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. Silveria and Travis
Date: September 24, 2020
Docket Number: S062417M
United Auburn Indian Community of Auburn Rancheria v. Newsom  
Date: August 31, 2020
Docket Number: S238544

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that the Governor acted lawfully when he concurred in the determination of the United States Secretary of the Interior (Interior Secretary) to all...

Reilly v. Marin Housing Authority  
Date: August 31, 2020
Docket Number: S249593

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a Section 8 beneficiary's compensation for providing in-home care for a severely disabled adult daughter should be excluded from income in calculating the rental subsidy. Plaintiff had an ad...

Gund v. County of Trinity  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Number: S249792

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when Norma and James Gund suffered a violent attack after being asked by law enforcement to check on a neighbor who had called 911 requesting help, the only remedy available to the Gunds was t...

Protecting Our Water & Environmental Resources v. County of Stanislaus  
Date: August 27, 2020
Docket Number: S251709

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action challenging Stanislaus County's classification of well construction permits the Supreme Court held that the blanket classification of all permit issuances as ministerial was unlawful and that under the ord...

People v. Peterson  
Date: August 24, 2020
Docket Number: S132449

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court overturned the death penalty for Scott Peterson, who, in 2002, was convicted of killing his wife, Laci Peterson, and the couple's unborn son, holding that the trial court made a series of clear and sign...

Jarman v. HCR ManorCare, Inc.  
Date: August 17, 2020
Docket Number: S241431

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the monetary cap of $500 in statutory damages in Cal. Health & Safety Code 1430(b) applies per action, not per regulatory violation. Section 1430(b) gives a current or former nursing care pat...

Facebook, Inc. v. Superior Court
Date: August 14, 2020
Docket Number: S245203A
People v. Silveria  
Date: August 13, 2020
Docket Number: S062417

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the of the trial court convicting Defendants of first degree murder and other crimes and sentencing both defendants to death, holding that no prejudice resulted from any error...

People v. Suarez  
Date: August 13, 2020
Docket Number: S105876

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for four counts of first degree murder and other crimes and sentence of death, holding that, considering any actual or assumed errors altogether, their cumulative effect...

Facebook, Inc. v. Superior Court  
Date: August 13, 2020
Docket Number: S245203

Justia Opinion Summary: Here, the Supreme Court addressed the propriety of a criminal defense subpoena served on Facebook seeking restricted posts and private messages of one of its users, who was a victim and critical witness in the underlying...

People v. Duong  
Date: August 10, 2020
Docket Number: S114228

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of three counts of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder with a multiple murder special circumstance and various gun use enhancements, holding that th...

People v. Morales  
Date: August 10, 2020
Docket Number: S136800

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of four counts of first degree murder and other crimes, holding that there was no error or abuse of discretion during the guilt phase or penalty phase of trial. Specific...

B.B. v. County of Los Angeles  
Date: August 10, 2020
Docket Number: S250734

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that *Cal. Civ. Code 1431.2, subdivision (a) does not authorize a reduction in the liability of intentional tortfeasors for noneconomic damages based on the extent to which the negligence of other...

Wilde v. City of Dunsmuir  
Date: August 3, 2020
Docket Number: S252915

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the exemption in Cal. Const. art. II, 9, subd.(a) applies to measures setting municipal water rates, and therefore, municipal water rates and other local utility charges are not subject to ref...

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.