Supreme Court adds arbitration, Coastal Commission cases to its docket [Updated with grant-and-hold dispositions] [Updated with review-granted issues]

Yesterday’s Supreme Court conference dealt with an unusually large number of cases, even for the double conference that it was. Notable actions included:

There were three multi-justice dissents from denials of review. Two included separate explanatory statements:

  1. Three votes for review, and a dissenting statement, in juvenile coerced plea case
  2. Two votes for review, and a dissenting statement, in youth-offender LWOP no-parole case

A third case concerned domestic violence torts. (See below.)

Fee failure forfeit of arbitration. The court granted review in Hohenshelt v. Superior Court, an employment retaliation case that was headed to arbitration until the defendant employer delayed paying fees to the arbitration provider. The plaintiff employee unsuccessfully sought a trial court order allowing him to withdraw from arbitration and proceed in court, but the Second District, Division Eight, Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 published opinion, granted relief based on Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.98(a)(1), applicable to employment and consumer arbitrations, that provides if “the drafting party” is required to pay arbitration fees, but doesn’t do so “within 30 days after the due date, the drafting party is in material breach of the arbitration agreement, is in default of the arbitration, and waives its right to compel the employee or consumer to proceed with that arbitration as a result of the material breach.” The arbitration provider had extended the due date, but, quoting the Second District, Division Two, decision in Gallo v. Wood Ranch USA, Inc. (2022) 81 Cal.App.5th 621, Division Eight said, “ ‘There is no escape hatch for companies that may have an arbitrator’s favor. Nor is there a hatch for an arbitrator eager to keep hold of a matter.’ ” Division Eight also rejected, as had the Gallo court, the argument that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts section 1281.98. The preemption issue is what attracted the dissent’s attention. Writing that “California law over the last few decades . . . has not been a friend of arbitration,” the dissent said, “By again putting arbitration on the chopping block, this statute invites a seventh reprimand from the Supreme Court of the United States.” There was no petition for review in Gallo.

[June 14 update: Here’s the issue as summarized by court staff — “Does the Federal Arbitration Act (9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.) preempt state statutes prescribing the procedures for paying arbitration fees and providing for forfeiture of the right to arbitrate if timely payment is not made by the party who drafted the arbitration agreement and who is required to pay such fees?”]

Coastal Commission jurisdiction. The court also agreed to hear Shear Development Co. v. California Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission appealed to itself a county’s grant of a coastal development permit for construction of three single family homes, and it then denied the permit. An unpublished opinion by the Second District, Division Six, held the Commission’s limited appellate jurisdiction was properly invoked because the permit approved a development located in a Sensitive Coastal Resource Area. It also concluded that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in denying the development permit.

[June 14 update: Here’s the issue as summarized by court staff — “What standard of review applies to a decision by the California Coastal Commission asserting appellate jurisdiction under Public Resources Code section 30603, where such jurisdiction depends on the Coastal Commission’s disagreement with a local government’s interpretation of its local coastal program?”]

Sexual abuse evidence. The court granted review in S.M. v. Superior Court and remanded the case to the Second District, Division Five, which had summarily denied a writ petition. Division Five is directed to decide the petition on its merits. The case alleges sexual abuse of a 12-year-old at school, and the writ petition challenges a superior court ruling that would allow evidence at trial of other abuse subsequent to the subject abuse. The petition concerns Evidence Code sections 1106 and 783, and the Supreme Court’s decision in Doe v. Superior Court (2023) 15 Cal.5th 40 (see here), which concluded that a superior court ruling allowing subsequent-abuse evidence “left [the plaintiff] in danger of what [section 783] was designed to avoid — unjustified and uncircumscribed intrusion into her privacy in the immediate presence of the jury.” Here are the petition for review, the answer to the petition, and the reply to the answer.

Even more Riverside ICWA grant-and-holdsIn re C.B. and In re L.G. are two more grant-and-holds for In re Ja.O. (see here), which is expected to decide whether the duty of a child welfare agency to inquire of extended family members and others about a child’s potential Indian ancestry applies to children who are taken into custody under a protective custody warrant. The Ja.O. decision will resolve a multi-case split in the Fourth District, Division Two, on the issue. (See herehereherehere, and here.) The unpublished opinions in C.B. and L.G., both 2-1 decisions, held there is no such duty of inquiry when a child is taken into custody under a protective custody warrant.

Another COVID insurance grant-and-hold. Brooklyn Restaurants, Inc. v. Sentinel Insurance Co. is another grant-and-hold for John’s Grill, Inc. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., where the court is expected to address: (1) Is a grant of coverage for property loss or damage to covered property caused by a virus rendered illusory where it is limited by a condition that makes coverage applicable only if the virus is the result of one or more of a number of listed causes? (2) Is a conditional grant of coverage for property loss or damage to covered property caused by a virus, including the cost of removal of the virus, triggered by cleaning surfaces in the covered property that are contaminated by the virus in the absence of physical alteration of the property? John’s Grill was argued last month. (Video here.) In Brooklyn Restaurants, the Fourth District, Division One, in a belatedly published opinion, held that “a unique [policy] provision, specifically covering losses attributable to a virus” made this “one of those rare cases where . . . an insured has adequately alleged a direct physical loss or damage under the subject policy, at least raising the specter of coverage under that policy.” In another COVID insurance case, Another Planet Entertainment, LLC v. Vigilant Insurance Co., the court recently ruled for the insurance carrier. (See here.)

Domestic violence tort. The court denied review in M.A. v. B.F., but Justices Liu and Evans recorded dissenting votes. In a 2-1 published opinion, the Fourth District, Division Three, framed the issue: “whether a relationship characterized in modern parlance — and by the plaintiff in this case — as ‘friends with benefits’ constitutes a dating relationship under Family Code section 6210, so as to support a tort claim for domestic violence.” (Link added.) The issue arose in a lawsuit seeking damages for domestic violence and sexual battery. The majority found substantial evidence supported the superior court finding of no dating relationship, a finding that led to a defense judgment. The dissent claimed “[t]he majority’s opinion, in effect, raises the bar for domestic violence victims by narrowly construing the definition of a ‘dating relationship.’ ”

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were five criminal case grant-and-holds:  one more holding for decisions in two death penalty appeals — People v. Bankston and People v. Hin (see here), one more waiting for People v. Emanuel (see here), two more on hold for People v. Lopez (see here), and one more waiting for In re Hernandez (see here).

Grant-and-hold dispositions (see here). There were 31 grant-and-holds that the court dumped. This post will be updated with details later.

[Update: All 31 were holding for the March decision in People v. Hardin (2024) 15 Cal.5th 834 (see here). One was also holding for last December’s decision in People v. Rojas (2023) 15 Cal.5th 561 (see here). Of the 31, the court dismissed review in 29 and sent two back to the Courts of Appeal for reconsideration in light of the Hardin opinion. One of the review dismissals was specifically “without prejudice to any relief that may be available for claims of racial disparities in sentencing.”]

Supreme Court will hear two resentencing cases [Updated]

Here are some of the notable actions at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference, a double one:

Striking a strike. The court granted review in People v. Dain, and it limited the issue to: “Did the Court of Appeal err in remanding the case with directions to reinstate the strike finding and to resentence defendant as a person who has suffered a prior strike conviction under the Three Strikes Law? (See People v. Williams (1998) 17 Cal.4th 148, 164, fn. 7; see also People v. McGlothin (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 468, 478; People v. Humphrey (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 809, 814; but see People v. Mayfield (2020) 50 Cal.App.5th 1096, 1109; People v. Strong (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 328, 347.)” In a published opinion, the First District, Division Two, Court of Appeal held the superior court’s ruling that struck the strike was an abuse of discretion and had erroneously taken into account Penal Code section 1385(c), which specifies various “mitigating circumstances” a court is to consider when deciding whether to “dismiss an enhancement.” Section 1385 was inapplicable, Division Two said, because “ ‘the Three Strikes law is not an enhancement.’ ” The appellate court also found inapplicable the Legislature’s intent statement in newly enacted Assembly Bill 600 that, in resentencing proceedings under section 1172.1, which the bill amended, “courts have full discretion . . . to reconsider past decisions to impose prior strikes” and that “[c]ourts should consider Section 1385.” Division Two brushed off the statement as “an uncodified declaration in a subsequent law amending a different statute” (cf. People v. Montgomery below) and said that, in any event, neither the addition of section 1385(c) nor AB 600 could amend the Three Strikes Law because they were not passed by the requisite two-thirds legislative vote.

Plea bargain withdrawal. The court decided to also hear People v. Montgomery. The First District, Division Three, published opinion accepted the Attorney General’s concession that, when the superior court struck an enhancement — imposed under a plea bargain — under 2021’s Senate Bill 483, the court wrongly failed to hold a full resentencing hearing. It also ruled against the Attorney General, concluding the prosecution wouldn’t be able to withdraw from the plea bargain because of any sentence reductions at the resentencing hearing. Unlike Division Two in Dain (see above), Division Three did find compelling an uncodified declaration of legislative intent, this one in SB 483. Agreeing with the Fourth District, Division One, decision in People v. Carter (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 960, but disagreeing with the First District, Division One, decision in People v. Coddington (2023) 96 Cal.App.5th 562, Division Three said, “the Legislature intended to prohibit the prosecutor from withdrawing from a plea bargain for any reduction to a sentence, even if the reduction resulted from a code provision other than those enacted by Sen. Bill 483.” There was no petition for review in Carter. The court denied a depublication request in Coddington, but Justice Kelli Evans voted to grant review on the court’s own motion. (See here.)

[June 6 update: Here’s the issue as summarized by court staff — “Is the prosecution entitled to rescind a plea agreement when a defendant receives a full resentencing pursuant to Senate Bill No. 483 (Stats. 2021, ch. 728) and the trial court intends to reduce the sentence beyond eliminating the prior prison term enhancements (Pen. Code, § 667.5, subd. (b))?”]

Double jeopardy vote to grant. The court denied review in People v. Superior Court (Woodward) over Justice Evans’s recorded dissenting vote. The Sixth District’s published opinion vacated the dismissal of a refiled murder case. There had been two prior hung juries and, after the second one, the trial court dismissed the case “in the furtherance of justice for insufficiency of the evidence.” The appellate court held that, under the Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Hatch (2000) 22 Cal.4th 260, double jeopardy principles didn’t bar the refiling. Hatch stated, “[w]here a court merely ‘disagrees with a jury’s resolution of conflicting evidence and concludes that a guilty verdict is against the weight of the evidence,’ [ ] a reversal or dismissal on that ground does not bar retrial.” Quoting Hatch, the Sixth District relied on the “default presumption”: “unless the record clearly indicates the court applied the substantial evidence standard in deciding the evidence was legally insufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, ‘we will assume the court did not intend to dismiss for legal insufficiency and foreclose reprosecution.’ ” A concurring justice agreed that a reversal was compelled by Hatch, but otherwise would have concluded the “dismissal here [after the second mistrial] is an acquittal that bars retrial” under later U.S. Supreme Court decisions that “ ‘erode the analytical foundations’ of Hatch,” and the justice “respectfully urge[d] the California Supreme Court to reexamine the continuing vitality of Hatch’s narrow definition of an acquittal under federal double jeopardy principles.” The urging went unheeded, except for Justice Evans.

Another vehicle sales arbitration grant-and-holdDavis v. Nissan North America is another grant-and-hold for the Ford Motor Warranty Cases (see here), where the court limited the issue to: “Do manufacturers’ express or implied warranties that accompany a vehicle at the time of sale [by a dealer] constitute obligations arising from the sale contract [between the dealer and a buyer], permitting manufacturers to enforce an arbitration agreement in the contract pursuant to equitable estoppel?” In Davis, the Fourth District, Division One, in a 2-1 published opinion, answered “no.” (See also here.)

Another ICWA grant-and-hold. In re Ryder S. is another grant-and-hold for In re Dezi C. (see here), where the court agreed to decide what constitutes reversible error when a child welfare agency fails to make the required inquiry under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and state statutory law concerning a child’s potential Indian ancestry. Dezi C. will be argued next week. The unpublished Second District, Division Four, opinion in Ryder S. applied the test in the Dezi C. Court of Appeal opinion in finding harmless failures in initial inquiry duties.

COVID speedy trial claim.  The court denied review in People v. Osborne, where a Fourth District, Division Two, unpublished opinion affirmed the dismissal of a burglary case because of a violation of the defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Division Two rejected the prosecution claim that the COVID pandemic was an exceptional circumstance creating good cause for the delay in bringing the case to trial. It said, “While the pandemic was an ongoing circumstance in October 2022 [when the defendant moved to dismiss the charges filed in June 2019], to describe anything that has been going on for two and one-half years as ‘exceptional’ would undermine the word ‘exceptional.’ In other words, anything lasting for two and one-half years tends to become more ordinary than exceptional.” Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero and Justice Carol Corrigan were recused, probably because they are, respectively, the chair and a member of the Judicial Council, which issued jury-trial-suspension orders during the pandemic. In Raju v. Superior Court, the court will decide whether taxpayers have standing to sue a superior court for improper pandemic-related delays in bringing criminal cases to trial. (See here.)

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were eight criminal case grant-and-holds:  one more holding for decisions in two death penalty appeals — People v. Bankston and People v. Hin (see here); two more waiting for People v. McCune (see here), which was argued last week; another one on hold for People v. Lopez (see here); two more waiting for In re Hernandez (see here); one more holding for People v. Rhodius (see here); and one more on hold for People v. Superior Court (Guevara) (see here).

Grant-and-hold dispositions (see here). The court rid its docket of two cases that had been waiting for the February gang-enhancement opinion in People v. Clark (2024) 15 Cal.5th 743 (see here). One was transferred to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of Clark and People v. Cooper (2023) 14 Cal.5th 735 (see here). The other was transferred for reconsideration in light of only Clark.

Court adds release-of-liability case and Bar disciplinary matter to its docket [Updated]

Here are some of the notable actions at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference, a double one:

Release of liability. The court agreed to hear Whitehead v. City of Oakland. The First District, Division Three, Court of Appeal’s belatedly published opinion affirmed summary judgment against a plaintiff who, before being injured in a bicycle-v.-Oakland-pothole accident during a training ride for a fundraiser, had signed an agreement releasing from liability the “owners/lessors of the course or facilities used in the Event.” Division Three rejected the argument that the release was invalid because it affected a public interest, i.e., the defendant City’s maintenance of safe public roads. Instead, the appellate court concluded the deciding factor was that “the cycling event was a nonessential sports activity that did not affect the public interest.”

[May 17 update: Here’s the issue as summarized by court staff — “Does a liability release agreement between a bicyclist and the organizer of a recreational bicycle ride extend to the alleged negligent maintenance of a public road by a municipality named in the agreement but not a party to it?”]

Suspension or disbarment? The court granted the petition for review by the State Bar’s Chief Trial Counsel in In re Bradshaw. The Chief Trial Counsel contends the State Bar Court’s Review Department went too easy on a lawyer in recommending only a six-month suspension, instead of disbarment, for what the Review Department’s 2-1 unpublished opinion called “professional misconduct for three grossly negligent misrepresentations.” The dissenting judge, concluding that the misrepresentations were intentional and that the attorney “schemed to defraud,” preferred the disbarment recommendation of the Bar Court’s hearing judge. The attorney had been removed as trustee for an elderly client due to the attorney’s undisclosed conflicts of interest. The Supreme Court had granted review once before, four years ago, at that time ordering the Review Department to reconsider its first decision dismissing the charges against the attorney. Here are the petition for review, answer, and reply. This might be the first straight review grant in a Bar discipline matter since the court rejected a Review Department suspension/probation recommendation and ordered disbarment of an attorney who had pleaded guilty to possession or control of child pornography. (In re Grant (2014) 58 Cal.4th 469.)

[May 17 update: Here’s the issue as summarized by court staff — “What is the appropriate discipline in light of the record in this case?”]

Surreptitious police questioning. The court denied review and a depublication request in People v. Felix, but Justices Goodwin Liu and Kelli Evans recorded votes to hear the case. A 2-1 published opinion by the Second District, Division Eight, affirmed a conviction for two counts of first degree murder. There were multiple issues and Justices Liu and Evans did not say why they wanted to grant review, but it was probably because of the Division Eight majority’s holding that there was no problem with an undercover police officer obtaining incriminating statements after the defendant had invoked his Miranda rights. The Division Eight dissenting justice wrote that use of the undercover officer deprived the defendant of “an opportunity to knowingly and intelligently waive his previously asserted right to have counsel present during questioning.” Justice Liu has long sought to have the Supreme Court decide this issue. (See hereherehere, and here.) He now apparently has an ally in Justice Evans.

Murder resentencing depublication. The court denied review in People v. Hollywood, but it depublished the Second District, Division Six, opinion, which upheld the denial of a resentencing petition by a defendant who is serving a life without parole sentence for first degree murder and kidnapping. The opinion states at the outset, “Leniency for a person who orders his cohorts to murder a 15-year-old child with a machine gun? The child is dead and our answer is, no.” The Supreme Court had reversed a pre-trial Division Six decision that ordered the recusal of a prosecutor who consulted on a movie about the defendant’s story. (Hollywood v. Superior Court (2008) 43 Cal.4th 721.) Division Six held that, although the Supreme Court “has told us that the trial court should not weigh the evidence at a stage one [resentencing] hearing [citation], [t]here must, of necessity, be an exception where the trial judge ruling on resentencing, heard the evidence at a death penalty trial and where the Supreme Court recites these facts in the same case.” A concurring justice agreed with the affirmance, but wrote separately “because I do not agree that factfinding is appropriate at the prima facie stage in this case.”

Transfer from juvenile to criminal court. Over Justice Liu’s recorded dissent, the court denied review in In re Miguel R. In a published opinion, the Fourth District, Division Two, affirmed an order transferring the defendant to criminal court to be tried for a murder he allegedly committed when he was 17. Analyzing recent legislation concerning such transfers, Division Two concluded, “(1) the statute does not require that any one factor be given greater weight than others in determining whether the minor is amenable to rehabilitation while under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and (2) although the current version of [Welfare and Institutions Code] section 707 expressly requires consideration of the minor’s history of involvement in the child welfare or foster care system, human trafficking, sexual abuse, or sexual battery, and prior versions of the statute did not contain that express requirement, evidence of any such history was nonetheless relevant under prior versions of the statute.” (Link added.)

Racial Justice Act. The court issued an order to show cause on the In re Nelson habeas corpus petition. Cause is to be shown in the superior court “why petitioner is not entitled to the production of discovery for purposes of presenting a motion under the Racial Justice Act. (See Pen. Code, § 745, subd. (d).)”

Dissent from denial of pro per habeas petition. After requesting a response to a pro per’s habeas corpus petition in In re Sandstrom, the court denied the petition, but Justice Joshua Groban recorded a vote to issue an order to show cause. Defendant’s conviction of sexually abusing a six-year-old was affirmed by the Fourth District, Division Two, in an unpublished opinion. In his habeas petition, the defendant claimed ineffective assistance of counsel in, among other things, misinforming him about facts relevant to a proffered plea deal and forcing him to not testify in his own defense. The defendant alleged that one of his attorneys was suspended by the State Bar for incompetence and misconduct during the defendant’s trial. Here are the petition, the response, and the reply to the response.

Forum selection grant-and-holds. Lockton Companies LLC — Pacific Series v. Superior Court (Barnes), Lockton Companies LLC — Pacific Series v. Superior Court (Racunas), and Lockton Companies LLC — Pacific Series v. Superior Court (Roderick) are all grant-and-holds for EpicentRx, Inc. v. Superior Court (see here), which is expected to decide whether a forum selection clause is enforceable when a party’s right under California state law to a jury trial for their civil claims would not apply in the exclusive forum identified by the clause. Writ petitions were summarily denied in Barnes (by the Second District, Division Two), Racunas (by the Second District, Division Eight), and Roderick (by the Second District, Division Four). By our count, there are now six Lockton Companies grant-and-holds. (See here.) Another pending review-granted case about forum selection clauses is Zhang v. Superior Court (see here).

Section 998 grant-and-hold. Ayers v. FCA US is a grant-and-hold for Madrigal v. Hyundai Motor America (see here), where the court limited the issue to: “Do Code of Civil Procedure section 998’s cost-shifting provisions apply if the parties ultimately negotiate a pre-trial settlement?” Agreeing with the 2-1 Third District’s Madrigal opinion now under review, the Second District, Division Eight, 2-1 published opinion in Ayers answered “yes.” Horvitz & Levy is appellate counsel for the defendant.

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were three criminal case grant-and-holds:  one more holding for decisions in two death penalty appeals — People v. Bankston and People v. Hin (see here), one more waiting for People v. Mitchell (see here), and one more on hold for People v. Walker (see here).

Grant-and-hold disposition (see here). The court disposed of 21 cases that had been holding for the February sentencing/notice decision in In re Vaquera (2024) 15 Cal.5th 706 (see here). Review was dismissed in four cases and the other 17 were sent back to the Courts of Appeal for reconsideration in light of the decision.

Supreme Court will hear HIV/AIDS drug case [Updated]

Here are some of the notable actions at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference:

Racial Justice Act separate statement. See here.

HIV/AIDS drug. The court granted review in Gilead Tenofovir Cases. Justice Martin Jenkins was recused. The First District, Division Four, Court of Appeal published opinion allowed a negligence case to proceed against the manufacturer of a drug to treat HIV/AIDS. The plaintiffs are claiming not that the drug they used — and suffered adverse side effects from — was defective, but that, to maximize profits from the drug, the manufacturer deferred development of another HIV/AIDS-treatment drug, a drug with a potentially lower risk of adverse effects. Division Four held “the legal duty of a manufacturer to exercise reasonable care can, in appropriate circumstances, extend beyond the duty not to market a defective product.”

[May 3 update: Here’s the issue as summarized by court staff — “Does a drug manufacturer have a duty of reasonable care to users of a drug it is currently selling, which is not alleged to be defective, when making decisions about the commercialization of an allegedly safer, and at least equally effective, alternative drug?”]

PAGA grant-and-hold. Morales v. Garfield Beach CVS, LLC is another grant-and-hold for Turrieta v. Lyft, Inc. (see here), where the court limited the issue to: “Does a plaintiff in a representative action filed under the Private Attorneys General Act (Lab. Code, § 2698, et seq.) (PAGA) have the right to intervene, or object to, or move to vacate, a judgment in a related action that purports to settle the claims that plaintiff has brought on behalf of the State?” Turrieta will be argued next week. (Horvitz & Levy is Lyft’s appellate counsel in Turrieta.) The Second District, Division Five, unpublished opinion in Morales — an employment wage case — affirmed the denial of an intervention motion, the approval of a settlement, and the denial of a motion to vacate the judgment.

Criminal case grant-and-hold. There was just one criminal case grant-and-hold this week. That case is another one waiting for a decision in People v. Patton (see here).

Grant-and-hold disposition (see here). The court dismissed review in Figueroa v. FCA US LLC (see here), which was holding for the March opinion in Niedermeier v. FCA US LLC (2024) 15 Cal.5th 792 (see here). Horvitz & Levy was counsel for the defendant in Figueroa.

Supreme Court says “no” to anti-tax appeal, requires Court of Appeal to take another look at dog attack case

There were no straight grants at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference, but here are some actions of note:

Tax vote requirement. With oral argument two weeks away in a case that will determine whether November’s ballot will include an anti-tax initiative claiming that prior similar measures “have been weakened and hamstrung” by, among others, the Supreme Court (see here and here), the court denied review in County of Alameda v. Alameda County Taxpayers’ Association. The First District, Division Five, Court of Appeal’s partially published opinion in the case rejected a challenge to a citizen’s tax initiative to fund early childhood education and pediatric health care. One unsuccessful argument was that, because the initiative didn’t quite receive a two-thirds approval vote, the initiative failed under part of Proposition 13 and part of Proposition 218. After its decision in California Cannabis Coalition v. City of Upland (2017) 3 Cal.5th 924 (see here), the court has regularly declined to hear tax-voting cases. (See hereherehere, and here.)

Dog attack grant-and-transfer. The court granted review in Long v. City of Exeter and transferred the case to the Second District, Division Six, for reconsideration. The appellate court’s unpublished opinion reversed a multi-million dollar award against a city and city employees for a former police dog’s attack that killed one person and severely injured another. The city had sold the dog to the dog’s officer-handler when that officer left the police force. Division Six held the defendants owed the victims no duty to warn the former officer about how to care for the dog, concluding the defendants had no special relationship with the victims or the former officer. It also concluded, “[e]ven if appellants had a special relationship with [the former officer], the Rowland factors do not support recognition of a duty to warn under these circumstances.” The Supreme Court’s remand order appears to focus only on Division Six’s no-special-relationship holding. The order states Division Six is to “reconsider the cause in light of Kuciemba v. Victory Woodworks, Inc. (2023) 14 Cal.5th 993, 1015 [‘The assertion that a special relationship is required misapprehends our case law’].” Regarding Kuciemba, see here.

Dependency depublication. The court denied review in In re L.B., but it depublished the Fifth District’s belatedly published opinion. The juvenile court had removed five children from their parents’ custody and ordered reunification services for the parents. Based on Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.5(b)(13), the Fifth District found error in the juvenile court’s ruling that it had to order reunification services. The statute states the otherwise-required services need not be provided if there’s a finding by clear and convincing evidence that a parent “has a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol and has resisted prior court-ordered treatment for this problem during a three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition that brought that child to the court’s attention.” The appellate court held, “A parent’s engagement in treatment at the time of the disposition hearing does not prevent a juvenile court from denying reunification services pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(13). The bypass provision only requires proof of the parent’s resistance during the three-year period prior to the filing of the petition.”

Forum selection grant-and-holds. Lockton Companies LLC — Pacific Series v. Superior Court (Canales) and Lockton Investment Advisors v. Superior Court (Kaufman) are grant-and-holds for EpicentRx, Inc. v. Superior Court (see here), which is expected to decide whether a forum selection clause is enforceable when a party’s right under California state law to a jury trial for their civil claims would not apply in the exclusive forum identified by the clause. Writ petitions were summarily denied in both Canales (denied as untimely by the Second District, Division Five) and Kaufman (by the Second District, Division Two). The Supreme Court previously granted-and-held in Lockton Companies v. Superior Court (Giblin), also after a Division Two writ petition summary denial (see here). Another pending review-granted case about forum selection clauses is Zhang v. Superior Court (see here).

Civil commitment grant-and-transfer. The court granted review in Cole v. Superior Court and sent the case back to the First District, Division Three, with instructions to vacate its order summarily denying mandate or habeas corpus and to hear the petition in the case on its merits. In its denial order, Division Three cited People v. Nolasco (2021) 67 Cal.App.5th 209, where the Second District, Division Two, rejected an equal protection challenge to the scheme for ending the civil commitment of a person who has been declared incompetent to stand trial for certain felonies and who continues to pose a danger to others because of the person’s “developmental disability.” The Supreme Court denied review (with Justice Goodwin Liu dissenting) and a depublication request in Nolasco. (See here.)

Sexual offense sentencing grant-and-transfer. The court granted a pro per’s petition for review in In re Cross and returned the matter to the Fourth District, Division Three, which had summarily denied the habeas corpus petition in the case. The appellate court is to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to relief on the ground that his conviction’s abstract of judgment erroneously fails to “reflect the jury’s findings under Penal Code section 667.61, subdivisions (d)(4) and (e)(2), nor does it reflect petitioner was sentenced pursuant to subdivision (a) of that section.” (Link added.) The statute provides a 25-years-to-life sentence for various sexual offenses during the commission of certain burglaries.

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were three criminal case grant-and-holds:  one more on hold for a decision in People v. Arellano (see here), which will be argued next month; another one waiting for People v. Patton (see here); and one holding for People v. Superior Court (Guevara) (see here).

Grant-and-hold dispositions (see here). The court dumped 20 cases that had been grant-and-holds. Balistreri v. Balistreri (see here) was remanded for reconsideration in light of February’s trust-modification opinion in Haggerty v. Thornton (2024) 15 Cal.5th 729 (see here); Haggerty disapproved Balistreri. Of 17 cases that were waiting for November’s murder-resentencing decision in People v. Curiel (2023) 15 Cal.5th 433 (see here), the court dismissed review in 4 and remanded for reconsideration in 13. One case, in which the petition for review was filed in September 2020, was remanded for reconsideration in light of both Curiel and People v. Lewis (2021) 11 Cal.5th 952 (see here and here). And the court dismissed review at the defendant’s request in a case that had been waiting for a decision in the probation-time case of People v. Faial (see here).

Supreme Court will hear another pension case [Updated]

Some notable Supreme Court actions taken at yesterday’s conference include:

Pensions again. The court will hear another case about the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013, this time apparently concerning PEPRA’s interpretation rather than its constitutionality. (See here.)

Canal immunity dissenting vote. The court denied review of the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s belatedly published opinion in Perez v. Oakdale Irrigation District, but Justice Leondra Kruger recorded a vote to grant. The Fifth District affirmed summary judgment for an irrigation district in an action for the death of a father and daughter who drowned when their overturned car landed in a drain. The appellate court held the action was barred by Government Code section 831.8(b), which provides irrigation districts are generally immune from liability “for an injury caused by the condition of canals, conduits, or drains used for the distribution of water if at the time of the injury the person injured was using the property for any purpose other than that for which the district or state intended it to be used.” It concluded that, even though the phrase “using the property” could reasonably be construed as “limit[ing] immunity to circumstances where the injured party volitionally interacted with the property,” the Legislature enacting the statute more likely was “evinc[ing] a concern with how foreseeable the injury was to the government, rather than how much responsibility the injured person assumed.” Horvitz & Levy was appellate counsel for the defendant District.

Racial Justice Act procedure. The court denied review in People v. Lashon, handing a renewed defeat to a defendant who has been claiming her murder convictions were tainted by the trial judge’s implicit bias in violation of the California Racial Justice Act (here and here). The First District, Division Three, published opinion came after the Supreme Court had granted review of an earlier opinion and sent the case back for reconsideration in light of new legislation, Assembly Bill 1118. (See here.) Pre-AB 1118, Division Three held the bias claim was forfeited by not filing a motion in the trial court before judgment. AB 1118 amended Penal Code section 745(b) to provide, “For claims based on the trial record, a defendant may raise a claim alleging a violation of [the CRJA] on direct appeal from the conviction or sentence” and “may also move to stay the appeal and request remand to the superior court to file a motion pursuant to this section.” Division Three stuck to its forfeiture decision, stating, “By the AB 1118 amendment, the Legislature did not include any language indicating a section 745 claim could be presented on direct appeal for the first time.” It also declined to remand the case, saying that “it appears the Legislature intended the stay and remand procedure to be available in cases that need further factual development” and that the defendant “both had the opportunity to raise a CRJA violation and develop the record in the trial court and fails to identify what factual development (if any) is now needed in the trial court.” The appellate court noted the defendant has also raised her CRJA claim in a pending Supreme Court habeas corpus petition. (See here.) The Supreme Court denied review in another CRJA case last month. (See here.)

Grant-and-hold disposal. The court dismissed review in Winick v. Noble LA Events, Inc., which had been a grant-and-hold (see here) for TriCoast Builders, Inc. v. Fonnegra (2024) 15 Cal.5th 766 (see here).

Criminal case grant-and-transfer. The court granted the prosecution’s petition for review (and denied the defendant’s) in People v. Browder and transferred the case back to the Second District, Division Eight, for reconsideration in light of People v. Clark (2024) 15 Cal.5th 743 (see here).

Criminal case grant-and-holds. Uncommonly there were none this week.

[April 24 update: Supreme Court won’t review State Bar Court opinion broadening availability of alternative discipline program for impaired attorneys.]

Solar energy, civil sexual assault cases to be decided [Updated x 2]

Here are some of the notable actions at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference, a double one:

Three-justice separate statement in denial of habeas petition filed by youth offender serving an LWOP sentence because she tried to protect her boyfriend

Supreme Court won’t hear Ninth-Circuit-referred sexual assault case against Uber

Solar energy rates. The court will hear the big-deal case of Center for Biological Diversity v. Public Utilities Commission. It concerns what the First District, Division Three, Court of Appeal described in its published opinion as a change to California’s decades-long “net energy metering . . . tariff to encourage public utility customers to install renewable energy systems,” a tariff that, “[i]n practical effect . . . requires utilities to purchase excess electricity exported by renewable systems to the electrical grid at the price paid by a utility’s customers for electricity.” Responding to utility complaints that the tariff “overcompensates owners of renewable systems for their exported energy and thereby raises the cost of electricity for customers without such systems” and to Public and Utilities Code section 2827.1, the PUC “significantly reduce[d] the price utilities pay for customer-generated power.” (See Sammy Roth’s December column in the Los Angeles Times for a more detailed look at what’s involved.) Environmental groups filed the writ petition now under review to challenge the PUC’s action, claiming it violates the statute because “it does not take account of the social benefits of customer-generated power, improperly favors the interests of utility customers who do not own renewable systems, fails to promote sustainable growth of renewable energy, and omits alternatives to promote the growth of renewable systems among customers in disadvantaged communities.” Division Three rejected the challenge, applying a standard of review strongly deferential to PUC decisions and concluding “the successor tariff adequately serves the various — albeit sometimes inconsistent — objectives of section 2827.1.”

[April 12 update. The issues as summarized by court staff are: “(1) What standard of review applies to judicial review of a Public Utilities Commission decision interpreting provisions of the Public Utilities Code? (2) Did the Public Utilities Commission proceed in the manner required by law, specifically Public Utilities Code section 2827.1, subdivision (b)(1) and (3), when it adopted the successor tariff in Decision Revising Net Energy Metering Tariff and Subtariffs (2022) Cal.P.U.C. Dec. No. D.22-12-056?”]

Lawsuit dismissal and res judicata. The court also granted review in Doe v. Marysville Joint Unified School District, where the Third District’s 2-1 published opinion affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming sexual misconduct by an elementary school counselor. The appellate court held the voluntary dismissal of an earlier federal court action — after the voluntary dismissal of an even earlier state court action — was res judicata. Disagreeing with the Sixth District’s decision in Gray v. La Salle Bank (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 932, the majority reasoned, “Because a second voluntary dismissal in federal court is claim preclusive in a federal question case, the plaintiff cannot strip out the federal claims and file the action in state court solely as a California law action.” The dissent said, “The problem with importing res judicata principles here is it applies Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, rule 41 too broadly, ‘clos[ing]the courthouse doors to an otherwise proper litigant.’ ” The Supreme Court denied review in Gray four months ago.

[April 12 update. The issues as summarized by court staff are: “(1) Did the plaintiffs’ second voluntary dismissal of their federal court action preclude a subsequent state court action based on the same claims? (2) Did the defendant’s assertion of sovereign immunity over plaintiffs’ state law claims in federal court divest that court of subject matter jurisdiction over those claims?”]

[April 13 update. I should have noted that Horvitz & Levy is Supreme Court counsel for the school district in the Doe case.]

State Bar Court didn’t take the hint. Put this one in the Supreme Court’s “Aw, c’mon man” file. The court in Everett on Discipline ordered the State Bar Court’s Review Department to file as timely an attorney’s petition for review and other documents. That’s not a big deal in itself, but consider what came before — the order was responding to a second Review Department ruling that the documents were untimely, and there was a second ruling only because, after the first ruling, the Supreme Court had remanded the matter with a statement that “the filings . . . appear on their face to have been timely filed.”

Respondeat superior depublication. The court granted a request to depublish the Fourth District, Division Three, opinion in Adams v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. There was no petition for review. Division Three reversed a summary judgment for the defendant Department in a case arising from a prison guard’s reckless pursuit of a vehicle on his way to work that caused severe injuries. The appellate court found there were triable issues of fact whether the guard was acting within the scope of his employment. It said there was evidence to support two competing theories — that the guard “was engaged in law enforcement functions as an ‘outgrowth’ of his employment” or that “he engaged for purely personal reasons in a ‘road rage incident.’ ” Depublication orders have been relatively rare of late.

Murder resentencing dissenting votes. The court denied review in People v. Collins and People v. Walker over the recorded dissenting votes of Justices Goodwin Liu and Kelli Evans. Unpublished opinions in both Collins and Walker, issued by the same panel in the Fourth District, Division Two, affirmed the denials of resentencing petitions under Senate Bill 1437, 2018 legislation that limited criminal liability for felony murder and eliminated it for murder under the natural-and-probable-consequences doctrine. The defendants in both cases were convicted of the same robbery and murder. In Walker, Division Two found “substantial evidence supports the trial court’s findings that Walker was a major participant in the robbery who acted with reckless indifference for the life of the victim” and that “it would have made no difference” if the trial court had been required to consider Walker’s age at the time of the offense (he was 20). The appellate court came to the same conclusions in Collins, where the defendant was 22 years old when the victim was killed. SB 1437 is a regular staple of the Supreme Court’s docket. (See, e.g., here and here.)

Discovery sanctions grant-and-hold. Agnone v. Agnone is a grant-and-hold for City of Los Angeles v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, in which the court in January 2023 agreed to decide whether a court’s authority to impose monetary sanctions for misuse of the discovery process is limited to circumstances expressly delineated in a method-specific provision of the Civil Discovery Act, or whether courts have independent authority to impose monetary sanctions for such discovery misconduct, including under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2023.010 and 2023.030. The Pricewaterhouse case involves a $2,500,000 sanction. In Agnone, the Second District, Division Three, unpublished opinion reversed a sanction of under $10,000 against a non-party witness in a divorce case, a sanction that was imposed after the case settled and the sanctions motion was withdrawn.

COVID insurance. The court declined to hear San Jose Sharks v. Superior Court. The Sixth District’s published opinion held that the National Hockey League and many of its teams could not claim coverage under commercial insurance policies for losses incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sixth District relied on a contamination exclusion in the policies. A year ago, the hockey plaintiffs had unsuccessfully petitioned to transfer the writ proceeding to the Supreme Court before a Court of Appeal decision. (See here and here.) The Supreme Court has agreed to decide two COVID insurance cases — Another Planet Entertainment v. Vigilant Insurance Co. (see here), which was argued last month (video here) and John’s Grill, Inc. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. — and has granted-and-held others. (See hereherehereherehere, and here.) But it has also denied review and/or depublication in cases, like San Jose Sharks, that rejected COVID insurance claims. (See here.)

Disclosure of drone videos. The court denied review in Castañares v. Superior Court after a Fourth District, Division One, published opinion held a month’s worth of a police department’s videos taken by a drone were not categorically exempt from disclosure under California’s Public Records Act. Video “that is part of an investigatory file” is exempt, the appellate court held, as is video “where officers used a drone to investigate whether a violation of law was occurring or had occurred but did not create a corresponding investigatory file.” What might be disclosable, Division One said, are videos from when “a drone [is] dispatched in response to a call to service from the public wherein the use of the drone could not be considered investigatory in nature,” such as “potentially dangerous wildlife roaming the neighborhood, a
stranded motorist, a water leak.” But it left to the trial court to sort out any disagreements about into which category any particular video falls and about, even as to the last category, whether the right to obtain videos might be outweighed by the burden of redacting the videos and by privacy rights implicated in disclosure. Regarding privacy considerations, the appellate court noted, “As the drones travel en route to the various scenes, it logically follows that they would, from time to time, travel over and film private backyards, perhaps capturing pool parties, barbeques, sunbathing, or other activities that are intended to be private.” There were several amicus curiae briefs filed in Division One, which is not nearly as common in the Court of Appeal as in the Supreme Court.

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were five criminal case grant-and-holds: one more waiting for a decision in People v. Reynoza (see here), which was argued in February; one more on hold for People v. Lynch (see here); another one waiting for People v. Patton (see here); one more holding for People v. Fletcher (see here); and one on hold for People v. Antonelli (see here).

No straight grants at yesterday’s conference [Updated]

At the Supreme Court’s conference yesterday, there were no straight grants, but there were some actions of note, including:

Racial Justice Act. Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero has cited the California Racial Justice Act (here and here) as one of the “important landmark new laws” that is “impacting [the court’s] workflow.” (See here.) The court yesterday denied review and a depublication request in one case involving that legislation, Mosby v. Superior Court, which attracted significant amicus curiae interest. Apparently neither side was happy with the Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal’s opinion; it was the defendant who petitioned for review, but the prosecution that asked for depublication. The defendant claimed in his writ petition that the prosecution violated the RJA by seeking the death penalty against him. Division Two concluded that establishing a prima facie case of a violation required the defendant “to present not only statistical evidence of racial disparity in the charging of the death penalty by the District Attorney but also evidence of nonminority defendants who were engaged in similar conduct and were similarly situated but charged with lesser offenses.” However, it held the defendant had made an adequate showing under that standard and overturned the superior court’s contrary ruling. A concurring justice asserted that “statistical evidence can be sufficient on its own to make a prima facie case.”

Arbitration unconscionability. The court also declined to hear Haydon v. Elegance at Dublin, where the First District, Division Three published opinion affirmed the denial of a petition to compel arbitration of an elder abuse case that alleged sexual assault by a caregiver of a woman with dementia at a residential care facility. The superior court had found the arbitration agreement was procedurally and substantively unconscionable. The denial of review came the day before the Supreme Court’s opinion in Harrod v. Country Oaks Partners to decide whether an agent operating under an advance health care directive and power of attorney for health care decisions has the authority to enter into an arbitration agreement with a nursing facility on behalf of the principal. [Update: see here about the Harrod decision.] (Related: The California Supreme Court and arbitration.)

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were two criminal case grant-and-holds, both additional cases waiting for a decision in People v. Patton (see here).

Grant-and-hold disposals.  The court got rid of nine cases that had been on hold pending the December decision in People v. Rojas (2023) 15 Cal.5th 561 (see here). Review was dismissed in seven and the other two were returned to the Fifth District for reconsideration in light of the Rojas opinion.

Supreme Court will decide if an ambulance traffic accident is covered by MICRA [Updated]

Notable actions at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference included:

Disbarred felon, who was pardoned by Trump, is reinstated to practice law

Ambulances and MICRA. The court agreed to hear Gutierrez v. Tostado to review a 2-1 published Sixth District Court of Appeal opinion that found untimely a lawsuit by a driver injured when his car was rear-ended by an ambulance transporting a patient. The action was filed before expiration of the general two-year personal injury statute of limitations (Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1), but beyond the one-year period in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act that applies to “an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence” (section 340.5). The majority held that the shorter MICRA limit applied because the ambulance driver “was a medical provider rendering professional services at the time the alleged negligence occurred.” The dissent claimed the majority’s “interpretation extends MICRA’s statute of limitations unpredictably and unfairly.”

[March 23 update: The Gutierrez issue, as summarized by court staff, is: “Does the one-year statute of limitations in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA; Code Civ. Proc., § 340.5) apply to a personal injury claim alleging that the plaintiff’s vehicle was struck by a negligently driven ambulance?”]

ADA complaints and the UCL. The court denied depublication requests by the Attorney General and two district attorneys in People v. Potter Handy, LLP (there was no petition for review), but Justices Joshua Groban and Kelli Evans recorded votes for the court to grant review on its own motion. The First District, Division Three, opinion held the litigation privilege (Civil Code section 47(b)) precluded an action brought by the district attorneys under the state’s unfair competition law for — as Division Three described it — the filing of “countless complaints” that allege violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, but that “contain standing allegations [known] to be false” and that are filed “as part of a shakedown scheme to extract coerced settlements from small business owners.” However, the appellate court said the defendant is not out of the woods: “Carving out an exception to the litigation privilege for the People’s UCL claim would not be proper because the Legislature’s prescribed remedies—[criminal] prosecution directly under section 6128(a) and State Bar disciplinary proceedings—remain viable.” (Link added.)

Police officer personnel record. The court granted the petition for review in Banuelos v. Superior Court and sent the matter back to the Second District, Division Eight, which had summarily denied a writ petition filed by a murder defendant. The writ petition challenges a superior court protective order barring the public availability — as opposed to use only in the defendant’s case — of records showing a police officer’s dishonesty. The issue seems to be whether Evidence Code section 1045(e) — providing that “[t]he court shall, in any case or proceeding permitting the disclosure or discovery of any peace or custodial officer records . . . , order that the records disclosed or discovered may not be used for any purpose other than a court proceeding pursuant to applicable law” — shields records of officer dishonesty that Penal Code section 832.7(b)(1)(C) says “shall not be confidential and shall be made available for public inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act.”

TV judge: The court denied review in Switzer v. Big Ticket Pictures Inc., where TV law met the real thing. The Second District, Division Two, unpublished opinion affirmed a defense summary judgment concerning a dispute the appellate court described this way: “developers on the first season of the Judge Judy television show sued on the ground that a recent sale of the library of episodes triggered their right to a lump sum cash-out payment of $4.95 million (rather than continuing to receive an income stream of residuals).”

Criminal case grant-and-hold. There was just one criminal case grant-and-hold, another case waiting for a decision in People v. Patton (see here).

Supreme Court grants review in two sentencing cases, including one where the Court of Appeal declared “the law is not ‘a ass’ ”

Here are some of the notable actions at yesterday’s day-early conference, a double one:

Three-justice separate statement about defendant who “has spent over 27 years in prison for stealing a pair of jeans”

“[T]he law is not ‘a ass.’ ” The court agreed to hear People v. Superior Court (Guevara), where a divided Second District, Division Six, Court of Appeal published opinion granted a prosecution writ petition and overturned a superior court order reducing to eight years a three strikes sentence of 25-years-to-life, the third strike having been a non-serious, non-violent felony. The defendant had 10 years earlier unsuccessfully sought relief from his sentence under Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012; unsuccessful because the superior court found resentencing would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. The Division Six majority held the finding precluded relief under later legislation — 2021’s Senate Bill 483 — that invalidated sentence enhancements that had been imposed on the defendant for prior prison terms, required resentencing, and provides for application on resentencing of “any other changes in law that reduce sentences,” changes, perhaps, made by Proposition 36. The case presents intricate issues involving the wording and the interplay of the initiative and SB 483, including whether the defendant’s interpretation of SB 483 would be an unconstitutional amendment of Proposition 36. At the end of the court’s opinion, the majority responds to one dissent contention, “If the Legislature intended to reward defendants serving a prior prison term and not those who had not served prior prison terms, we would agree with Mr. Bumble in Dickens’s Oliver Twist that ‘the law is a ass — a idiot.’ We in the majority wish to state on the record the law is not ‘a ass.’ ”

Sentencing factors not found by a jury. The court also granted review in People v. Wiley. In a published opinion, the First District, Division Four, affirmed an upper term sentence imposed in part based on aggravating factors — the increasing seriousness of the defendant’s convictions and his prior poor probation performance — that had not been found true by a jury. Rejecting the defendant’s claim that the superior court had violated his jury trial right under the Sixth Amendment, Division Four held the aggravating factors “were proved by a certified record of Wiley’s convictions, and they fall within [Penal Code section 1170(b)’s] prior conviction exception to the heightened proof requirements that apply to other types of aggravating factors.” The appellate court considered itself bound by prior Supreme Court decisions — People v. Scott (2015) 61 Cal.4th 363, People v. Towne (2008) 44 Cal.4th 63, and People v. Black (2007) 41 Cal.4th 799 — despite the defendant’s contention that the cases were obsolete because of the Supreme Court’s opinion in People v. Gallardo (2017) 4 Cal.5th 120, which overruled a different Sixth Amendment case in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent (see here). It also chose sides in an existing Court of Appeal split about the interpretation of section 1170(b), which was amended by Senate Bill 567 in 2021. This isn’t the first SB 567 case on the Supreme Court’s docket. (See here.)

Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were seven criminal case grant-and-holds: one more is waiting for the finality of last week’s decision in People v. Hardin (see herehere, and here), one more on hold for for People v. Lynch (see here), one more holding for People v. Mitchell (see here), one more waiting for People v. Patton (see here), one more on hold for People v. Emanuel (see here), and two more waiting for People v. Rhodius (see here). Another case, which had been a grant-and-hold for November’s opinion in People v. Salazar (2023) 15 Cal.5th 416 (see here) was not disposed of (see below), but is now holding for People v. Lynch.

Grant-and-hold disposals. The court sent eight former grant-and-holds back to the Courts of Appeal to reconsider their decisions in light of November’s opinion in People v. Salazar (2023) 15 Cal.5th 416 (see here). Another was returned for reconsideration in light of Salazar and last summer’s decision in People v. Mumin (2023) 15 Cal.5th 176 (see here). And one more is to be reconsidered in light of both Salazar and People v. Aledamat (2019) 8 Cal.5th 1 (see here).

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