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

  • The court granted review in Orchard Estate Homes, Inc. v. The Orchard Homeowner Alliance, a case involving the attempted implementation of a rule that prohibited short-term rentals.  The case is apparently more about rule-adoption procedure than about short-term rentals.  In a published opinion, the Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal, affirmed an order reducing from a super-majority the number of homeowner association member votes needed to approve the rule.  The appellate court concluded that the statute authorizing a vote reduction didn’t require a showing of voter apathy.
  • The court also agreed to hear People v. Barton, where the Fifth District’s published opinion held a defendant could not benefit from legislation that eliminates certain sentence enhancements for prior drug-related convictions.  The new law was signed by Governor Jerry Brown soon after the defendant negotiated a plea for a stipulated sentence and waived her appellate rights.  The appellate court expressly disagreed with the opinion in another Court of Appeal case where the Attorney General did not seek Supreme Court review.  It looks like Barton raises an issue related to the one in the Kelly and Stamps cases in which the court granted review last week.
  • The court denied review in People v. Dekalb, but Justice Goodwin Liu recorded a vote to grant.  The First District, Division Three unpublished opinion in the case, among other things, found no error in admitting evidence obtained in the warrantless search of the defendant’s backpack while he was handcuffed because the evidence “would inevitably have been discovered during an inventory search following [the defendant’s] arrest on drug charges.”  The case also involved issues of instructional error and admission of other-crimes evidence.  Because Justice Liu didn’t file a separate statement explaining his vote, it’s not clear which issue(s) he believes merited review.
  • There were five criminal case grant-and-holds and the court dismissed review in a former grant-and-hold.