October 27, 2016

December calendar will have nine cases, tribute to Chief Justice Lucas

The Supreme Court announced its December calendar today.  There will be nine oral arguments, but first there will be a tribute to former Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas, who died last month.

On December 6 and 7, in Los Angeles, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as stated on the court’s website):

People v. Superior Court (Morales):  Did the superior court have jurisdiction to order various entities to preserve materials that might at a later date be included in a motion for post-conviction discovery under Penal Code section 1054.9?  This is the case in which a Court of Appeal justice suggested at the oral argument that the Supreme Court should “clean[ ] up their own mess” on the issue.

People v. Sivongxxay:  This is an automatic appeal from an April 1999 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.  However, the court early last year asked for supplemental briefing on this question:  If the trial court fails to obtain a capital defendant’s separate waiver of his right to a jury determination of the special circumstance allegation, does that failure compel automatic reversal of the special circumstance finding?  (See Ring v. Arizona (2002) 536 U.S. 584; Neder v. United States (1999) 527 U.S. 1; People v. Sandoval (2007) 41 Cal.4th 825.)  Argument in the case was continued from the November calendar.

People v. Delgado:  This is an automatic appeal from a June 2000 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.

City of San Jose v. Superior Court:  Are written communications pertaining to city business, including email and text messages, which (a) are sent or received by public officials and employees on their private electronic devices using their private accounts, (b) are not stored on city servers, and (c) are not directly accessible by the city, “public records” within the meaning of the California Public Records Act?  Like Sivongxxay, the argument in this case was continued from the November calendar.

Central Coast Forest Association v. California Fish and Game Commission:  The court limited review to this issue — Under the California Endangered Species Act, Fish and Game Code section 2050 et seq., may the Fish and Game Commission consider a petition to delist a species on the ground that the original listing was in error?  If so, does the petition at issue here contain sufficient information to warrant the Commission’s further consideration?  This case has been on the court’s docket for quite some time; review was granted in February 2013.

J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School District:  Must a claimant under the Government Claims Act file a petition for relief from Government Code section 945.4’s claim requirement, as set forth in Government Code section 946.6, if he has submitted a timely application for leave to present a late claim under Government Code section 911.6, subdivision (b)(2), and was a minor at all relevant times?

McGill v. Citibank, N.A.:  Does the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.), as interpreted in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U.S. 321, preempt the California rule (Broughton v. Cigna Healthplans (1999) 21 Cal.4th 1066; Cruz v. PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc. (2003) 30 Cal.4th 303) that statutory claims for public injunctive relief are not subject to compulsory private arbitration?  Argument in this case was continued from the October calendar.
[Justice Carol Corrigan is recused.  Fourth District, Division One, Court of Appeal Justice Judith Haller will be sitting pro tem.]
[Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus brief in this case on behalf of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.]

Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. v. American Asphalt South, Inc.:  (1) In the context of competitive bidding on a public works contract, may the second lowest bidder state a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage against the winning bidder based on an allegation that the winning bidder did not fully comply with California’s prevailing wage law after the contract was awarded?  (2) To state a cause of action for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, must the plaintiff allege that it had a preexisting economic relationship with a third party with probable future benefit that preceded or existed separately from defendant’s interference, or is it sufficient for the plaintiff to allege that its economic expectancy arose at the time the public agency awarded the contract to the low bidder?

People v. Hall:  (1) Are probation conditions prohibiting defendant from:  (a) “owning, possessing or having in his custody or control any handgun, rifle, shotgun or any firearm whatsoever or any weapon that can be concealed on his person”; and (b) “using or possessing or having in his custody or control any illegal drugs, narcotics, narcotics paraphernalia without a prescription,” unconstitutionally vague?  (2) Is an explicit knowledge requirement constitutionally mandated?

Leave a Reply