March 3, 2012

Supreme Court returns to Los Angeles for its April calendar after 4-month absence

Next month, for the first time since December, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Los Angeles. Regardless of the change in location, however, the recently announced April calendar continues a trend of emphasizing criminal cases. Only 2 of the 11 April cases are civil matters.

On April 4 and 5, the court will hear the following cases (with the issues presented as stated on the court’s website):

State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO v. City of Vista: Does California’s prevailing wage law (Lab. Code, section 1720 et seq.) apply to a charter city when it contracts to construct public works projects with municipal funds?

Sharp v. Superior Court: Does Penal Code section 1054.3, subdivision (b), as amended effective January 1, 2010, alter the existing provisions of law regarding court-ordered examinations of criminal defendants in sanity proceedings, specifically Penal Code sections 1026 and 1027?

Tomlinson v. County of Alameda: Does Public Resources Code section 21177 require a petitioner to exhaust administrative remedies before filing an action challenging a public agency’s decision that a proposed project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, section 21000 et seq.)?

In re M.M.: Is a campus security officer employed by a public school district a “public officer” for purposes of a charge of willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing a “public officer” in violation of Penal Code section 148?

People v. McDowell: [This is an automatic appeal from a January 2000 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Streeter: [This is an automatic appeal from an April 1999 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Brown: Does Penal Code section 4019, as amended to increase presentence custody credits for certain offenders, apply retroactively?

People v. Jones: Did the trial court properly impose concurrent sentences for being a felon in possession of a firearm (Pen. Code section 12021, subd. (a)(1)) and carrying a loaded, concealed firearm (Pen. Code section 12025, subd. (b)(6)) under the present circumstances? (See Pen. Code, section 654; People v. Harrison (1969) 1 Cal.App.3d 115, 121-122.)

People v. Correa: Was defendant properly sentenced on multiple counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm where he was discovered in a closet with a cache of weapons?

Smith v. Superior Court: (1) When a defendant has asserted his or her statutory right to a speedy trial within 60 days, but a jointly-charged codefendant has requested a trial beyond the 60-day period because of his or her counsel’s unavailability for good cause, may the 10-day grace period described in Penal Code section 1382, subdivision (a)(2)(B), be applied to the objecting defendant? (2) In such circumstances, does good cause exist under Penal Code section 1382, subdivision (a), or Penal Code section 1050.1 to continue the objecting defendant’s trial to maintain joinder?

People v. Mena: Did defendant forfeit his right to appeal the denial of his request for a physical identification lineup prior to the preliminary hearing (see Evans v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 617) because he failed to seek immediate review of the ruling by filing a petition for writ of mandate?

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