County's Suit Against an Armenian Christian School for Zoning Code Violations, Plus Administrative, Criminal & Tort Matters - California Case Law
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County's Suit Against an Armenian Christian School for Zoning Code Violations, Plus Administrative, Criminal & Tort Matters

People v. Sanders, B206569, concerned a challenge to the trial court's imposition of a sentence of 64 years to life in prison, in a conviction of defendant for attempted murder, assault with a firearm and related offenses. In reversing, the court remanded the case in concluding that defendant is correct on invoking the provision of the Determinate Sentencing Act that mandates a subordinate term to consist of one-third of the middle term as the decisive point is that an indeterminate enhancement does not merge with the determinate offense to make the entire term encompassed by the indeterminate sentencing law.

 

Flores v. Enter. Rent-A-Car Co., B215105, involved plaintiffs' suit against a car rental company for wrongful death of their son and negligent entrustment of the vehicle, claiming that an electronic check of the customer's driving record would have revealed two arrests for driving under the influence within the previous 48 months.  In affirming the trial court's judgment in favor of the car rental company, the court held that the duty owed by rental car companies articulated in Osborn v. Hertz Corp. remains an accurate statement of law, regardless of the availability of electronic driver's license checks, the Legislature has defined the conduct required of rental car companies to determine the validity of customers' licenses, and it is not the province of the courts to supersede the Legislature's choice by imposing additional duties.  Further, because plaintiffs have not alleged any breach of duty that was owed by the defendants, various other issues briefed by the parties, including issues of causation, need not be addressed.

County of Los Angeles v. Sahag-Mesrob Armenian Christian Sch., B216888, involved a county's suit against an Armenian Christian school, claiming violations of zoning code sections 22.20.015 and 22.60.330, for operating "an 800-student kindergarten-through-12th grade private school" on two parcels zoned for single-family residence.  In affirming the trial court's grant of a preliminary injunction against the school, the court held that the substantial burden portion of the Religious Exercise of Land Use and By Institutionalized Act (Act) is not violated as, no Supreme Court case holds the failure to comply with a neutral zoning application process is a substantial burden on the exercise of religious freedoms.  The court also held that the equal terms portion of the Act is not violated as the clean hands waiver application in this case could be denied without violating the act as there is no evidence any other entity seeking to use the property would be treated any differently.

City of Los Angeles v. Tesoro Ref. & Mktg. Co., B217790, involved a city's suit for declaratory relief against a refinery, establishing that as a charter city, the California Constitution gives it the exclusive right to provide electric service to its inhabitants.  In reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the city and denial of refinery's motion for summary judgment seeking a declaration that it may purchase power for use in the city from Southern California Edison, the court held that the trial court was required to enter summary judgment in favor of the refinery because neither the Constitution nor the charter prohibits Tesoro from buying power from Edison in another city, transporting that power over the refinery's internal wiring, and using that power within the city.  The court also held that the trial court's ruling transgressed section 1759(a).

Uzyel v. Kadisha, B196045, concerned a challenge to the trial court's judgment on various matters in beneficiaries' suit against a trustee for breach of trust.  The court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded where: 1) plaintiffs are not entitled to the disgorgement of profits made on Qualcomm stock purchased by defendant in August 1988 and September 1989; 2) the award of disgorgement of profits arising from defendant's stock purchase from an individual in May 1991 was proper, but the vacation of the modification of the award is void; 3) plaintiffs are entitled to an award of lost profits resulting from the sale of Trust No. 2's Qualcomm stock in May 1992; 4) the plaintiffs are not entitled to lost profits resulting from the sale of Trust No. 2's Qualcomm stock in April 1999; 5) plaintiffs are entitled to an award of damages resulting from the failure to protect the value of Trust No. 1's investment in Qualcomm stock in and after January 2000; 6) the award of damages resulting from defendant's use of trust funds to pay for his legal defense includes excessive prejudgment interest; 7) plaintiffs are entitled to prejudgment interest on the award of the disgorgement of profits arising from defendant's stock purchase from the individual in May 1991; 8) plaintiffs are entitled to prejudgment interest on the award of damages resulting from the sale of Trust No. 2's Qualcomm Stock in May 1992; 9) plaintiffs are entitled to prejudgment interest on the award of damages resulting from the failure to protect the value of Trust No. 1's investment in Qualcomm stock in and after January 2000; 10) the parties have shown no error in the punitive damages award; and 11) the attorney fee award was unauthorized.

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