Decisions In Criminal, Administrative, Insurance, & Family Matters, Plus Tobacco Case I - California Case Law
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Decisions In Criminal, Administrative, Insurance, & Family Matters, Plus Tobacco Case I

Blankenship v. Allstate Ins. Co., C059423, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of a minor-plaintiff's petition to compel Uninsured Motorist Arbitration, for injuries he sustained when he was struck by an uninsured driver while riding his bicycle.  In affirming the decision, the court held that, although an insured may have made a claim with his uninsured motorist (UM) liability insurance carrier for damages suffered in an auto accident with an uninsured motorist, he may not subsequently file a legal actions against his UM insurer unless, within two years after the date of the accident, he first files an action against the uninsured motorist, demands arbitration with his UM insurer, or reaches an agreement with his UM insurer.  And here, plaintiff failed to comply with the requirements, and his minority does not excuse noncompliance with the limitations period of section 11580.2(i).

City of San Diego v. San Diego City Employees' Ret. Sys., D054688, concerned a city's petition to set aside plaintiff's decision to charge the city for underfunding of pension service credits during a particular period.  In affirming the trial court's grant of the petition in setting aside plaintiff's decision, the court held that the plaintiff's action was contrary to law and exceeded its authority to administer the pension system's assets.

City of Santee v. County of San Diego, D055310, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order sustaining defendant-county's demurrer in a city's petition for a writ of mandate against the county, claiming that the sitting agreement between the county and the State Department of Corrections constituted a project which required environmental review.  In affirming the denial, the court held that the sitting agreement was not a commitment to either a reentry facility or any jail facility, and the agreement did not as a practical matter preclude any alternative, mitigation measures, or the alternative of not going forward with any facility.  Rather, the record shows all the facilities which were the subject of the sitting agreement might be modified or not implemented at all, depending on a number of factors, including environmental review.

In re G.G., B215471, concerned a challenge to a juvenile court's dispositional order, inter alia, placing the father's twin daughters in foster care, individual counseling for the twins and the father, and the father's individual counseling to address his use of sexist and racist language.  In affirming, the court held that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in requiring the father's counseling to address his repeated angry use of racial, ethnic and gender epithets.

In re Rodden, C064437, concerned a defendant's petition for habeas relief seeking to vacate her guilty plea to failure to register as a sex offender in California within five days of coming into, or changing residence within, a county.  In granting the writ of habeas relief, the court held that the least adjudicated elements of the offense for which defendant was convicted in Kentucky do not meet all of the requirements for any registrable offense in California, and thus, defendant did not unlawfully fail to register as a sex offender and her guilty plea must be vacated.

In re Tobacco Cases I, D055350, concerned People's action against defendant, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company seeking to enforce a consent decree entered on a master settlement agreement (MSA).  In affirming the trial court's order in favor of the plaintiff, the court held agreed with the trial court that the images the defendant used in an advertising campaign referred to as "Camel Farms" were cartoons within the meaning of the MSA.  The court also held that the defendant's claim that the trial court erred on determining that it has authority to assess sanctions against it for violating MSA and the consent decree by using cartoons in its advertising need not be addressed as the trial court did not actually assess any sanctions against defendant.

People v. Beaver, C060490, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for grand theft, arising from an incident in which he and others staged an accident at a ski resort where they worked in order to obtain medical treatment for a preexisting injury to defendant's knee and to collect a cash settlement.  In reversing the conviction, the court held that the trial court's failure to instruct on the elements of theft by false pretenses was not harmless, and the jury was not properly instructed on all the elements of the enhancement.  In so concluding, the court rejected defendant's remaining contentions.

Yoo v. Shewry, B213759, concerned a pharmacist's petition for a writ of mandate,  challenging the practice of the California Department of Health Care Services of refusing to pay interest on Medi-Cal payments withheld, in many cases for years, from providers of Medi-Cal services even though it knows or should know such payments are properly owing the providers.  In reversing the trial court's order granting a peremptory writ of mandate, the court held that Welfare & Institutions Code section 14107.11 differentiates between the collection of Medi-Cal overpayments and withheld Medi-Cal payments and neither requires nor permits the payment of interest on withheld Medi-Cal payments.  Furthermore, Civil Code section 3287 is inapplicable in this case.

Zamora v. Lehman, B215764, concerned a trustee's action against former officers of a defunct company, alleging breach of fiduciary duty.  First, the court held that a waiver of right to arbitrate does not require the relinquishment of a known right under the Federal  Arbitration Act or the California Arbitration Act.  Next, the court went onto hold that, as provided by the rules adopted in the arbitration provision, the parties were not entitled to any discovery in an arbitration proceeding.  Thus, the court reversed the trial court's order compelling arbitration and the judgment dismissing the action with respect to the two defendants who had engaged in discovery as these defendants waived arbitration because they acted inconsistently with the right to arbitrate.  The court affirmed the trial court's ruling with respect to the defendant who sought to settle the case, as he did not act inconsistently with the right to arbitrate.

Alameda County Joint Apprenticeship & Training Comm. v. Roadway Elec. Works Inc., No. A125494, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order sustaining the demurrer to the complaint in plaintiffs' suit for unfair and unlawful competition under Business and Professions Code section 17200 and interference with prospective economic advantage, claiming that defendants are using unauthorized workers in the rebuilding of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to perform certain tasks that must be performed by certified electricians.  In reversing the judgment, the court held that because plaintiffs' claims brought under section 3099 arise independently of the prevailing wage law and do not challenge the authority of the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations to determine the scope of work or the prevailing wage, there was no requirement that plaintiffs exhaust their administrative remedy before filing suit.

People v. Honan, No. G042894, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order placing the defendant on probation with terms and conditions that included lifetime registration as a sex offender following a conviction for lewd conduct and indecent exposure.  In affirmin, the court held that, because defendant has failed to establish the first prerequisite for an equal protection challenge, his claim that mandatory registration as a consequence of his section 314(1) conviction is unconstitutional is rejected.

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