At the Supreme Court’s conference yesterday, notable actions included:

  • The court granted review in In re Lopez, where the First District, Division One, Court of Appeal’s unpublished opinion reversed the grant of habeas corpus relief, finding it was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury in a first-degree murder case was erroneously instructed on the natural and probable consequences doctrine.  The appellate court applied the Supreme Court’s recent 4-3 decision in People v. Aledamat.
  • Mendez v. Salcido joins a fairly small club of cases that came up with one vote too few for review.  (See, e.g., here, here, and here.)  The court declined to hear the case, but Justices Ming Chin, Goodwin Liu, and Leondra Kruger recorded votes to grant review.  In the case, the Second District, Division Two, unpublished opinion affirmed a superior court denial of an application for a domestic violence restraining order.  The court rejected numerous arguments, so it’s difficult to tell what issue or issues interested the three dissenters.  (Related:  When a message vote’s message is muddled.)  One argument, as described by the court, was that “the trial court . . . engag[ed] in a ‘victim-blaming colloquy.’ ”  Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher were counsel for the appellant and the Family Violence Appellate Project filed an amicus curiae brief.
  • The court granted-and-held in Gonzales v. San Gabriel Transit.  The case is back burnered pending the court’s decision in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., which will answer the Ninth Circuit-referred question, “Does the Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court, 416 P.3d 1 (Cal. 2018), apply retroactively?”  (Link added.)  [Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy filed the petition for review in Gonzales and amicus curiae briefs in Dynamex.]  In Gonzales, the Second District, Division Four, held in a published opinion that the defendant forfeited a non-retroactivity argument and that, “[i]n any event, there is no reason to conclude that Dynamex departs from the usual rule of retroactive application.”
  • There were four criminal case grant-and-holds:  two holding for People v. Lemcke (originally People v. Rudd), an eyewitness ID case (see here); one for People v. Frahs, concerning a statute allowing pretrial diversion for certain mentally disordered defendants (see here and here); and one for In re Gadlin, concerning the right to parole eligibility under Proposition 57 (see here).
  • There were two criminal case grant-and-transfers:  one for reconsideration in light of Senate Bill 136 (see here and here) and one to hear the merits of an ineffective assistance of counsel claim in a habeas corpus proceeding.
  • The court transferred another capital habeas corpus petition to the superior court under Proposition 66.  (See here and here.)
  • The court denied review in Bonin v. Superior Court, but Justice Liu recorded a vote to grant.  The Second District, Division Two, summarily denied a writ petition in the case.  Without an appellate opinion or any statement accompanying the recorded vote, it’s difficult to tell what issue is of interest to Justice Liu.  (Related:  When a message vote’s message is muddled.)