January 25, 2017

Eight cases on the March calendar

The Supreme Court today announced its March calendar.  There are eight cases to be argued in San Francisco, evenly split between criminal and civil.

On March 7 and 8, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as stated on the court’s website):

People v. Gonzalez:  Can nonverbal, threatening gestures constitute a “statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device” as required for making a criminal threat in violation of Penal Code section 422?

Wheatherford v. City of San Rafael:  Must a plaintiff have paid or be liable to pay a property tax to a government entity in order to bring a taxpayer waste action against that entity under Code of Civil Procedure section 526a, or can the payment of other taxes confer standing?

People v. Enriquez:  This is an un-hold case.  When the court un-held the case, it directed the parties to brief the issue whether the Court of Appeal erred in upholding the trial court’s denial of defendants’ Batson/Wheeler motions.  Batson issues are frequently before the court, sometimes dividing the justices.

People v. Martinez:  Can a defendant, who is convicted of hit-and-run and sentenced to prison rather than placed on probation, be required to pay restitution for the injuries the victim suffered in the collision?

People v. Parker:  This is an automatic direct appeal from a January 1999 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.

Williams & Fickett v. County of Fresno:  (1) Must a taxpayer against whom an escape assessment on personal property has been made exhaust administrative remedies by filing an application with the county’s board of equalization to reduce the assessment if the taxpayer claims that it does not own and has no interest in the assessed property, or does the taxpayer fall within the “nullity” exception to the exhaustion requirement?  (2) Is a taxpayer who files an application for changed assessment with the county’s board of equalization subject to a one-year limitations period for paying the assessment and filing an action challenging the assessment, or does the period within which the taxpayer may file such an action begin to run only after the taxpayer has paid the disputed taxes?

Leider v. Lewis:  (1) Does Civil Code section 3369 bar taxpayer actions brought under the authority of Code of Civil Procedure section 526a seeking to enjoin violations of Penal Code provisions concerning animal abuse?  (2) Does the law of the case doctrine foreclose petitioners’ reliance upon that legal argument in this appeal?

Dhillon v. John Muir Health:  Is a trial court order granting in part and denying in part a physician’s petition for writ of administrative mandate regarding a hospital’s disciplinary action and remanding the matter to the hospital for further administrative proceedings an appealable order?
[Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy is appellate counsel for John Muir Health.]

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