The Supreme Court ruled on a comparatively small number of petitions at its conference yesterday. For non-double conferences like the one this week, the list of court actions often takes up five or six pages. (E.g., here and here.) Yesterday’s results fit on less than three and a half pages. Nonetheless, the court at this “light” conference still issued orders in 74 matters.
There weren’t many actions of note:
- The court denied review in In re S.P., but it depublished the divided opinion by the Second District, Division Five, Court of Appeal. The majority held to be harmless the unexcused failure by the Department of Children and Family Services to notify a father of hearings before his parental rights were terminated. Even though agreeing that the failure was “of constitutional dimension,” the appellate court applied a relatively forgiving “more probable than not” harmless error standard. The dissent, on the other hand, contended the lack of notice was per se reversible. It begins, “Today’s majority opinion is further evidence the courts of appeal are applying harmless error doctrine in juvenile court cases to excuse fundamental constitutional errors—errors that strike so deeply at the edifice of our legal system that, despite all pretenses, judges have no realistic ability to determine the probability of a different outcome absent the error.”
- There were seven criminal case grant-and-holds: five more holding for a decision in People v. Lewis (see here), one more holding for People v. Raybon (see here), and one holding for In re Mohammad (see here).
- The court changed the lead case for one of last week’s grant-and-holds from People v. Esquivel to People v. Lewis.