The Supreme Court announced its February calendar yesterday. There are four criminal cases, including a death penalty appeal; one school truancy case; and an Unfair Competition Law matter. The court granted review in two of the cases less than a year ago; one in particular is moving really fast.
The court has still not scheduled a hearing in Robinson v. Lewis, a case in which the court agreed to resolve a habeas corpus procedural question for the Ninth Circuit. The federal court has been waiting a really long time for an answer to the question posed in Robinson.
On February 5, in Sacramento, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself):
Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. v. Superior Court: Is there a right to a jury trial in a civil action brought by the People, acting through representative governmental agencies, pursuant to the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.) or the False Advertising Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17500 et seq.), because the People seek statutory penalties, among other forms of relief? The court granted review in September 2018.
In re A.N.: (1) Is the utilization of a school attendance review board or truancy mediation process required before juvenile court proceedings can be instituted to declare a juvenile a habitual truant? (2) Does Education Code section 48264.5 require the issuance of a fourth truancy report before commencing such a proceeding? The court granted review in July 2017. (See also here.)
People v. Guerrero: Did the Court of Appeal properly apply the “some connection or relationship” test of People v. Gonzales (2018) 6 Cal.5th 44 [see here] in holding that defendant’s conviction for identity theft precluded reducing his forgery conviction to a misdemeanor under the provisions of Proposition 47? The court granted review in March 2019.
People v. Maya: Does Penal Code section 1203.4a, subdivision (a), which sets forth a procedure to obtain the setting aside of a guilty verdict, authorize a court to consider an individual’s time spent in immigration custody after judgment of conviction, as part of the determination whether that individual has “lived an honest and upright life”? This is the fast-track case. The court granted review in July 2019 and sent an oral argument letter just last week. Also, the reply brief was filed only 17 days ago, meaning that, even now, there’s still ample time to submit amicus curiae briefs. And amicus briefs in this case would not be surprising because a number of non-party organizations submitted requests to depublish the Court of Appeal’s opinion.
People v. Lopez: (1) Can the prosecution charge theft and shoplifting of the same property, notwithstanding Penal Code section 459.5, subdivision (b), which provides that “Any act of shoplifting as defined in subdivision (a) shall be charged as shoplifting. No person who is charged with shoplifting may also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property”? (2) If not, was trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the theft charge? The court granted review in November 2018. It later asked for supplemental briefing on 10 different questions.
People v. Flores III: This is an automatic direct appeal from a May 2003 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such cases. Counsel was appointed in March 2008 and initial briefing was completed in February 2014. Second supplemental briefs were filed just last summer.