California Case Law: October 2010 Archives
California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinion Summaries Blog

October 2010 Archives

Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., B216004

Denial of class certification in plaintiff's suit against Chipotle Restaurant for violation of labor laws

Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., B216004, concerned a plaintiff's suit against the California Mexican chain-restaurant, Chipotle, on his behalf and on behalf of a proposed class of similarly situated nonmanagerial employees, claiming that defendant violated labor laws by denying employees meal and rest breaks.

People v. Greenwood, B220315

Denial of motion to suppress in a conviction of possession of phencyclidine

People v. Greenwood, B220315, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of a motion to suppress in a prosecution of defendant for possession of phencyclidine in violation of Health and Safety Code section 1137(a).  In affirming, the court held that the report from the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) that the registration was not current, without any mention of a valid temporary permit, justified officers' vehicle stop.

Related Link:

Smith v. Superior Court, A124763

Defendant's petition for writ relief from a denial of a motion to dismiss an indictment for first degree residential burglary for violation of statutory right to a speedy trial granted

Smith v. Superior Court, A124763, concerned a defendant's petition for writ relief from a denial of his motion to dismiss an indictment for first-degree residential burglary, claiming that his statutory right to a speedy trial has been violated, on remand from the California Supreme Court following grant of review.

Lickter v. Lickter, C061782

Plaintiffs' suit against family members for elder abuse of their deceased grandmother dismissed for lack of standing

Lickter v. Lickter, C061782, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment for lack of standing, in plaintiffs' suit against their father, their half-sisters, and their half-sisters' mother for elder abuse and other related causes of action that had belonged to their grandmother when she died.

 

Du v. Franchise Tax Bd., B213971

Dismissal of plaintiffs' suit for income tax refunds against the Franchise Tax Board affirmed

Du v. Franchise Tax Bd., B213971, involved three couple's suits for income tax refunds, claiming that the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) had improperly charged them interest on delinquent tax payments for a period of time during which interest should have been suspended pursuant to section 19116 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

 

Kovacevic v. Avalon at Eagles' Crossing Homeowners Ass'n, D055852

Dismissal of plaintiff's suit against her homeowners association and property management company for being a vexatious litigant

Kovacevic v. Avalon at Eagles' Crossing Homeowners Ass'n, D055852, concerned a challenge to the trial court's judgment dismissing an action without prejudice, in plaintiff's suit against a homeowners association, various directors of the association, and the property management company that manages the condominium complex in which plaintiff lives.

 

Office of the Inspector Gen. v. Superior Court, C064178

Petition for an extraordinary writ and an immediate stay to compel a court to vacate its order compelling production of investigative files regarding Phillip Garrido's parole supervision to various media

Office of the Inspector Gen. v. Superior Court, C064178, concerned the Office of Inspector General's (OIG) petition for an extraordinary writ and an immediate stay to compel the superior court to vacate its order compelling production of OIG's investigative files of the CDR's parole supervision to various media, in a highly publicized case involving Phillip Garrido's alleged kidnapping of a female victim and holding her hostage for 18 years, while repeatedly sexually assaulting her, producing two children.

 

People v. Graves, B220129, involved a prosecution of a defendant for spousal battery on his wife and battery on is mother-in-law.  In reversing the trial court's dismissal of the case, the court remanded the matter as a sham trial does not trigger double jeopardy protection.  The court also held that the trial court erred by denying the People's request to trail within the statutory period provided for by section 1382.

People v. Engram, S176983

Trial court's dismissal of a criminal proceeding pursuant to Penal Code section 1382 affirmed, as lack of a number of judges sufficient to timely try the present case is fairly attributable to the state's failure

People v. Engram, S176983, concerned a challenge to the judgment of the Court of Appeal upholding the trial court's dismissal of a criminal proceeding pursuant to Penal Code section 1382, in a prosecution of defendant for burglary.

Decisions in Labor, Criminal, Family Law & anti-SLAPP Matters

Villacres v. ABM Indus. Inc., B219584, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendant employer's motion for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff's claims were barred under the doctrine of res judicata, in a former class member's suit against his employer, seeking civil penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 for alleged violations of the Labor Code.

Shelden v. Marin County Employees Ret. Ass'n, A124912, involved a former deputy sheriff's petition for writ of mandate and administrative mandamus, claiming that Marin County Employees' Retirement Association and its governing Board of Retirement calculated his retirement benefits incorrectly.  In affirming the trial court's denial of the petition, the court held that the trial court's conclusion that plaintiff's work on the arrest warrant service team was not part of his "normally scheduled or regular working hours" is well supported, and thus, it was procedurally fair for the defendants to decline to include plaintiff's work on the arrest warrant service team in his retirement calculation.

People v. Bacon, S079179

Conviction and death sentence of defendant in murder-for-hire case affirmed

People v. Bacon, S079179, concerned a challenge to a defendant's conviction for first degree murder and other crimes, for the brutal murder of his co-defendant's estranged wife, and sentence of death.

People v. Powers-Monachello, A124358

Dismissal of conspiracy charge for failure to satisfy the corpus delicti rule affirmed in a prosecution for cocaine possession

People v. Powers-Monachello, A124358, involved a prosecution of a defendant and three co-defendants for possession for sale of cocaine and conspiracy to possess cocaine for sale.  In affirming the trial courts' dismissal of the conspiracy charge for failure to satisfy the corpus delicti rule, the court held that, although the defendants' extrajudicial statements might have been introduced to determine whether they would be held to answer, such statements remained irrelevant until the corpus delicti rule had been otherwise satisfied.

Related Link:

Trivedi v. Curexo Tech. Corp., A127283

Arbitration clause unconscionable in plaintiff's suit against former employer for wrongful termination

Trivedi v. Curexo Tech. Corp., A127283, involved a plaintiff's suit against his former employer for wrongful termination, asserting various causes of action, including age discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), race and color discrimination in violation of FEHA, and breach of the parties' employment contract. 

 

People v. Sanchez, F057147

Defendant's conviction for cultivation of marijuana pursuant to no contest plea reversed

People v. Sanchez, F057147, concerned a challenge to a trial court's conviction of defendant pursuant to a no contest plea to cultivation of marijuana, admitted allegations of prior conviction within the meaning of three strikes law, and admission that he violated probation in two other cases, and an imposition of an agreed-upon term of imprisonment of 32 months.

 

Petition for writ of mandate to have plaintiff reinstated to former position as a community college vice president denied, plus criminal, contracts & administrative law matters

People v. Newton, B216215, concerned a challenge to the trial court's finding true that defendant suffered two prior drug convictions in enhancing defendant's sentence under section 11370.2(a), in a prosecution of defendant for drug related offenses.  In affirming, the court held that the enhancement may be imposed even when execution of the sentence on the prior conviction was stayed under Penal Code section 654.

 

Kling v. Superior Court, S176171

Court of appeal erred in unduly restricting the state's role at the in camera hearing regarding documents subpoenaed by defendant

Kling v. Superior Court, S176171, concerned a challenge to the court of appeals' holding that the government was entitled to notice of, and to be present at, an in camera hearing once responsive documents requested by the defendant via subpoena have been produced, but was not permitted to learn the identity of the subpoenaed party or the nature of the documents requested, in a prosecution of defendant for two murders with the special circumstances of multiple murder, lying in wait, and financial gain, in addition to other felony offenses.

 

Lopez v. Superior Court, S172589

Denial of defendant's motion to dismiss petition to extend his involuntary treatment affirmed

Lopez v. Superior Court, S172589, concerned a challenge to the court of appeals' affirmance of a trial court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss the petition to extend his involuntary treatment.

 

Sunline Transit Agency v. Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1277, E049209, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of defendant employer's petition to vacate a contractual arbitration award, and grant of a petition to confirm the award, in plaintiff's suit against her former employer.

Margarito v. State Athletic Comm'n, B220649

No due process violation for revoking a boxer's professional license

Margarito v. State Athletic Comm'n, B220649, concerned a challenge to a trial court's denial of plaintiff's petition for writ of mandate seeking to compel defendant California State Athletic Commission (Commission) to set aside its order revoking plaintiff's professional boxing license for placing adulterated pads in the hand wraps.  In affirming, the court held that no due process violation occurred and the professional boxing rules allowed the Commission to hold plaintiff strictly liable for the rule violation that occurred here and to revoke his license on that basis.

Related Link:

Steller v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., B219935

Enforcement of settlement agreement in plaintiff's suit agianst former employer for disability discrimination and workers' compensation claims. 

Steller v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., B219935, concnerned a challenge to the trial court's interpretation of the parties' settlement agreement as encompassing both plaintiff's civil action for disability discrimination and a workers' compensation action, in enforcing the settlement agreement, in plaintiff's civil action for disability discrimination against her former employer.

People v. Yang, C062816

Fireamr enhancement stricken from defendant's sentence in gang-related murder conviction

People v. Yang, C062816, involved a prosecution of defendant for voluntary manslaughter and for participating in a criminal street gang.  In striking the jury's finding true a firearm enhancement on the voluntary manslaughter conviction in sentencing defendant to 25-years-to-life, the court imposed a previously stayed 10-year enhancement for a gang-committed violent felony as the enhancement for firearm discharge by a co-principal that caused death in a gang-committed felony does not apply to him because defendant was not convicted of one of the qualifying offenses enumerated in section 12022.53(d) & (e)(1).

Related Link:

People v. Valdez, G042837, concerned a challenge to the trial court's conviction of defendant for being an unlicensed driver and fleeing the scene of an injury accident, and the jury's finding that defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury in the commission of a felony.  In reversing in part and remanding, the court held that, because the defendant in this case was not committing or attempting to commit a felony at the time of the accident, the injury suffered during the accident was not inflicted in the course of the commission of a felony or attempted felony within the meaning of Penal Code section 12022.7.

 

In re N.V., D057087

In re N.V., D057087, concerned a challenge to the juvenile court's order placing petitioner's children in foster care, in dependency proceedings involving petitioner's two minor children.  In affirming the juvenile court's order placing petitioner's children in foster care, the court held that, although the court abused its discretion by excluding evidence concerning the agency's reasons for refusing to approve the grandmother's home, there was no miscarriage of justice as the grandmother was living in a new home that had not been physically inspected, and as such, the children could not have been placed with her regardless of her child abuse history.

Related Link:

  • Read the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District's Full Decision in In re N.V., D057087

Sonoma County Water Coalition v. Sonoma County Water Agency, A124556

Sonoma County Water Coalition v. Sonoma County Water Agency, A124556, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of plaintiffs' petition for a writ of mandate seeking to enjoin a county water agency from adopting or implementing its 2005 Urban Water Mangement Plan.

 

Siskiyou County v. State Pers. Bd., C063811, involved a county's petition for writ of administrative mandamus, challenging the State Personnel Board's ruling that the county's termination of an employee for certain acts of dishonesty was excessive, and that the appropriate consequence was a two-month suspension.  In reversing the superior court's holding that the Board abused its discretion by reducing the penalty, the court held that it was well within the Board's discretion to conclude that a two-month suspension was more appropriate than the termination of the employment, and was sufficient to alert her to the seriousness of her conduct, such that it would not recur.

 

Tomlinson v. County of Alameda, A125471, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of plaintiffs' petition for a writ of administrative mandate on the ground that the proposed subdivision was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under the categorical exemption for in-fill development, in plaintiffs' petition challenging the decision of a county to approve a subdivision development proposed by developers.

 

In re Kler, A128153

Governor's Rejection of Parole Board's Suitability Finding Reversed

In re Kler, A128153, concerned a defendant's petition for habeas relief challenging the Governor's reversal of the Parole Board's finding him suitable for parole from his 1989 second-degree murder conviction.

People v. Phillips, B221932

Conviction for annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18 affirmed

People v. Phillips, B221932, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that Penal Code section 646.7(a)(1) criminalized the offensive conduct, whether or not a particular child was the perpetrator's target, and to conclude otherwise, that a defendant can annoy or molest any child simply because he has not focused his actions on any particular child, makes no sense and would undermine the purpose of the statute to protect all children from sexual predators.

Related Link:

People v. Camino, G041887, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for second degree murder of a fellow gang member, and jury's finding that defendant vicariously discharged a firearm within the meaning of section 12022.53(c) and (e)(1).  In affirming in part, the court held that the trial court did not err by admitting into evidence defendant's statements made in his second police interview.  The court also held that substantial evidence supports the trial court's factual finding the police did not use a deliberate two-step strategy to violate Miranda. Further, defense counsel did not render ineffective assistance.  However, the court reversed and remanded for sentencing in concluding that there is insufficient evidence to support the jury's finding defendant vicariously discharged a gun in the murder, because the victim, as the lone shooter in defendant's group, could not be a principal in his own murder.

 

Tharp v. Tharp, F057696, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order denying a wife's request for attorney's fees and costs incurred, and denying sanctions against the husband, in a marital dissolution proceeding.  In reversing, the court held that the public policy purpose behind 2030 and 2032 is 'leveling the playing field' and permitting the lower-earning spouse to pay counsel and experts to litigate the issues in the same manner as the spouse with higher earnings, and as such, attorney fees, financial experts, other experts, witness fees, and other costs are all awardable.  The court also held that the family court's failure to consider certain evidence and the procedural history of the case in denying sanctions against the husband was an abuse of discretion.  Lastly, on remand, the court instructed that the case be assigned to a different judicial officer as, fairness and the appearance of fairness will be achieved only if the entire case is reassigned to another judicial officer.

 

Silvers v. State Bd. of Equalization, B221229, involved a suit for declaratory relief against a surplus line insurer and others, claiming that the insurer had failed to pay Section 28 taxes.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that the the trial court correctly ruled that surplus line insurance premiums are not subject to a double tax because the non-admitted insurance company issuing the insurance policy is prohibited from "doing business" in California.