Decisions in Gaming, Criminal & Juvenile Law Matters - Criminal Law - California Case Law
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Decisions in Gaming, Criminal & Juvenile Law Matters

People v. Smith, C061805, concerned a challenge to the trial court's conviction of defendant for rape of an intoxicated woman and related crimes.  In affirming the convictions, the court rejected defendant's claim that the trial court gave misleading and incomplete instructions on rape of an intoxicated woman that require reversal of both rape convictions.  The court also held that there was sufficient evidence to support defendant's conviction of misdemeanor sexual battery.

People v. Nordberg, B218891, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and jury's finding true the special enhancement allegation that she fled the scene of the crime.  In affirming, the court held that, although the jury was not instructed on the knowledge requirements, as it should have been, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, as both the prosecution's evidence and defendant's own testimony unequivocally established that defendant knew the accident was of such a nature that it was probable another person had been injured, and there is no rational basis on which the instructional error could have affected the jury's verdict.

People v. Lexington Nat'l Ins. Co., B221639, concerned a challenge to a trial court's grant of a surety's motion to exonerate bail under Penal Code section 1305(f), on the basis that the surety had done all it could by finding the defendant in Chechnya.  In reversing, the court held that the absence of an extradition treaty with Chechnya precludes relief from forfeiture under section 1305(f), and the trial court abused its discretion in granting relief based on consideration of the equities present in this case.

In re Precious D., B221929, concerned a challenge to a juvenile court's jurisdiction and disposition orders removing a minor from her mother's custody.  In reversing the judgment, the court held that, in light of the dependency statutory scheme and federal due process principles, parental unfitness or neglectful conduct must be shown in order to assert dependency court jurisdiction under that part of section 300(b) providing for jurisdiction based on the parent's inability to adequately supervise or protect the child, and here, there was insufficient evidence of both unfitness and neglectful conduct in this case.

In re Hare, B222061, concerned a superior court's grant of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, finding the Governor's reversal of Board of Parole Hearings (Board) grant of defendant parole was untimely and not supported by "some evidence" that defendant posed an unreasonable risk of danger to society if released.  In reversing the grant of the petition, the court held that the Governor's reversal of the Board's decision was timely.  The court also held that the Governor's decision to reverse the Board's grant of parole is supported by "some evidence" defendant continues to pose a threat to public safety.

Glen Hill Farm, LLC. v. California Horse Racing Bd., B221010, concerned a plaintiff's petition for a writ of mandate seeking to compel the California Horse Racing Board (Board) to disqualify a horse from the 2007 Del Mar Derby and redistribute his earnings or to convene a hearing to determine the rights to the Derby purse.  In reversing the trial court's grant of the petition, the court remanded the matter in concluding that, because the plaintiff could have filed its protest with the Stewards under Rule 1757, but failed to do so, the Board had no regulatory duty to grant it a hearing.  The court also held that, the trial court's conclusion that a protest need not first be presented to the Stewards in cases such as this, which involve a change in the distribution of a purse, is not supported by the plain language of the statute or the Board's regulations, and it creates an exception that would swallow the rule that protests must first be presented to the Stewards.

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