meeting by less than unanimous written consent shall be given at least 10 days before the consummation of the action authorized by that approval. Notice shall be given as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 601.

(2)  Prompt notice shall be given of the taking of any other corporate action approved by shareholders without a meeting by less than unanimous written consent, to those shareholders entitled to vote who have not consented in writing. Notice shall be given as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 601.
(c)  Any shareholder giving a written consent, or the shareholder's proxyholders, or a transferee of the shares or a personal representative of the shareholder or their respective proxyholders, may revoke the consent personally or by proxy by a writing received by the corporation prior to the time that written consents of the number of shares required to authorize the proposed action have been filed with the secretary of the corporation, but may not do so thereafter. The revocation is effective upon its receipt by the secretary of the corporation.

(d)  Notwithstanding subdivision (a), directors may not be elected by written consent except by unanimous written consent of all shares entitled to vote for the election of directors; provided that the shareholders may elect a director to fill a vacancy, other than a vacancy created by removal, by the written consent of a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote.

Section 604:

(a)  Any form of proxy or written consent distributed to 10 or more shareholders of a corporation with outstanding shares held of record by 100 or more persons shall afford an opportunity on the proxy or form of written consent to specify a choice between approval and disapproval of each matter or group of related matters intended to be acted upon at the meeting for which the proxy is solicited or by such written consent, other than elections to office, and shall provide, subject to reasonable specified conditions, that where the person solicited specifies a choice with respect to any such matter the shares will be voted in accordance therewith.

(b)  In any election of directors, any form of proxy in which the directors to be voted upon are named therein as candidates and which is marked by a shareholder "withhold" or otherwise marked in a manner indicating that the authority to vote for the election of directors is withheld shall not be voted for the election of a director.

(c)  Failure to comply with this section shall not invalidate any corporate action taken, but may be the basis for challenging any proxy at a meeting and the superior court may compel compliance therewith at the suit of any shareholder.

(d)  This section does not apply to any corporation with an outstanding class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 or whose securities are exempted from such registration by Section 12(g)(2) of that act.

Section 605:

(a)  For the purpose of determining whether a corporation has outstanding shares held of record by 100 or more persons, shares shall be deemed to be "held of record" by each person who is identified as the owner of such shares on the record of shareholders maintained by or on behalf of the corporation, subject to the following:

(1)  In any case where the record of shareholders has not been maintained in accordance with accepted practice, any additional person who would be identified as such an owner on such record if it had been maintained in accordance with accepted practice shall be included as a holder of record.

(2)  Shares identified as held of record by a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, a trust, whether or not the trustees are named, or other organization shall be included as so held by one person.

(3)  Shares identified as held of record by one or more persons as trustees, executors, guardians, conservators, custodians or in other fiduciary capacities with respect to a single trust, estate or account shall be included as held of record by one person.

(4)  Shares held by two or more persons as coowners shall be included as held by one person.

(5)  Shares registered in substantially similar names, where the corporation (or other person soliciting proxies) has reason to believe because of the address or other indications that such names represent the same person, may be included as held of record by one person.
(b)  Notwithstanding subdivision (a):

(1)  Shares held, to the knowledge of the corporation (or other person soliciting proxies), subject to a voting trust, deposit agreement or similar arrangement shall be included as held of record by the recordholders of the voting trust certificates, certificates of deposit, receipts or similar evidences of interest in such securities; provided, however, that the corporation (or other person soliciting proxies) may rely in good faith on such information as is received in response to its request from a nonaffiliated issuer of the certificates or evidences of interest.

(2)  If the corporation (or other person soliciting proxies) knows or has reason to know that the form of holding shares of record is used primarily to circumvent the provisions of this section, the beneficial owners of such shares shall be deemed to be the record owners thereof.
California Corporations Code > Sections 600-605
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