Supreme Court of California Decisions 2011

Harris v. Super. Ct.  
Date: December 29, 2011
Docket Number: S156555

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, claims adjusters employed by defendants, filed four class action lawsuits alleging defendants erroneously classified them as exempt "administrative" employees, seeking damages based on unpaid overtime work. A...

In re Shaputis  
Date: December 29, 2011
Docket Number: S188655

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of second degree murder committed in 1987, and was sentenced to a term of 15 years to life in prison with a two-year enhancement for firearm use. At issue was whether a majority of Division One o...

Cal. Redevelopment Assoc., et al. v. Matosantos, et al.  
Date: December 29, 2011
Docket Number: S194861

Justia Opinion Summary: The Association sought extraordinary writ relief from the court, arguing that two measures intended to stabilize school funding by reducing or eliminating the diversion of property tax revenues from school districts to t...

People v. Ahmed  
Date: December 22, 2011
Docket Number: S191020

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of assault with a firearm and the jury found true two sentence enhancement allegations as to that crime: personal use of a firearm and personal infliction of great bodily injury. At issue was the...

People v. Eubanks  
Date: December 19, 2011
Docket Number: S082915

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of four counts of first degree murder when she shot and killed her four young children. A jury found true as to each murder the special circumstance allegation that defendant had committed multipl...

In re C.H.  
Date: December 12, 2011
Docket Number: S183737

Justia Opinion Summary: The juvenile court committed a juvenile ward to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) based on his commission of a sex offense listed in Penal Code section 290.008(c). At...

People v. Allen & Johnson  
Date: December 5, 2011
Docket Number: S066939

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury charged codefendants, Michael Allen and Cleamon Johnson, of the first degree murders of two victims, with multiple-murder special-circumstance findings as to both. After Allen waived his right to a jury trial, the...

People v. Sanchez  
Date: December 5, 2011
Docket Number: S188453

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a plea bargain, defendant pleaded guilty to cultivation of marijuana and admitted to having suffered a prior conviction and having violated probation in two other cases. At issue was under what circumstances...

People v. Dement  
Date: November 28, 2011
Docket Number: S042660

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of oral copulation in a local detention facility and of the first degree murder of a fellow inmate. The jury found true the special circumstance allegations of murder while engaged in the attempte...

Retired Employees Assoc. v. Co. of Orange  
Date: November 21, 2011
Docket Number: S184059

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from a lawsuit filed in 2007 by the Retired Employees Association of Orange County, Inc. against the County of Orange contesting the validity of certain changes the county had made to health benefits fo...

Perry v. Brown  
Date: November 17, 2011
Docket Number: S189476

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from litigation challenging the validity, under the United States Constitution, of the initiative measure (Proposition 8) that added a section to the California Constitution providing that "[o]nly marriag...

L.A. Cty. Metro. Trans. v. Alameda Produce Market, LLC, et al.  
Date: November 14, 2011
Docket Number: S188128

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from the taking of property in downtown Los Angeles to comply with a federal court order to improve the quality of bus services and involved California's "quick-take" eminent domain procedure, Code of C...

People v. Mendoza  
Date: November 10, 2011
Docket Number: S065467

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted defendant of first degree murder and found true the allegation that he personally used a firearm in commission of the murder. The jury also found true the three special-circumstance allegations that defe...

Serrano, et al. v. Stefan Merli Plastering  
Date: October 31, 2011
Docket Number: s183372

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs objected to paying an extra fee for an expedited transcript of a deposition noticed by defendant. Plaintiffs won an appeal establishing that trial courts have the authority to determine the reasonableness of f...

People v. Vang  
Date: October 31, 2011
Docket Number: s184212

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were convicted of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and the jury also found true an enhancement allegation that defendants committed the assault for the benefit of the Tiny Orient...

Baker v. Workers' Comp. App. Bd.
Date: October 19, 2011
Citation: 52 Cal. 4th 434
Docket Number: S179194m
People v. Clark  
Date: August 29, 2011
Docket Number: s045078

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted by a jury of first degree murder, premeditated attempted murder, two counts of robbery, attempted rape, assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury, and false imprisonment and kidnappin...

People v. Garcia  
Date: August 25, 2011
Docket Number: s045696

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted by a jury of crimes stemming from two home invasions committed the night before Mother's Day 1993, in the same neighborhood in Torrance. The most serious incident, in which the victims, - a marrie...

People v. Blacksher  
Date: August 25, 2011
Docket Number: s076582

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was found guilty by a jury of the first degree murder of his nephew, the second degree murder of his sister, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The jury also found true the firearm-use allegations an...

People v. McKinnon  
Date: August 22, 2011
Docket Number: s077166

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant, a member of the Crips street gang, was found guilty by a jury of the first degree murders of Perry Coder and Gregory Martin and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The jury also found t...

P. v. McKinnon
Date: August 22, 2011
Docket Number: S077166a
Seabright Ins. v. US Airways  
Date: August 22, 2011
Docket Number: s182508

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from injuries Anthony Verdon Lujan sustained when his arm got caught on a luggage conveyor when he was inspecting the conveyor as an employee of Lloyd W. Aubry Co. (Aubrey), an independent contractor hi...

Howell v. Hamilton Meats  
Date: August 18, 2011
Docket Number: s179115

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose when plaintiff was seriously injured in an automobile accident negligently caused by a driver for defendant. At issue was whether an injured person could recover from the tortfeasor, as economic damages f...

People v. Milward  
Date: August 18, 2011
Docket Number: s182263

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant attacked another inmate and was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon or by means likely to inflict great bodily injury by a prisoner serving a life sentence (aggravated assault by a life prisoner) and assa...

P. v. Castaneda
Date: August 17, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 1292
Docket Number: S085348m
Voices of the Wetlands v. CA State Water Resources Control Bd., et al.  
Date: August 15, 2011
Docket Number: s160211

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an environmental organization, filed this administrative mandamus action to challenge the issuance of a federally required permit authorizing the Moss Landing Powerplant (MLPP) to draw cooling water from the a...

P. v. Vines
Date: August 11, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 830
Docket Number: S065720m
People v. Scott  
Date: August 11, 2011
Docket Number: s068863

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted by a jury of first degree murder of Brenda Gail Kenny with the personal use of a deadly weapon. The jury concluded, as special circumstances, that the murder was committed in the course of burglar...

Baker v. Workers' Comp. App. Bd.  
Date: August 11, 2011
Docket Number: s179194

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the court construed Labor Code section 4659(c), which provided for the annual indexing of two categories of workers' compensation benefits, total permanent disability and life pension payments, to yearly in...

The People v. Lowery  
Date: August 11, 2011
Docket Number: s179422

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with violating a state statute that prohibited "willfully" threatening violence against a crime witness or victim, Pen. Code 140(a), where defendant, in a recorded telephone conversation with his in...

P. v. Gonzales
Date: August 10, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 894
Docket Number: S072316m
Stark v. Superior Court of Sutter County  
Date: August 1, 2011
Docket Number: s145337

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved serious allegations against Robert E. Stark, the auditor-controller of Sutter County where the Sutter County District Attorney's Office claimed that Stark violated statutes, county rules, and Sutter Co...

People v. Gonzales, et al.  
Date: July 28, 2011
Docket Number: s075616

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, John Anthony Gonzales and Michael Soliz, members in a Hispanic street gang in the City of La Puente, were convicted of first degree murder of Lester Eaton (count 1), Elijah Skyles (count 2), and Gary Price (c...

People v. Thomas  
Date: July 28, 2011
Docket Number: s082828

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of the first degree murder of Creed Grote and the attempted murder of Troy Ortiz. Defendant was also convicted of the second degree murder of Ricky McDonald. As special circumstances of the Grote...

Ardon v. City of Los Angeles  
Date: July 25, 2011
Docket Number: s174507

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a resident of Los Angeles, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and similarly situated individuals challenging the city's telephone users tax (TUT) and seeking refund of funds collected under the...

In re K.C.  
Date: July 21, 2011
Docket Number: s183320

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from a petition concerning placement of K.C., the youngest of eight children born to father (appellant) and mother, and the judgment terminating the parental rights of father and mother. At issue was wh...

California Grocers Assoc. v. City of Los Angeles  
Date: July 18, 2011
Docket Number: s176099

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a complaint against the City seeking to enjoin enforcement of the Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance, L.A. Ord. No. 177, 231, adding ch. XVIII, 181.00 et seq. to L.A. Mun. Code. The ordinance vested curre...

Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach  
Date: July 14, 2011
Docket Number: s180720

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from the City of Manhattan Beach's adoption of an ordinance banning the use of "point-of-sale plastic carry-out bags" in the city. Plaintiff, a coalition of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors, c...

People v. Bivert  
Date: July 11, 2011
Docket Number: s099414

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first degree murder of a prison inmate where the jury found that defendant used a deadly weapon in the commission of the murder and found true the special circumstance of allegations of prior c...

In re Crew  
Date: July 11, 2011
Docket Number: s107856

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of one count of murder and one count of grand theft where the jury found true a special circumstance allegation that the murder was for financial gain. Petitioner was sentenced to death for the m...

People v. Famalaro  
Date: July 7, 2011
Docket Number: s064306

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first degree murder under the special circumstance that the murder was committed while defendant was engaged in kidnapping and in the commission or attempted commission of sodomy and defendant...

People v. Loy  
Date: July 7, 2011
Docket Number: s076175

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first degree murder under the special circumstance of a murder engaged in the commission of a lewd and lascivious act on a child under the age of 14 and sentenced to death. On automatic appeal,...

People v. Murphy  
Date: July 7, 2011
Docket Number: s180181

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant submitted a false report to a deputy sheriff, stating that her vehicle had been stolen. At issue was whether defendant's felony conviction under a general statute governing the offering of a false instrument fo...

People v. Virgil  
Date: June 30, 2011
Docket Number: s047867

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murdering a 22-year-old Soy Sun Lao during a doughnut shop robbery and convicted of two other robberies, both committed with a knife and one accompanied by an assault with force likely to produ...

People v. Castaneda  
Date: June 30, 2011
Docket Number: s085348

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of crimes related to the murder of Colleen Mary Kennedy and sentenced to death. On automatic appeal, defendant argued, among other things, that the trial court provided an erroneous instruction co...

Sullivan, et al. v. Oracle Corp., et al.  
Date: June 30, 2011
Docket Number: s170577

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, former workers for defendant, a large software company headquartered in California, sued defendant claiming overtime compensation under the Labor Code for days longer than eight hours, and weeks longer than 4...

People v. Skiles  
Date: June 27, 2011
Docket Number: s180567

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of residential burglary and receiving stolen property. The trial court held a trial to determine whether defendant had suffered a prior Alabama felony conviction that qualified as a serious felony...

People v. Moore  
Date: June 23, 2011
Docket Number: s075726

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant had twice been convicted and sentenced to death for robbing and murdering the two managers of an apartment where he had lived. On his automatic appeal, the court addressed defendant's numerous claims of error....

Diaz v. Carcamo, et al.  
Date: June 23, 2011
Docket Number: s181627

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued a truck driver, the truck driver's employer, and a second driver after plaintiff sustained severe, permanent injuries from an automobile accident. At issue was whether plaintiff, who asserted both theories...

Shalant v. Girardi, et al.  
Date: June 23, 2011
Docket Number: s182629

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an attorney, was previously declared a vexatious litigant and was subject to a prefiling order issued under Code. Civ. Proc. 391, barring him "from filing any new litigation" in propria persona in a California...

People v. Maikhio  
Date: June 20, 2011
Docket Number: s180289

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence, a spiny lobster, obtained by a game warden on the ground that the warden had engaged in an unconstitutional search and seizure in stopping defendant's car a few blocks from...

Brown v. Mortensen  
Date: June 16, 2011
Docket Number: s180862

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the court addressed the remedies available to a patient when a debt collector, acting on behalf of a medical professional, was asserted to have illegally disclosed confidential patient information to variou...

The People v. Tran  
Date: June 13, 2011
Docket Number: S176923

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted, among other things, of murder and attempted murder in association with a criminal street gang pursuant to the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act ("STEP"), Pen. Code, 186.2...

Franchise Tax Board v. The Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco  
Date: June 6, 2011
Docket Number: s176943

Justia Opinion Summary: Real party in interest, as personal representative of his son's estate, filed a complaint in 2006 seeking a refund of state personal income taxes for the years 2000 and 2001, alleging that the estate had paid over $15 mi...

In re V.V.; In re J.H  
Date: June 6, 2011
Docket Numbers: S177654, S179579

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, minors, committed arson by setting off a firecracker on a brush-covered hillside in Pasadena, causing a fire that burned five acres of forest land. At issue was whether there was sufficient evidence to establ...

People v. Gonzales  
Date: June 2, 2011
Docket Number: s072316

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of murdering her 4-year-old niece where the jury found as special circumstances that the murder was intentional and involved the infliction of torture and occurred while defendant was engaged in t...

People v. Zambia  
Date: June 2, 2011
Docket Number: s173490

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of pandering in violation of Penal Code section 266i, subdivision (a)(2), which defined pandering as encouraging "another person to become" a prostitute. At issue was whether subdivision (a)(2) ap...

People v. Anderson  
Date: June 2, 2011
Docket Number: s175351

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of first degree felony murder with the special circumstance of killing during the course of a robbery and receipt of stolen property. At issue was whether the trial court erred by failing to provi...

The People v. Vines  
Date: May 19, 2011
Docket Number: S065720

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted, among other things, for murder and sentenced to death after robberies at two McDonald's restaurants. Defendant raised jury selection issues, evidentiary issues, prosecutorial misconduct issues, i...

Oasis West Realty, LLC v. Goldman  
Date: May 16, 2011
Docket Number: s181781

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed a complaint for breach of fiduciary duty, professional negligence, and breach of contract against defendants, an attorney and his law firm, where the attorney agreed to represent plaintiff in its effort t...

Pooshs v. Philip Morris  
Date: May 5, 2011
Docket Number: s172023

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued defendants, manufacturers of the cigarettes that she smoked for 35 years, where plaintiff was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 1989, diagnosed with periodontal disease in 1990 or 199...

Rasmussen v. Super. Ct.  
Date: May 5, 2011
Docket Number: s182407

Justia Opinion Summary: The Los Angeles Diocese and certain individuals sued persons connected with St. James Parish claiming that the national church owned certain church property in dispute. At issue was whether the court's decision in Episco...

Cal. Farm Bureau etc. v. State Water Resources etc.
Date: April 22, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 421
Docket Numbers: S150518, S150518m
Bruns v. E-Commerce Exch.
Date: February 28, 2011
Docket Number: S172684
P. v. Hernandez
Date: February 28, 2011
Docket Number: S175615
Baycol Cases I and II
Date: February 28, 2011
Docket Number: S178320
Cabral v. Ralphs Grocery
Date: February 28, 2011
Docket Number: S178799
P. v. Lee
Date: February 24, 2011
Docket Number: S080550
Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno
Date: February 24, 2011
Docket Number: S174475
P. v. Murtishaw
Date: February 22, 2011
Docket Number: S110541
P. v. Troyer
Date: February 22, 2011
Docket Number: S180759
Century-National Ins. v. Garcia
Date: February 17, 2011
Docket Number: S179252
P. v. Howard
Date: February 16, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 15
Docket Numbers: S050583, S050583m
In re Price
Date: February 14, 2011
Docket Number: S069685
Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma
Date: February 10, 2011
Docket Number: S178241
Tarrant Bell Property v. Super. Ct.
Date: February 10, 2011
Docket Number: S179378
P. v. Thomas
Date: February 3, 2011
Docket Number: S093456
P. v. Ary
Date: February 3, 2011
Docket Number: S173309
P. v. Jones
Date: January 31, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 346
Docket Number: S056364
P. v. Moore
Date: January 31, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 386
Docket Number: S081479
Cal. Farm Bur. v. State Water etc. Bd.
Date: January 31, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 421
Docket Numbers: S150518, S150518m
Catlin v. Super. Ct.
Date: January 27, 2011
Docket Number: S167148
Kwikset Corp. v. Super. Ct.
Date: January 27, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 310
Docket Number: S171845
Internat. Assn. of Fire Fighters v. P.E.R.B.
Date: January 24, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 259
Docket Number: S172377
Cortez v. Abich
Date: January 24, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 285
Docket Number: S177075
P. v. Booker
Date: January 20, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 141
Docket Number: S083899
P. v. Nelson
Date: January 20, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 198
Docket Number: S085193
P. v. Soto
Date: January 20, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 229
Docket Number: S167531
Ameron Internat. Corp. v. Ins. Co. etc.
Date: January 19, 2011
Citation: 50 Cal. 4th 1370. opinion modified: 51 Cal. 4th 112a
Docket Numbers: S153852, S153852m
Cassel v. Super. Ct.
Date: January 13, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 113
Docket Number: S178914
P. v. Diaz
Date: January 3, 2011
Citation: 51 Cal. 4th 84
Docket Number: S166600
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