April 29, 2015

Rehearing denied in sex offender residency restriction case

The Supreme Court today denied rehearing in People v. Mosley, one of five cases in which a change in the court’s composition could have led to second opinions.  In Mosley, the dissenters — Justices Goodwin Liu and Kathryn Werdegar — voted for rehearing, but new Justices Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Leondra Kruger did not.

Last month, Cuéllar and Kruger joined Werdegar and Liu to force a rehearing in People v. Grimes.  Last week, the court almost granted rehearing in Johnson v. California Department of Justice, but came up one vote short when Cuéllar but not Kruger joined Werdegar and Liu.

In Mosley, a 5-2 court held that, under Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466, a judge without a jury can make the required “findings underlying his or her discretionary order that a convicted criminal defendant must register as a sex offender” even if that order “includes registered sex offender residency restrictions.”

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April 29, 2015

Supreme Court agrees to answer state law questions in two Ninth Circuit cases

The Supreme Court today unanimously agreed to answer state law questions in two separate cases at the request of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The federal court made the requests in February and March.

In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the Court of Appeals asked these questions:  (1) California Labor Code section 551 provides that “[e]very person employed in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven.”  Is the required day of rest calculated by the workweek, or is it calculated on a rolling basis for any consecutive seven-day period?  (2) California Labor Code section 556 exempts employers from providing such a day of rest “when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day thereof.”  (Emphasis added.)  Does that exemption apply when an employee works less than six hours in any one day of the applicable week, or does it apply only when an employee works less than six hours in each day of the week?  (3) California Labor Code section 552 provides that an employer may not “cause his employees to work more than six days in seven.”  What does it mean for an employer to “cause” an employee to work more than six days in seven: force, coerce, pressure, schedule, encourage, reward, permit, or something else?

In Frealy v. Reynolds, the Supreme Court will answer this question:  Does section 15306.5 of the California Probate Code impose an absolute cap of 25 percent on a bankruptcy estate’s access to a beneficiary’s interest in a spendthrift trust that consists entirely of payments from principal, or may the bankruptcy estate reach more than 25 percent under other sections of the Probate Code?

April 29, 2015

Another death penalty opinion filing tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court will file its opinion in People v. Kopatz, an automatic appeal from a March 2001 judgment of death.  Kopatz was argued on the court’s February calendar.

Because of the interest in Monday’s reversal of the death sentence in People v. Smith, there could be more eyes than usual on the Kopatz opinion.

The opinion can be viewed tomorrow starting at 10:00 a.m.

April 28, 2015

“At high court, a new era on death penalty”

John Roemer reports in today’s Daily Journal [subscription] on yesterday’s reversal of the death sentence in People v. Smith.  That decision, the court’s recent rehearing grant in a case where a divided court had upheld a death judgment (People v. Grimes), and the addition of three justices appointed by Governor Jerry Brown, Roemer says, indicate that “the justices appear far less ready to routinely deny appeals, leaving them for federal courts to consider.”

Of course, Governor Brown’s appointees are no more than a partial cause of a new trend, if there is one.  Although they did provide three of the four votes for rehearing in Grimes, yesterday’s Smith opinion was unanimous and last summer — before two of the three Brown appointees joined the court — a unanimous court reversed in two other death penalty appeals.

A better indicator of whether the court is entering a “new era” in its death penalty jurisprudence might be how the court deals with Batson/Wheeler issues in People v. Scott, a case in which the court asked for post-argument briefing.  There should be an opinion in Scott by June 8.

April 27, 2015

Supreme Court reverses death sentence

The Supreme Court today affirmed the conviction, but reversed the death sentence, in an automatic appeal.  Justice Carol Corrigan’s unanimous opinion in People v. Smith holds that, “during the penalty phase, the court improperly excluded expert testimony about prison security measures for those sentenced to life without possibility of parole” and that the error was prejudicial.  The exclusion of the testimony, which would have come from a former associate warden at San Quentin State Prison, “deprived defendant of the opportunity to counter aggravating evidence and argument suggesting that he would be a dangerous life prisoner.”  Key to the court’s decision was that, although the excluded testimony would not have been relevant as mitigating evidence, it was important to rebut prosecution aggravating factor evidence.

Last summer, the court reversed in two other automatic appeals.  Like today’s Smith decision, the opinions in those cases were unanimous and authored by Justice Corrigan.

April 24, 2015

Summary of April 22, 2015 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

Williams & Fickett v. County of Fresno, S224476—Review Granted—April 22, 2015

This case presents the following issues: (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?

Plaintiff, a general partnership, brought an action against the defendant county for a refund of property taxes. Plaintiff contended it did not own the assessed property on the applicable lien dates and thus the assessments were “nullities.” Plaintiff nonetheless paid the property taxes in May 2011, February 2012, and June 2012, and filed claims for refund of those taxes in May and November 2012. The county argued that plaintiff had until June 2010 to file its refund claims because the statute of limitations began to run after plaintiff filed the application for changed assessment and the Assessment Appeals Board returned the application as untimely. In sustaining the county’s demurrer without leave to amend, the trial court explained that plaintiff failed to file an application for reduction with the county’s Assessment Appeals Board under Revenue and Taxation Code section 1603, as he was required to do.

In a published decision, Williams & Fickett v. County of Fresno (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 1250, the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed the judgment dismissing the complaint, holding that: (1) where the taxpayer claims the assessment is void because the taxpayer does not own the property, the taxpayer is not required to apply for an assessment reduction under section 1603, subdivision (a), to exhaust its administrative remedies; and (2) a refund claim cannot be made until after the disputed taxes have been paid, and thus, the taxpayer could not have filed its refund claims in June 2010. Those claims were not viable until the taxes were paid in 2011 and 2012. 

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

None.

April 24, 2015

Death penalty opinion filing Monday

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court will file its opinion in People v. Smith, which is an automatic appeal from a December 2002 judgment of death.  Smith was argued on the court’s February calendar.

The opinion can be viewed Monday starting at 10:00 a.m.

April 23, 2015

Supreme Court concludes sentence enhancement applied improperly

In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Goodwin Liu, the Supreme Court today concluded that a sentence of 229 years to life was improperly calculated because a five-year prior serious felony enhancement was applied to multiple terms for several offenses when it should have been applied just once.  The case is People v. Sasser.

Reversing the First District, Division Five, of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court said it was necessary “to reconcile four statutory schemes:”  the determinate sentencing law, enhanced penalty provisions for forcible sex offenses, the prior serious felony enhancement,  and the Three Strikes law.  The court repeated the observation it made 16 years ago that “[t]he Three Strikes law’s ‘purpose is not a mantra that the prosecution can invoke in any Three Strikes case to compel the court to construe the statute so as to impose the longest possible sentence.’ ”

 

April 22, 2015

Rehearing petition comes up one vote short

The Supreme Court today denied rehearing in Johnson v. California Department of Justice by a 4-3 vote.  That’s closer than the 5-2 result when the case was decided in January.  The five-member majority on the opinion included retired Justice Marvin Baxter and a pro tem Court of Appeal justice.  In deciding the rehearing petition, those two were replaced by new Justices Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar and Leondra Kruger.  But only Cuéllar, not Kruger, joined the dissenting justices — Kathryn Werdegar and Goodwin Liu — in voting to grant the petition.

In Johnson, the Supreme Court overruled its own 2006 decision that had found unconstitutional a distinction in the Sex Offender Registration Act.  Justice Werdegar’s dissent defended the earlier precedent, finding that the statutory differential treatment “has origins in irrational homophobia, continues to impact gay people in a differentially harsh way . . . and involves severe restrictions on liberty and privacy.”

Some blogger predicted the court would grant rehearing in Johnson.

April 22, 2015

Sentencing opinion filing tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court will file its opinion in People v. Sasser, which raises the issue whether a five-year enhancement for a prior serious felony conviction (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (a)) can be added to multiple determinate terms imposed as part of a second-strike sentence (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (e)(1)).

Sasser was argued on the court’s February calendar.

The opinion can be viewed tomorrow starting at 10:00 a.m.

April 21, 2015

Rehearing update

The addition of two new justices to the Supreme Court a few months ago led to the grant of a rehearing petition in one case and the possibility of rehearing in four other cases.  So, where do all those cases stand?  Here’s a quick update.

The court granted rehearing almost six weeks ago in People v. Grimes, an automatic death penalty appeal.  Last week, the court issued an order saying it “is presently preparing to hear reargument” and inviting the parties to submit supplemental briefing concerning any new authorities or issues.  Those briefs are now due by June 15, with replies to be filed 20 court days later.  (It seems rare for the Supreme Court to use court days rather than calendar days in setting a deadline.)  Grimes thus might be on track for a September reargument.  Actually, it will be a re-reargument; the case was argued twice before the court’s initial opinion.

In the other four cases, rehearing petitions are still pending after routine extensions in each case of the court’s time to rule.  In Johnson v. California Department of Justice, there will be a ruling by a week from tomorrow.  May 27 is the deadline for ruling on the rehearing petition in People v. Johnson and there will be rulings in People v. Mosley and Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley by May 29.  (Actually, for the latter three cases, the court will probably rule by May 20, which is the court’s last regular Wednesday conference before the court’s time to rule runs out.)

Our guess is that the Supreme Court will grant at least one of those four pending rehearing petitions and that the order of cases, from most to least likely to be granted, is:  Johnson v. California Department of Justice, People v. Mosley, Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, and People v. Johnson.

 

April 20, 2015

Summary of April 15, 2015 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

Dhillon v. John Muir Health, S224472—Review Granted—April 15, 2015

The case presents the following issue: Is a trial court order granting 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?

The medical staffs of John Muir Health (John Muir), operators of medical centers in Walnut Creek and Concord, took minor disciplinary action against Dhillon, a physician with staff privileges, and Dhillon filed a petition for administrative mandamus in the Superior Court to challenge the action. The Superior Court ordered John Muir to initiate a Judicial Review Committee (JRC) process to review the action. John Muir appealed from the judgment and also filed a writ petition because case law was unclear as to whether the judgment was appealable.

The Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, denied the writ petition and dismissed the appeal as having been taken from a nonappealable order. The Court of Appeal also ruled that the judgment is not appealable as a final determination of a collateral matter.

[Full disclosure: Horvitz & Levy LLP represents John Muir Health.]

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

None.

April 19, 2015

Courthouse dogs

The Judicial Council has posted a video about two dogs who serve at the Trinity County courthouse.  What’s the connection to the Supreme Court, the topic of this blog?  Not much, although having a dog like Miles around would have a positive effect on many attorneys about to argue in the Supreme Court.

April 17, 2015

Oral argument continuances . . . continued

Another oral argument calendar announced, another request for a continuance.  Two requests, actually.  And, although post-argument-scheduling continuance requests have been received favorably of late (see here and here), only one of the two requests was granted this time.

Argument in J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company will be moved from the early-May calendar to the late-May or the June calendar.  [Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy represents the petitioner on review, but it was the other side that asked for the continuance.]

But argument will proceed as scheduled in People v. Grewal, despite an attorney’s request to “reset” the calendaring.  The denial in Grewal might not be due to a loss of patience with late continuance requests, however.  Grewal is on a fast track.  The court filed two amicus briefs in the case just two days before setting the matter for argument, and it atypically denied an application for an extension of time to answer those and other amicus briefs.  Also, Grewal is consolidated with another case, so a continuance would have disrupted the schedule of two cases.

The better practice remains that counsel should tell the court about any potentially conflicting plans as soon as possible, but definitely before a case is placed on the oral argument calendar.

April 10, 2015

Much-watched arbitration case one of 10 arguments on Supreme Court’s early-May calendar

The Supreme Court yesterday announced its early-May calendar.  May is the only month in which the court regularly has two calendars.  And the May calendars are often larger than normal, because the court is putting an extra number of cases into the pipeline before the argument-free months of July and August.  Thus, this year’s early-May calendar has 10 cases, the first calendar with more than six since late May of last year.

Leading off the early-May arguments is Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., an arbitration case that has attracted substantial attention.  And it has attracted attention for a long time.  Review was granted more than three years ago, and there is only one un-argued non-death penalty case (civil or criminal) that has been on the court’s docket as long — Estate of Duke, in which the court granted review on the same day as Sanchez.

On May 5 and 6, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as stated on the court’s website):

Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co.:  Does the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. § 2), as interpreted in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U. S. __, 131 S.Ct. 1740, preempt state law rules invalidating mandatory arbitration provisions in a consumer contract as procedurally and substantively unconscionable?
Last year, the court invited supplemental briefing on nomenclature:
In formulating the standard for determining whether a contract or contract term is substantively unconscionable, this court has used a variety of terms, including “unreasonably favorable” to one party (Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (2013) 57 Cal.4th 1109, 1145); “so one-sided as to shock the conscience” (Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development (2012) 55 Cal.4th 223, 246); “unfairly one-sided” (Little v. Auto Stiegler, Inc. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1064, 1071-1072; “overly harsh” (Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83, 114; and “unduly oppressive” (Perdue v. Crocker National Bank (1985) 38 Cal.3d 913, 925).  Should the court use only one of these formulations in describing the test for substantive unconscionability and, if so, which one?  Are there any terms the court should not use?  Is there a formulation not included among those above that the court should use?  What differences, if any, exist among these formulations either facially or as applied?
[Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the defendant.]

J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company:  After an insured has secured a judgment requiring an insurer to provide independent counsel to the insured (see San Diego Fed. Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Society Inc. (1984) 162 Cal.App.3d 358), can the insurer seek reimbursement of defense fees and costs it considers unreasonable and unnecessary by pursuing a reimbursement action against independent counsel or can the insurer seek reimbursement only from its insured?
[Note:  counsel for one of the respondents on review today asked the court to reschedule the oral argument.  Recent history suggests the request is not a lost cause.  See People v. Grewal, post.]
[Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy represents the petitioner on review.]

Even Zohar Construction and Remodeling, Inc. v. Bellaire Townhouses, LLC:  Do the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 1008, subdivision (b), which govern motions to renew previously denied motions, apply to renewed motions under Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (b), for relief from default judgment?

Marriage of Davis:  For the purpose of establishing the date of separation under Family Code section 771, may a couple be “living separate and apart” when they reside in the same residence?
[Note:  argument in this case was continued from the April calendar.]

In re Welch:  Is petitioner entitled to relief on the ground of jury misconduct (ex parte communications from the trial court bailiff) as alleged in claim 6 or the ground of ineffective assistance of counsel (failure to investigate and present evidence of petitioner’s social history) as alleged in claim 18 of the petition for writ of habeas corpus filed May 24, 2002?

People v. Cunningham:  [This is an automatic appeal from a January 1996 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Grewal and People v. Nasser:  Are the internet café games at issue in these cases subject to Penal Code section 330b, subdivision (d), on the ground they constitute “slot machine[s] or device[s]”?
[Note:  No cobwebs on these cases.  The court filed an amicus brief in Grewal just three days ago.  However, counsel for two defendants in Grewal today filed a motion to reschedule the argument.  See J.R. Marketing, ante.]

People v. Banks:  (1) Was the evidence sufficient to establish that defendant Matthews was a “major participant” within the meaning of Penal Code section 190.2, subdivision (d)?  (2) Does the true finding on the special circumstance violate due process?  (U.S. Const., 5th & 14th Amends.; Cal. Const., art. I, §§ 7, 15; Enmund v. Florida (1982) 458 U.S. 782.)

People v. Elizalde:  (1) Was defendant subjected to custodial interrogation without the benefit of warnings under Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436, when he was questioned about his gang affiliation during an interview while being booked into jail, or did the questioning fall within the booking exception to Miranda?  (2) If the questioning fell outside the booking exception, was defendant prejudiced by the admission of his incriminating statements at trial?

People v. Johnson:  [This is an automatic appeal from an April 2002 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

 

April 9, 2015

Supreme Court explains how many classrooms a charter school must be provided by a school district

In its opinion this morning in California Charter Schools Association v. Los Angeles Unified School District, the Supreme Court addresses an education law issue that the court says has “been the subject of considerable litigation.”  The issue is how to determine whether charter school students have access to facilities — in this case, the number of classrooms — that are “reasonably equivalent” to those available to other public school students.  The court finds fault with classroom-counting formulas advocated by both parties and specifies an evaluation method to be used in the future.

The court’s unanimous opinion is authored by Justice Goodwin Liu.  It reverses the Second District, Division Five, of the Court of Appeal.

April 8, 2015

No conference held the week of April 6, 2015

The Court is holding no conference this week because it is hearing oral argument in Los Angeles. Accordingly, this week no action will be taken on petitions for review and no opinions will be ordered published or depublished.

April 8, 2015

Charter school opinion filing tomorrow

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will file its opinion in California Charter Schools Association v. Los Angeles Unified School District, which raises the issue whether the Court of Appeal adopted an incorrect methodology for determining what facilities a school district is required to afford to a charter school in accordance with Education Code section 47614?

The case was argued on the court’s February calendar.

The opinion can be viewed tomorrow starting at 10:00 a.m.

April 6, 2015

Supreme Court is unanimous in sua sponte instruction and DUI evidence cases

The Supreme Court filed two opinions this morning.  Both were unanimous decisions, although there was a separate concurring opinion in one.

In People v. Diaz, the court held that it is appropriate for a trial court to instruct a jury to consider a criminal defendant’s out-of-court statements with caution when those statements form the basis of a prosecution for making criminal threats, but that the trial court need not give the instruction sua sponte.  The court affirmed the Sixth District Court of Appeal in a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.  Regarding the propriety of the instruction, the court disapproved an opinion by the Second District, Division Six.  The court effectively overruled portions of its prior opinions that had required the instruction be given sua sponte.

The court concluded in Coffey v. Shiomoto that, in a reviewing the suspension of a driver’s license, a trial court could consider evidence in addition blood and breath test results to determine that a driver’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.  In the case before it, that other evidence included arrest reports, which described the physical manifestations of the driver’s intoxication, such as her general appearance, erratic driving, poor performance on field sobriety tests, and the strong odor of alcohol she projected.  Affirming the Fourth District, Division Three, the court’s opinion was written by Justice Kathryn Werdegar.  All justices signed that opinion, except Justice Goodwin Liu, who wrote a separate concurrence.

April 3, 2015

Summary of April 1, 2015 conference report for civil cases

The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.

Review Granted

McGill v. Citibank, S224086—Review Granted—April 1, 2015

This case presents the following issue: 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?

In McGill, the plaintiff sued defendant Citibank for claims against the marketing and administration of the company’s “Credit Protector” plan, which in exchange for a monthly premium, deferred or credited the customer’s credit card account when qualifying events occurred (including long-term disability, unemployment, and hospitalization). When plaintiff opened her account with defendant, their agreement did not include an arbitration provision; however, defendant later sent plaintiff notice of the inclusion of an arbitration provision, providing her with a deadline to opt out. Plaintiff did not opt out of the arbitration provision.

When plaintiff brought her class action in the trial court, defendant filed a petition to compel her to arbitrate her claim on an individual basis, per the arbitration provision in their agreement. The trial court refused to order arbitration of plaintiff’s injunctive relief claims. Defendant appealed.

The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, reversed in a published opinion, McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 753, and remanded for the trial court to order all of plaintiff’s claims to arbitration. It relied on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Concepcion, which found that the FAA preempts all state-law rules, including the Broughton-Cruz rule, that prohibit arbitration of a particular type of claim.

Rivers v. Cedar-Sinai Medical Care Foundation, S224592—Review Granted and Held—April 1, 2015

The court ordered briefing deferred pending decision in Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc., S220812, which presents the following issue: Does the trial court or the arbitrator decide whether an arbitration agreement provides for class arbitration if the agreement itself is silent on the issue?

In Rivers, the plaintiff brought a class action and individual claims against her employer, defendant Cedar-Sinai Medical Care Foundation. When she was hired, plaintiff signed an arbitration agreement requiring both parties to arbitrate claims regarding plaintiff’s employment or termination. However, the agreement did not mention an arbitration requirement for class action claims. When plaintiff filed her claims, defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration. The trial court interpreted the agreement, determining that the parties intended to arbitrate individual claims but not class claims.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Seven, reversed in an unpublished opinion, Rivers v. Cedar-Sinai Medical Care Foundation (Jan. 13, 2015, B249979), ruling the decision of whether the parties agreed to class arbitration was a procedural issue to be determined by the arbitrator, not by the court.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

Los Angeles Police Protective League v. City of Los Angeles, S224083—Depublished Court of Appeal Opinion—April 1, 2015

The issue in this case was whether plaintiffs had taxpayer standing under Code of Civil Procedure section 526a to challenge the Los Angeles Police Department’s special order regarding impounding vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers. The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, held the special order was not preempted because it neither created new law nor conflicted with existing law. But because the order implemented existing law, the expenditure of public funds to enforce it was a matter within the wide discretion of city officials. Thus, plaintiffs lacked taxpayer standing to challenge the special order.  (Los Angeles Police Protective League v. City of Los Angeles (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 907.)