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

December 2010 Archives

People v. Martin, S175356

Challenge to domestic  violence probation condition

People v. Martin, S175356, concerned a challenge to the court of appeal's affirmance of the trial court's imposition of domestic violence probation conditions upon a defendant convicted of resisting an officer by the use of force or violence.


People v. Trask, C064804

Termination of defendant from diversion program

People v. Trask, C064804, concerned a challenge to the trial court's termination of defendant from diversion and reinstatement of criminal proceedings for her conviction for possession of methamphetamine.  In reversing, the court remanded the matter in concluding that termination of diversion based solely on defendant's inability to pay the fees of the program to which she has been referred to is inconsistent with and violates the deferred entry of judgment statutory scheme.


ZC Real Estate Tax Solutions Ltd. v. Ford, F059443

Penalty for failure to make timely real estate payment

ZC Real Estate Tax Solutions Ltd. v. Ford, F059443, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of plaintiff's petition for writ of mandate seeking refund of a penalty imposed upon it for failing to make a timely real estate tax payment, by a county Treasurer and Tax Collector.


Decision in Criminal, Government, Contract & Attorney Fee Matters

Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles,D056266, concerned a challenge to the the trial court's judgment in favor of the county, on remand of a taxpayer's suit against a county under the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 526a, challenging the county's annual payment of employment benefits to judges sitting in the county beyond the salary prescribed by the Legislature and in addition to employment benefits, including health care, disability insurance and life insurance provided to the judges by the state, and following the Legislature's enactment of Senate Bill X2 11, which addressed the constitutional defects in the underlying case.  In affirming, the court held that the legislation fell within the scope of the Governor's proclamation, adequately prescribed in the benefits that must be provided to judges and did not intrude upon any judge's right to equal protection of the law.


Decisions in Criminal, Labor, & Property Law Matters

Sheppard v. N. Orange County Reg'l Occupational Program, G041956, concerned a challenge to the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant, in an instructor's suit against the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program (NOCROP) for failing to pay wages in violation of Wage Order No. 4-2001, failure to pay wages in breach of a written contract, and unfair competition.


Talley v. Valuation Counselors Group, Inc., D055894, concerned a challenge to the trial court's orders vacating certain judgments of dismissal, in plaintiff's suit claiming fraud and related theories against various defendants for their roles in alleged securities fraud activities in the 1990's that allegedly ruined plaintiff's career by drawing him into the schemes in the role of a salesman of worthless bonds to private clients.


Turman v. Turning Point of Cent. California, Inc., H032576, concerned a challenge to the jury verdict in favor of a defendant, in plaintiff's suit against her former employer for gender discrimination based on disparate treatment and hostile work environment.

 

Decisions in Products Liability, Tort, Criminal & Juvenile Law Matters

Robinson v. Endovascular Technologies, Inc., H033951, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the ground that plaintiff's state law claims were preempted under the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 (MDA), in plaintiff's products liability and personal injury suit against defendants for suffering severe injuries after he was implanted with the Ancure Endocraft System during a clinical study.


People v. Albillar, S163905

Convictions of defendants for sex and gang related offenses

People v. Albillar, S163905, concerned defendants' challenge to their convictions for sex offenses, active participation in a criminal street gang, and jury's finding that the sex offenses were committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members.


People v. Nelson, D057195

No violation of Crawford right of confrontation

People v. Nelson, D057195, concerned a conviction of defendant for premeditated attempted murder with a finding that he personally discharged a firearm.  In rejecting defendant's claim that his constitutional right to confront witnesses was violated by the admission of the victim's out-of-court statement identifying defendant as the perpetrator, the court held that the victim's brief statement, made on the night of the shooting in the ambulance when the victim was close to death, was nontestimonial, and as such trial court's admission of the statement did not violate defendant's rights under Crawford.


Schelb v. Stein, B213929

Issue of whether the Marketable Record Title Act applies to family court money judgments governed by section 291

Schelb v. Stein, B213929, concerned a former married couple's dispute over a deed of trust, arising from 1988 marital dissolution proceedings.  In affirming the judgment of the trial court, the court held that the trial court properly harmonized the Family Code provision and the Marketable Record Title Act (MRTA) by holding that the debt evidenced by the note and secured by the deed of trust is still owed even though the note had expired under the MRTA and the deed of trust was no longer enforceable.  The court also held that the argument that the family law judgment should be enforced under the terms of Family Code section 4(h) is rejected.


Decisions in Criminal, Environmental, Labor & Contract Matters

Sunnyvale W. Neighborhood Ass'n v. City of Sunnyvale City Council, H035135, concerned a challenge to a trial court's grant of a peremptory writ of mandate compelling a city council to set aside its approval of the proposed project and its certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).

 

People v. Howard, S050583

Capital murder conviction affirmed

People v. Howard, S050583, concerned a defendant's challenge to his conviction for first degree murder and attempted second degree robbery and a sentence of death.

 

County of Sonoma v. Superior Court, A128734

Medical marijuana dispensaries' challenge to a county ordinance

County of Sonoma v. Superior Court, A128734, concerned a county's petition for a writ of mandate seeking to compel a trial court to vacate and set aside portions of its orders, related to a county ordinance governing zoning of medical cannabis dispensaries. 

 

In re Gomez, G043001

Challenge to the Governor's reversal of parole board's suitability for parole finding

In re Gomez, G043001, concerned a defendant's request for habeas relief, challenging the Governor's reversal of the findings of the Board of Parole Hearings that he was suitable for parole.  In granting the relief, the court held that twice, the Governor has reversed the Board based solely on the existence of two "immutable factors" which are unsupported by the record, and which amount to a rote recitation of factors the Governor believes are suggestive of risk.  The court also held that the Governor has failed to articulate any rational nexus between his reasons for reversing the Board's grant of parole, and any unreasonable risk of danger to public safety posed by defendant's release.  However, the court held that defendant is not entitled to credit allowing him an early discharge.

Related Link:

  • Read the Full Decision in In re Gomez, G043001

Decisions in Criminal, Trust, Labor and anti-SLAPP Matters

People v. Lieng, A125373, concerned a challenge to defendants' respective convictions for cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.  In affirming, the court held that the trial court was correct in finding the area of the defendant's property searched on two occasions falls outside the curtilage of that property, and the court did not err in denying defendants' motion to suppress on that ground.  Further, the use of the night vision goggles by an officer on defendant's property did not constitute a "search" in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  Lastly, the court held that the trial court properly denied the motion to quash the warrant as the search of the defendant's property was not an illegal warrantless search, and the trial court properly denied defendants' motion to traverse.


Decisions in Criminal, Juvenile, Banking & Tax Law Matters

People v. Vasquez, B218802, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to have his restitution obligation to a young girl who had been severely mauled by defendant's pit bull satisfied, in a prosecution of defendant for failure to control a mischievous animal that caused serious bodily injury.

Decisions in Criminal, Insurance, Tax, Government, & Family Law Matters

Stasz v. Eisenberg, B217470, concerned a challenge to the trial court's dismissal of the suit for failure to pay costs and attorney fees ordered when the court transferred the action to San Francisco pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 399(a), in plaintiff's suit involving a claim to entitlement of property located in San Francisco.  In affirming, the court held that plaintiff was not entitled to notice of finality of the transfer order under section 399(a) because she did not challenge the order by way of writ of mandate.  The court rejected plaintiff's claims that she did not receive timely service of the motion to dismiss, and that she was improperly denied an opportunity to seek reconsideration.

Mental Health Ass'n in California v. Schwarzenegger, A125937

Petition for writ of mandamus to compel the State to reinstitute the Homeless Adults Program

Mental Health Ass'n in California v. Schwarzenegger, A125937, concerned a petition for a writ of mandate brought by several organizations dedicated to providing advocacy, education and support services in the field of mental health and several individuals, to compel the State of California to reinstitute the Homeless Adults Program, which was removed by the state budget as the result of a gubernatorial veto in 2007.

 

People v. Gonzalez, D055698

First degree murder conviction on provocative act murder theory

People v. Gonzalez, D055698, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant on a provocative act murder theory of the attempted murder of an individual and for first degree murder of her boyfriend, who was shot and killed by the individual.

 

Taylor v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., B225089

Issue of whether plaintiff was a nonexempt employee in a suit against UPS

Taylor v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., B225089, concerned a challenge to a trial court's grant of United Parcel Service's (UPS) motion for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff was exempt executive and administrative employee and therefore not entitled to overtime payments and the related benefits given to nonexempt employees, in plaintiff's suit against his employer, UPS, seeking recovery of unpaid overtime compensation, penalties for missed meal and rest periods, and other related claims.

 

Dana Point Safe Harbor Collective v. Superior Court, S180365

Appeal of medical dispensaries' appeal of an order to comply with a subpoena

Dana Point Safe Harbor Collective v. Superior Court, S180365, concerned a challenge to the Court of Appeal's dismissal of medical dispensaries' appeal of a trial court's order requiring them to comply with a subpoena issued by a city, requesting documents related to all aspects of the dispensaries' business activities, including their business licenses, payroll arrangements, and purchasing activities, and information about their members.

People v. Shockley, F058249, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14.  In affirming, the court held that battery is not a lesser included offense to a violation of section 288 because a defendant may violate section 288 without committing a battery, and thus, the trial court did not have a sua sponte obligation to instruct the jury that battery was a lesser included offense to lewd and lascivious conduct.

Hoso Foods, Inc. v. Columbus Club, Inc., B219940

Reversal of arbitrator's award in favor of plaintiff in breach of contract dispute

Hoso Foods, Inc. v. Columbus Club, Inc., B219940, concerned a challenge to the trial court's confirmation of an arbitrator's award of over $1.2 million in favor of plaintiff, in proceedings arising from a breach of contract suit involving an agreement to lease an assembly hall for a catering event and plaintiff's claim that defendant knew about the city's restrictive ordinances precluding the use of the hall for catered events.

 

Decisions in Employment, Civil Rights, Criminal & Family Law Matters

Bautista v. County of Los Angeles, B219035, concerned a challenge to a trial court's denial of plaintiff's petition for writ of mandate seeking to reverse the decision of the Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission approving his discharge as a sworn peace officer for engaging in a personal relationship with a known prostitute and heroin addict in violation of the sheriff's department's prohibited-association policy, and grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants on plaintiff's federal civil rights claim.

Lujano v. County of Santa Barbara, B218145

Minor's suit for false arrest and use of excessive force claim

Lujano v. County of Santa Barbara, B218145, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of defendants' motion for summary judgment, iIn a minor's suit, through her guardian ad litem, against the County of Santa Barbara and two county sheriff's deputies, claiming false arrest and use of excessive force.

Greenwich S.F., LLC v. Wong, A123670

Challenge to the trial court's award of lost profits in breach of a real property sales agreement

Greenwich S.F., LLC v. Wong, A123670, concerned a challenge to the trial court's award of $600,000 in lost profits, among other damages, in favor of the plaintiff, in a breach of a real property sales agreement between the defendant and plaintiff's predecessor in interest. 

 

Grobeson v. City of Los Angeles, B207551

Former police officer's FEHA suit

Grobeson v. City of Los Angeles, B207551, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of plaintiff's motion for a new trial on the ground of juror misconduct as to the discrimination, retaliation and constructive discharge claims, in a former police officer's suit against the City of Los Angeles and a commanding officer, for unlawful retaliation and discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and constructive discharge.

 

People v. Favor, B215387

Sufficiency of jury instructions for attempted murder charge

People v. Favor, B215387, concerned a challenge to a conviction of  defendant for first degree murder, attempted murder and second degree-robbery.  In affirming, the court held that the trial court's instructions were sufficient with respect to the natural and probable consequences doctrine as applied to attempted willful, deliberated and premeditated murder, as the jury was properly instructed on the elements of attempted murder based on natural and probable consequences, and on the requisite findings for willful, premeditated and deliberate attempted murder.

 

Ennabe v. Manosa, B222784

Parents' wrongful death suit against a social host for death of their son

Ennabe v. Manosa, B222784, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of summary judgment in defendant's favor, in plaintiffs' wrongful death action, on behalf of themselves and the estate of their deceased son.

People v. Atencio, C063710

Sentencing challenge in a firearm related conviction

People v. Atencio, C063710, concerned a challenge to a trial court's imposition of 12 years and 4 months' imprisonment upon a defendant convicted for grand theft of a firearm and firearm possession by a felon.

 

People v. Ennis, G041481

Conviction of defendant for sexual molestation of minors

People v. Ennis, G041481, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for crimes involving sexual molestation of his daughter and stepdaughter, and a sentence of 64-years' imprisonment.

Silver v. Pac. Am. Fish Co., Inc., B214450, concerned a plaintiff's cross-complaint against defendants, raising claims stemming from an asset purchase agreement and a related employment agreement.  In dismissing the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendants in part, the court dismissed plaintiff's challenge to the order awarding attorney fees to defendant  for lack of jurisdiction as plaintiff's purported notice of appeal from the postjudgment order awarding defendant attorney fees is untimely, and his notice of appeal from the judgment does not encompass the separately appealable postjudgment order awarding attorney fees.