October 31, 2013

Summary of October 30, 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, October 30, 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

Coffey v. Shiomoto, S213545—Review Granted—October 30, 2013

The questions presented are: (1) whether a motorist’s expert’s testimony sufficiently rebutted the presumption under Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (b), that the motorists blood alcohol content (BAC) was at least 0.08 percent based on valid testing within three hours of driving; and (2) whether non-chemical test circumstantial evidence, such as field sobriety tests, constituted sufficient substantial evidence to sustain a finding that the motorist’s BAC was at least 0.08 percent, notwithstanding the motorist’s rebuttal of the presumption.

The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, held in a published decision, Coffey v. Shiomoto (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1288, that: (1) an expert’s testimony that the motorist’s BAC was rising as indicated by subsequent valid chemical tests was sufficient to rebut the three hour presumption of Vehicle Code section 213152, subdivision (b); and (2) non-chemical test circumstantial evidence, in the presence of a valid BAC chemical test, constituted substantial evidence sufficient to sustain a finding that the motorist’s BAC was at least 0.08 percent at the time of driving.

Orange Citizens for Parks and Recreation v. Superior Court (Milan Rei IV), S212800—Review Granted—October 30, 2013

The question presented is whether a city council’s approval of a development project was essentially undone because the project was allegedly inconsistent with the city’s general plan and an amendment to the general plan that would have allowed the project was voted down by referendum.

The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, held in a published opinion, Orange Citizens for Parks and Recreation v. Superior Court (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1005, that the proposed project was consistent with the city’s general plan, and therefore no amendment was required in order for the city council to approve the project.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

None.

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