For the second week in a row, there were no straight grants at the Supreme Court’s conference yesterday, but there were actions of note, including:
- Hospital fee disclosure grant-and-hold. Moran v. Prime Healthcare Management is another grant-and-hold for Capito v. San Jose Healthcare System (see here and here), which is expected to answer, “Does a hospital have a duty to disclose emergency room fees to patients beyond its statutory duty to make its chargemaster publicly available?” In a published opinion, the Fourth District, Division Three, Court of Appeal, in Moran ruled against the plaintiff, concluding, “The duties Moran seeks to impose on defendants interfere with the extensive and carefully drawn state and federal legislative and regulatory scheme governing the disclosure and transparency of hospital prices.”
- Employment grant-and-hold. Following a 155-page partially published opinion by the Fourth District, Division Two, the Supreme Court made Woodworth v. Loma Linda University Medical Center a grant-and-hold for both Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc. (see here) and Camp v. Home Depot U.S.A. (see here). In Estrada, which will be argued next week, the court limited the issue to, “Do trial courts have inherent authority to ensure that claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.) will be manageable at trial, and to strike or narrow such claims if they cannot be managed?” Camp is expected to address whether, under California law, employers are permitted to use neutral time-rounding practices to calculate employees’ work time for payroll purposes. In Woodworth, Division Two agreed with the Fourth District, Division Three, opinion in Estrada, holding that “trial courts may not strike or dismiss a PAGA claim for lack of manageability.” It also agreed with the Sixth District’s Camp opinion’s holding that “if an employer . . . can capture and has captured the exact amount of time an employee has worked during a shift, the employer must pay the employee for ‘all the time’ worked.” (Camp v. Home Depot U.S.A. (2022) 84 Cal.App.5th 638, 660.) The Woodworth plaintiff and defendant each filed a petition for review. The Supreme Court granted the defendant’s and denied the plaintiff’s.
- Habeas OSC. In In re Moustafa, the court concluded that the Sixth District did not go far enough in issuing an order to show cause on a habeas corpus petition only as to “claims of ineffective assistance of counsel arising out of trial counsel’s failure to investigate the viability of a defense of either diminished actuality or insanity.” Instead, the Supreme Court ordered an OSC “why petitioner is not entitled to relief based on the ground that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to investigate petitioner’s mental health, which prevented the trial court’s proper evaluation of the admissibility of petitioner’s police statement, impeded the trial court’s assessment of the jury trial waiver, and forestalled counsel’s obligation to explore a plea agreement, and that these omissions were cumulatively prejudicial.” In an unpublished opinion on an appeal that was consolidated with the habeas proceeding, the Sixth District explained the defendant “was convicted of multiple offenses—including torture, sexual penetration, criminal threats, human trafficking, and spousal battery—against his fiancée and her brother.” The Supreme Court denied review in the appeal.
- Dissents on habeas denial. Justices Goodwin Liu and Kelli Evans recorded dissenting votes from the court’s denial of a pro per’s habeas corpus petition in In re Remy. The petition is not available online, so it’s not clear what issue or issues attracted the recorded votes, but the docket shows the court asked for an informal response to “address petitioner’s second claim regarding the paper review parole process for inmates convicted of nonviolent felonies.” This sounds like the same issue about which Justice Liu filed a separate dissenting statement last year when the court denied review in In re Flores. (See here.) Justice Liu there expressed his doubts that the denial of in-person parole hearings for determinately sentenced prisoners “comports with due process.”
- Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were four criminal case grant-and-holds: two more waiting for a decision in People v. Hardin (see here and here), one more holding for People v. Mitchell (see here), and another one waiting for People v. Emanuel (see here).
- Kuciemba disposition. After the petitioner withdrew its petition for review, the court dismissed review in Vie De France Yamazaki, Inc. v. Superior Court, which had been waiting for the July decision in Kuciemba v. Victory Woodworks (2023) 14 Cal.5th 993. (See here.)
- Other grant-and-hold disposals. The court dismissed review in four cases that had been holding for the September opinion in Camacho v. Superior Court (2023) 15 Cal.5th 354. Two others were returned to the Courts of Appeal for reconsideration in light of that opinion.