At the Supreme Court’s Wednesday conference, actions of note included:

  • The court agreed to get involved — in a limited, but early way — in a challenge to a sitting San Bernardino County supervisor.  In Daly v. Board of Supervisors, the court limited the issue to:  “Did plaintiffs properly challenge real party in interest’s appointment as Third District Supervisor by a petition for writ of mandate under Government Code section 54960.1, subdivision (a), or was an action in quo warranto (Code Civ. Proc., § 803 et seq.) the exclusive procedure for such a challenge?”  According to the San Bernardino Sun, the superior court voided the Board of Supervisor’s appointment of Dawn Rowe because the Board violated the state’s open-meeting law.  Rowe is running for election (reelection?) to the Board in next month’s election.  The Supreme Court is stepping in at an early stage.  The Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal’s only ruling so far in the Board and Rowe’s appeal is last month’s summary denial of a supersedeas petition.  The Supreme Court has stayed the superior court’s ruling for the time being.
  • The court granted review — a second time — in People v. Bryant to revisit an issue that divided the justices in their decision last year in In re Ricardo P. limiting warrantless searches of a parolee’s electronic devices.  The court had previously remanded Bryant to the Second District, Division One, to reconsider the appeal in light of Ricardo P.  In the published opinion now being reviewed, the appellate court held to be invalid a condition of mandatory supervision that “required Bryant to submit to searches of text messages, emails, and photographs on any cellular phone or other electronic device in his possession or residence.”
  • The court also agreed to hear In re Mohammad, a parole eligibility case.  The published opinion of the Second District, Division Five, invalidated a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation regulation implementing Proposition 57.  The appellate court held that the 2016 initiative, unlike the challenged regulation, requires a parole hearing, although not necessarily parole, for a prisoner who was convicted of a nonviolent felony and has completed the terms of their primary offense, even if the prisoner was also convicted of a violent felony.  That court did, however, acknowledge the “the argument for reaching a different result has some intuitive appeal.”
  • The court denied review in People v. Pierre R., but depublished the 2-1 opinion of the Second District, Division Six.  The majority affirmed an order committing the defendant for treatment as a Mentally Disordered Offender.  The dissenting justice contended “[t]he record does not support the majority’s conclusion that appellant received [the statutorily required] 90 days of treatment for the disorder for which he was committed.”
  • There were four criminal case grant-and-holds:  one more on hold for O.G. v. Superior Court (see here); one for People v. McKenzie (see here), which was argued in December; yet another one for People v. Frahs (see here); and one for In re Gadlin (see here).