May 17, 2013

Summary of May 15, 2013 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, May 15, 2013. 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

Conservatorship of McQueen, S209376—Review Granted—May 15, 2013

The question presented is whether a motion under Code of Civil Procedure sections 685.040 and 685.080 for attorney’s fees and costs expended in enforcing a judgment is barred after full satisfaction of the judgment. The Court of Appeal, First District, Division Four, held in an unpublished decision, Estate of McQueen, A134337, that Code of Civil Procedure sections 685.040 and 685.080 bar such a motion once the judgment is satisfied in full.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

Church of Scientology International v. Superior Court, S210314—Review Denied [Baxter, J. and Chin, J., voting for review]—May 15, 2013

The question presented was whether communications between the plaintiff and the clergy of the Church of Scientology are protected by California’s clergy-penitent privilege, where the plaintiff seeks disclosure and the communications were not limited to one clergy member, but were shared with other clergy.

The Church of Scientology filed a petition for writ of mandate after the trial court compelled it to produce records of communications between the plaintiff and its clergy members. The trial court compelled disclosure of the communications, finding the privilege did not apply since the communications were made available to other members of the clergy. The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Three, denied the petition.

Schmeer v. County of Los Angeles, S209633—Review Denied [Kennard, J., and Corrigan, J., voting for review]—May 15, 2013

The question presented is whether a county ordinance that requires retailers to charge customers 10 cents for each recyclable paper carryout bag used to carry goods away from a store imposes a tax that was not approved by county voters. The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Three, held in a published opinion, Schmeer v. County of Los Angeles (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1310, that the 10 cent charge is not a tax because it is payable to and retained by the retail store, not given to the county.

Depublished

None.

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