CALIFORNIA CASE LAW UPDATE – Selected California Cases
California Supreme Court (September 1-30, 2012)
There were no relevant California Supreme Court cases in September.
California Supreme Court (September 1-30, 2012)
Grants of Review
People v. Vargas REV GTD (9/12/2012, S203744) 206 CA4th 971: (1) Was the trial court required to dismiss one of defendant’s two prior convictions under the three strikes law, when they arose from the same prior incident and were based on the same act? (2) If dismissal of one prior conviction was not mandatory, did the trial court abuse its discretion by failing to dismiss one?
Macy v. Superior Court REV GTD (9/12/2012, S204255) 206 CA4th 1393, mod. 207 CA4th 395a: Briefing 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?
Steen v. Appellate Division (9/9/2009, S174773). Original proceeding. The court issued an order to show cause why petitioner’s misdemeanor conviction for failure to appear in court on a traffic infraction should not be vacated, as requested in the petition for writ of mandate, on the ground that PC 959.1(c)(1) violates the separation of powers doctrine (Cal. Const., art. III, section 3) by permitting a clerk of court, rather than a prosecutor, to issue a complaint “for the offenses of failure to appear, pay a fine, or comply with an order of the court.” The respondent and real party in interest were ordered to show cause why the relief prayed for in the petition for writ of mandate filed July 20, 2009, should not be granted on the following two additional grounds: (1) PC 959.1(c), violates due process. (See U.S. Const., 14th Amend.; Cal. Const., art. I, § 7.) (2) The prosecution in this case was not commenced within the statute of limitations. (See PC 802(a), 804.)
California Courts of Appeal (September 1-30, 2012)
Recusal Of Prosecutor. Spaccia v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (9/6/2012, B239472) 209 CA4th 93: Recusal of entire District Attorney’s Office is not required where allegation of conflict was based on speculation and failed to show a likelihood of unfairness.
Forgery. People v. Dunbar (8/13/2012, pub’d 9/6/2012, G046209) 209 CA4th 114: PC 471, which prohibits forgery of an entry in any book or record, applies to both private financial records and public records.
Juror Experiments During Deliberations. People v. Calles (9/10/2012, B225763) 209 CA4th 156: Where jury’s “timing experiment” did not stray beyond admitted evidence and was not of a character that was likely to improperly influence the verdict, trial court correctly denied new trial motion. The difference between proper and improper jury experiments turns on whether those experiments “allow the jury to discover new evidence by delving into areas not examined during trial.” Appellant failed to establish that the timing/event demonstration conducted here went beyond the admitted evidence. Further, what occurred was unlikely to have improperly influenced the verdict.
Multiplicity: Leaving The Scene Of An Accident. People v. Calles (9/10/2012, B225763) 209 CA4th 156: There can be only one conviction for leaving the scene of an accident even if there were multiple victims.
Restitution: Jury Trial. People v. Kramis (9/13/2012, B236892) 209 CA4th 346: Where the trial court exercises its discretion to set the amount of the restitution fine within the statutory range of PC 1202.4, there is no right to a jury trial.
Burglary: Interior Closet. People v. M.A. (9/13/2012, D060768) 209 CA4th 317: Despite a person’s initial entry into a house without felonious intent and with permission, his subsequent unpermitted entry into a closet of the house with the now formed intent to commit a felony constitutes first degree burglary.
One Strike Law. People v. Luna (9/18/2012, G045098) 209 CA4th 460: PC 667.61(e)(1) (“One Strike” law) does not require that defendant kidnap the victim with the intent to commit the sexual offense.
SVP: Duty To Weigh Evidence Under EC 352. People v. Paniagua (9/20/2012, A123926) 209 CA4th 499: Reversal was required where trial court allowed admission of unreliable evidence without a proper EC 352 analysis.
Miranda. People v. Gutierrez (9/24/2012, B227606) 209 CA4th 646: The juvenile court properly found that 17-year-old impliedly waived his Miranda rights.
LWOP For Juvenile Not Cruel And Unusual. People v. Gutierrez (9/24/2012, B227606) 209 CA4th 646: A sentence of LWOP for juvenile who murdered his aunt during a rape was not cruel and unusual punishment.
MDO: Incident Notes As Evidence. People v. Nelson (8/30/2012, pub’d 9/24/2012, D059930) 209 CA4th 698: Incident notes made by hospital staff about appellant’s aggressive behavior were properly admitted in MDO proceeding.
Felony Vandalism: Aggregation Of Damages. People v. Carrasco (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.
PC 654: GBI. People v. Wooten (9/26/2012, C067180) 209 CA4th 737: Appellant was properly sentenced to two great bodily injury enhancements for sexual assault and attempted murder of the same victim.
Misappropriation Of Funds: Nonprofit Group. People v. Johnson (9/27/2012, D059511) 209 CA4th 800: Operators of a nonprofit group home that receives government funds can be charged with misappropriation of public funds because the use of the money is regulated by the government.
Identity Theft. People v. Johnson (9/27/2012, D059511) 209 CA4th 800: The offense of identity theft does not require proof that the victim of the offense suffered any loss or damages.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
(September 1-30, 2012)
Right To Present A Defense: Deportation Of Illegal Alien Before Appointment Of Counsel. United States v. Leal Del-Carmen (9/14/2012, 9th Cir. No.11-50094) 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19330: The government’s deportation of an illegal alien prior to appointment of defense counsel, where it knows that the alien possesses exculpatory evidence, violates a defendant’s constitutional right to present a complete defense.
Due Process: Right To Present A Defense – Exculpatory Hearsay. Cudjo v. Ayers (9/28/2012, 9th Cir. No. 08-99028) 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20345: Exclusion of exculpatory testimony as unreliable hearsay violates the defendant’s due process right to present a defense.
IAC: Plea Bargain. Miles v. Martel (9/28/2012, 9th Cir. No. 10-15633) 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20346: Attorney provides ineffective assistance of counsel when he advises defendant to reject a six year plea offer without advising defendant he faced a possible 25-year-to-life sentence.