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

  • Pardon greenlighted.
  • Pandemic-delayed trial. The court denied review in People v. Harrison, where the Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal’s unpublished opinion, in affirming a second degree murder conviction, rejected two arguments related to a 60-day pandemic-caused interruption in the defendant’s trial. The defendant claimed that the timing and length of the delay deprived him of a fair trial and that the superior court erroneously declined to individually question the jurors before resuming the trial about possible safety concerns. The pause in the trial was required by a general jury-trial-suspending order by the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Carol Corrigan — respectively, the chair and a member of California’s Judicial Council — were recused from ruling on the petition for review. (Related: see the write ups of Stanley v. Superior Court and People v. Breceda, here and here.)
  • Disposal of grant-and-hold. The court sent Betancourt v. OS Restaurant Services, LLC back to the Second District, Division Eight, to reconsider in light of Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. In Naranjo, for which Betancourt was a grant-and-hold (see here), the court last month held that the extra-hour’s pay an employer owes for improperly making an employee work during all or part of a meal or rest break constitutes statutory “wages” that must be reported on required wage statements and be paid by specified deadlines when an employee leaves the job. Violations of the wage-statement and pay-deadline mandates can trigger penalties.
  • New legislation. The court granted review in People v. Hunt and transferred the case back to the Third District to reconsider its decision in light of Senate Bill 775. That legislation has been the catalyst for numerous reconsideration orders, including in two straight-grant cases after briefing was complete. (See here.)
  • Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were 11 criminal case grant-and-holds: five more waiting for a decision in People v. Strong (see here), which was argued last month; two more holding for People v. Faial (see here); one more holding for People v. Williams (see here); one more holding for People v. Espinoza (see here); one holding for both People v. McWilliams (see here) and People v. Tacardon (see here); and one holding for Camacho v. Superior Court (which is technically a civil case, involving a civil commitment under the Sexually Violent Predators Act (see here)).