For the third week in a row, there were no straight review grants at the Supreme Court’s Wednesday conference.  However, there were actions of note, including:

  • The court granted-and-transferred Torricellas v. Burkhardt, an inmate’s pro per appeal of the dismissal of her lawsuit against two prison employees who had filed disciplinary reports about her.  According to the Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal’s unpublished opinion, the inmate plaintiff claimed “she was denied access to court as a consequence of the court and prison staff impeding plaintiff from litigating her case while incarcerated.”  In transferring the case back to the appellate court, the Supreme Court directed “reconsideration in light of Yarbrough v. Superior Court (1985) 39 Cal.3d 197 and pages 578 to 582 of the clerk’s transcript in which petitioner requested the appointment of counsel and objected that she had not been notified of the basis for the dismissal of her First Amended Complaint.”  The Yarbrough court allowed for the possibility of appointed counsel for an inmate who was a defendant in a civil lawsuit, holding, “In an appropriate case, and as a last alternative, appointment of counsel may be the only way to provide an incarcerated, indigent civil defendant with access to the courts for the protection of threatened personal and property rights.”  (Id. at pp. 200-201.)
  • The court denied review in People v. Abdullah, but, on its own motion, it depublished the opinion of the Second District, Division One.  The Court of Appeal rejected the argument of the defendant, who was convicted 17 years ago, that he was entitled to a new sentencing hearing and to the striking of a firearms enhancement under 2017 legislation, Senate Bill 620.  In doing so, the appellate court disagreed with the concession the Attorney General made that the superior court had recalled the defendant’s sentence.  Instead, “The trial court acted under its inherent authority to correct an unauthorized sentence” when it corrected the errors in the abstract of judgment without changing the length of the defendant’s sentence.
  • There were four criminal case grant-and-holds; really three, if you consider that two of the petitions for review were filed by the same defendant.
  • There were two criminal case grant-and-transfers, including yet another one for reconsideration in light of the court’s August decision in In re Ricardo P.
  • The court transferred to the Courts of Appeal or dismissed review in 13 former criminal case grant-and-holds.  All were waiting for the court’s August decision in People v. Aledamat, concerning the proper standard of appellate review when a jury is given two different theories for convicting a criminal defendant and one of the theories is legally inapplicable.