For the second week in a row, the Supreme Court didn’t straight grant any petitions for review at its Wednesday conference. The conference was newly confirmed (here and here) Justice Patricia Guerrero’s first, and also the first since October with seven justices participating. Actions of note included:
- Recusal criteria. California’s Code of Judicial Ethics requires Supreme Court and Court of Appeal justices to disqualify themselves in a case if they “served as the judge before whom the proceeding was tried or heard in the lower court.” (Canon 3(E)(5)(f)(1).) Actions on four cases indicate Justice Guerrero will recuse herself from a case decided by the Fourth District, Division One, Court of Appeal — which she just left — only if she herself was on the panel that heard the case. She recused herself from two such cases (here and here; here and here), but ruled on two other cases from Division One that were decided by her former colleagues (here and here; here and here). (Related: Appellate justice should recuse if they were peremptorily challenged when they were a trial judge.)
- Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were six criminal case grant-and-holds — two more holding for a decision in People v. Strong (see here), one more holding for People v. Delgadillo (see here), one more holding for People v. Prudholme (see here), one more holding for People v. Williams (see here), and one holding for People v. Ramirez (see here).
- Grant and transfer. The court granted review and transferred a case back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of January’s opinion in People v. Tirado (2022) 12 Cal.5th 688.
- Lead case change. People v. Alonzo was a grant-and-hold waiting for a decision in People v. Hernandez, but the court in December transferred Hernandez back to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of newly enacted Senate Bill 483 (see here). Yesterday, the court made Alonzo a grant-and-hold for People v. Prudholme (see here).
- Disposal of grant-and-holds: Instead of changing the lead case, the court sent seven other former Hernandez grant-and-holds (see above) to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of SB 483.