Decisions in Criminal, Administrative, Environmental and Contract Matters - California Case Law
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Decisions in Criminal, Administrative, Environmental and Contract Matters

People v. Turnage, No. C059887, involved an Equal Protection violation claim for the conviction of a defendant for maliciously placing a false or facsimile bomb with the intent to cause others to fear for their safety.  In agreeing with the defendant, the Third District vacated the sentence in holding that a violation of section 148.1(d) is punishable only as a misdemeanor as defendant is similarly situated to someone convicted of the misdemeanor of placing a false WMD that did not cause sustained fear, and the legislative history of the latter provision shows that there is a reason to treat the two offenses differently for purposes of punishment.

In LEG Inv v. Boxler, No. C058743, the Third District faced a challenge to the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant in plaintiff's action seeking partition of a vacation home.  In reversing the judgment, the court held that the right of first refusal in the parties' TIC agreement modifies the statutory right to partition, but does not permanently waive the right to partition. 

In California Am. Water v. City of Seaside, No. H034335, the Sixth District addressed a challenge to the court's findings and a remand order based on an underlying action seeking a declaration of rights among the parties' interests in the production and storage of groundwater from the Seaside Basin.  In affirming the order, the court concluded that no error appears as the order is limited in scope as it is. 

In Stockton Citizens for Sensible Planning v. City of Stockton, No. S159690, the California Supreme Court faced a challenge to the court of appeal's judgment in favor of the city in plaintiffs' suit challenging the city's approval of a Wal-Mart under the CEQA, on the ground that plaintiffs' suit was barred by the 35-day statute of limitations under section 21167(d) of the CEQA.  In affirming the decision, the court held that flaws in the decision-making process underlying a facially valid and properly filed NOE do not prevent the NOE from triggering the 35-day period to file a lawsuit challenging the decision that the agency has approved a CEQA-exempt project.  Furthermore, plaintiffs' claim that the NOE is itself defective in form and content is rejected as the NOE demonstrates minimal compliance with CEQA. 

People v. Cogswell, No. S158898, involved the question of whether the prosecution had to ask the trial court to order a victim of sexual assault living outside of California be taken into custody and transported to California to testify at defendant's trial in order to show "reasonable diligence" in obtaining the victim's presence at trial, rather than use the victim's preliminary hearing testimony.  In answering in the negative, the court reversed the lower court's ruling and held that the prosecution did use reasonable diligence in obtaining the witness's presence and resort to the Uniform Act's custody and delivery provision to ensure the victim's presence at the trial would have been an action far more extreme than the fine imposed in People v. Smith. 

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