The Supreme Court yesterday announced it will hear six cases on its late-May calendar. (May is the only month with two different argument calendars.) All justices and counsel will participate remotely in the arguments, which will be live streamed. Opinions in the cases should file by August 21.
Five of the six cases are civil matters. Similarly, only two of the nine cases to be argued on next week’s early-May calendar are criminal or criminal related.
Another trend is that the late-May calendar includes no death penalty cases. The court hasn’t heard an automatic capital appeal since the one on the February calendar. In 2017, when it mostly upheld Proposition 66, which was designed to speed California executions, the court said that the initiative’s deadlines for court action on capital cases “must be deemed directive rather than mandatory,” but also that the deadlines are “properly construed as an exhortation to the parties and the courts to handle cases as expeditiously as is consistent with the fair and principled administration of justice.” (Briggs v. Brown (2017) 3 Cal.5th 808, 823, 859.) (Related: “High court hears more death penalty appeals after Proposition 66”.)
On Thursday, May 25, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or limited by the court itself; additional information about each case can be found at the links showing when the court agreed to hear the case):
Doe v. Superior Court (Mountain View School District): (1) Is evidence that a plaintiff in a civil action suffered a prior sexual assault admissible for impeachment purposes (Evid. Code, § 783) or inadmissible as a claim that the plaintiff did not suffer injury (Evid. Code, § 1106, subd. (a))? (2) If admissible, what procedures and quantum of proof are required to admit such evidence? (Links added.) The court granted review in February 2022.
Allied Premier Insurance v. United Financial Casualty Company: In May 2021, the court agreed to answer this question asked by the Ninth Circuit: “Under California’s Motor Carriers of Property Permit Act, Cal. Veh. Code §§ 34600 et seq., does a commercial automobile insurance policy continue in full force and effect until the insurer cancels the corresponding Certificate of Insurance on file with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, regardless of the insurance policy’s stated expiration date?” (Link added.) Horvitz & Levy represents the defendant in the Supreme Court.
Turner v. Victoria: (1) Does a director or officer of a California nonprofit public benefit corporation who brings an action under Corporations Code sections 5142, 5223, and/or 5233 for breach of charitable trust and/or improper conduct by directors of the trust lose standing to continue litigating the claims if he or she does not remain a director during the litigation? (2) Does the “continuous ownership” requirement of Corporations Code section 5710 for shareholder derivative standing in the for-profit context apply to derivative standing of members of a nonprofit public benefit corporation? The court granted review in November 2021.
Raines v. U.S. Healthworks Medical Group: Like Allied Premier Insurance, this case is from the Ninth Circuit. The court agreed in April 2022 to answer: “Does California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which defines ‘employer’ to include ‘any person acting as an agent of an employer,’ Cal. Gov’t Code § 12926(d), permit a business entity acting as an agent of an employer to be held directly liable for employment discrimination?” (Link added.)
Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. County of Monterey: When the court granted review in January 2022, it ordered the parties to brief: “Does Public Resources Code section 3106 impliedly preempt provisions LU-1.22 and LU-1.23 of Monterey County’s initiative ‘Measure Z’?” (Link added.) At stake is whether a county ordinance can prohibit “land uses in support of” oil and gas wells and fracking in unincorporated parts of the county. Justice Carol Corrigan is recused; Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal Justice Michael Raphael is sitting pro tem in her place.
People v. Mumin: The court granted review in November 2021 and limited the issues to: “Did the trial court err by providing a kill zone instruction? Did the Court of Appeal apply the proper standard of review under People v. Canizales (2019) 7 Cal.5th 591 [see here] in holding the trial court did not err in providing the kill zone instruction?” Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero is recused (she authored the Court of Appeal published opinion under review); Third District Acting Presiding Justice Ronald Robie is sitting pro tem in her place.