Northridge Earthquake Related Suit Against Insurer, Habeas Proceedings - California Case Law
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Northridge Earthquake Related Suit Against Insurer, Habeas Proceedings

Vill. Northridge Homeowners Ass'n v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., S161008, involved a homeowners association's suit against an insurance company, claiming that the insurer fraudulently induced it to settle a Northridge earthquake-related claim for less than it was worth under the policy.  In reversing the judgment of the court of appeals, the court remanded the matter in holding that a release of a disputed claim does not permit a party to elect the remedy of a suit for damages when the release itself bars that option.  Instead, the insured party to the release must follow the rules governing rescission of the release before suing the insurer for damages.

 

In re Morgan, S162413, concerned a defendant's cursory one-claim habeas corpus petition, requesting the court to defer its decision on his petition until he is appointed habeas counsel and until that attorney has had a reasonable opportunity to investigate various factual and legal matters for his 1996 capital murder conviction, which may lead to additional claims for relief to be presented in an amended petition.  In granting the petition, the court held that, in light of the unusual circumstances presented, a decision in this matter is deferred until a habeas corpus counsel has been appointed and until that attorney has had a reasonable opportunity to investigate various matters for potentially meritorious claims to be presented in an amended habeas petition.

In re Jimenez, S167100, concerned a challenge to a defendant's cursory one-claim habeas petition, requesting for a deferment of a decision on the petition until his habeas counsel had an adequate opportunity to investigate various factual and legal matters that might lead to additional claims regarding defendant's 1998 capital murder conviction (to be presented in an amended petition).  In granting the petition, the court held that a departure from the requirement that generally a habeas corpus petitioner must raise all claims in a single unamended petition is appropriate under the extraordinary circumstances of this case where defendant invoked his statutory right to the court's appointment of habeas corpus counsel to challenge his conviction and death sentence, and had to wait eight and one-half years for counsel's appointment.

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