Stanley v. Superior CourtAnnotate this Case
Stanley was charged with sexual intercourse with a child 10 years old or younger with enhancements for prior serious felony convictions. Following an August 2019 mistrial, the court set a new trial for April 2020. Stanley waived his statutory right to a speedy trial until that date. On March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak,. On March 16, the Contra Costa County Health Officer issued a “shelter in place” order. Days later, the Governor ordered all Californians to stay at home except for limited activities. On March 23, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye issued an emergency order suspending all jury trials and extending by 60 days the Penal Code 1382 time period for holding a criminal trial, stating that courts cannot comply with health restrictions and that potential jurors would be unavailable.
On May 4, Stanley filed an unsuccessful "speedy trial" motion to dismiss. The court determined there was good cause under Penal Code 1382(a) to extend the trial date and set a jury trial for July 13, 2020, and stated the last day for the start of trial under Penal Code 1382 is July 29, 2020. The court of appeal affirmed. While it is unlikely that the orders are unlawful, the court did not address that issue. The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had within the state independently support the trial court’s finding of good cause.