August 2, 2012

Eight cases on Supreme Court’s September calendar

Summer break is almost over. For the Supreme Court, the break is actually just from hearing arguments in July and August, as the court still files opinions, works up cases, and rules on hundreds of petitions for review during that time. The justices will soon be back in the courtroom as the court has posted its September calendar.

On September 5 and 6, the court will hear arguments in eight cases in San Francisco. (Spoiler alert: although the court apparently hasn’t announced it yet, the UC Davis Law School is bragging that it will host four Supreme Court arguments on October 3.)

The court will hear the following cases (with the issues presented as stated on the court’s website):

City of Alhambra v. County of Los Angeles: Does Revenue and Taxation Code section 97.75 prohibit a county from taking into account property tax revenues diverted from the county’s Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund to a city under sections 97.68 and 97.70 when determining, under section 95.3, the city’s share of costs incurred by the county in the assessment, collection, and allocation of property taxes?

Pacific Palisades Bowl Mobile Estates LLC v. City of Los Angeles: (1) Do the Mello Act (Gov. Code, sections 65590, 65590.1) and the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Pub. Resources Code, section 30000 et seq.) apply to the conversion of a mobilehome park to resident ownership if the park is located within the coastal zone? (2) Do the limits imposed by Government Code section 66427.5 on the scope of a hearing on an application for conversion of such a mobilehome park to resident ownership prohibit the local authority from requiring compliance with the Mello Act and the California Coastal Act when the mobilehome park is located within the coastal zone?

People v. Mills: Did the trial court err by instructing the jury to accept a conclusive presumption that defendant was legally sane for purposes of the guilt phase of the trial?

People v. Wyatt: Did the trial court prejudicially err by failing to instruct the jury on the court’s own motion regarding simple assault (Pen. Code section 240) as a lesser included offense of assault on a child by means likely to produce great bodily injury, resulting in death (Pen. Code section 273ab, subd. (a))?

In re Richards: (1) When a petitioner seeks relief on habeas corpus because an expert witness who testified at trial later fundamentally alters the opinion he or she rendered, should this be viewed as a claim that false evidence substantially material or probative on the issue of guilt was presented at trial or as a claim that newly discovered evidence casts “fundamental doubt on the accuracy and reliability of the proceedings” and “undermine[s] the entire prosecution case and point[s] unerringly to innocence or reduced culpability”? (In re Hardy (2007) 41 Cal.4th 977, 1016.) (2) Is petitioner entitled to relief on either ground in this case? (3) Is petitioner entitled to habeas corpus relief based on newly discovered DNA evidence?

People v. Schmitz: When conducting a vehicle search authorized by a passenger’s parole condition, can the police search any areas of the vehicle’s interior that appear reasonably accessible to the passenger?

DiCampli-Mintz v. County of Santa Clara: Did plaintiff substantially comply with the statutory requirement that her claim against the county for medical negligence be presented “to the clerk, secretary or auditor thereof” or mailed to “the governing body” (Gov. Code, section 915, subd. (a)) by delivering the claim to the risk management department of the county hospital where the injury allegedly occurred?

People v. Homick: [This is an automatic appeal from a January 1995 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

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