California Courts of Appeal Decisions 2021

Rubio v. CIA Wheel Group
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: B300021
Sweeney v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc.
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: A153582M
Wexler v. California Fair Plan Association  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: B303100

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, together with her parents, filed suit against FAIR Plan, alleging bad faith insurance allegations founded in their dissatisfaction with how FAIR Plan handled their claim of smoke damage to the home's contents....

Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 40 v. Tapia  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: F082492

Justia Opinion Summary: The Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases (AVGC) proceeding litigated whether the water supply from natural and imported sources was inadequate to meet the competing annual demands of water producers, thereby creating an ove...

People v. McCloud  
Date: April 13, 2021
Docket Number: A158898

Justia Opinion Summary: McCloud has been convicted of 17 sexually violent crimes against six different victims. The offenses against the first five victims were committed in 1979. The first victim was a 10-year-old girl. McCloud was paroled in...

P v. Hoffman
Date: April 13, 2021
Docket Number: B306360M
American Coatings Association, Inc. v. State Air Resources Board  
Date: April 12, 2021
Docket Number: C085042

Justia Opinion Summary: The California State Air Resources Board, pursuant to Health and Safety Code 39613, imposed fees on manufacturers who sold consumer products and architectural coatings that emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of 25...

Kuntz v. Kaiser Foundation Hospital  
Date: April 12, 2021
Docket Number: C087967

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, consisting of the estate of decedent Edward William Kuntz (decedent), his wife, and his three children, sued, among others, the Kaiser Foundation Hospital and the Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (collectively...

Planet Bingo LLC v. The Burlington Ins. Co.
Date: April 12, 2021
Docket Number: E074759M
Marriage of Wang & Zhou  
Date: April 12, 2021
Docket Number: H046250

Justia Opinion Summary: Wang initiated the dissolution of marriage proceedings against Zhou. The parties have a daughter, born in 2013 in China. Daughter lived primarily in China with Zhou but made frequent, extended trips to the U.S. to visit...

Wilson-Davis v. SSP America, Inc.  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Number: B306781

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of a putative class, filed suit against his employers, SSP, alleging violations of various provisions of California’s wage and hour laws. SSP moved to compel arbitration under the co...

Gilman v. Dalby
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: C066930M
People v. Stewart  
Date: April 7, 2021
Docket Number: A157857

Justia Opinion Summary: J.R. told Napa County Officer Adams that she was assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Stewart. J.R. “seemed hysterical” and said Stewart threatened to “bash her face in using his head,” then as the argument continued, he “head...

Contreras-Velazquez v. Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc.
Date: April 7, 2021
Docket Number: D075577M
Willis v. Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 40  
Date: April 7, 2021
Docket Number: F082469

Justia Opinion Summary: Over 20 years ago, numerous parties alleged in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases (AVGC) that, without a comprehensive adjudication of all competing parties' rights to produce water from and a physical solution for th...

Silva v. Humboldt County  
Date: April 6, 2021
Docket Number: A160161

Justia Opinion Summary: Humboldt County Ballot Measure S proposed a tax on commercial cultivators of marijuana and was approved by the voters. The tax became operative on January 1, 2017. Measure S allows the Board of Supervisors to amend the l...

California v. Clark  
Date: April 6, 2021
Docket Number: C089046

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Gerquan Clark and Anthony Brown robbed three men at gunpoint. Defendants were tracked to a local retail store using a phone app on one of the cell phones they had stolen. At a showup, one of the victims identi...

Peviani v. Arbors at California Oaks Property Owner  
Date: April 6, 2021
Docket Number: E073950

Justia Opinion Summary: In a fifth amended class action complaint, plaintiffs Kelly Peviani, Judy Rudolph, and Zachary Rudolph, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, sued defendants Arbors at California Oaks Property Owner, LLC...

Muddy Waters v. Superior Court  
Date: April 6, 2021
Docket Number: E075582

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2017, plaintiff Perfectus Aluminum, Inc. filed a civil complaint alleging causes of action for: (1) violation of California Unfair Competition Law; (2) trade libel; and (3) intentional interference with prospective ec...

In re Viehmeyer  
Date: April 6, 2021
Docket Number: G059162

Justia Opinion Summary: A trial court denied Robbie Viehmeyer’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, a petition based on the contention that Viehmeyer was eligible for early parole consideration under subdivision (a) of section 32 to article I o...

Lent v. California Coastal Commission  
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: B292091

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal concluded that substantial evidence supported the Commission's decision to issue the cease and desist order requiring plaintiffs to remove structures that were built over a public accessway over the e...

Breslin v. Breslin  
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: B301382A

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the probate court's approval of a settlement that excluded the nonparticipating parties as beneficiaries. The court concluded that the probate court has the power to order the parties into me...

Shuler v. City of Los Angeles  
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: B304465

Justia Opinion Summary: After plaintiff filed suit in federal court against the City and three police officers for arresting and strip searching her, a federal jury unanimously found that the police acted reasonably and the verdict defeated pla...

California v. Clapp  
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: C081690

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Daniel Clapp plead no contest to concealing the true extent of his physical activities and abilities from his employer, the Department of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the State Compensation Insuranc...

Department of Industrial Relations, etc. v. Built Pacific, Inc.  
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: D076601

Justia Opinion Summary: Built Pacific, Inc. (BPI) appealed a judgment entered against it and in favor of the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). The DLSE issued a Civil Wage Penalty Ass...

In re Woods  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: B301891

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal agreed with petitioner that Penal Code section 3051, subdivision (h), which excludes One Strike offenders from the procedures for youth offender parole hearings, violates his right to equal protection...

In re J.N.  
Date: April 2, 2021
Docket Number: B308879

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal vacated the juvenile court's jurisdictional finding as to Father and reversed the dispositional order removing J.N. from Father's custody. The court agreed with father that the jurisdictional finding...

Parada v. East Coast Transport Inc.  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: B296566

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants, truck owner/operators who performed work as putative independent contractors for East Coast, filed suit alleging that they were actually employees rather than independent contractors and were therefore wrongf...

Tsasu LLC v. U.S. Bank Trust, N.A.  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: B298589

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal held that California's Quiet Title Act, Code of Civil Procedure 760.010 et seq., insulates a third party from the effect of a subsequent invalidation of an earlier quiet title judgment only if the thi...

In re J.S.  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: B301715

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the juvenile court's jurisdiction findings and disposition orders declaring mother's 16-year-old daughter J.S. and her 12-year-old son M.S. dependents of the court pursuant to Welfare and Ins...

In re Douglas  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: C091545

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Tyrone Douglas was convicted of two nonviolent felonies and a violent felony. The trial court chose one of the nonviolent felonies as the primary offense, imposed sentence for that offense, imposed but stayed...

Podiatric Medical Board of California v. Superior Court  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: A155260

Justia Opinion Summary: The Board licensed Redko as a doctor of podiatric medicine in 2003. In 2017, the Board filed an accusation seeking to have him disciplined for unprofessional conduct and inadequate record-keeping. The Board issued a su...

People v. Abelino  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: A159088

Justia Opinion Summary: A riot occurred at Pelican Bay State Prison. Several correctional officers were seriously injured. The defendants were charged with torture, mayhem, assault by a state prisoner, and battery by a state prisoner on a nonpr...

Crayton v. FCA US LLC  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: B294528

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against defendant, the manufacturer of a new vehicle he leased, alleging violations of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The trial court entered a judgment awarding plaintiff restitution and ci...

Julian Volunteer Fire Co. Assn. v. Julian-Cuyamaca Fire etc.  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: D076639

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Julian Volunteer Fire Company Association (Volunteer Association) through a local fire district (Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (District)) provided fire prevention and emergency services to the Julia...

California v. Brugman  
Date: March 30, 2021
Docket Number: D076658

Justia Opinion Summary: In two separate trials involving two different victims, juries found Defendant-appellant Michael Brugman guilty of three counts of corporal injury to someone with whom he had a dating relationship; three counts of violat...

Yue v. Yang  
Date: March 29, 2021
Docket Number: A159145

Justia Opinion Summary: Yue, living in California, established and moderated a Chinese language online community website, ZZB. Many of ZZB’s bloggers and readers are California residents. Liu is a California resident who lives in Canada and own...

Betancourt v. Transportation Brokerage Specialists, Inc.  
Date: March 29, 2021
Docket Number: A159528

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff worked as a delivery driver for TBS, a “last-mile” delivery company whose primary client was Amazon.com. At the start of his employment, he signed an At-Will Employment, Non-Disclosure, Non-Solicitation, Class-...

Karton v. Ari Design & Construction, Inc.
Date: March 29, 2021
Docket Number: B298003M
P. v. Nieto
Date: March 29, 2021
Docket Number: F078693M
Manhan v. Gallagher  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: A158152

Justia Opinion Summary: Tenants sued for breach of contract and bad faith retention of $4,800 from a security deposit; they subsequently moved to compel responses to requests for admission and interrogatories and requested sanctions ($3,060)....

Michaels v. Greenberg Traurig, LLP  
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: B300093

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants, Jillian Michaels and Empowered Media, filed suit against respondents, a law firm and its shareholder partner, for nine causes of action, including legal malpractice. The legal malpractice claim involved negot...

Akella v. The Regents of the University of California
Date: March 26, 2021
Docket Number: H045886M
California v. Pettigrew  
Date: March 25, 2021
Docket Number: E074122

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Scott Pettigrew challenged his conviction for the first degree murder of Mimie Cowen, contending substantial evidence did not support the jury’s finding that the murder was premeditated, and the trial court err...

People v. Southard  
Date: March 24, 2021
Docket Number: A157236

Justia Opinion Summary: On December 18, officers stopped a pickup truck that was driving at about 35 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, while straddling the white line. Southard emerged and ran; officers tased and arrested Southard. On...

Curtis v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County  
Date: March 24, 2021
Docket Number: B292967

Justia Opinion Summary: The identity of plaintiff's nontestifying expert is not entitled to absolute work product protection because it is not "a writing" that would reveal his "impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal research or theories....

People v. Moine  
Date: March 24, 2021
Docket Number: B303013

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury convicted defendant of two counts of making criminal threats in violation of Penal Code section 422, subdivision (a), the trial court suspended imposition of sentence and placed him on probation for five yea...

P. v. Cummings
Date: March 24, 2021
Docket Number: C084505M
Senior Disability Action v. Weber  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: A159540

Justia Opinion Summary: The 1993 National Voter Registration Act, 52 U.S.C. 20501(b)(1), requires states to register voters for federal elections, including “by application in person” at designated state offices. Each state must designate all o...

Jones v. Quality Coast, Inc.  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: B297425

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against Quality Coast, alleging that the company's decision not to hire him was the result of race and gender discrimination and a violation of the Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act (DJOA). A jury re...

People v. Tran  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: B297845

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's finding that defendant qualified as a sexually violent predator (SVP) and commitment of defendant to state hospital for treatment and indeterminate confinement. As a preli...

Alpha Nu Association of Theta Xi v. University of Southern California  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: B303269

Justia Opinion Summary: Theta Xi challenges the decision by USC to suspend recognition of the fraternity's USC chapter for six years. The sanction stemmed from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards' (SJACS) conclusion t...

Valley Baptist Church v. City of San Rafael
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: A156171M
People v. Hardy
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: A158179M
California v. Curry  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: C090409

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant David Curry was convicted by jury of robbery. Before the trial court sentenced him to state prison for 40 years to life and imposed various costs, defendant sought to file a motion for mental health d...

San Francisco CDC LLC v. Webcor Construction L.P.  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: A156669

Justia Opinion Summary: The Contractors’ State License Law (Bus. & Prof. Code 7031), allows any person who utilizes the services of unlicensed building contractors to sue for disgorgement of all compensation paid for the performance of any act...

People v. Rivera  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: A158284

Justia Opinion Summary: Rivera pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and admitted a prior strike in exchange for the dismissal of special-circumstances allegations. In 2017, he was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison. Penal Code sectio...

Travis v. Brand  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Numbers: B298104, B301479

Justia Opinion Summary: After a political action committee and two political candidates successfully campaigned for a ballot measure in a Redondo Beach municipal election, two citizens filed suit against the committee and the candidates, claimi...

California v. Andahl  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: C090707

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jason Andahl appealed a July 2019 judgment revoking his probation and executing a prison sentence of seven years eight months imposed in 2018 when he was first placed on probation. The sentence included two pri...

Clark v. Super. Ct.  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: D077711

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the Court of Appeal in this case centered on whether Alicia Clark exhausted her administrative remedies under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prior to filing suit against her former emp...

Sweeney v. California Regional Water Quality Control Bd.
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: A153583M
Eyford v. Nord  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: A157962

Justia Opinion Summary: Kay died in 2016 at age 90. In a trust instrument she executed months earlier, she named St. Jude Children’s Hospital the sole beneficiary of her estate, which was worth approximately $2 million. She disinherited her sur...

Rush v. State Teachers' Retirement System  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: A160558

Justia Opinion Summary: Rush retired in 2012. The California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) calculated his pension as 92.58 percent of his final compensation. Rush disputed the determination of his “final compensation,” defined as “...

Pinto v. Farmers Ins. Exchange
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: B295742M
Felkay v. City of Santa Barbara  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: B304964

Justia Opinion Summary: Before seeking damages for a governmental taking of property through inverse condemnation, the property owner must generally submit more than one proposal to the permitting authority seeking zoning variances or reducing...

City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: B308909

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against the City, alleging negligence and a dangerous condition of public property under Government Code section 835. Plaintiff alleged that her husband, an LAPD officer, contracted typhus from unsan...

Contreras-Velazquez v. Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc.  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: D075577

Justia Opinion Summary: Rosario Contreras-Velazquez (Velazquez) sued her former employer, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc. (Family Health), alleging disability discrimination and related causes of action after she suffered a work-relate...

Vendor Surveillance Corporation v. Henning  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: D076079

Justia Opinion Summary: Vendor Surveillance Corporation (VSC) appealed an adverse judgment in its action seeking refund unemployment insurance taxes assessed by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The outcome turned on wheth...

California v. Miranda  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: E071542

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant Michael Miranda was convicted on 13 counts charging sex crimes against two minor girls, including oral copulation of an unconscious person, rape of an unconscious person, and sexual penetration of an...

Planet Bingo LLC v. The Burlington Ins. Co.  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: E074759

Justia Opinion Summary: An electronic gaming device designed and supplied by Planet Bingo, LLC caused a fire in the United Kingdom. Several third parties made demands that Planet Bingo pay their damages resulting from the fire. However, Planet...

People v. Nieto  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: F078693

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted defendant of committing lewd acts and found true a special allegation that he kidnapped the victim. The Court of Appeal concluded that the pattern jury instruction for kidnapping, CALCRIM No. 1201, wrong...

Hernandez v. Jensen  
Date: March 17, 2021
Docket Number: B294449

Justia Opinion Summary: California law establishes the general duty of each person to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others. The Court of Appeal declined to recognize an exception to this fundamental principle for employers and supe...

LA Live Properties, LLC v. County of Los Angeles
Date: March 17, 2021
Docket Number: B298278M
City of Torrance v. Southern California Edison Co.  
Date: March 17, 2021
Docket Number: B300296

Justia Opinion Summary: Under section 225.1.4 of the Torrance Municipal Code, consumers of electricity must pay Torrance a tax on the charges for electricity and ancillary services they use. Edison is required to collect this tax from consumers...

Collondrez v. City of Rio Vista  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: A159246

Justia Opinion Summary: Rio Vista Officer Collondrez responded to a hit-and-run accident. According to an internal affairs investigation, Collondrez falsified his report, arrested a suspect without probable cause, used excessive force, applied...

Bacall v. Shumway  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: B302787

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's confirmation of an arbitration award against appellants and in favor of respondents in a contract dispute. The arbitrator partially rescinded the contract after finding Appe...

People v. Hoffman  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: B306360

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment committing appellant as a sexually violent predator (SVP). In this case, appellant is a 74-year-old self-admitted child molester, who, in a moment of candor, said t...

In re F.P.  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: B307313

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the juvenile court's dispositional orders denying mother visitation with her son and allowing the child's therapist to decide when conjoint counseling should occur. The court concluded that s...

Foster v. Sexton  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: F078387

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit alleging that prison officials retaliated against him because he disclosed information to the Office of Internal Affairs of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) about pr...

Zuniga v. Cherry Avenue Auction, Inc.  
Date: March 16, 2021
Docket Number: F078402

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment in favor of plaintiff in an action brought against defendants, the owners and operators of an outdoor swap meet, where plaintiff and her husband rented two vendor s...

Leining v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc.
Date: March 15, 2021
Docket Number: B291600M
Brokken v. Brokken  
Date: March 15, 2021
Docket Number: B303898

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's grant of respondents' request for attorney fees under Probate Code section 2640.1, holding that attorney fees are not available where, as here, the matter is resolved withou...

Boshernitsan v. Bach  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: A159532

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants filed an unlawful detainer action against the tenants, seeking to evict them under a provision of San Francisco's rent control ordinance that allows a "landlord" to evict renters from a unit to make the unit a...

Gilman v. Dalby  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: C066930

Justia Opinion Summary: The judgment creditors in this case obtained, per Code of Civil Procedure section 708.410, a lien on “[t]he rights of [the] judgment debtor to money or property under any judgment” in a certain lawsuit. In the course of...

California v. Paredes  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: D076086

Justia Opinion Summary: Gonzalo Paredes was found guilty by jury of 35 counts of offering or delivering compensation for workers’ compensation patient referrals and 16 counts of concealing an event affecting an insurance claim. The trial court...

Wilson v. The La Jolla Group  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: D077134

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Mosanthony Wilson and Nancy Urschel brought a putative wage-and-hour class action against defendant The La Jolla Group (LJG). Plaintiffs worked for LJG as signature gatherers on behalf of political campaigns a...

Bichai v. Dignity Health  
Date: March 12, 2021
Docket Number: F078658

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against two hospitals before the first hospital issued a final decision in the peer review proceeding addressing his reapplication. Plaintiff alleged multiple claims, including retaliation in violati...

In re R.A.  
Date: March 11, 2021
Docket Number: A161510

Justia Opinion Summary: Father and Mother lived together for a few years and are the parents of Minor, who was born in 2014. By 2018, Mother was raising her children—Minor and Minor’s three older half-siblings—on her own, and she did not know F...

Pech v. Morgan  
Date: March 11, 2021
Docket Number: B300524

Justia Opinion Summary: When an attorney sues a client for breach of a valid and enforceable fee agreement, the amount of recoverable fees must be determined under the terms of the fee agreement, even if the agreed upon fee exceeds what otherwi...

Akella v. Regents of the University of California  
Date: March 11, 2021
Docket Number: H045886

Justia Opinion Summary: The University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Technology Management workload policy described the standard course load and additional teaching responsibilities, with procedures for scheduling course assignments...

Husain v. California Pacific Bank  
Date: March 9, 2021
Docket Number: A159067

Justia Opinion Summary: The Willow property, south of the Apartments, contains a duplex, a concrete parking area, and a large undeveloped area in the rear. In 1964 the then-owners of both properties obtained a variance from Burlingame that allo...

People v. Washington  
Date: March 9, 2021
Docket Number: B296437

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant appealed his conviction and sentence for possession of three controlled substances while armed with a firearm, possession of the three controlled substances for sale, possession of a firearm as a felon, and pos...

Karton v. Ari Design & Construction, Inc.  
Date: March 9, 2021
Docket Number: B298003

Justia Opinion Summary: After plaintiff filed suit against defendant and won a judgment for $133,792.11 plus postjudgment interest, plaintiff sought attorney fees of $271,530, which were later increased to $287,640 in the trial court and now to...

Coachella Valley Water Dist. v. Super. Ct.  
Date: March 9, 2021
Docket Number: E074010

Justia Opinion Summary: The tax at issue in this case related to the State Water Project ("SWP"): California’s vast system of storage and conveyance facilities designed to provide water to its millions of residents and farmers. In 2013, the Coa...

People v. Sommer  
Date: March 8, 2021
Docket Number: A158234

Justia Opinion Summary: Sommer, a psychologist at a mental health clinic on a military base, sexually assaulted three patients under the guise of using “exposure therapy.” A jury convicted Sommer of several felonies, including sexual battery by...

Ashford Hospitality v. City & County of S.F.
Date: March 8, 2021
Docket Number: A159181M
Pinto v. Farmers Insurance Exchange  
Date: March 8, 2021
Docket Number: B295742

Justia Opinion Summary: After judgment was entered against Farmers based solely on a special verdict, Farmers argued that the judgment must be vacated because the jury did not find, and no evidence established, that it acted unreasonably in fai...

California v. Hawara  
Date: March 8, 2021
Docket Number: E074698

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Munir Mtanews Hawara owned a liquor store. He hired Willis Simmons to burn down a rival liquor store, but Simmons failed. Simmons then subcontracted the job to Randy Ramirez. Ramirez tried to burn down the riva...

Sargent v. Board of Trustees of the California State University  
Date: March 5, 2021
Docket Number: A153072

Justia Opinion Summary: Sargent began working for the University in 1991 as an environmental health-and-safety technician. Sargent was the campus’s licensed asbestos consultant. Sargent sued, presenting abundant evidence about retaliation after...

Cisneros Alvarez v. Altamed Health Services Corp.  
Date: March 4, 2021
Docket Number: B305155M

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's order denying Altamed's motion to compel arbitration of respondent's claims. The court held that the arbitration agreement is valid where respondent knowingly waived her rig...

California v. Williams  
Date: March 4, 2021
Docket Number: D077174

Justia Opinion Summary: A trial court denied defendant-appellant Anthony Williams’s motion to substitute retained counsel for his appointed counsel. After the jury found Williams guilty of first degree murder, and found true a special allegatio...

San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission v. City of Pismo Beach  
Date: March 3, 2021
Docket Number: B296968

Justia Opinion Summary: After the San Luis Obispo Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) denied the city and developer's application to annex a parcel of real property to the city, the city and developer filed suit challenging the action. LA...

Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs' Ass'n. v. County of Ventura  
Date: March 3, 2021
Docket Number: B300006

Justia Opinion Summary: Senate Bill No. 1421 amended Penal Code section 832.7 to allow disclosure under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) of records relating to officer-involved shootings, serious use of force and sustained findings of s...

Mostafavi Law Group, APC v. Larry Rabineau, APC  
Date: March 3, 2021
Docket Number: B302344

Justia Opinion Summary: Rabineau served MLG with a statutory offer to compromise, but the offer did not specify how MLG could accept it. MLG's counsel hand-wrote MLG's acceptance onto the offer itself and filed a notice of acceptance with the t...

California v. Cummings  
Date: March 3, 2021
Docket Number: C084505

Justia Opinion Summary: After entering a plea of no contest to attempted driving with a blood alcohol-level of 0.08 percent or more within 10 years of a felony conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) and admitting two prior DUI convict...

Chen v. Paypal, Inc.  
Date: March 2, 2021
Docket Number: A158118

Justia Opinion Summary: California residents who sell goods on eBay, an online marketplace, as part of their online businesses and use PayPal to receive payments for many of their sales filed a putative class action. The suit challenged provisi...

Holistic Supplements, LLC v. Stark  
Date: March 2, 2021
Docket Number: B300711

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff alleged that defendant transferred his ownership in the LLC, a medical marijuana dispensary, to her in April 2015. Unbeknownst to plaintiff and despite that alleged transfer, defendant later converted the LLC f...

Gray v. Quicken Loans, Inc.  
Date: March 2, 2021
Docket Number: B304532

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against Quicken, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, alleging causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty and violations of Civil Code section 2954.8 and Business and Professions Co...

In re I.R.  
Date: March 2, 2021
Docket Number: B307093

Justia Opinion Summary: After a domestic violence incident between mother and father that was witnessed by the children, DCFS started dependency proceedings on behalf of both children. The juvenile court found jurisdiction over the children und...

Ashford Hospitality v. City and County of San Francisco  
Date: March 1, 2021
Docket Number: A159181

Justia Opinion Summary: Ashford San Francisco owns the 2nd Street property. In 2013, a majority ownership interest in Ashford San Francisco was acquired by Ashford Hospitality. The transfer resulted in a change in ownership of the property, whi...

People v. Foster  
Date: March 1, 2021
Docket Number: B296856

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted by a jury of one count of first degree premeditated murder, and five counts of premeditated attempted murder. The jury found true allegations that the crimes were gang related and that defendant p...

People v. Byers  
Date: March 1, 2021
Docket Number: B302061

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed defendant's conviction of kidnapping to commit rape, oral copulation, or sodomy, sodomy by use of force, and two counts of commercial burglary. The court concluded that the district court did...

Contreras v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County  
Date: March 1, 2021
Docket Number: B307025

Justia Opinion Summary: A Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) plaintiff may not be compelled to arbitrate whether he or she is an aggrieved employee. Petitioners filed suit against Zum under PAGA, alleging that Zum misclassified them and other...

County of Los Angeles Department of Health v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County  
Date: March 1, 2021
Docket Number: B309416

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal issued a peremptory writ of mandate directing the trial court to set aside its order enjoining the County from enforcing its orders to the extent they prohibit outdoor dining due to the COVID-19 pande...

Valley Baptist Church v. City of San Rafael  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: A156171

Justia Opinion Summary: San Rafael voters approved by a two-thirds vote a Paramedic Services Special Tax, imposing an annual special tax up to a maximum of 14 cents per square foot on all nonresidential structures in the city to fund paramedic...

Nunez v. FCA US LLC  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Numbers: B297453, B299208

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, popularly known as the lemon law, alleging claims related to defects with her car's throttle body connector. In this case, the trial court gave the jury...

LA Live Properties, LLC v. County of Los Angeles  
Date: February 26, 2021
Docket Number: B298278

Justia Opinion Summary: After paying the taxes due under escape assessments, LA Live brought a tax refund action against the County seeking a refund of those taxes. LA Live claimed that the Assessor failed to comply with the procedural requirem...

In re Hoze  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: A158399

Justia Opinion Summary: Hoze began serving an indeterminate life sentence in 1980 after being convicted of attempted kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, vehicle theft, oral copulation, kidnapping with intent to commit robbery, an...

In re Kavanaugh  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: D076500

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 57, the “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016,” which amended the California Constitution to grant early parole consideration to persons convicted of a nonviolent f...

People v. Hardy  
Date: February 24, 2021
Docket Number: A158179

Justia Opinion Summary: Hardy fired a pistol in the direction of an occupied vehicle while standing in the street. An Oakland Police Department undercover officer observed Hardy firing a handgun, which was corroborated by a liquor store’s surve...

McGroarty v. Los Angeles Unified School District  
Date: February 24, 2021
Docket Number: B306946

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a petition for a writ of mandate as well as a complaint for due process violations against LAUSD and Defendant Sohn, seeking reinstatement and damages. Plaintiff contends that under Education Code section...

California v. Lyon  
Date: February 24, 2021
Docket Number: C087289

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Lyon was found guilty by jury of six counts of eavesdropping on or recording confidential communications, and two counts of disorderly conduct. These counts arose from defendant's secret videotaping of...

California v. Blanco  
Date: February 24, 2021
Docket Number: E073176

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant Jonathon Blanco was found guilty by jury of: (1) bringing a controlled substance into a penal institution; and (2) bringing a deadly weapon into a penal institution. The trial court found defendant ha...

Leining v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc.  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: B291600

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against Foster Farms for its allegedly misleading labels and against American Humane for its allegedly negligent certification. The Court of Appeal concluded that it need not decide whether there are...

People v. Barrios  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: B302847

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of several crimes stemming from his hijacking of the victim's car, taking cash from the victim's wallet, and ordering the victim to drive them both to ATMs for more cash. At issue was whether defe...

Area 55 v. Nicholas & Tomasevic  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: D075648

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Area 55, LLC, and SAB Holdings, LLC appealed a trial court order granting the special motion to strike their first amended complaint for malicious prosecution and the related judgment of dismissal in favor of...

California v. Jackson  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: D077095

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Joseph Jackson sought a youth offender parole hearing under California Penal Code section 3051 as a result of his conviction in 1998 that included two counts of first degree murder with multiple special circums...

P. v. Jaimes
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: F077504N
Varney Entertainment Grp. v. Avon Plastics  
Date: February 23, 2021
Docket Number: G058903

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Jason Varney was a master dock builder, and star of a cable television show called “Docked Out.” He was also the president and sole shareholder of plaintiff Varney Entertainment Group, Inc. (Varney). Defendant...

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. v. City & County of S.F.
Date: February 22, 2021
Docket Number: A157983M
People v. Freeman  
Date: February 22, 2021
Docket Number: A160437

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2017, Freeman sustained convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and for buying or receiving a stolen vehicle. In June 2018, Freeman was released on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS). Freeman’s PRCS was re...

In re Nathan E.  
Date: February 22, 2021
Docket Number: B306909

Justia Opinion Summary: Mother appeals from the juvenile court's jurisdiction and disposition orders, contending that the record lacks evidence sufficient to support those orders. In this case, Nathan E. and his siblings were removed from their...

California v. Figueras  
Date: February 22, 2021
Docket Number: C089228

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Luis Figueras appealed the denial of his postjudgment petition to vacate his murder conviction pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.95. Counsel was appointed to represent defendant on appeal; Counsel filed a "We...

Sweeney v. California Regional Water Quality Control Board  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: A153583

Justia Opinion Summary: Sweeney bought the 39-acre Point Buckler Site, located in Suisun Marsh in the San Francisco Bay's Grizzly Bay, which apparently was previously operated as a managed wetland for duck hunting. Sweeney undertook unpermitted...

Souliotes v. California Victim Compensation Board  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: B295163

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgment, concluding that the trial court did not err in ruling that the Board is bound by the factual findings and credibility determinations that established the basis for...

Gerwig v. Gordon  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: D076921

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented was one of first impression for the Court of Appeal: whether a licensee can rebut an Evidence Code presumption that chemical blood tests were properly conducted, and the results are thus rel...

Guastello v. AIG Specialty Insurance Company  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: G057714

Justia Opinion Summary: A subcontractor built a retaining wall that collapsed years later, causing damage to a nearby residential lot. The homeowner sued the subcontractor, obtained a default judgment, and then sued the subcontractor’s insuranc...

City of Duarte v. State Water Resources Control Bd.
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: G058539M
Keading v. Keading  
Date: February 18, 2021
Docket Number: A151468

Justia Opinion Summary: Lucille and Lewis Keading created a trust for the benefit of their children, Kenton and Hilja. During their lifetimes, they provided financial assistance to Kenton but not to Hilja. Kenton had been imprisoned for nine ye...

Brown v. L.A. Unified School District  
Date: February 18, 2021
Docket Number: B294240

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit alleging that LAUSD discriminated against her based on her "electromagnetic hypersensitivity," failed to accommodate her condition, and retaliated against her—in violation of the California Fair Empl...

Morgan v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc.  
Date: February 18, 2021
Docket Number: B297393

Justia Opinion Summary: After Norris Morgan was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2017, he and his wife filed suit against J-MM and others. The jury concluded that Morgan was exposed to asbestos from products that J-MM sold, and that J-MM...

Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. v. Superior Court  
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: A160523

Justia Opinion Summary: Fragoza filed suit under the Private Attorneys General Act (Lab. Code 2698) in Alameda County Superior Court, alleging that she formerly worked for Crestwood in Solano County and that Crestwood systematically violates th...

Collins v. County of San Diego  
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: D077063

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-Respondent David Collins suffered serious injuries following his arrest by San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies for public intoxication. After a three-week trial, a jury found in favor of Collins on his negligen...

California v. Valliant  
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: G058568S

Justia Opinion Summary: Alexander Valliant petitioned to recall his sentence and be resentenced pursuant to Penal Code section 1170.91(b), a statute which authorized such relief for military veterans who suffered from military-related trauma an...

People v. Dryden  
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: H043029

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, Dryden, 51 years old, homeless, and intoxicated, had an altercation with several young men. He used a bamboo stick in the fight and was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The information a...

Roussos v. Roussos  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: B293358

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal reversed a judgment confirming an arbitration award removing the managing director of two corporations, owned by Ted and his brother Harry Roussos as cotrustees of two trusts, and appointing the direc...

People v. Harris  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: B300410

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1997, a jury found defendant guilty of two counts of first degree murder and one count of arson, finding true special circumstance allegations that the murders had been committed while defendant was engaged in the cri...

People v. Flores  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: B305359

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence of drugs and a firearm, holding that the trial court correctly concluded that the facts taken together justified the Terry...

California v. Rodriguez  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: D076917

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Juan Rodriguez, a non-citizen, entered a plea agreement in San Diego County that avoided any adverse immigration consequences. After the plea was entered, but before sentencing, Rodriguez was arrested and jailed...

Daneshmand v. City of San Juan Capistrano  
Date: February 16, 2021
Docket Number: G058394

Justia Opinion Summary: In a prior opinion, a panel of the Court of Appeal determined the tiered water rate system used by the City of San Juan Capistrano (the City) violated the California Constitution. The City offered to refund its water rat...

California v. Burgess  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: D076287

Justia Opinion Summary: Months after a Pennsylvania court ordered Reginald Burgess be put on supervised probation, a jury in California convicted him of violating Penal Code section 29815, possession of a firearm in violation of an express cond...

California v. Marrero  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: D076712

Justia Opinion Summary: Armando Marrero pled guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and causing bodily injury to another person, with sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury, multiple victims, and a blood alcohol concentration...

In re D.C.  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: E073980

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant D.C. (minor) appealed a court order sustaining the State's petition made pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 602. The petition alleged minor carried a concealed dirk or dagger on his per...

Subaru of America, Inc. v. Putnam Automotive, Inc.  
Date: February 10, 2021
Docket Number: A159686

Justia Opinion Summary: Putnam purchased a service-only (satellite) Subaru facility in San Francisco. Putnam entered into a temporary “Dealer Candidate Satellite Service Facility Agreement.” Subaru and Putnam subsequently executed a Subaru Dea...

People v. Kidane  
Date: February 10, 2021
Docket Number: B303213

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal held that the evidence was sufficient to support defendant's vehicular manslaughter conviction and the true finding on the special allegation. In this case, the jury had ample evidence before it upon...

Hernandez v. State Personnel Board  
Date: February 10, 2021
Docket Number: E072444

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner-appellant Anthony Hernandez was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence after choking his girlfriend. The California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (Department) terminated him from his position...

Knight v. South Orange Community College Dist.  
Date: February 10, 2021
Docket Number: G058644

Justia Opinion Summary: Saddleback College and Juan Avalos, vice-president of Saddleback’s student services and its Title IX officer, appealed the granting of a writ of mandamus in favor of a Saddleback student, Marcus Knight. Knight petitioned...

People v. Duchine  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: A157980

Justia Opinion Summary: Duchine was convicted of first-degree murder in 1987. His conviction was affirmed. In 2019, he filed a petition for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95 (Senate Bill 1437), with a declaration asserting he was ch...

California v. Acosta  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: G057136

Justia Opinion Summary: At 21 years old, appellant Joshua Acosta, who was diagnosed with a form of high-functioning autism spectrum disorder, plotted with his codefendant, to kill their friend Katlynn’s parents, whom Acosta believed was physica...

Organizacion Comunidad de Alviso v. City of San Jose  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: H046458

Justia Opinion Summary: Espinoza asked a San Jose city planner to place him on the public notice list for a proposed project which would rezone farmland for light industrial uses. He twice specifically requested a copy of the notice of determin...

Guo v. Moorpark Recovery Service, LLC  
Date: February 8, 2021
Docket Number: A159195

Justia Opinion Summary: Guo owned TVGC, which operated a Pleasanton spa. TVGC agreed to sell the business to Mazurova's corporation, LSI. The sale was partially financed through a promissory note. The sales agreement and promissory note contain...

Doe v. Westmont College  
Date: February 8, 2021
Docket Number: B303208

Justia Opinion Summary: After plaintiff filed a petition for writ of administrative mandate to overturn Westmont College's determination that he committed sexual assault, the trial court granted plaintiff's petition. Plaintiff then moved for at...

Early v. Bacerra  
Date: February 8, 2021
Docket Number: C089943

Justia Opinion Summary: Xavier Becerra and his election committee (collectively, Becerra) successfully defended a petition for writ of mandate brought by Eric Early and his election committee (collectively, Early) seeking to remove Becerra as a...

Midway Venture LLC v. County of San Diego
Date: February 8, 2021
Docket Number: D078375M
Maldonado v. Fast Auto Loans  
Date: February 8, 2021
Docket Number: G058645

Justia Opinion Summary: In a putative class action, plaintiffs Joe Maldonado, Alfredo Mendez, J. Peter Tuma, Jonabette Michelle Tuma, and Roberto Mateos Salmeron (collectively referred to as “the Customers”), claimed Fast Auto Loans, Inc., (Len...

Wilmot v. Contra Costa County Employee's Retirement Association  
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: A152100A

Justia Opinion Summary: A county employee decided to retire. In December 2012, he submitted his application for retirement to the county’s retirement authority. In January 2013, the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act took effect, m...

People v. Quinn
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: A156932M
Manderson-Saleh v. Regents of the University of California  
Date: February 5, 2021
Docket Number: D076652

Justia Opinion Summary: Amira Manderson-Saleh was the daughter of an oncology nurse (Mother) who worked at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) for about 12 years until she retired shortly before her death. Mother earned a pension u...

Cisneros Alvarez v. Altamed Health Services Corp.  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: B305155

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's denial of Altamed's motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff's employment-related claims. The court concluded that the trial court erred in denying the motion to compel arb...

Medipro Medical Staffing, LLC v. Certified Nursing Registry, Inc.  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: B305910

Justia Opinion Summary: By statute, a trial court has the discretion to appoint a receiver to aid in the collection of a judgment if doing so "is a reasonable method to obtain the fair and orderly satisfaction of the judgment." The Court of App...

California v. Clements  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: E073965

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1989, after appellant Jody Ann Clements solicited her ex-husband and her boyfriend to assault her 16-year-old brother, the two killed the brother by stabbing him and bludgeoning him with a rock and then buried his bod...

California v. Harris  
Date: February 3, 2021
Docket Number: E074136

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, Terrence Harris was charged along with three other individuals with one count of premeditated first degree murder in the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, and two counts of robbery. Harris pled g...

People v. Collins  
Date: February 2, 2021
Docket Number: F076883

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of many crimes, including two counts of murder, after he drove his car at nearly 100 miles per hour and collided into a vehicle carrying three young women, two of whom died. A test of defendant's...

P. v. Lipptrapp
Date: February 2, 2021
Docket Number: G058891M
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform v. Aragon  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: A158035

Justia Opinion Summary: The plaintiffs are a non-profit organization “dedicated to improving the care, quality of life, and choices for California’s long-term care customers,” residents and former residents of facilities managed by CVSC, and th...

Schmid v. City & County of San Francisco  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: A158861

Justia Opinion Summary: A bronze sculpture, “Early Days,” was originally part of a Civic Center monument to California's pioneer period. In 2018, at the request of the San Francisco Arts Commission, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commi...

Nagel v. Westen
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: B300552M
Kieu Hoang v. Phong Minh Tran  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: B302608

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's order denying defendant's special motion to strike plaintiff's complaint as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), Code Civ. Proc., 425.16. Plaintiff file...

Choochagi v. Barracuda Networks, Inc.  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: H045194

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, Barracuda hired Choochagi. In 2013, Choochagi reported to Human Resources that his supervisor made inappropriate sexual comments. The company investigated. In 2014, Choochagi began experiencing severe migraine h...

Pulliam v. HNL Automotive Inc.  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: B293435

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's award of attorney's fees to plaintiff after a jury trial on plaintiff's lemon law claims. HNL argued that plaintiff's counsel failed to provide evidence of their hourly rate...

Tansavatdi v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: B293670

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed suit against the city after her son was killed in a collision with a turning truck while riding his bike. Plaintiff alleged a dangerous condition of public property under Government Code section 835. The...

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. County of Los Angeles  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Numbers: B296425, B296425

Justia Opinion Summary: ALADs sought a writ of mandate and declaration that a provision of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between ALADS and the County of Los Angeles is unenforceable based on the ground that it violates wage garnishment...

Yoon v. CAM IX Trust  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: B301191

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's award of attorney fees in favor of plaintiff, holding that defendants are entitled to fees under the note and deed of the trust. The court rejected plaintiff's contention th...

People v. Hwang  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: B301972

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's denial of defendant's request to have his case transferred to juvenile court pursuant to the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (Proposition 57) and Senate Bill No...

Chu v. Old Republic Home Protection Company, Inc.  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: B302792

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order dismissing with prejudice plaintiffs' claims against defendants for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (bad faith claim) and violation of th...

In re K.B.
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: B305420M
Cabatit v. Sunnova Energy Corporation  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: C089576

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel and Indiana Cabatit entered into a solar power lease agreement (the agreement) with Sunnova Energy Corporation. After a solar power system was installed on the Cabatits’ residence, the Cabatits sued Sunnova, alleg...

Wyatt v. City of Sacramento  
Date: January 29, 2021
Docket Number: C089702

Justia Opinion Summary: After the passage of Proposition 218, Sacramento voters approved a requirement that city enterprises providing water, sewer, storm drainage, and solid waste services pay a total tax of 11% of their gross revenues from us...

People v. Montelongo  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: B294095S

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, when he was 18 years old, stabbed and killed a 15-year-old boy while trying to take his backpack and bag containing football gear. Defendant was convicted of robbery and felony murder with a special circumstan...

Flores v. Liu  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: B301731

Justia Opinion Summary: After a surgeon competently performed a gastric re-sleeving surgery on plaintiff, she filed suit against him for negligence in recommending gastric re-sleeve surgery as a viable course of treatment and in not obtaining h...

In re Brianna S.  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: B301802

Justia Opinion Summary: After a juvenile court places a child who has been declared a dependent with a relative and declares the relative to be a "de facto parent," when the social services agency later seeks to remove the child from the relati...

Marriage of Carlisle  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: C084891

Justia Opinion Summary: In April 2015, during marriage dissolution proceedings, plaintiff filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) against defendant, her then-husband. The trial court granted a two-year DVRO. Defendant a...

City of Duarte v. State Water Resources Control Bd.  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: G058539

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal centered on a permit issued by state and local water control boards that required 86 Southern California municipalities to reduce or prevent pollutants discharged through storm sewer systems by meeting numeri...

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. City and County of San Francisco  
Date: January 27, 2021
Docket Number: A157983

Justia Opinion Summary: After garnering sufficient voter signatures to qualify, a proposed initiative entitled “Universal Childcare for San Francisco Families Initiative” was placed on the city’s June 2018 ballot as Proposition C. The initiativ...

P. v. Jaimes
Date: January 27, 2021
Docket Number: F077504M
People v. Williams  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: A157283

Justia Opinion Summary: M.T. found the door of his house open and two black men walking in the adjoining alley. He lost sight of them as they got into a red Mustang. M.T. could only see their silhouettes. Jewelry and a cash box had been stolen....

Self v. Cher-AE Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: A158632

Justia Opinion Summary: The Tribe purchased the coastal property and applied to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take the property into trust, 25 U.S.C. 5108. The federal Coastal Zone Management Act requires that each federal agency whose activ...

Breslin v. Breslin  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: B301382

Justia Opinion Summary: A party receiving notice who fails to participate in court-ordered mediation is bound by the result. Plaintiff, the trustee of decedent's trust, petitioned the probate court to determine the trust beneficiaries. After th...

P. v. Ramirez
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: C091845
Atlas Construction Supply v. Swinerton Builders  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: D076426

Justia Opinion Summary: A construction worker was killed when concrete formwork toppled over at a worksite. Plaintiffs, the worker's surviving family members, brought a wrongful death action against the general contractor, Swinerton Builders, a...

People v. Jaimes  
Date: January 25, 2021
Docket Number: F077504

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Gonzales, Jaimes, and Magana were convicted of crimes related to their involvement in a robbery, and the jury found true several gang and firearm enhancements. The Court of Appeal accepted each of the People...

Murphy v. Twitter, Inc.  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: A158214

Justia Opinion Summary: Murphy, a journalist with approximately Twitter 25,000 followers, had a Twitter “verification badge,” which “lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.” Murphy “writes primarily on feminist issues,...

Southern California School of Theology v. Claremont Graduate University  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: B295488

Justia Opinion Summary: This cases concerns a dispute regarding terms included in a 1957 grant deed (and incorporated by reference into various other documents) transferring the land on which SCST's campus sits from Claremont College to SCST. T...

Searles v. Archangel  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: B296011

Justia Opinion Summary: After the superior court dismissed plaintiff's petition for a civil harassment restraining order when she was unable to personally serve defendant with a copy of the petition and notice of hearing as required by Code of...

People v. Hernandez  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: B302815

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed from the superior court's order denying his petition under Penal Code section 1170.95, which allows certain defendants convicted of murder under a felony murder or natural and probable consequences the...

Midway Venture LLC v. County of San Diego  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: D078375

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was a preliminary injunction prohibiting the County of San Diego, its public health officer Wilma Wooten, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and Governor Gavin Newsom from enforcin...

People v. Taylor  
Date: January 22, 2021
Docket Number: H047540

Justia Opinion Summary: Proposition 64, “the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act" (2016), added Health and Safety Code section 11362.1. With specified exceptions, section 11362.1(a) declares it “lawful under state and local law...

People v. Hill  
Date: January 21, 2021
Docket Number: A157339

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2016, Hill pleaded no contest to felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (case CR940896). The court suspended imposition of sentence and placed Hill on three years' felony probation. In 2019, a Clearlake p...

People v. Kelly  
Date: January 21, 2021
Docket Number: B301916

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order awarding restitution to defendant's crime victims following his conviction for false personation of another; unauthorized use of personal identifying information of an...

Mireskandari v. Gallagher
Date: January 21, 2021
Docket Number: D076130M
Plascencia v. Deese  
Date: January 20, 2021
Docket Number: B299142

Justia Opinion Summary: In this highway fatality case, the Court of Appeal held that there has been a miscarriage of justice and thus the court must vacate the $30 million dollar non-economic damage award. The court explained that, in this case...

People v. Moseley  
Date: January 20, 2021
Docket Number: B303321

Justia Opinion Summary: A defendant who was sentenced to 66 years to life for violent sex offenses he committed at age 17 is not entitled to youth offender parole consideration under Penal Code section 3051 on federal and California constitutio...

People v. Carr  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: A158637

Justia Opinion Summary: While Carr was awaiting trial, the court found him incompetent to stand trial. In August 2015, the court ordered Carr committed to Porterville Developmental Center. Two months later, Carr remained in jail. The court orde...

Bohnett v. County of Santa Barbara  
Date: January 19, 2021
Docket Number: B303520

Justia Opinion Summary: Bernard and Sheila created the Family Trust and transferred their home to themselves as trustees. The trust became irrevocable upon the death of the surviving spouse, when the estate would be distributed to Sheila’s 13 c...

People v. Delavega  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: A154936

Justia Opinion Summary: Delavega was charged with murder with three firearm enhancements under Penal Code section 12022.53(b), (c), and (d). The subdivision (d) enhancement applies when a defendant is found to have personally and intentionally...

Decea v. County of Ventura  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: B302086

Justia Opinion Summary: After unsuccessful attempts to subdivide his property, appellant petitioned for exclusion under the Subdivision Map Act, Government Code section 66410 et seq., seeking orders declaring the 1974 parcel map void and restor...

Capra v. Capra
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: C084032M
Borman v. Brown  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: D076239

Justia Opinion Summary: Alice Borman filed this action against defendants Tara Brown, M.D. and North County Eye Center, Inc. (NCEC). Borman alleged that she sought treatment from defendants for a “droopy eyelid and brow.” According to Borman, D...

Board of Registered Nursing v. Super. Ct.  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: D077440

Justia Opinion Summary: The People of the State of California, by and through the Santa Clara County Counsel, the Orange County District Attorney, the Los Angeles County Counsel, and the Oakland City Attorney, filed suit against various pharmac...

People v. Montes  
Date: January 15, 2021
Docket Number: F078357

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of thirteen crimes in connection to his driving a stolen semitruck and trailer to a wholesale tire business, breaking into the fence yard, stealing tires, leading police officers on a high-speed c...

Ko v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: B293672M
Trinity Risk Management, LLC v. Simplified Labor Staffing Solutions, Inc.  
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: B297176

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order granting Simplified's special motion to strike the defamation cause of action in the cross-complaint as a strategic lawsuit against public participation under the anti...

Saint Francis Memorial Hospital v. State Department of Public Health  
Date: January 13, 2021
Docket Number: A150545A

Justia Opinion Summary: Saint Francis Memorial Hospital sought a writ of administrative mandate after being fined $50,000 by the California Department of Public Health. The trial court dismissed, based on the statute of limitations. The court a...

Favor v. Super. Ct.  
Date: January 13, 2021
Docket Number: E075340

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Isaac Favor agreed to a limited waiver of his right to a preliminary hearing (usually 60 days of arraignment), consenting to a new deadline that was 76 days after arraignment. The preliminary hearing was not h...

People v. Superior Court  
Date: January 12, 2021
Docket Numbers: B306519, B306520, B306523

Justia Opinion Summary: Penal Code section 859b permits a defendant to enter a limited waiver of time beyond the initial 60-day time period by agreeing the preliminary hearing be held by a date certain. Absent a further time waiver by the defen...

California v. Sims  
Date: January 12, 2021
Docket Number: D077024

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Tony Sims appealed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition. He contended the trial court erred in denying a motion to suppr...

People v. Quinn  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: A156932

Justia Opinion Summary: Quinn was convicted of felony attempted interstate transportation of marijuana, Health & Safety Code, section 11360(a)(3). San Francisco International Airport security-screening officers testified that they found over 13...

Marriage of Erndt & Terhorst  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: A157876

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties entered into a settlement agreement, in the form of a verbal stipulation, regarding the terms of their marital dissolution. The stipulation included an equal division of the community property portion of the...

Wang v. Fang  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: D076591

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Zhi An Wang, Yu Liu, Bo Xu, Yanhong Sun, Yong Li, Tao Chen, Lina Tao, Bin Qu, Qingjiang Li, Tao Jing, Xingchuan Wu, Jun Shi, Ke Zhang, Zhuo Xiao, and Yugang Xie appealed a trial court order granting defendants...

California v. Brand  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: D076621

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant Larry Brand was convicted by jury of possessing metal knuckles, one count of misdemeanor possession of heroin, and one count of misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine. The trial court imposed a spl...

California v. Jung  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: G057958

Justia Opinion Summary: Eun Sung Jung appeals from an order denying her two motions to vacate plea and conviction pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7. Jung was born in South Korea and brought in 1998 (at age three) by her parents to the Unite...

California v. Lipptrapp  
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: G058891

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1995, when defendant-appellant Steven Lipptrapp was 25 years old, he admitted that he attempted two murders and engaged in street terrorism. The trial court sentenced him to a determinate 30-year prison term. In 2019,...

P. v. Azcona
Date: January 11, 2021
Docket Number: H045676M
Filosa v. Alagappan  
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: A156412

Justia Opinion Summary: Filosa began complaining of headaches in 2004-2005. By 2010, the headaches were constant with acute episodes. In 2010, his doctor ordered an MRI. Dr. Alagappan, a radiologist, interpreted the results and did not detect a...

People v. Laanui  
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: B297581

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant appealed his conviction for six offenses committed between 1995 and 2017, including murder, solicitation of murder, and assault with a firearm. In the published portion of the opinion, the Court of Appeal addre...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: D076972

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-appellant Oliver Panozo was convicted by jury of various offenses in connection with two domestic violence incidents involving his former girlfriend. At sentencing, the court rejected Panozo’s request to be pla...

City of Norco v. Mugar  
Date: January 8, 2021
Docket Number: E072858

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-respondent City of Norco (City) filed a receivership action to abate what it described as “nearly 20 life-safety hazards” on a property belonging to defendant-appellant Ronald Mugar. During the litigation, Muga...

Nagel v. Westen  
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: B300552

Justia Opinion Summary: In the underlying action, plaintiffs filed suit against sellers after the house plaintiffs bought from sellers was uninhabitable based on extensive water intrusion. The arbitrator found that sellers had failed to disclos...

People v. Choi  
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: B301093

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of three counts of stalking and two counts of criminal threats, and sentenced to seven years, which included two one-year prior prison enhancements under Penal Code section 667.5, subdivision (b)....

Phelan Piñon Hills Community Services District v. California Water Service Co.  
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: F082094A

Justia Opinion Summary: The Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases (AVGC) proceeding litigated whether the water supply from natural and imported sources, which replenishes an alluvial basin from which numerous parties pumped water, was inadequate t...

11 Lagunita, LLC v. California Coastal Commission
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: G058436M
Lee v. Kotyluk  
Date: January 7, 2021
Docket Number: G058631

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Johnny Ki Lee and Un Joong Lee sought to evict a commercial tenant, defendant Sean Kotyluk, for selling marijuana without a license. They filed an unlawful detainer action against him based on Code of Civil Pr...

New Livable California v. Association of Bay Area Governments  
Date: January 6, 2021
Docket Number: A159235

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs are not-for-profit corporations focused on land use, zoning, housing, transportation, and open government. ABAG is a joint power authority of San Francisco Bay Area counties and cities, focused on housing. ABA...

People v. Gonzalez  
Date: January 6, 2021
Docket Number: B297509

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed defendant's conviction for robbing three people, but struck the gang enhancements for lack of substantial support. In this case, defendant snatched necklaces from three people. The court conc...

Luebke v. Automobile Club of Southern California  
Date: January 6, 2021
Docket Number: B302782

Justia Opinion Summary: After plaintiff was struck by another vehicle while waiting in his disabled car on the shoulder of the freeway for roadside assistance, plaintiff filed suit against Auto Club and Brent-Air for negligence. The trial court...

Balla v. Hall  
Date: January 6, 2021
Docket Number: D074804

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Edward Siegel was an unsuccessful candidate for the Solana Beach City Council in 2016. During and after the City Council campaign, Siegel’s campaign manager, defendant Brian Hall, sent a letter to the editor, d...

People v. Cook  
Date: January 5, 2021
Docket Number: B301970

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed defendant's conviction for dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to support defendant's conviction where defendant was convicted of viol...

In re K.B.  
Date: January 5, 2021
Docket Number: B305420

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed the juvenile court's orders exercising jurisdiction over mother's three children and removing them from their parents. The court held that the trial court properly found that the mother's con...

In re Morse  
Date: January 5, 2021
Docket Number: D077483

Justia Opinion Summary: William Morse petitioned for habeas relief from a superior court order which found under the Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVPA), there was probable cause to believe petitioner was likely to engage in sexually violent...

People v. Mackreth  
Date: January 5, 2021
Docket Number: H046266M

Justia Opinion Summary: Officer Meyer, wearing a uniform and badge, responded to a 911 call. Outside a store, a bystander said: "The guy ran in the store and was stuffing all kinds of shit down his pants" and identified Makreth behind the count...

Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates  
Date: January 4, 2021
Docket Number: B292446

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Regional Board issued a permit authorizing the County and certain cities (collectively, the Operators) to operate stormwater drainage systems, some of the Operators filed claims with the Commission seeking a de...

People v. Skiff  
Date: January 4, 2021
Docket Number: B296037

Justia Opinion Summary: The Manse, a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) admitted a resident diagnosed with dementia in violation of the conditions of the facility’s license. When an RCFE admits a resident with dementia, it must f...

Garcia v. Haralambos Beverage Co.  
Date: January 4, 2021
Docket Number: B296923

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeal affirmed an order denying defendant's motion to compel arbitration, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court's finding that defendant waived its right to arbitrate. The co...

Chinese Theatres, LLC v. County of Los Angeles  
Date: January 4, 2021
Docket Number: B302708

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose out of a property tax refund action brought by Chinese Theatres against the County. After remanding to the Los Angeles County Assessment Appeals Board to reduce the value of real property owned by Chine...

California v. Windfield  
Date: January 4, 2021
Docket Number: E055062C

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Harquan Johnson and KeAndre Windfield were each convicted of one count of murder and one count of attempted murder, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm, along with gun discharge and gang enhancement alle...

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