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

  • Law school renaming. The court denied review in Hastings College Conservation Committee v. Faigman, an appeal in a lawsuit against the State and a law school’s officials challenging the constitutionality of legislation that changed the law school’s name. The school had been named for its founder, Serranus Hastings, who was California’s first chief justice. The Legislature acted because it found, in part, that Hastings “promoted and financed Native American hunting expeditions in the Eden and Round Valleys, funding bounties resulting in the massacre of hundreds of Yuki men, women, and children.” The officials (but not the State) moved under the anti-SLAPP statute for an early dismissal of the action against them. The motion was denied and the First District, Division Four, Court of Appeal affirmed in published opinion, holding an anti-SLAPP motion wasn’t appropriate because “plaintiffs’ claims do not arise from any protected activity by the College Defendants under the first prong of the anti-SLAPP analysis.”
  • Vehicle sales arbitration grant-and-hold. Montemayor v. Ford Motor Company is another grant-and-hold for 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?” The Second District, Division Seven, published opinion in Montemayor answered the question “no,” adopting the reasoning of the Division Eight decision in Ford Motor Warranty Cases and, like Division Eight, disagreeing with the Third District’s decision in Felisilda v. FCA US LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 486.
  • ICWA grant-and-transfer. The court granted review in A.R. v. Superior Court and sent the case back to the Third District. The Court of Appeal had summarily denied a writ petition, stating, “Petitioner’s contention that the inquiry and notice provisions of the Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) (25 U.S.C. §1901 et seq.) were not satisfied is premature because it does not appear the juvenile court made an ICWA ruling at or before the challenged hearing as to [whether] ICWA applied to the proceedings.” The Supreme Court told the Third District “to reconsider that petition in light of the trial court’s findings under” ICWA.
  • Transfer from juvenile court. The court granted review in People v. Gonzales and sent the case back to the Second District, Division Five, for reconsideration in light of Assembly Bill 2361, legislation enacted last year to require a juvenile court to find by clear and convincing evidence that a minor is not amenable to rehabilitation under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction before transferring the minor to adult criminal court and to require a transfer order to state the reasons for the court’s determination of unamenability to rehabilitation. Division Five issued an unpublished opinion that did not address AB 2361. The Supreme Court has made similar grant-and-transfer orders before. (See here and here.)
  • Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were three criminal case grant-and-holds: One more case is waiting for opinions in two death penalty appeals — People v. Bankston and People v. Hin (see here); one more on hold for People v. Curiel (see here), which was argued earlier this month; and one more waiting for Needham v. Superior Court (see here).
  • Grant-and-hold disposals.  The court took eight criminal case grant-and-holds off its docket. All eight had been waiting for the June decision in People v. Prudholme (2023) 14 Cal.5th 961. Review was dismissed in four of them and the other half were remanded to the Courts of Appeal for reconsideration in light of Prudholme.