In addition to ordering a hearing that could lead to the reversal of Scott Peterson’s murder conviction, the Supreme Court’s actions of note at its Wednesday (double) conference yesterday included:

  • The court granted review in People v. Tacardon, where the Third District Court of Appeal, in a published opinion, disagreed with a 2019 Fourth District, Division Two, decision — People v. Kidd (2019) 36 Cal.App.5th 12 — concerning whether a police officer who pulls his patrol car behind, and shines a spotlight on, a parked car has detained the defendant in the car.  The Third District said “no” and the Fourth District said “yes.”  The Supreme Court denied review in Kidd.
  • The court granted-and-held in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bay Area Toll Authority, putting the case on the back burner pending a decision in Zolly v. City of Oakland, in which the court granted review two months ago to decide whether city franchise fees that are subject to California Constitution, article XIII C, must be reasonably related to the value of the franchise.  In the Bay Area Toll case, the First District, Division Two, in a published opinion, rejected a challenge to a toll increase — approved by 55 percent of the voters — for seven Bay Area bridges.  The plaintiffs said that, because most of the toll revenue will not benefit those who use the bridges, but will benefit users of other means of transportation, the tolls were a tax that required a two-thirds vote to be effective.
  • The court denied review in Spikener v. Ally Financial, Inc., but Justice Goodwin Liu recorded a vote to grant.  The First District, Division Five, held in a published opinion that a state statute expanding consumer rights to attorney fees in actions on consumer credit contracts was preempted by a Federal Trade Commission rule confirmation.
  • Justice Liu also dissented from the denial of review in People v. Cusick.  In an unpublished opinion, the First District, Division Four, upheld as neither vague nor overbroad a probation condition for the defendant who was guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.  The condition was:  “ ‘The defendant shall not use, consume, possess or transport alcohol, marijuana (prescribed or not) or any non-prescribed or illegal drug or intoxicant of any kind (or associated paraphernalia) unless specifically authorized by the court.’ ”  (Emphasis added by the appellate court.)
  • After granting review and later limiting the issues in Boermeester v. Carry, a campus disciplinary procedures case, the court added another issue:  “What effect, if any, does Senate Bill No. 493 (2019-2020 Reg. Sess.) have on the resolution of the issues presented by this case?”  (Link added.)  [Horvitz & Levy represents the defendants in the Supreme Court.]
  • The court granted-and-transferred to the Second District, Division Three, the habeas corpus petition in In re Smith, directing it to, in turn, send the case back to the superior court with instructions to “hold a new bail hearing in light of In re Humphrey (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 1006, 1041-1045.”  The Supreme Court in August restored to precedential effect the cited portion of the Humphrey opinion, which is still pending review.  (See here, here, here, here, and here.)  In its order summarily denying the habeas petition in Smith, the appellate court said, “The authority of the court to increase the amount of bail required does not depend upon the giving of any preliminary notice to the defendant.”
  • There were 18 criminal case grant-and-holds:  13 more holding for a decision in People v. Lewis (see here); two more holding for People v. Lemcke (originally People v. Rudd) (see here); one more holding for People v. Raybon (see here); one more holding for People v. Tirado (see here); and one more holding for People v. Padilla (see here).
  • The court transferred to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration Stand Up For California! v. State Of California, which had been waiting more than three years for the August decision in United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria v. Newsom.
  • The court transferred to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration, or dismissed review in, 13 cases that had been grant-and-holds waiting for the June decision in People v. Stamps.