The Supreme Court didn’t make any straight-grant orders, nor were there even any recorded votes, at the Wednesday conference.  But there were some actions of note, including:

  • The court granted-and-held in Betancourt v. OS Restaurant Services, LLC, with briefing deferred pending a decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.  In Naranjo (review granted in January), the possible issues are:  (1) Does a violation of Labor Code section 226.7, which requires payment of premium wages for meal and rest period violations, give rise to claims under Labor Code sections 203 and 226 when the employer does not include the premium wages in the employee’s wage statements but does include the wages earned for meal breaks?  (2) What is the applicable prejudgment interest rate for unpaid premium wages owed under Labor Code section 226.7?  In Betancourt, a published opinion by the Second District, Division Eight, Court of Appeal, reversed a $280,000 attorney fee award under Labor Code section 218.5 because the plaintiff claimed only rest break and meal period violations and because, the court held, that type of lawsuit “is not ‘an “action brought for the nonpayment of wages” ’ within the meaning of section 218.5.”
  • The court also granted-and-held in Conservatorship of J.Y., which is waiting for a decision in Conservatorship of E.B. (review granted two months ago), which should resolve a conflict about whether equal protection requires that persons subject to a conservatorship under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5350) have the same right to invoke the statutory privilege not to testify as persons subject to involuntary commitments under Penal Code section 1026.5 after a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI’s).  The J.Y. court — the First District, Division Two — in a published opinion sided with their colleagues in Division Five and against other colleagues in Division One, concluding, “LPS conservatees are similarly situated to NGI’s, as well as individuals subject to other involuntary civil commitments, for purposes of the right against compelled testimony.”
  • The court denied review in Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, but it depublished the divided opinion of the Second District, Division Eight.  The appellate court rejected the challenge to an environmental impact report on a proposed oil refinery project.  The dissenting justice claimed that, because of one analytic method used in the report, “the project’s potential future negative environmental impact is, at worst, diluted and reduced, and is, at best, inaccurate.”
  • There were 4 criminal case grant-and-holds:  two more holding for a decision in People v. Lewis (see here) and two more holding for People v. Lopez (see here).
  • The court also ridded its docket of a bunch of criminal case grant-and-holds, transferring 24 cases back to Courts of Appeal for reconsideration in light of June’s decision in People v. Frahs.  One of the transferred cases, like Frahs itself, was taken up only because a pro tem justice cast the deciding vote for review.  (See here.)  The court used to have lots more Frahs-related cases — before yesterday, there were 42 of them in which the court either dismissed review in grant-and-holds or granted-and-transferred.  (See here and here.)