Supreme Court of California Decisions

The California Supreme Court consists of seven justices, including a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The Court has the authority to review decisions in the California Courts of Appeal, decisions by the Public Utilities Commission, and any cases that result in a death sentence. In general, the California Supreme Court will review cases that involve issues that have statewide significance. It may review a matter in part or in its entirety.

The Court also oversees matters related to misconduct within the legal profession. It reviews recommendations by the Commission on Judicial Performance and the California State Bar on disciplining a judge or attorney. It has issued a California Code of Judicial Conduct, which consists of six canons, to guide judges in the state.

To serve as a justice, a candidate must have been admitted to practice law in California for the last 10 years, or must have served as a judge in a California state court for the same time. The Governor of California appoints justices to the Court, but the Commission on Judicial Appointments must confirm each appointment. Also, a newly appointed justice must face a retention referendum when the state next votes to elect a governor. The term of each justice lasts for 12 years, after which a retention election will determine whether they serve another term. The process is the same for the Chief Justice as for the Associate Justices.

A justice on the California Supreme Court may be removed if the state assembly votes to impeach them, and then two-thirds of the state senate votes to convict them. Removal also may follow an investigation of misconduct by the justice that results in a recommendation of removal by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. Alternatively, the Commission may suspend or censure a justice.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of California

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of California
P. v. Caro
Date: September 12, 2019
Docket Number: S106274M
ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court  
Date: September 12, 2019
Docket Number: S246711

Justia Opinion Summary: In this Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), Cal. Lab. Code 2698 et seq., action seeking civil penalties under Cal. Labor Code 558 the Supreme Court held that the civil penalties a plaintiff may seek under section 558 t...

In re Ricardo P.
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: S230923M
Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co.  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: S239510

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court considered two questions from the federal court of appeals regarding California's common-law notice-prejudice rule and held (1) the notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy of the state in t...

OTO, L.L.C. v. Kho  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: S244630

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a definitive resolution of the question of whether an arbitral scheme resembling civil litigation can constitute a sufficiently accessible and affordable process was unnecessary in this case b...

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. Superior Court  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: S243855

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when a law enforcement agency creates a so-called internal Brady list, and a peace officer on that list is a potential witness in a pending criminal prosecution, the agency may disclose to the...

People v. Fontenot  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: S247044

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeal affirming Defendant's conviction of attempted kidnapping where Defendant was charged with completed kidnapping, holding that reversal was not warranted by th...

People v. Aledamat  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: S248105

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal finding that the trial court's error in permitting the jury to consider a box cutter an inherently deadly weapon was prejudicial, holding that the error was...

People v. Foster  
Date: August 22, 2019
Docket Number: S248046

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeal affirming the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to dismiss his recommitment as a mentally disordered offender (MDO) on the basis that th...

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego  
Date: August 19, 2019
Docket Number: S238563

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal affirming the finding of the City of San Diego that adoption of an ordinance authorizing the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and regulating t...

In re Ricardo P.  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S230923

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal concerning a condition of probation requiring Ricardo P. to submit to warrantless searches of his electronics devices the Supreme Court held that the electronics search condition was not reasonably related...

Voris v. Lampert  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S241812

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming in part and reversing in part the judgment of the trial court granting Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings on certain stock and wage c...

City of Oroville v. Superior Court of Butte County  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S243247

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal finding the City of Oroville liable in inverse condemnation for property damage suffered by a dental practice when raw sewage began spewing from the toilets,...

In re Masters  
Date: August 12, 2019
Docket Number: S130495

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court discharged an order to show cause filed by Petitioner in connection with his petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus, holding that Petitioner failed to meet the applicable standard for relief under any...

People v. Ovieda  
Date: August 12, 2019
Docket Number: S247235

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court disapproved the lead opinion in People v. Ray, 21 Cal.4th 464 (1999), in which the Court articulated a "community caretaking" exception to the warrant requirement for government entry into a private res...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.