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

  • Two separate statements accompany denial of review of domestic violence victim’s murder conviction.
  • Dependency depublication. The court denied review in Sarah K. v. Superior Court, but depublished the 2-1 opinion by the First District, Division Two, Court of Appeal. The Division Two majority affirmed a dependency court order ending reunification services based on a finding that returning the petitioner’s daughter to her would create a substantial risk of detriment to the girl. The dissent found “no substantial evidence in this record that [the petitioner’s] child would be at substantial risk in mother’s custody” and said, “This dependency case is, sadly, one of the few we see in which a parent with a serious substance abuse problem that led to the removal of her child dedicated herself to recovery to such an extent and with such success that, despite some setbacks, she was clean and sober for a substantial period prior to the end of the reunification period.”
  • Another ICWA grant-and-hold. In re X.R. is another grant-and-hold for In re Dezi C., where the court agreed last September 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. In X.R., the unpublished opinion of the Second District, Division Four, found harmless error under the test stated in the appellate court Dezi C. decision — “ ‘[A]n agency’s failure to conduct a proper initial inquiry into a dependent child’s American Indian heritage is harmless unless the record contains information suggesting a reason to believe that the child may be an “Indian child” within the meaning of ICWA, such that the absence of further inquiry was prejudicial to the juvenile court’s ICWA finding.’ ”
  • Bail OSC. In In re Paige, the court granted review and returned the case to the Second District, Division Four, with directions to vacate its summary denial of a habeas corpus petition and to order the Sheriff’s Department “to show cause why the petitioner should not be granted a new bail review hearing on the basis that the superior court did not adequately set forth the reasons for its decision on the record (see In re Humphrey (2021) 11 Cal.5th 135, 155).” (Regarding Humphrey, see here; related: see the write-up of In re Vasquez here.)
  • Trial judge DQ. The court granted review in Estrada v. Superior Court and transferred the case back to the Second District, Division Four, which had summarily denied a writ petition. The writ petition apparently concerns a failed attempt to disqualify the trial judge on the case. After the Supreme Court asked the superior court to answer the petition for review, it allowed the People to file an answer “[i]n consideration of the fact that the People opposed petitioner’s Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 challenge in the trial court.” (Link added.) Division Four has now been directed to “vacate its order denying the petition for writ of mandate and to issue an order to show cause why petitioner is not entitled to the relief requested.” Justice Joshua Groban did not vote for review.
  • Tesla arbitration denial. In Vaughn v. Tesla, Inc., the First District, Division Five, in a published opinion, affirmed the denial of a petition to compel arbitration and the Supreme Court denied review. Tesla had sought to arbitrate both race discrimination claims against it and the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
  • Criminal case grant-and-holds. There was a potpourri of ten criminal case grant-and-holds: one more waiting for a decision in People v. Lynch (see here); three more holding for People v. Burgos (see here); one more holding for People v. Salazar (see here); one holding for People v. Walker (see here); two more waiting for People v. Mitchell (see here); one more holding for People v. Hardin (see here); and one holding for Hardin, In re Vaquera (see here), which has been fully briefed for almost three years, and People v. Williams (see here), in which party briefing was completed in July 2021.
  • More Delgadillo grant-and-hold disposals. The court continued its disposal of grant-and-holds that had been waiting for the December decision in People v. Delgadillo (2022) 14 Cal.5th 216. Ten cases were transferred with orders stating, the “matter is transferred to the Court of Appeal . . . with directions to vacate its decision and reconsider whether to exercise its discretion to conduct an independent review of the record or provide any other relief in light of People v. Delgadillo (2022) 14 Cal.5th 216, 232-233 & fn. 6.”