CALIFORNIA CASE LAW UPDATE – Selected California Cases
California Supreme Court (June 1-30, 2012)
Gang Offense: PC 654. People v. Mesa (6/4/2012, S185688) 54 CA4th 191: PC 654 bars imposition of sentence for the crime of actively participating in a gang, which requires commission of an underlying felony, and sentence for the underlying felony.
Burglary: Opening Garage Door Not Sufficient. Magness v. Superior Court (6/7/2012, S194928) 54 CA4th 270: Using a remote control to open a garage door does not constitute an entry into the residence within the meaning of the burglary statute.
Venue: Crime Committed In Multiple Counties. People v. Thomas (6/27/2012, S185305) 53 CA4th 1276: When a crime is committed “in part” in more than one county, or when “the acts or effects” constituting the crime or requisite to its commission occur in more than one county, the offense may be prosecuted in the superior court of any of those counties. (See also People v. Posey (2004) 32 CA4th 193, 199; PC 781.)
PC 148: “School Security Officers.” In re M.M. (6/28/2012, S177704) 54 CA4th 530: A “school security officer” is a “public officer” for purposes of PC 148(a)(1), willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing a public officer in the discharge of his duties.
California Supreme Court (June 1-30, 2012)
Grants of Review
Boysel v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/13/2012, S202324) 204 CA4th 854, Reilly v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/13/2012, S202280) 204 CA4th 829, and Wright v. Superior Court (6/13/2012, S202320) 204 CA4th 879: Was petitioner entitled to dismissal of a petition for commitment under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (WI 6600 et seq.) when the evaluations originally supporting the filing of the petition were conducted under an assessment protocol that was later found to constitute an invalid regulation and the results of reevaluation under a properly adopted assessment protocol would have precluded the initial filing of the petition under WI 6601?
People v. Gray REV GTD (6/20/2012 , S202483) 204 CA4th 1041: Does VC 21455.5, subdivision (b), require a local jurisdiction only to provide one 30-day warning notice period prior to the initial installation of an automated traffic enforcement system, or is such notice required prior to the installation of ATES equipment at each additional intersection within the jurisdiction?
In re Manriquez (6/20/2012, S141210) 2012 Cal. LEXIS 6087: Original proceeding. In this case, which is related to the automatic appeal in People v. Manriquez (2005) 37 CA4th 547, the court issued an order to show cause why petitioner is not entitled to relief on the ground of juror misconduct.
People v. Tom REV GTD (6/20/2012, S202107) 204 CA4th 480: Did the admission of defendant’s post-arrest, pre-Miranda silence as substantive evidence of guilt violate his Fifth Amendment rights?
Chambers v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202334) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2463, Gordon v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202322) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2462, Lefort v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202311) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2364, Lunday v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202366) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2358, Quintero v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202358) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2388, Rigby v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202314) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2466, Smith v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202338) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2385, Yancy v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/27/2012, S202359) 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2343: Briefing in these eight cases deferred pending decision in Reilly v. Superior Court REV GTD (6/13/2012, S202280) 204 CA4th 829, which presents the following issue: Was petitioner entitled to dismissal of a petition for commitment under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (WI 6600 et seq.) when the evaluations originally supporting the filing of the petition were conducted under an assessment protocol that was later found to constitute an invalid regulation and the results of reevaluation under a properly adopted assessment protocol would have precluded the initial filing of the petition under WI 6601?
The court requested the parties in the three cases below to serve and file supplemental briefs addressing the significance, if any, of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Williams v. Illinois (6/18/2012, No. 10-8505) ____ US ___ [183 LEd2d 89; 132 SCt 2221]:
People v. Dungo REV GTD (12/2/2009, S176886) 176 CA4th 1388
People v. Lopez REV GTD (12/2/2009, S177046) 177 CA4th 202
People v. Rutterschmidt REV GTD (12/2/2009, S176213) 176 CA4th 1047
California Courts of Appeal (June 1-30, 2012)
Judge’s Discretion To Dismiss “Strike” Convictions. People v. Vargas (6/4/2012, B231338) 206 CA4th 971: Where the prior “strike” convictions arise from a single act, the court may consider this as a factor in determining whether to dismiss a “strike,” but retains discretion to decline to dismiss the prior “strike.”
Natural And Probable Consequences: Not Limited To Acts Of Confederates. People v. Smith (6/8/2012, D060317) 206 CA4th 1081: Aider and abettor liability under the natural and probable consequences doctrine is not limited to confederates.
Involuntary Manslaughter: Police Officer’s Mistaken Use Of Handgun Instead Of Taser. People v. Mehserle (6/8/2012, A130654) 206 CA4th 1125: There was sufficient evidence to support a police officer’s conviction for involuntary manslaughter because he drew and fired his handgun instead of his taser. The court declined to follow a Maryland decision that incorporated “wantonness” into its definition of criminal negligence and a standard of “extraordinary and outrageous” conduct. Civil rights cases arising under federal law were also inapplicable because they involved standards that are different from those of the general criminal law.
Evidence: Inadmissibility Of Remedial Measures. People v. Mehserle (6/8/2012, A130654) 206 CA4th 1125: Remedial measures are generally inadmissible under EC 1151. However, the reviewing court declined to decide the issue of the precise application of the statute in this case.
Sidewalk As Deadly Weapon. In re J.L. (6/12/2012, B231854) 206 CA4th 1182: There was sufficient evidence that appellant used a sidewalk as a deadly weapon in violation of PC 245, assault with a deadly weapon.
False Accounts (PC 424(a)(3)): Discrepancies Must Be Material. People v. Aldana (6/13/2012, G040320) 206 CA4th 1247: A public officer may not be convicted of knowingly keeping false accounts if the discrepancies in records were not materially false.
First Degree Burglary: Temporary Absence Of Occupants. People v. Little (6/15/2012, G045157) 206 CA4th 1364: Burglary is first degree even though the residents are away from home while their realtor conducts an open house. A house need not have someone present to be inhabited – all that is required is that someone lives there.
IAC: Failure To Object To Erroneous Jury Instruction. People v. Loza (6/27/2012, D057568) 207 CA4th 332: Conviction for first degree murder reversed where attorney’s failure to object to the trial court’s instructions to the jury concerning the intent element of aiding and abetting, as well as to the court’s response to the jury’s questions on this issue, was ineffective assistance of counsel.
Burglary Tools: Latex Gloves And Large Bags. People v. Diaz (6/28/2012, G044411) 207 CA4th 396: Latex gloves and a large bag did not come within the purview of PC 466 as burglary tools.
Sex Offender Registration (PC 290): Applicability To Place Where Transient Parked His Travel Trailer. People v. Aragon (6/29/2012, C066237) 207 CA4th 504: A sex offender who regularly registered as a transient was not in violation of the sex offender registration requirement of PC 290 because parking his travel trailer on the street at a specific address required registration at that address.
U.S. Supreme Court
(June 1-30, 2012)
Confrontation: DNA Report. Williams v. Illinois (6/18/2012, No. 10-8505) ____ US ____ [183 LEd2d 89; 132 SCt 2221]: The confrontation clause does not prohibit disclosure of nontestimonial, out-of-court statements in a DNA laboratory report through testimony by an expert who did not prepare the report.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
(June 1-30, 2012)
Juror Misconduct: Presumption Of Prejudice – Jurors’ Receipt Of Extrinsic Evidence. Tong Xiong v. Felkner (6/5/2012, 9th Cir. No. 09-16830) 681 F3d 1067: Where the jury receives extrinsic evidence during trial, this is misconduct and there is a strong presumption of prejudice but is not per se prejudicial.
Batson/Wheeler. Briggs v. Grounds (6/15/2012, 9th Cir. No. 10-16683) 682 F3d 1165: On federal habeas review of a Batson/Wheeler issue, the reviewing court must defer to the state court’s conclusion that there was no purposeful discrimination unless the state appellate court was objectively unreasonable in finding that the trial court’s credibility determination was supported by substantial evidence.